Weekend international snub proves how far Ibrox man's stock as fallen
Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Gareth McAuley misses out for N.I as Rangers struggles set to continue

Very little has gone right for Gareth McAuley, since he joined Rangers in September.
The deal looked a no brainer for all parties, at the time.
Gerrard picked up an experienced Premier League centre-back for free, while it was a last big challenge in 39-year-old McAuley’s career.

McAuley spent seven years at West Brom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

However, he’s only made ten appearances all season.
Injuries have been the major factor and the ensuing lack of game time has left him looking off the pace during his few club appearances. 
Finally, it seemed like things were on the up last week.

Starts have been hard to come back this season. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

BBC Sport reported that he was fit to play Northern Ireland’s second Euro 2020 Qualifier against Belarus.
The fact that he then didn’t go on to feature, is, unfortunately, an indication of his falling stock.

N.I omission a blow

McAuley has been one of the first names on the N.I teamsheet for years. One of a number of trusty operators for Michael O’Neill since he took charge in 2011, McAuley would always find his way into the side.
Back in November, for example, he started a friendly against Austria. That’s despite playing just over 45 minutes for Rangers up until that point in the season.
He wasn’t his commanding self during that 2-1 defeat and his performance must have been fresh in O’Neill’s memory.

The likes of David Alaba exposed McAuley’s lack of pace back in November. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

It’s certainly no disgrace missing out on a place in the starting line-up. In Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart, N.I have two established Premier League operators.
However, O’Neill’s selection call ensures McAuley’s Rangers struggle is set to continue.
He hasn’t featured since the Scottish Cup win at Cowdenbeath in January, and the end of his one-year deal looms ever closer.

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