Former Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson has reacted angrily to comments made about Ryan Jack by journalist Tom English earlier this week.
The BBC pundit was critical of the 27-year-old midfielder after he broke down in tears and had to be comforted by manager Steven Gerrard after Rangers lost the Betfred Cup final last Sunday.
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The day after the cup final, he told BBC Sportsound [via The Scottish Sun]: “If [they] had lost that match yesterday, would Scott Brown have dissolved into tears in Neil Lennon’s arms? I don’t think so. So the optics of that were not good.”
The 41-year-old said: “I think it’s a ridiculous comment. So you’re not allowed to be emotional? Is a man not allowed to be emotional?
“I have been emotional in my career when I’ve won and I’ve been emotional when I have lost. There might not have been tears running down my eyes but I did well up. I was an emotional guy.
“I don’t think tears were running down Ryan Jack’s face either but the guy was hurting after losing a game. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. For people to come out and comment and say ‘You wouldn’t see Scott Brown doing it’. I think that’s just ridiculous, silly.”
Ferguson is quite justified in sticking up for Jack and taking issue with English’s comments given the context of what happened in Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.
Rangers have seen their Glaswegian rivals hoover up every domestic trophy on offer since 2016 and have not won a major honour themselves in eight years, so the players had every right to be bitterly disappointed at missing out on the opportunity to get one over on Celtic.
The defeat seemed all the more galling given that the ‘Gers had 16 shots to their opponents’ five and saw an Alfredo Morelos penalty saved by Fraser Forster, while the only goal of the game appeared to have been scored from an offside position.
It should come as no surprise that players would be hugely downcast at losing a cup final to their arch-rivals in those circumstances.
Also, Jack was not found wanting for effort and endeavour in Sunday’s cup final. He came close to scoring on the day, seeing a powerful strike tipped away by Forster, and The Scottish Sun‘s Andy Devlin noted how he “showed tremendous desire to get back and stop Lewis Morgan with an incredible last-gasp challenge”.
Therefore, his tearful reaction after the game was not merely for show – the 27-year-old had demonstrated his commitment to the Rangers cause with valuable contributions at Hampden Park and ultimately had nothing to show for it.
His huge disappointment at the final whistle was most understandable and Ferguson deserves commendation for speaking out in defence of Jack.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Ferguson’s strong views on the Ryan Jack situation? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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