We can already say there’s a long, long way to go before Rangers fans at large are endorsing the national team, but Ryan Jack’s recent comments about wanting to play for Scotland plus his performance v Kazakhstan have gone some way to thawing a touch of the ice on the part of us here at Ibrox Noise, at least.
Don’t get us wrong, we still have no real time for Steve Clarke or his team, but the fact a Rangers player, rather from nowhere, is suddenly such an integral part of his XI inside the matter of two national fixtures does change the playing field a touch.
Jack had a tricky night of it v Cyprus trying to grasp what was needed of him and how his team mates played, but his performance in the second of the two fixtures was every inch the Jack we know at Ibrox, and he very much gathered praise.
Crucially, he both wasn’t criticised, nor was he booed.
It’s pathetic to praise these elements, but given the bad blood with Rangers and Scotland, Ryan Jack being borderline supported by both Scotland fans and the Pittodrie contingent among them at Hampden, of all places, speaks volumes for a very dramatic and sudden change in the mentality at national level.
They still hate us and we don’t care, and all that, but it seems the emergence of Jack’s talent on the international stage has led to a bit of a ceasefire from both sides, and even Steven Gerrard today confirmed Rangers will help Scotland with fixture congestion if need be.
Quite a change from even a few weeks ago when Clarke broke Jack thanks to mismanagement.
We’re not saying it’s all fixed now – what we’re saying is we now have marginally less concern our players will be booed by national fans, and they WILL be picked if they’re doing the business for our club.
Ryan Jack’s influence at Ibrox cannot be understated.
It may now be that influence is spreading throughout the land as well.