The rules definitely changed in 97 minutes midweek for Glen Kamara at Ibrox. After over a year of poor attitude, weak performances and generally middling all-round displays, he rolled back the best part of 18 months to produce his finest for approaching two years.
And it’s all down to two things:
Nicolas Raskin’s arrival, and the realisation the Finn didn’t get the offers in January he wanted, because he’s been atrocious for too long.
In simple terms Kamara realises, finally, if he wants the big move he probably needs to take the next step in his career, he can’t just wait for it and no longer play for Rangers. He has to put the hard yards in. Michael Beale had nothing to do with it – his words helped, sure, but it’s not down to the arrival of the new boss – after all, it’s only in the last match or two Kamara has finally woken up.
No, the arrival instead of a threatening new party, Nicolas Raskin, while not getting the offers he wanted in January has led Kamara to two realisations:
1: His place is completely at risk and unless he fights against the competition, he will sit on the bench most weeks.
2: This means no suitors get to see him play, and he has no platform to showcase himself for a summer exit to one of the big five leagues.
Let’s be clear, Kamara is potentially a world class player, we’ve seen it plenty of times in the past, just how good he is. Neil McCann wasn’t wrong in his assessment of the former Dundee lad, and he knows a player or two.
But he’s absolutely sat on his laurels for over a year, letting apathy set in and showing no hunger. The performance v Hearts shows what he can do when he cares. When he tries.
And with Raskin in town as well, Kamara has 18 months to earn that move away.
Beale has suggested they could play together, well, we’ve not seen anything of Raskin yet to make a comment on that one way or the other, but John Lundstram and Ryan Jack may have a thing or two to say about it.
But either way, whether he’s playing for his place or a move, Kamara, on his game is among the best players the team has – and having him, Raskin, Lundstram and Jack as the main options would be a truly exceptional pool of midfielders to go forward with for at least the rest of this season.
So we’ll watch and see how Rangers get on with that.