When a player acts, coming off the pitch, the way Ryan Jack did last night in Portugal there are issues behind the scenes.
That sort of outburst does not come out of nowhere.
If a dressing room is a happy and unified place and the footballers in it are behind the coaches and the work they are doing then you don’t get a reaction like that.
That was not a response from a player frustrated at coming off.
He had already been booked, so the decision was perfectly easy to understand.
His anger was not about being subbed, but about what he perceived to be the decisions behind the substitution … it is a mark of contempt for the reasons and the thinking behind it.
And that spells trouble – big trouble – for the Ibrox management team.
There are deep, deep divisions at every level at Ibrox right now. From the boardroom down, the whole club is riven with in-fighting and bitchery. We have long suspected that these divisions extend to the dressing room. Last night we saw the first proof of it.
There are other proofs.
The Ramsey situation is one that most of their fans find bizarre. He admits that the player was fit last night but that he didn’t even bring him off the bench, and this concerns a lot of people there. There is the situation with the Manchester Utd wonderkid who has barely had a look-in.
Who signed these guys? Not the manager.
And the dressing room knows it.
This is one of the reasons why managers should not have players imposed on them by those in the power structure above them. It is undermining. Van Bronckhorst does not command authority at Ibrox, and in some ways you can see why.
I’ve watched this guy closely and he does not have any of the presence of Gerrard far less a man like Ange, who has the charisma to dominate any room.
No matter what gushing Ibrox fan-boys like Keevins thinks, Van Bronckhorst does not cut an impressive figure.
He might have an impressive CV but you don’t get any sense of that when you see him getting interviewed. He has all the presence and personality of a wet mop poking out of the bucket, and that is what the dressing room gets every time he walks into it.
There are a lot of players over there who checked out whilst Gerrard was there.
Others, who signed to play him for him, have checked out since he left.
Van Bronckhorst is in charge of a team which was built by someone else and which doesn’t owe him the least allegiance.
Even if there were players in it willing to back him and give him some benefit of the doubt the results don’t suggest that he has answers to the questions being asked of him, and that too rocks the confidence of the players.
And it has probably been building up behind the scenes for ages.
Last night was the first serious public explosion.
But I don’t expect it to be the last.