Wednesday, 15 August 2018

"Ryan Jack will go on to be a Rangers Legend"

One of our long-term readers made this comment some weeks ago, and we scoffed. Like a significant portion of Rangers fans, we’d given up on him, to an extent.

We were on record as saying all players were given a clean slate by us under Steven Gerrard – that all players who had previously underwhelmed under Murty or Pedro (or Warburton) now had a full tabula rasa and we were going to judge them from this summer onwards.

And one we had certainly sought with interest to see how he’d grow was Ryan Jack. A previously slightly divisive player, Jack hadn’t yet, in a full year, injury notwithstanding, truly hit the heights at Ibrox. He had not yet displayed the player we thought we’d signed. Patience was running thin from some quarters.

But one night v Croatia side Osijek in the second leg changed all that. After his performances this season up till then had been decent but nothing extraordinary, his masterclass that night of defensive harrying, interception, reading play and general hard work stood out like a sore thumb, and once he followed such a fine display up with an even better one at Pittodrie, it was clear the Ryan Jack he can be had truly arrived.

And we have never been so delighted that our readers were correct.

Whether he does go onto be a legend or not, Jack is producing the goods now. It was a truly slow burner and regular readers will know we’d not been a big fan of his.

But we’ve always been open to having our minds changed – we know some fans will stick with their initial opinions regardless of what develops, but we’re not like that. We give credit where it’s merited and Jack really has merited it.

But, and there is a but – it is plain to see that he, like so many other players in this squad, is benefitting from the “Gerrard Effect”. Fact is Jack looks a different player these days, and it is clear his new manager knows exactly how to get the best from him. Jack himself has been champing at the bit to get back in the team following injury hell, so clearly he’s throwing himself into this like never before.

But Steven Gerrard, a legendary midfielder, clearly knows how to coach this guy properly – how to read the play, how to harry, intercept – is there a better man to show Ryan Jack the right path than arguably the best all-round midfielder Britain has produced in the past 20 years?

Maybe there is – but what does it matter. Ryan Jack is finally realising his Rangers potential and it’s a delight to see.
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