Ever since Rangers struggled to break Dumbarton down at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium, managing a 2-1 victory in the end, many have questioned the whole ‘scoring’ concept – have teams got ‘wise’ to Rangers? Have the scorelines reflected a new tactic being employed by opponents to contain Mark Warburton’s side’s threat? Are the big numbers a thing of the past for the Ibrox men?
Well let us take a look at the numbers of the five matches prior to that win in West Dumbartonshire, and compare them to the five since.
Prior to Dumbarton, 19 goals were scored – 14 versus Hibs, Queens, Raith and Livingston in the league & five v Airdrieonians in the League Cup. Just one goal was conceded.
Since the Dumbarton match:
11 goals scored – 9 v Queens, Falkirk and Morton, one v the thuggish Livi in the Petrofac Cup and one v St Johnstone (the sole defeat all season). Five conceded, but three in the one match.
The average has gone down from 3.8 per match to 2.2. However, it is critical to note that of all the first six matches of Rangers’ competitive season, only two of them managed more than three goals. The rich ‘glut’ goal period was actually isolated to three matches in a row where Rangers scored 15 in 3 – Airdrionians, Queens and Raith – the very same period which boasts that 3.8 average scoreline from Wednesday 26th August to September 5th.
During those three games, Rangers exceeded expectations, but general scorelines this season have not reached those heights. Indeed, all season, Rangers have scored three or less goals ten times. In 16 matches, that is the clear majority.
It really is lovely when Rangers collect a bucketload of goals, but rather than the question being ‘are those days a thing of the past’, the analysis reveals they already were the exception rather than the norm.
They are likely to happen again, but it will be as fleeting as it always was.