Earlier we discussed Rangers players and the lack of them for Scotland in the NT. There’s no doubt ever since the halcyon days of Allan McGregor, Barry Ferguson, Davie Weir, Kevin Thompson, Steven Whittaker, Steven Naismith you name it, Rangers have completely lacked in quality Scottish players.
There’s been a real poverty of talented Scottish players at Ibrox in the past decade, with the most promising youngsters (McKay, Macleod and Gilmour) all leaving for pastures new.
And let’s also be clear – in that Walter Smith squad I just named, only two of those players were actually reared at Auchenhowie so it’s not like we built our own team back in the day.
But the truth is Celtic for a good decade have been a tonne better for giving their youth a chance and either cementing them in the senior team or selling for a massive profit.
And despite the age of Steven Gerrard giving us 55 and amazing runs in Europe, he hasn’t exactly been great with youth.
There’s a misnomer about our manager that he’s ‘the right man’ to see the youth flourish or whatever, when in fact the only kid to have gotten a chance under him, Nathan Patterson, only got that chance because Tav was injured.
All the other youth has been fringe at best – the McCrorie brothers, Kennedy, Leon King, the list is endless.
And Stevie is neither anti Scottish or anti-youth – he’s pro Rangers.
Our manager has made 3 Scots firm parts of this side – McGregor, Jack and Arfield, so that demonstrates he doesn’t discriminate on anything outside ability.
As for youth? Our record could be better, a lot better – it’s less that Stevie is anti-youth, more that he doesn’t see much of our product as any good.
And neither have his predecessors.
Nathan Patterson could be the exception, but he isn’t going to supplant James Tavernier any time soon.
And we just have to accept for the foreseeable future, youth just won’t get a chance at Ibrox.
Is this wrong?
Rangers’ standards are now incredibly high – it takes a special kid with more than just ability to succeed in Govan – Kai Kennedy has the potential ability but does he have the temperament?
To get in Rangers’ first team now takes more than it has for a long time. It may even be one of the best Rangers teams in history.
And unfortunately if a kid isn’t cutting it, they ain’t cutting it.
Rangers come first.