Reliable Rangers star on Scotland fringes as howler hurts Euro 2020 hopes
Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Reliable Rangers star on Scotland fringes as howler hurts Euro 2020 hopes

Reliable Rangers stopper Jon McLaughlin might not have been the first choice at Ibrox this season, but he certainly didn’t put a foot wrong when called upon this campaign.

The reliable goalkeeper was an able deputy to SPFL and Rangers fans’ Player of the Year Allan McGregor, who enjoyed a wonderful season between the sticks.

Rangers star Jon McLaughlin has always been reliable for the Ibrox club and there’s no doubt he would be for Scotland. (Photo by Ada (Photo by ADAM JASTRZEBOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Even in the early part of the campaign – with McGregor injured – McLaughlin played the bulk of a record-breaking clean sheet run which saw the Gers concede 0 goals in their first seven games.

Ex-Hearts and Sunderland stopper Jon played in six of them.

In total McLaughlin played in 14 matches for Rangers last season and was undoubtedly deserving of his place in the Scotland squad for Euro 2020.

But Jon himself – a patient and respectful presence for club and country – will be well aware he is the third choice for the nation behind Derby’s David Marshall and Hearts’ Craig Gordon.

That’s despite McLaughlin playing at a higher level than both – albeit as a deputy – and both players showing in recent months that they are prone to a howler which can dramatically alter the game.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has come in for criticism for sticking to the side which earned qualification for the tournament against Serbia.

A long-awaited moment granted – those guys put an end to 23 years of aching Scottish football history – there was a feeling that sentiment superseded sense against the Czechs and Scotland paid the penalty.

Marshall – a player who has struggled with Derby County at times this season – saved the penalty to get us here but was found wanting as Patrick Shick’s wonderfully struck effort flew in from 49 yards out.

 

From 2-0, Scotland’s heads went down and the defeat killed much of the nation’s early Euros momentum.

Even if Marshall would pull off some solid saves throughout the match, this was arguably the defining moment of it.

Jack Hendry has some responsibility to take for taking a needless shot on and losing possession in the middle of the pitch, but Marshall’s position almost in the centre circle gets more calamitous with every watch.

Expect Craig Gordon to replace him against the English – another howler puts both Marshall and Clarke’s heads on the chopping block – but it’s telling Jon isn’t being seriously considered outside of Rangers circles.

McLaughlin, 33, has two Scotland caps to his name. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

A reliable and commanding goalkeeper with the ability to pull off wonderful saves when called upon, McLaughlin wouldn’t just bring stability to Scotland’s goalkeeping woes, he can add much-needed quality too.

Whilst Rangers stopper McLaughlin hasn’t had the chance to shine at Euro 2020, one Ibrox legend has been earning the adulation of football fans at the tournament for different reasons.

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