Just a few short weeks ago, Jon Flanagan’s situation at Rangers looked bleak.
The full-back had played regularly over the first half of the season. He filled in at left-back for the oft-injured Borna Barisic in the months leading up to the winter break.
However, a poor showing against Aberdeen in December seemed to be the final straw, after a string of disappointing outings.
Removed at half-time that night, he wouldn’t be seen again in the league until the beginning of this month.
With Barisic out injured again and Andy Halliday suspended, he returned to face Hearts.
After his poor decision-making and shoddy distribution earlier in the season, his inclusion would have filled many a Bear with dread.
Yet, he seemed shorn of the nerves that had so obviously hampered him before. He produced a solid display against Hearts and then replicated it at Motherwell, earning praise from Steven Gerrard [RangersTV].
Flanno seizing his opportunity
With both Barisic and Halliday back fit at the weekend, the manager had a decision to make. Flanagan could easily have dropped out to make way for the international left-back or the club stalwart.
He retained his place, though, and repaid the faith once more.
Increasingly assured at left-back, he is beginning to get forward with more regularity and make impacts in the final third.
His performance didn’t go unnoticed either, as he was selected in the SPFL Team of the Week.
He bagged a hat-trick in the Staggies' 3-1 win away to Ayr United on Friday! #TOTW
— SPFL (@spfl) April 23, 2019
It’s a remarkable turnaround in such a short space of time.
I was the first to criticise during the first half of the season, but certainly wasn’t alone in doing so.
If you had told any Rangers supporter in March that during the first post-split game, Jon Flanagan would be the adjudged the Gers’ star player in an away win, you would have been laughed off.
That’s the reality though, and now he’s in, he might take some shifting.