Former Glasgow Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has revealed that both he and the club were aware of Carlos Pena’s drinking problem when he arrived at Ibrox.
The Lowdown: Pena’s short spell at Ibrox
Pena made the move to Ibrox from Club Leon in 2017 for a fee of £2.2m (The Daily Mail) after impressing in his home country of Mexico.
However, the now-31-year-old managed just 14 matches in all competitions – although he did score five goals (Transfermarkt) – before his drinking issues became too much of a problem. The Gers duly cancelled his contract 18 months after his arrival in Glasgow.
The Latest: Caixinha makes admission
Speaking to The Rangers Review, Caixinha has admitted that he was aware of Pena’s problems. The former Gers manager said:
“When I arrived in Mexico (between 2012 and 2014), Carlos was the most incredible midfielder.
“He was really, really incredible. Goalscorer, up and down, defending, attacking, he was really incredible. Massive player, a lot of technique, a lot of physicality.
“After that, he passed through some problems and he could not deal with what he achieved.
“He passed at one stage he was having drinking problems, it was totally known.
“And when we contacted the previous teams and previous coaches in Mexico, they told me he still had a little bit of the problem but he’s much better.
“And he’s much better with a will to change.
“I’m not going to lie to you, he didn’t arrive totally clean. But we clean him up.
“If you remember one of the last games we played against St Johnstone – which we win 3-0 and he scored twice – that was the Carlos.”
The Verdict: Risk which didn’t pay off
You must appreciate Caixinha’s honesty. He himself had a terrible spell at Rangers, lasting less than a year as he became the shortest-serving permanent manager in the club’s history, being associated with a 5-1 home drubbing by Celtic and the ignominious Europa League qualifying exit to Progres Niederkorn (BBC).
Clearly, in regards to Pena, he took a risk which just didn’t pay off – the decision was perhaps emblematic of his time in Scotland.
Were you a fan of Pena?
With those five goals, Pena did show glimpses of his capabilities. However, in the long run, less than total dedication to his craft was always going to be a major obstacle. In the end, it is probably a time all involved with the Gers would rather wish to forget.
In other news, many Rangers fans were fuming over this club tweet.
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