Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack deserves another chance for Scotland after his blunder against Belgium.
The Gers enforcer made just his second international appearance on Friday night against Roberto Martinez’s men from the bench. It was a dreadful night for all concerned with Scotland, as they fell to a 4-0 home defeat.
Losing to a team of World Cup semi-finalists is nothing to be ashamed about. But the pasting of the defeat will be what leaves a mark on most of the Scottish supporters.
Even more frustrating will be that each and every one of the goals scored were avoidable.
Unfortunately, one of those goals was cost by Gers star Jack. Darting forward in possession, the midfielder was robbed cheaply, and lost the fourth goal of the night.
This will no doubt lead to calls for Jack to never play again for Scotland. Such is the eagerness of those waiting to criticise him, he’s bound to get plenty of pelters for the mistake.
Yet, in reality, the Rangers man deserves a third chance to shine for his national side in the future for several reasons.
Firstly, coming up against the likes of Belgium, particularly when your side are already behind, isn’t an enviable task. Scotland were already being ran over with the likes of Stuart Armstrong and John McGinn in the engine room.
It was no shame for Jack to come on against the third best side in the world and make a mistake.
The other suspects
McGinn, Craig Gordon, and Charlie Mulgrew were at fault individually for the three other goals. All three of them will have international futures and get more chances to impress Alex McLeish. Arguably, Mulgrew’s mistake was the worst of the lot.
Just because he made an error doesn’t mean Jack should be treated any differently, and deserves another chance to shine.
He’s highly unlikely to start against Albania. With quality high in the Scotland midfield, competition for places is always going to be fierce. Armstrong and McGinn are two exceptionally good football players, and therefore deserve their places.
But Jack shouldn’t be hounded out of the international scene just for one mistake. The midfielder was solid enough in his debut against the Netherlands, and can still be useful for McLeish going forward.