As Patterson prepares to face Israel, has Auchenhowie failed?

As Patterson prepares to face Israel, has Auchenhowie failed?
Scotland v Czech Republic U21, U 21 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 09/10/2020. Qualifying Round Nathan Patterson 7 of Scotland U21s Rangers during the U21 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS match between Scotland and Czech Republic at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland on 9 October 2020. Editorial use only PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xMalcolmxMackenziex PSI-10785-0052

As Scotland prepare to face Israel this weekend, once again we find ourselves in a Nathan Patterson debate as our rising star anticipates a potential starting berth.

The debate is more domestic-based though, and points at a worrying trend which Patterson has used luck and fortune to defy, as we look at Auchenhowie.

In February this year the football Gods showed a sense of humour, after James Tavernier’s injury v Antwerp saw Leon Balogun see out the rest of the match. The only other option had been Patterson but of course he was suspended by the club over Covid breaching.

Until he wasn’t.

Patterson, and the rest of the Covid crew, were taken out of their punishment for one simple reason – Tavernier’s injury meant the club needed Patterson, and would look hypocritical only removing him from his suspension.

This opening, Tav’s ails, gave Patterson a place in the spotlight he would quite simply never have had otherwise, and from thereon in he’s creeped more and more into the reckoning, even getting a place at the Euros.

He is a talented young man, very talented, and valued by the club at around the £15M mark.

But literally NONE of this would have happened had Tavernier not been injured.

Patterson, sadly, benefited from a bit of luck on his part that Tavernier wasn’t available, and did NOT benefit from his own ability shining through.

Had Tav not got that knock, Patterson would be on loan at Arbroath by now.

And this is the issue – Rangers are miles behind Celtic for giving youth a real chance. There have been some in the past 20-odd years. McGregor, Ferguson, Charlie Adam, Allan Hutton, and then in more recent times… we’re already struggling.

Patterson is the shining light, demonstrating that Auchenhowie DOES produce players good enough to play for Rangers. It’s just there’s a lack of trust in those players from management, and not just the current incumbent Steven Gerrard.

We’ve all been impressed by the likes of Patterson, Kai Kennedy and Nathan Young-Coombes in recent years, but the only one to get his chance was Patterson and that’s because the club had no option.

It is true that youth academies are not strictly for feeding the senior club with players – they’re academies, and 99% of the players will be reared for lesser clubs, learning a decent trade but not being remotely good enough for the Famous.

But sometimes there are exceptions, and we see plenty of them – but they still don’t get the break into the team.

Stephen Kelly is another in the age where he should really be getting opportunities – he’s proven pre-season his talents, but he’s only hovering around the first team, and doesn’t seem to have any real chance to be selected. But at least he is in the frame – until, that is, he gets shipped out to Raith Rovers in January.

Patterson has proven there is Rangers-level talent in our academy – we just need to trust it more. Look at Celtic with their James Forrest, Mikey Johnston, Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor – they quite simply do a tonne better at this than we do and it’s high time our academy was trusted to deliver what its purpose is.

And not rely on Stevie G being given no option…

No posts to display


  1. SG, if you are reading this, none of our players should ever play in a dark blue shirt for Scotland to come back injured


  2. i think the pressure of them getting ten in a row has a lot to do with this, i dont think any Rangers manager would have gone down the route of introducing youth with the amount of pressure to stop them from getting ten, maybe now that things have settled down a bit and the fact things are back to pre 2012 ways on and off the pitch, hopefully we will see a better crop of youngsters coming through and actually getting games.

  3. Gerrard came in and had to pull the club off the floor just to compete and ultimately win a miraculous 55 in his third season. I don’t believe he had the space to bleed youngsters into the team. You’ll remember the storm created when Rangers lost to St Mirren in the cup when he brought in seasoned fringe players never mind youngsters. And guys like Patterson were probably just a tad too young to come in during those 3 years.

Comments are closed.