Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad is either a damning indictment of the Old Firm’s abandonment of Scottish talent, or a wonderful show of the UK’s depth of Scottish quality players, depending on how you look at it.
Rangers have just Jon McLaughlin and Ryan Jack selected, while Celtic have McGregor, Taylor and Christie.
In a squad of 26 players, that only five come from Rangers or Celtic is a far cry from yesteryear when both squads would contribute around half of the players for the national team of our country.
Is it a damning indictment of a failure of both clubs to properly develop Scottish players who then ply their trade in Glasgow?
In truth, Celtic have fared better recently in this department – Rangers’ last big Scottish breakthrough was McGregor in 2006, and last big Scottish sale was Hutton in 2008. Celtic have had the Tierneys, Forrests, Johnstons, Browns (albeit from Hibs) and quite a few others. And of course have the Scottish record for Tierney.
But then look equally at all the players the NT has from the PL in England, the SPL in Scotland and even the Eredivisie? It shows a level of depth these days which exceeds what we normally expect.
It’s not a bad squad in truth, even if the Old Firm just don’t have the players to contribute any more.
Remember the days of McGregor, Hutton, Weir, Ferguson, Thomson, McCulloch, Miller?
These are a distant past now, Rangers mostly sign from England and Europe, so Scottish talent struggles to be heard at our club.
Good or bad? Completely subjective.
But it’s a sign of the times that the Old Firm only make up a tiny portion of the NT these days.