3rd December 2014, Rangers had just lost to Alloa in the Challenge Cup.
Here’s the team that day:
Simonson; McGregor, McCulloch, Mohsni, Foster; Law, Black, Aird, Macleod, Boyd and Miller.
One of the worst teams this club has ever put out, and even this was an improvement on Darren Cole, Anestis Argyrou, Emilson Cribari and Ross Perry one or two seasons earlier.
Today, 7 years later, the following players have been called up for international duty:
Jon McLaughlin, Borna Barisic, Calvin Bassey, Nathan Patterson, Leon Balogun, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Juninho Bacuna, Ianis Hagi, Kemar Roofe and Fashion Sakala.
Those missing out or injured: Filip Helander, Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield and Alfredo Morelos.
Retired: Allan McGregor and Jermain Defoe.
In total, 18 either current or ex-internationals were either called up, were unavailable or otherwise were in contention now or in the past.
Compare that with where Rangers were 8 years ago. Sure, Boyd and Miller not to mention McCulloch were all former Scotland internationals, and Ian Black did get one call up not to mention Fraser Aird and his participation at a Canada camp, but the absolute contrast over the course of 8 years really does give some insight into where Rangers were and where they are now.
That we now enjoy European nights as a matter of standard, that our players routinely play at the highest levels for their countries just shows where we were, where we are, and why we should never stop being grateful that we have a Rangers of this standard again.
This is not to handwring, and tolerate any old thing like that rather sub-standard Flag Day – Rangers fans deserved better than such a complete let down of a ‘ceremony’ after 10 years of waiting.
But we should always retain that perspective than in our recent past, we were losing to Alloa in a result that wasn’t even that big a shock at the time.
Now most of our squad is on international duty.