Whatever we think overall of Rangers’ performance today, something significant stood out, something which was impressive even by the standards of the days of Walter Smith.
Rangers’ XI v Zenit in Manchester:
Alexander, Broadfoot, Weir, Cuellar, Papac (Novo 77), Hemdani (McCulloch 80), Whittaker (Boyd 86), Ferguson, Thomson, Davis, Darcheville
Rangers’ squad today:
McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Kamara, Aribo (Davis), Jack, Kent, Arfield (Ojo), Defoe (Morelos)
You may be wondering what we’re getting at:
Count the established (including former) internationals in both of these:
Weir, Papac, McCulloch, Whittaker, Ferguson, Davis. The rest were loose fringe or one-time caps – or none. So, 6. 7 if you include McGregor who was never in the Uefa Cup squad.
McGregor, Helander, Barisic, Kamara, Aribo, Davis, Jack, Arfield, Defoe, Morelos.
And we’re excluding here too the fringe or one-time cappers like Flanagan, Katic et al. And Jordan Jones, who is truly part of the NI side. So actually 10.
While we’re not saying Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are better than Walter’s, we’re saying the number of internationalists, our major barometer of measurement as to how good our Rangers is, is actually greater now than it was at times under Walter.
Of course, this team needs to win things to be comparable, and it’s not done that yet.
But if anyone had doubt as to the quality of the squad we’ve assembled, that’s a pretty good way to demonstrate where we are.