Alan Pattullo: Billy Gilmour's impressive return great for Scotland, bad for Rangers - and then there is Ryan Gauld
At a time when feel good Christmas movies are being broadcast on rotation on television, Scottish football fans have had their own heart-warming footage to help make them feel better about life this week.
Best viewed with a glass of eggnog and heated mince pie, Billy Gilmour’s performance reel detailing the high points of his comeback display against Krasnodar has been doing the rounds on Twitter and is enough to raise anyone’s spirits. Clips of Ryan Gauld starring for Portuguese side Farense have also been circulating. Decades after Alan Gilzean and Jimmy Greaves were given the moniker after being paired together at Spurs with great success, Gilmour and Gauld could be the new “G-men”.
As elegant as ever, the 19-year-old Gilmour showed he had lost none of his poise and control after a four month lay-off due to a knee injury. It is good news for Chelsea, bad news for anyone looking to take him on loan, with Rangers reputedly one of the clubs interested.
Steven Gerrard doused that talk yesterday, stating that “from what I’ve seen, Billy looks pretty settled at Chelsea”. Manager Frank Lampard seemed to back this up when he said he expected Gilmour to challenge for regular first-team football now.
The hope as far as Scotland fans are concerned is that he will do that. He turns 20 days before Scotland kick off their Euro 2020 finals campaign this summer. There is time for him to force his way into Steve Clarke’s reckoning.
The same applies to Gauld. The Dode Fox podcast, for Dundee United fans, secured an interview with him earlier this month. Gauld, now 23, spoke well about his experiences, including a best-forgotten spell at Hibs. He now hopes to catch the eye of Clarke too. Gauld has an interesting assignment next weekend back at Sporting Lisbon, the club that originally convinced him to start a new life in Portugal.
In the interview, Gauld acknowledged the competition for places in Clarke’s midfield but then he has been playing in the No.10 position for Farense, not an area anyone has nailed down for Scotland. Having either him or Gilmour, or both, in the Euros squad is an exciting prospect.