Sunday, 16 September 2018

"Ascend a level" - the two stars who raise Rangers

While ‘it was only Dundee’, two massive differences yesterday made Rangers’ victory over the Dee not only borderline guaranteed, but very comfortable indeed.

While Celtic were away dropping points at Dundee’s similarly bottom feeding buddies (pun intended) St Mirren, Rangers strolled their way through an easy win against a very weak team who barely tested Allan McGregor in one of the easiest 90 minutes he’s ever had.

And there were two big reasons for this – Scott Arfield and Lassana Coulibaly.

The difference it makes to Rangers having both of these two in the middle is the difference between Rangers struggling and Rangers excelling. Some have dismissed the idea Coulibaly is our best player, or even close to it, but the difference in Rangers since his last display v Celtic’s near-conquerers from Paisley up till yesterday is absolutely night and day.

And when we add Scott Arfield to that midfield in concert with the Mali international, Rangers just tick so much better.

Arfield, with his experience, touch, distribution, leadership, and all round use of the ball while leading the way for those around him, where Coulibaly who runs like a gazelle on steroids and closes everyone down, never giving opponents a second to breath while increasing his forward-thinking game; it’s a combination which just does it for Rangers.

It’s not really that shocking – two internationalists running the show in the middle for the Famous is pretty much the traditional standard we’re used to in Govan – but we lost sight of that somewhere and started, in some cases, defending players like Nicky Law, Jason Holt and Ian Black as being good enough.

Now we have players who truly are. Arfield and Coulibaly are critical to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers. They are vital components who make this team ascend a level.

And that’s what Rangers will need on Thursday.

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