When Alex McLeish announced his Scotland squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, it felt like the recent marginal progress with respect to the NT and Rangers had been completely obliterated and even a former Rangers manager (and boyhood bluenose) had been swallowed up by Hampden in totally omitting any Rangers player from the squad otherwise.
In particular, the absence of Ryan Jack sent alarm bells ringing – in outstanding form, having an outstanding season overall and a truly legitimate pick for Rangers’ player of the year, and yet Scotland completely overlooks him in favour of…frankly anyone else.
Rangers sit second in the table, a tonne ahead of Aberdeen, and yet McLeish’s squad is filled with Aberdeen, Killie, Hibs and even Hearts players – but not a single one from Rangers.
And it’s the omission of Jack which we have to look at with absolute astonishment and no small amusement.
Some might make a pretty weak argument that Rangers lack many legitimate Scottish players who would deserve call ups. We’d painfully disagree. Jack, McCrorie, and even Andy Halliday could all have very worthy shouts for a call up – but McLeish seems, like all his predecessors, completely against using Rangers players.
It is true that Rangers don’t actually have a tonne of Scottish players – two are long-term injured, one is completely frozen out and one just retired (albeit none of the other clubs mentioned are exactly teeming with home-grown talent either). But a Scotland without Rangers players continues to be a blight on our NT and to omit one of the very best for reasons unknown just smacks of an agenda.