There’s little question that like any manager, Steven Gerrard generally has his favourites. Be that right or wrong, the likes of Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Ryan Jack, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos are among those the manager would prefer to pick above others, and as long as Rangers get good results with them, few can have many complaints.
But we can’t help feeling a little sympathy for USA international Matt Polster, who has barely had a sniff of the jersey since joining in January.
Indeed, three appearances (one in UELQ, one in the League Cup and one as sub in the split) is all this utility fullback-cum midfielder has to show for his lot at Ibrox, and despite his near-blanket absence from the first team his demeanour has never seemed anything other than positive.
His complexion at training always seems constructive, jovial and the 26-year old just gets on with it rather than ever complaining about what he might consider slightly unfair treatment.
But, of course, he has a huge problem – first choice for his main slot is Tavernier, the captain – even when he doesn’t play particularly well he still seems to come up with telling crosses, assists or goals (admittedly usually penalties) and that kind of productivity even when slightly off-colour is hard to drop.
He is, also, of course, the captain as chosen by Steven Gerrard, and bar the rarity of being rested, is probably the single-most first name on the sheet.
But of course, the fallback crutch for Polster, midfield, is also plum with depth. Regardless of who’s in form at any given moment, Polster’s competition there is Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Joe Aribo, Greg Docherty, Andy King and Scott Arfield – so getting his foot in that seven-man door is going to be very difficult indeed.
Which leaves Polster rather snookered, truth be told.
Steven Gerrard evidently wanted a high-quality player to push Tavernier at RB, and to push the midfielders too – in fairness both of these have lived up to that, give or take the odd lesser display.
Polster, clearly, serves his purpose of making others play better. At present we can’t really see him making much of an impression. If he’s barely been selected in a year, what would change now?
That said, we didn’t expect Greg Stewart to start last weekend so what do we know?