As the Scotland squad was announced ahead of Euro 2020 the inclusion of two Rangers stars is encouraging for Gers fans – but the absence of one Celtic player will also catch the eye.
Nathan Patterson and Jon McLaughlin have been named and will be involved in the 26-man Scotland squad this summer.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) May 19, 2021
The fractious relationship between the Scottish national team and Rangers is by this stage well poured over and the reality is, there is a split when it comes to supporting Scotland.
The reasons for this exists somewhere in the events of 2012, club tribalism, the politics of independence and a perceived culture of distaste for Rangers in some factions of the Tartan Army.
However Rangers are the highest represented club team in the Scotland support – no surprise given they’re the most supported club in the country – and there will still be plenty cheering on Steve Clarke’s side this summer.
But whilst I have been torn when it comes to Scotland in recent years, following the team at a first major tournament in 22 years is certainly made more pleasurable with the absence of Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths.
There are few players who sum up the disrespectful, contemptuousness held by many towards Rangers more than the striker and this was exemplified in the moments after Scotland qualified.
The country united, in a moment of joy, Griffiths took aim at former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty and goaded Northern Ireland for their failure to qualify on the same night.
This was something which was particularly sour given the fact Laff – who wasn’t even playing for Rangers at the time – had just lost his sister in the week previously.
The issue surrounded Griffiths liking a tweet of a visibly upset Lafferty crushed come the final whistle after Northern Ireland were defeated 2-1 by Slovakia AET.
This whilst the rest of the Scotland team celebrated the fact they’d just pipped Serbia on penalties to make the tournament.
It soured the night for some Rangers supporters – cast back to the tribal loyalties of club football by the Celtic forward – but his absence from the squad is small retribution.
Griffiths might’ve apologised for liking the tweet but how ironic that he too – owing to a distinct lack of form at Parkhead – won’t be travelling to the Euros either.
Rangers fans were delighted for the players who made the squad with the inclusion of Nathan Patterson particularly pleasing.