As regular readers to the site will know, we are big fans of Jason Cummings. We love his attitude, his commitment, and coupled onto his strength, pace, ability and fire, he is, for us, capable of wonderful things.
But, there is a problem. It is evident to most fans watching Rangers at the moment that Cummings is not a lone striker; that holding up the ball, winning the ball in the air, and generally playing the isolated forward is not in his CV.
And yet, that is exactly how Graeme Murty is playing him. Every appearance the forward has made has been in that slot in front of the three, and while he grabbed a fine goal on his debut at Dingwall, he has cut a mostly frustrated figure in his two starts.
While his touches have been classy, and his movement and running top drawer, he has been unable to properly influence the game from his starting position and has found himself coming deeper to win the ball and have impact.
If we look back to his Hibs days, he played with a supporting striker, be it Dominique Malonga or Anthony Stokes, and that reaped rewards as the most productive time in his career thus far, with the former two doing much of the grunt work and giving Cummings space to run into and do damage.
And that is very much his forte – he is the kind of striker who cannot do it all by himself, and right now he is playing out of his comfort zone.
In short, Jason Cummings is being starved of service in this formation and he is limited in the kind of damage he can do.
It is not even excuses for poor displays – when he has the ball he usually gets things going, but the worrying issue is he has to come into the false 10 position in order to achieve that, which invariably leaves the striker position unoccupied unless Windass is off on one again.
Quite simply, unless Cummings adapts to the lone striker position (and he is still young and can develop) Rangers will struggle to get the best from him as long as he is selected there. He may be better off in the three, but even then it is not quite his best position.
That all said, if Murty is interested in going 4-4-2 (he has the players for it) he would get much more out of his squad than he is currently getting. Equally, my colleague Richard proposed a similar solution albeit a 3-4-1-2 formation. Either way, it would mean Cummings presumably alongside Morelos, which for us would be a fine solution.
At least till the summer anyway…