Such posturing is easy with hindsight, something rarely afforded to those paid to make the big decisions. Which is all a roundabout way of allowing us to alight on the subject of DaMarcus Beasley.

Just about everyone who has seen his recent performances for Rangers has wondered aloud why it has taken so long for the American to be given a chance this season. The short answer is that there had been little in Beasley’s occasional displays to suggest he had it in him to hold down a place in Walter Smith’s side. Secondly, his progress has been repeatedly stalled by one injury or another, a serious knee problem followed by tweaks to his hamstring and groin.

His memorable celebration after scoring in the Champions League away to Olympique Lyonnais – howling at the moon – already seems like a lifetime ago. His last goal prior to scoring against Dundee United on Tuesday night had been in the 2008 Scottish Cup final against Queen of the South, a long wait for a forward player with international aspirations.

Last season was something of a washout for the 27-year-old. He made just 12 appearances and found himself behind Kyle Lafferty and Stevie Smith in the pecking order. Bob Bradley, the US national team head coach, had suggested that a move away from Ibrox might prove prudent for Beasley if he harboured aspirations of retaining his place in the national side, but a series of proposed moves failed to materialise.

Until his inclusion for the dead rubber Champions League match against Sevilla earlier this month, it seemed as if the winger was set for another frustrating season. He had so much spare time on his hands, in fact, that he was able to launch his own jewellery range. Hardly a surprise given there was little chance of him sparkling on the pitch.

The United States’ qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals, though, brought things to a head. Beasley’s lack of first-team football for Rangers had seen him drift to the periphery of the national squad and, having featured at the previous two finals in 2002 and 2006, he made it public that he would seek a move out of Ibrox in January to bolster his chances of making it three-in-a-row in South Africa next summer.

Coincidentally or otherwise, the American was reinstated to the Rangers team shortly afterwards and has impressed with dynamic performances against both St Johnstone and Dundee United, defensively as well as going forward where he helped negate the usual attacking threat of Paul Dixon, the United left full-back.

Rangers have looked far more vibrant in recent games with Beasley motoring forward on the right wing, and Nacho Novo doing likewise on the left, the pair providing plenty of service to Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller in attack.

His recent reintroduction to the first team may be enough to persuade Beasley to stay at Ibrox until the end of the season, with Smith believing there is no reason now for the American to head for the exit.

“In the last two or three months, he has settled down and looked sharper in training,” said Smith. “He’s obviously now playing well in games too.

“The lad’s comments before were quite simple. He said he had to try to get games so that he could be included in the World Cup. That’s an acceptable factor because he wasn’t getting a regular game here but that wasn’t always due to the fact he wasn’t getting picked.

“Sometimes he wasn’t available but he is now and there’s no reason for him to move. I don’t think so anyway as long as he is getting an opportunity. DaMarcus has enough experience and enough caps that if he does play, he’ll be in with a very good chance of being selected for the USA’s squad.”

Beasley made his international debut in January 2001 and has racked up a total of 89 appearances, scoring 17 goals and providing 12 assists. On current form there may yet be a chance for him to return to the squad for next summer’s World Cup finals, where ties with England, Slovakia and Algeria await.

“I think if you had asked me a month ago, I would have told you there was no way that Bob Bradley would select Beasley for next summer’s squad,” said Arch Bell, staff writer with popular US soccer website, Yanks Abroad.

“But now that he is seeing more and more time with Rangers, and is playing very well, I’m now leaning towards Beasley making the squad for South Africa.

“Beasley didn’t play well last summer during a couple of World Cup qualifiers and also the first two matches of the Confederations Cup, which ultimately led to his benching. He didn’t get a call from Bradley for any of the remaining qualifiers or friendlies as well.

“But what I think happened is that Beasley simply wasn’t healthy. Plus, Bradley had him playing a position, left-back, which doesn’t play to his strengths. But as we are now seeing in the last several games with Rangers, Beasley can be very effective running up and down the right flank as a winger and now that he’s 100% healthy, he is very much showing that he has the game to help the US national team.

“That strike the other night was brilliant and having that kind of threat from your midfield is sorely lacking right now on the US team. Plus, a veteran presence like Beasley out on the field will only make Bradley lean towards choosing him. If he stays healthy (and that is still a big if), I say Bradley gives him the nod.

“Last June he was public enemy No.1 among US soccer fans but now that we have had a chance to absorb some of the team’s recent performances, plus the realisation that Charlie Davies is likely to be out for the World Cup, well, the prospect of a healthy and fit Beasley on the field next summer is very appealing.

“His play in the last couple of games for Rangers has a lot of people excited.”