“Why won’t Stevie play Scottish players?”

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
He just wasn't a fan!

So we’re getting this a lot, not just today but in recent times, and it’s time to address it directly. With Ross McCrorie gone, Greg Docherty nearly gone and Jamie Murphy following them, three players are marking a bit of an exodus out of Ibrox as manager Steven Gerrard refines his squad.

However, all three of these players have a major bond in common – their nationality.

Readers keep on asking us what Gerrard’s problem with Scottish players is, be it young or indeed old.

The only two to survive the Gerrard era are Jack and McGregor, with every other one rejected. Rangers’ bench, other than Jon McLaughlin, Nathan Patterson and Greg Stewart, features zero Scottish players aside a few of the Auchenhowie graduates.

Indeed, among a 32-man senior squad, just 11 are Scottish, and only Jack and McGregor are really installed as mainstays of the first XI.

However, before we start to veer towards conspiracies, other players of other nationalities are also unfavoured at the club. Katic, Barker and Jones, of Croatia, England and Northern Ireland respectively aren’t truly part of the first XI, when fit. They’re all fringe and bit-part players and none of them are Scottish.

But, let’s also be fair – youth also has no chance at this club. It doesn’t.

Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, Rangers’ last successful youth player was in fact McGregor himself, and that was 14 years ago. 2006 he broke through and never looked back.

Since then we’ve had pretenders, contenders, but nothing that stuck, and it’s been left to imports from other clubs.

But the commonality between Murphy and Docherty is Gerrard didn’t sign them – he also wasn’t part of McCrorie’s rise from Auchenhowie. Perhaps Gerrard is the kind of manager that only trusts the players he actually picks, that he signs, that he is with from their breaking through.

We really don’t know, and we can only posit.

But one thing is absolutely true and not even the most blindly faithful Rangers fan can argue otherwise:

Rangers’ record with youth, both Scottish and otherwise, is an absolute disgrace, and youth stands basically no chance of breaking through.

Up and coming kids today (An Ibrox Noise family member at 14 is a promising player on the rise) really aren’t advised to become part of Rangers’ youth academy, because they’ll end up bumped out on loan at Alloa before being freed.

Nathan Patterson is the one young player who could be the exception, but of course, all the platitudes said about him are the same things our manager said about Ross McCrorie, before he effectively turned his back on him.

We can’t pin this one on the manager either – our record since McGregor, well before the days of Stevie, is shocking, and that the only ‘successes’ since the goalie made it are Barrie McKay and Lewis Macleod rather says it all.

For whatever reason, Rangers have an entire academy that is failing, or a management structure that doesn’t allow the kids to bloom into the first team.

Is it a Scottish thing? Is it a youth thing?

We don’t know, but it’s sad.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I will comment of the two aspects of your post IN. Firstly our Academy is just like every other (that are left !) They are cliques run with those involved in them only interested in self preservation Mulholland , Murty etc .They mostly spawn from the Large Mafia Jim Fleeting etc.
    Secondly it’s hard to argue on ability technical level and physical presence that most Scottish Young Players don’t measure up to what is bought in I’m not talking about the bad loans Apologies if that sounds a little harsh

  2. I don’t want to be controversial here but could it be that Gerrard simply believes he has better players than McCrorie, Docherty and Murphy. I do and many fans agree with me. I read an article today on McCrorie moving to Aberdeen which said that there was a mixed reaction from the fans. I went on to read the fans reaction and they were a mixture of best wishes to McCrorie but mostly that he wasn’t good enough. Not one supporting him staying.
    As for youth I agree we do have a problem and we need to show there is a path to the first or players just won’t want to come here, or stay. Having said that since McGregor how many young players have went onto careers at a better standard than Rangers. So if they’re not good enough to go elsewhere why are they good enough to get into our first team?

  3. Very sad indeed! I’d accept Gerrards selections if the players he selected would stop letting us down! I’ll argue till I’m blue in the face but we should of built a team around Ross McCrorie

  4. I think it’s a joke. Every other team in the country bring through their own talent. Ok, most clubs in Scotland have to because they can afford to buy players, but look at Hibs, Hearts, & Aberdeen. They have brought plenty of their own players through in the last couple of years. Even the mob across the city always seem to have a few players from their academy either in the squad or actually playing.
    I think it must be down to the coaches in our academy because this has been a problem for years. I can remember reading about how Murray Park was going to become a conveyor belt for young talent. It just hasn’t happened.
    By the way , what happened to young Middleton. He looked like a player a couple of seasons ago before Stevie G put him out on loan

    • I don’t think it’s an ability thing as our youth system seems to be getting a lot right. They’re just not finding their way into the first team. Personally I think many of our brightest prospects are just a wee bit too young and maybe their time can still come in the next season or two. Don’t forget we did produce Billy Gilmour though unfortunately never benefited directly.
      We also have to remember that Gerrard is in a uniquely different position from his predecessors. He’s had to deal with the tail end of the consequences of 2012 as well as the damage inflicted by McCoist, Warburton, Pedro and Murty. At the same time he’s had to try and catch a rampant unchallenged Ceptic who have had a massive head start in every department. We have made great strides but have more to do while at the same time Ceptic are not standing still.

  5. Starts with “before we start to veer towards conspiracies” and finishes with “Is it a Scottish thing? Is it a youth thing?” Ridiculous.

    They do play Scottish players, pointless heading and article.

  6. I told yous this while ago ,we have best youths in country fact they win everything says so but every other club in Britain bring through youths but we don’t oh aye it’s cos they’re Scottish behave it’s cos we don’t believe in them we need to take chances sometimes.

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