So much of yesterday’s team selection stood out, and we’ve discussed Jason Cummings’ continued absence as well as the bizarre selection of Kenny Miller, but the choice which really bothered us more than any other was Graham Dorrans.
It was obvious inside 15 minutes against Motherwell that the attacking midfielder was wasted alongside Greg Docherty. We gave his poor display v Motherwell the dispensation of his return from injury and his being out of position, but that was Graeme Murty’s doing.
When selected again in the same slot against Dundee, eyes really did roll.
Why the heck is Murty wasting one of Rangers’ theoretically best creative assets by keeping him in the anchor position?!
The only time Dorrans did any damage was one of his rare forays into the opposition half where he really can thrive, before feeding Candeias brilliantly with a neat pull back.
Otherwise he was left isolated in an alien slot unable to really impart the kind of impact he wanted, and was frankly invisible the entire second half, that assist aside.
We cannot quite understand Murty’s logic here – he has a high-quality former Scottish international with years of top flight EPL experience yet, like Pedro before him, wastes him completely by playing him deep and not letting him express himself.
One of the stand out displays from the 30 year old was at Perth last year when he was more free to roam forward, and used his vision and range to attack with purpose and set up a beautiful assist through lob for Candeias (again) to finish from.
That is how he can do damage – by being in the more advanced areas and being creative.
Being held back in deeper midfield is absolutely pointless, and it isn’t like Rangers lack proper defensive midfielders these days.
No, this one has us bewildered, and it has also led to a dramatic loss of form from Docherty, who previously worked with a proper DM in Sean Goss perfectly in tandem – the 21-year old had been one of Rangers’ best players this calendar year, but thanks to his gameplan being pushed out of kilter with Dorrans next to him, he looks a lot less impressive.
And yet Murty seems to have decided that’s the way forward.
We’re a bit lost by it all, frankly, and a flattering 4-0 scoreline isn’t going to justify for us what was a poor decision which wasted a number of our best players. Especially Dorrans.