Some months ago Ibrox Noise ran a straw poll among our followers and readers and suggested we consider Steven Davis world class, and asked did our audience share that view.
A massive majority said yes, albeit some were adamant he was not.
The reality is we all have a different way of defining ‘world class’, and we want to make the distinction in this piece about what it means to different people.
First off, there’s the Lionel Messi Syndrome, where effectively only the literal very best players in the world can be classed as world class – so, only the absolute elite.
But of course, we have a problem. Is there a limit on what this elite is? Is it just Messi and Ronaldo? What about Lewandowski, Mbappe, Neymar, Suarez and Haaland? All six of them are pretty good but where does this world class start and where does it end? And whose list of these elite players is correct?
Then we have the ‘world XI’ syndrome, that it is simply down to the players that would make the ultimate world XI – but good luck on agreeing on the starters, hmmm?
Going further down though, is where it starts to get more realistic, and into Ibrox Noise territory.
We call this, the ‘comfortably world class’ category. It simply means a player who has plied his trade at every level, or a lot of significant ones, such as Champions League, World Cup, Euros, and maybe won trophies along the way be it with club or country, and has done so with distinction and comfort, not looking out of his depth at any of these.
You don’t need to be Messi to win a league, play at the Euros or the Copa America, but you do need to have a major level of competence in these levels and be able to shine.
And that, for us, is Steven Davis, plus quite a few of our players over the years.
If we take the phrase world class, it means literally, class of the world – that universally this player has delivered at the highest levels, and looked the part surrounded by players of a similar or even better quality.
And Davis has certainly been that in his career.
It is just our take on it – you may have a different one. But for a class manager like Mauricio Pochettino to describe Davis as similar to Xavi and Iniesta – he’s certainly done a lot right in his career.
But hey, maybe it’s only Messi for you!