Opinion: Gerrard once described midfielder as 'a dream to coach', now his time at Rangers may be up
Ryan Jack’s situation at Rangers must be questioned as the midfielder struggles to return from injury.
First and foremost, Ryan Jack has been a fantastic signing for Rangers, he has been a great servant.
Jack is one of the true leaders of the dressing room and some fans believed at one point he was a future Rangers captain.
He wears his heart on his sleeve in every performance for the club and consistently puts in a shift – that is a fundamental Rangers fans ask of the players.
He is adored by fans, which speaks of his character as his signing was met with criticism.
Signing for Rangers
Ryan Jack signed for Rangers as a free agent in 2017, penning a three year deal.
He was Pedro Caixinha’s second signing and is one of the only positives of Pedro’s tenure.
Jack was the captain of Aberdeen for three years, but made his intentions known that he would not sign a new contract.
Rumours circulated he was Ibrox bound.
Aberdeen fans immediately displayed hatred towards their captain, and their resentment has continued ever since.
Rangers fans were also critical of the signing, more so because it was a signing from an SPFL club than of Jack’s ability.
Jack under Steven Gerrard
When Steven Gerrard was appointed, it was hoped that ‘Jacko’ would be one of the players who would benefit most.
Learning from one of the greatest midfielders of all time daily could not do his career development any harm.
Fans were right as Jack went on to become an integral part of Gerrard’s side.
Jack consistently put in solid displays at the heart of the midfield and often made Rangers tick.
When he wasn’t in the side Rangers just weren’t the same animal.
Gerrard regularly praised Jack, once saying “Jacko has been a dream to coach, a dream to be around. He coaches himself. He’s a winner, he has incredible standards.
“I’m delighted with him, and he is one who you toss into any team sheet you can find.”
Fight with injuries
As important a player as Ryan Jack has been, a discussion needs to be had on his current situation at the club.
It is a touchy subject among fans, with opinions divided.
Jack was integral in getting Rangers back to the top of Scottish football
The club is now in a position where sentiment and loyalty must go out the window.
That is a horrific stat.
64 of those games have come in the last two seasons, with Jack only playing 57 minutes of football this season.
His last availability for the squad was in the last Europa League games against Sparta Prague on the 25th of November 2021.
Jack had previously returned from injury against Ross County at the start of November, he had been injured since February.
In that time, he missed the league championship run-in and Scotland’s European Championship appearance.
Then manager Steven Gerrard said of his return “You could feel that energy, feel that appreciation for what he has given to this club.
“Ryan is the type of person that represents the fans on the pitch, and I think you could feel that energy when he came on.
“He deserved that because he has worked ever so hard, and he has had some frustrating days. He has been down.
“Now the next two weeks for Ryan are super important so we can try and get him more ready and try and get him in and around the semi-final as well.”
Gerrard left the club in those two weeks and was replaced by Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.
Gio played Jack in his first fixture, a twenty-minute appearance in the 3–0 league cup semi-final defeat to Hibs.
Since then, he has made one sub appearance against Dundee on December 4th and has not been available since.
Van Bronckhorst confirmed Jack had suffered a setback in training, and would return after or during the winter break.
The winter break has come and gone and Gio has stated that the most recent fixture against Stirling had come “a little too early for Jack”.
Does Jack’s future remain at Rangers?
The fans love Ryan and he loves the club, he deserves to go out on a high, and on his own terms.
Fans will be hoping he can make a return to the squad for the remainder of the season, starting with this Wednesday’s clash against Livingston. If he can get fit and involved regularly then he will be like a new signing.
However, Gio does not have the same loyalty to Jack as Steven Gerrard had during his tenure. It is likely Gio will have rarely worked with Jack and Gio may even have his own transfer targets in mind come the summer.
With that in mind, Jack may struggle to get back in the squad.
Fans are being fed the same kind of Mark Warburton lines that the club used regarding Jordan Rossiter, with ‘7 to 10 days’ being used in every press conference.
Ryan Jack is certainly not Jordan Rossiter; Jack has shown he is a strong character and has the mental capabilities to play for Rangers.
Nonetheless, Rangers are now back on top and hoping to be a Champions League side next season. The club and fans can’t afford to be blinded by love and loyalty.
The club need a fully fit squad available as often as possible and if that won’t be possible in Jack’s case then a discussion may need to be had on his future.
Ryan Jack has proven his doubters wrong in the past, hopefully for the sake of his Rangers career, he can do it again.
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