The dust has settled a little from the ‘most important Old Firm match ever’ so let’s have a look at what we learned from this latest encounter between the pair and what light it shed, if any, on Rangers.
1: Alfredo Morelos struggles mentally, like Kris Boyd did, against Celtic. The Colombian striker tries so hard to score, but that’s now three big Old Firm matches he’s registered a blank in, despite some huge chances. He has scored against Hibs and Aberdeen, so he doesn’t completely draw a blank against the better teams, but his record v Celtic is pretty horrific. He works hard deeper, and takes up good positions, assisting his team mates extremely well, but when it comes to finding the back of the net v the east enders, he really has a mental block. We have never been as fond of Morelos as we have of Jason Cummings, quite honestly, but we are also unsure the ex-HJK man deserves the torrent of abuse he’s getting for his miss.
2: Bruno Alves is the best defender in Scotland, but has rarely shown it. Today he did. While not vintage Alves, it was a whole hell of a lot better than anything Russell Martin has shown and simply put, any aerial ball he went for, he got. Much better from the Portuguese with a point to prove.
3: Other than Alves, Rangers’ defensive options border on disgusting. David Bates is not overly convincing (albeit we hope for a speedy recovery) and the remaining options are essentially Russell Martin and Fabio Cardoso. While the central defence actually could not be blamed for all three goals (albeit Cardoso was completely done by Dembele for the equaliser) they are evidently an area Rangers are deeply troubled in. Not good enough, it’s that simple.
4: Jamie Murphy thrived at his first Old Firm match – the Brighton loanee didn’t looked phased at all and showed what a miss he would have been without recovery. The guy has been a revelation and is evidently every inch a Rangers player. We cannot fathom why he has no caps for Scotland. McLeish, fix it!
5: Graeme Murty again struggled to change things and to adapt. We have noticed a recurring theme – when the match goes well, it goes VERY well. When it doesn’t, but for an individual moment of excellence, Murty struggles to change things and read the match. Once again his solution to trouble was ‘bring on Cummings’ and go 4-3-3/4-4-2. It’s a predictable alteration and having a plan B is only any use if the opponent can’t see it coming.
6: On that note, we couldn’t understand why Murty wasn’t sealing up the left channel. Ntcham was raking balls wide for Forrest in that first half with gay abandon and Declan John was constantly AWOL. Is it naïveté? We’re not sure.
7: Rangers’ bench is absolutely horrendous presently. We are possibly being unfair on Murty with criticism of his changes – after all, the only bench player worth a damn was Cummings. Who else do Rangers bring on? Kenny Miller cannot be the saviour every time.
8: Niko Kranjcar and Michael O’Halloran are surely finished. Neither was involved today, despite the dreadful bench options deployed instead, and that says everything for the regard Murty holds them in.
9: The fact Rangers were able to meet Celtic toe-to-toe for the majority of the first half bodes promisingly. The ground work is fledgling but it’s there. The squad seems to be moving in the right direction overall and for big spells of today’s match it actually felt like a proper Old Firm Rangers.
10: Windass is another one who struggles with the big occasions. He scored a brilliant goal and we applaud that, but otherwise was found wanting and produced very little of note.
There are probably tonnes more – what ones do you lot have?