Ibrox Noise did a brief piece yesterday on Jason Cummings’ outrageous strike, albeit more of a highlight of fellow fans’ reactions to it, but we felt it and he deserved a full appraisal after a start to life in Govan filled with so much potential, quality and talent.
We would be the first to admit he has not absolutely 100% exploded and dominated the front line as of yet, and is still very much finding his feet in this team.
He naturally struggled under the 4-2-3-1 that manager Graeme Murty has been using, for it is plain to see that a lone striker the Forest loanee is not, and yet still managed a fine solo strike at Dingwall during his debut cameo.
And in subsequent matches his contribution has been sprinkled rather than heavy, and while those touches, movement and positioning have been excellent, they have not carried the influence he would want thanks to being isolated.
That did not change a hell of a lot yesterday, but there was definitely a bit of improvement thanks to the new formation, and Cummings benefited from being closer to the action albeit he still did not get as involved as he will in time.
But the goal definitely changed things for him. While his strike v County was all about his graft to set himself in position, and while he nearly got a similar goal yesterday but for a decent save too, his actual finish to make it 1-2 was simply exquisite.
This was no fluke, nor luck, nor even opportunism – this was a sharp-minded striker, realising early on that the aerial delivery was nowhere near his head, and if he was to get anything on it, he would have to think outside the box.
The connection Cummings got was magical, no question about it – outstep of his left boot hooking a reverse clip beyond the keeper. Cummings’ eyes as soon as he caught it were a giveaway – it was 100% intentional and showed just what kind of flair, imagination, talent and quality this kid has.
We tried to compare him to Steven Naismith at his prime – having watched him more intently for Rangers we might modify that a tad. Naismith at his peak was not a hugely talented player, but he was an incredible worker with astonishing power, awareness and pace, and managed to essentially fill almost three roles. He was, at the time, irreplaceable albeit Ally tried with Aluko. But that was the beginning of the ill-fated end to that season.
Our point? Cummings is different to Naismith – he has pace like his predecessor, but a lot more talent, plus the kind of confidence which lets him take men on and downright beat them before getting a shot away.
He might not do the work of three men, and he needs help with the graft, but work hard he does, run he does, and quality movement he gives. We are delighted the club went with him over the 31-year old.
If he keeps working, scoring goals, and goals of such quality at that, Jason Cummings could well become a special player for this football club.