St Mirren 0 – 1 Rangers: player ratings

6

With yet another league victory out the way, and the 11th in a row, Rangers had to really battle against a ‘physical’ St Mirren side who were intent on ‘getting at them’ throughout this match, especially inside the opening four minutes. Referee Steven McLean put a stop to it with a yellow for a half way line kung-fu assault from Buddies’ veteran enforcer Jim Goodwin, something Andrew Dallas failed miserably to do in midweek, and it stopped this one spiralling out of control.

But with the need to roll their sleeves up, how did the Rangers starting XI perform in arguably the hardest-fought away win of the season, outwith Dumbarton?

Foderingham: 8 Had his best match in the number 1 jersey. Made a few very good saves, made short work of clearances, and was robust with cross balls. He has been getting better and better after an unsure start, and is now clearly by some distance the best goalkeeper at Ibrox since Allan McGregor.

Tavernier: 6.5 Did not maraud as much as he would normally, although those runs increased as the match went on. Distribution was not at his expected standards either, as several crosses went errant earlier in the match. But he tuned his game as time wore on and nearly put one on a plate for Halliday, who really should have finished it.

Wallace: 7 There was next to no threat down the Buddies’ right, with the captain blocking most assaults, leading Mallan no option but to cut in every time. Got forward well enough too. A solid display.

Ball: 8 This lad is looking really good – a better foil for either Kiernan or Wilson than each other, such is his composure on the ball and ability to use it with intelligence. He also has no issue getting stuck right in, and for now, is in place on merit.

Kiernan: 7 Good aerially and was happy to do the mucky dirty defensive stuff. Not the most articulate on the ball, nor the best reader of the game, but that is why a foil like Ball suits him.

Halliday: 6 Quiet and lacking impact, Halliday just seems a little off-form right now – wasted a glorious chance to seal the points and looked frustrated with himself more than once. But he did make a few very good tracking runs to snuff out some danger.

Holt: 7 Another efficient display and the match-winner – Holt is consistent and one of Rangers’ best players entirely – his goal was wonderful and as always he worked hard to link midfield with flanks and attack.

Zelalem: 5 An afternoon to forget for the youngster – everyone has an off-day, and this was his – several passes went to opponents, and he looked completely off the pace. Finally got a hint of form at 50 minutes but by then Warburton had had enough and hooked him.

Waghorn: 7 One cannot help feeling he is wasted out on the wing – he worked hard, tirelessly, and never stopped trying and running, but his best position is striker and with him in such hot form there, why accommodate anyone by shifting him wide? But he did assist Holt’s goal so overall he has to be happy with his contribution.

Miller: 5 Desperately struggling to grab any form – the man’s attitude is excellent, and he never gives up, but little is coming off for him right now and he cannot score for love nor money. Missed at least one excellent chance but looked like a hundred retries would not have yielded a goal. His drought continues.

McKay: 7 A decent running flanking day – not his most sparkling show ever but he was always available, even if he did not always get used. Frequently tearing down the left wing and showed some fine defensive support too.

Subs:

Shiels: 5 Solid enough but little impact. Just helped shore up midfield and slightly less wasteful than Zelalem had been.

Clark: 6 His midweek goal added a bit of spark to his play – looked more confident and helped to keep pressure off the defence.

Aird: 3 Not really sure why he was brought on, nor why he replaced McKay.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I was so unimpressed by Aird when he came on and he looked scared to take his man on when he had the odd chance. Frightened to lose the ball in case the boss was angry, so he always looked to play the easy short pass to no great effect. Lots of pace with no football brain, Canada must be short of decent players.

  2. Hopefully we will put on a better display against Hibs, We need to get the 3 points in the bag & increase the distance between us, With a bit of luck it might focus there mindset into playoff mode,
    i expect another bruising encounter as everybody seems to have it in for us at the moment so Zel & Odu will need to wear tougher shinpads!

  3. why not give Tom Walsh a run out instead of Aird. Walsh is a more direct two footed player who deserves a chance in front of Aird.

  4. I agree with you that Waghorn is wasted out on the right wing. He is an excellent footballer and would be a revelation if he could be played permanently in the centre midfield position, as he can see a pass and also deliver it. He set up the Holt goal from the exact position I'd love to see him play regularly. In my humble opinion he is a journeyman centre forward who has scored 7 penalties which has greatly added to his goal scoring feats. He will still score goals from his midfield late runs into the box. He is also a very strong footballer with a bit of dig, which Rangers need at this time of recovery. He works tirelessly, and never stops trying to find a Rangers player. I think he is one of the best players in the whole of Scotland and as I said, I would love him to play half a dozen games in midfield to see if I'm right, but in saying that, he has to be happy with his contribution to the team.

  5. A possible way to play this week at Easter Road against an ever improving Hibernian team who are on a good run of consistent winning results. Do we take a chance that we just play our usual attacking way and take the chance of Hibs doing to us what St Johnstone did in the cup game, or should we play slightly more cautious to try to win all 3 points, but make us much harder to score against. If so, what about this team for this week only. Wes Foderingham, Danny Wilson & Rob Kierman (as our two centre halves) Andy Halliday & Dominic Ball with James Tavernier & Lee Wallace (all playing in midfield) and have either Gedion Zelalem or Jason Holt playing just behind the front three of Nathan Oduwa, Martyn Waghorn & Barry McKay. Your comments would be appreciated.

    Dominic Ball – Why loan someone from Spurs & not play him

    (Miller – sub) + Holt (sub)

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