Player Ratings v Osijek – who stood out?

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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  1. Aye, agreed and good player ratings .. think Flanagan made a few good runs forward but no-one spotted it but great performance away from home!

  2. A win is a win….early days for the Gerrard regime…but the biggest test is against Celtic…always
    Run Celtic close or even beat them then we can really determine the level Stevie Ger is at and the team

    • We don't need to beat Celtic to win the league, just the rest of the teams consistently.

      I'd rather compare total points achieved per season to see if we are progressing, should be aiming for 84 points (28 wins) minimum which would have been enough to win last season. We can't compete with Celtic when they're having the perfect run like in 2016-17 (106 points).

  3. Early days indeed, but I'm liking that we seem to have a gaffer in charge who is finally willing to hold the players to a certain standard. It really has been night and day from a "man management" perspective, compared to previous regimes (no need to mention the forgettable names).

    I didn't get to watch this match but I'll take a 1-0 away win all day. I hope we dig in deep and pour it on them on the return leg. A famous American football coach once said "we'll aim for perfection knowing that we'll never catch it, but in the process we WILL catch excellence." This line should be tattooed on the heart of every Rangers player. #LetsGo

  4. I agree with you IN and as for anyone who suggest we should be walking over a team like Osijek need their head looking at. They were a very good team and had it not been for our organisation and discipline not to mention our keeper and CBs things could have been very different. I am genuinely excited that we have kept 3 clean sheets. And hopefully things can only get better ������

  5. Thought it was a thouroghly impressive and professional dispel, Goldson is rock solid. McGregor was immense. Morelos needs to do that performance every week. Still believe he needs support. Windass rank rotten get him sold. Jack showed glimspes as did Coub. Murphy worked really hard tonight but is not a right winger. Candieas should have been on instead if SG preferred Kent. Who in my book tried his best for 90 mins. I applauded him more than any other player. Delighted with the grit and organisation well done Rangers.

  6. Great read, but hopefully a proper "talking points" match analysis to come.. Meanwhile

    McGregor – 8 – did great, plays with confidence and gives it to the guys in front of him
    Tavernier – 7 – actually wasn't so bad defensively as you said, superb assist
    Goldson – 9 – worth his weight in gold, MOTM
    Katic – 8 – steady and reliable
    Flanagan – 8 – a bit iffy first half, imperious second, saved Gets the three points with a wonderful last ditch interception at the end
    Jack – 8 – Looked great before his head injury, made several strange decisions after, maybe as a result of a head knock
    Coulibaly – 7 – actually scared me when he misjudged the bounce of the ball after Osijek throw-in in the first half, but grew into the game and made an imperious tackle of the match minutes from full-time
    Ejaria – 6 – still a bit rusty, needs training and games to get uo to full speed
    Murphy – 6 – worked hard, but didn't create much and didn't help Tav enough against Osijek left-back, better decision in 3 v 2 situation at the end of the first half could have been game, set and match
    Kent – 7 – done well under circumstances, looks class on the ball and actually did put a shift in when needed
    Morelos – 8 – played well, scored the winner
    Steven Gerrard – 9 – tactical masterclass, intelligent subs and 4th clean sheet in a row

    Make no mistake about it, Osijek are a very good team and to beat them in their own backyard so confidently is no mean feat. We are starting to see the picture Gerrard had in his mind when he took over the team, given the fact that 8 of the players, who started today, were brought in this summer. Jamie Carragher once said: "defenders earn their money away from home", and they delivered today. Defensive unit looks solid, although not completely in sync, which is normal given so many new faces, we can see Gerrard's plan away from home and it bears fruit. They had the game under control from start to finish, game management at the top level – great signs of a great season!

  7. Okay IN you were criticised for negativity but don't go over the score making up for it. It was a decent performance against a decent team.

    McGregor – faultless?? Punched twice when my granny could have caught the ball. Flapped one for a corner that was 20 feet high and almost out of play. 8

    Tavernier – good cross for the goal but woeful at the back. My same granny could go past him on her zimmer frame 6.5

    Goldson – can't disagree with the comments but they should have scored more than once 8

    Katic – again don't disagree but same applies as for Goldson 7

    Flanagan – a nightmare at times. My granny has a better left foot 5

    Jack – agree with IN comments 6

    Coulibaly – what game were you watching? won the ball plenty of times, intercepted passes and was strong in the tackle 8

    Ejaria – agreed 6

    Kent – can't agree. Wasn't the dribbling phenomenon we expected but was tidy with the ball, looked like he can beat people if he thinks about it more, put his foot in and tackled well and got back to help Flanagan. Great start for the boy 7.5

    Murphy – poor 5

    Morelos – much better from the wee man but he needs to be able to control a pass to him. It bounces off him like he's made of rubber. 8

  8. The most encouraging thing about tonight and the previous games under SG is that defensively we are stronger and appear to be aligned in how to defend and keep our shape.
    McGregor and Goldson are stand outs. Flanagan usually is too. Not a fan of Tav as a defender but from a team that couldn’t defend for their lives 2 months haven’t yet conceded this season.

    The positives are there for all to see. It appears the flair in the final 3rd is still missing but that may come. Gerrard did say when he arrived, the defence was the priority and I think he’s gone some way to fixing that.

  9. Tavernier can lose us the game at Ibrox. Osijek will double up again on him and must think they cannot come away from the return leg without scoring. McGregor gave us the win, lets not kid ourselves. But Tavernier's performance reminded me of his Old Firm ones where he was turned inside out and was dizzy coming off the pitch.

    • I think once John is fit tav will be moved to the right wing, it's a hunch that Flannigan is our right back. Is also why I think Windass is no longer required and we should get rid if some idiot wants to hand us 4 mil

  10. It was a great result away from home..I agree our shape is much better but when we are put under a Little bit of pressure we look vulnerable…too many free headers given away from corners…Flannagan worries me on the left ..think we need a natural left back.
    We will have much more forward momentum when Artfields back.
    Morelos was miles better but still needs somebody along side him.
    We look a lot more physical this year won't be bullied like the last few nightmare seasons..RTID

  11. Bit concerned about how many headers they won in our box . We all know that's how teams liked to attack us last season

  12. Enough said about individuals, what I thought was obvious, that team can definitely play a bit and there is a lot of work to do to finish this tie off. They are really good at putting quality crosses into the box, had that been our last years defence we would have lost at least 5. Lots to do but to me a pretty solid team performance.

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