Thursday, 26 July 2018

Player Ratings v Osijek - who stood out?

As the latest 90 minutes of Steven Gerrard’s management career finishes, instead of analysing the result and performance, your friends here at Ibrox Noise will do a good old fashioned ‘player rater’.

Simple and effective.

Allan McGregor:

Absolutely faultless. Not a LOT of saves to make, but dominated the back line, knew when to come, knew what to do when he did. Imperious display from Scotland’s best goalkeeper. 10 might seem OTT, but it’s hard to say 9 or less when he didn’t do a single thing wrong.

James Tavernier:

Useful in attack with a lot of good crosses and the vital assist, but found wanting at the back too often and caught for position. This is the style of Tavernier and we must live with it. 7

Connor Goldson:

Pretty impeccable from Goldson. Reads the game with consummate ease, leads the line, uses distribution well, but knows when to tackle. Starting to look like a bargain at £3M. 9

Nikola Katic:

A ‘cruder’ defender than Goldson but we knew this, it’s why the partnership is getting better and better. Did give the ball away once or twice, and still feeling his way into the side, but plays with heart and puts his body where it hurts. 8

Jon Flanagan:

Easily his weakest performance in the jersey, the former Liverpool man gave the ball away cheaply several times, and appeared to lack concentration. Still got in vital blocks when necessary, and was positionally solid again, but won’t want the negative aspects to become regular. 6

Ryan Jack:

Very similar to Flanagan in that for every fine block or interception, there was a loose concession of the ball or loss of awareness. Still hasn’t produced one truly convincing performance as a Rangers player but the good tonight outweighed the bad, just about. 6

Lassana Coulibaly:

Really struggled with the pace, and looked like he was trying too hard. Gave away numerous weak fouls and didn’t look anything like the ‘dominating destroyer’ we hoped he would be. But this was a debut away from home, and he didn’t exactly disgrace himself, and indeed did gradually get a little better as the game wore on. Hopefully he’ll get up to speed soon. 6

Ovie Ejaria:

After a number of impressive cameos this perhaps wasn’t quite the sparkling full debut the on loan attacker wanted, but did have a few fleeting moments of fancy footwork. 6

Ryan Kent:

Mixed bag for the winger. Clearly has raw talent and dribbles with impressive pace, but concentration lacks, head stays down, and his decision making could be a lot better. Did work hard though, especially later on in defence. His attitude is decent but he’s rough round the edges. 6

Jamie Murphy:

Quiet night for Murphy, again. He hasn’t truly done it in any of the ‘pre-season’ matches, not like he did between January and March. He has it in him to produce more, let’s hope he hits some real form. 5

Alfredo Morelos:

His best display for Rangers in months, this was him at his raw best putting his energies into the right places. Took his goal brilliantly, and tirelessly worked in the final third for the team. Not one moment of greed, and looked like he wanted it. Much better Alf, play like this all the time and you’re welcome at Ibrox. 9


Gerrard has certainly taken some criticism, not least from us here at IN, but his team selection worked perfectly for him tonight (including the formation change) and the personnel switches he made were effective in producing a professional and well worked away win with clean sheet. This was the first time we’ve actually seen, in three 90 minute matches, something we can work with – it wasn’t perfect, and had many hairy moments, but Osijek are no slouches and were reduced to only one half decent shot on target.

It may be a flash in the pan, but if this is how quickly SG can learn on the job, maybe he is the right guy after all. Time will tell! 8

We’ll have none of this ‘Osijek are rubbish’ nonsense from anyone ready to discredit our side by saying the opposition are weak, incidentally. Osijek were the biggest meaningful competitive test we’ve faced in a long time outwith Celtic and while it was no dawdle, it was a huge leap in competence from the XI compared with recent outings.

Early days but much more encouraging.
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