Thursday, 1 November 2018

Analysis - seven reasons Steve Clarke beat Steven Gerrard

So we’ve had our little ramble on the general picture at Ibrox right now, but we wanted to focus precisely on last night and what went wrong.

Let Ibrox Noise take you though the key things we noticed about the latest dismal performance and result.

Midfield congestion. Steve Clarke is no fool. He knew Rangers have no creativity in the middle. Ejaria can’t create, and was a huge doubt anyway, while the only other lockpick in the side is finished (Dorrans). In short, Rangers had no imagination centrally – we were left with Arfield, Coulibaly and Halliday, and by simply filling up his defensive midfield with the big workhorses like Power and Dicker, Clarke completely snuffed out any sense of danger through the middle. Added to that the aforementioned lack of guile in the middle, and absolutely zero incision was possible.

Blocking the flanks. Rangers had joy down the flanks earlier on this season, but Clarke sussed this (just like McInnes) and used Jones and Burke to double up with the fullbacks leaving Kent and Candeias nowhere to go. Both mostly cut in or went back the way, and the rare times either ventured forward, guys like Broadfoot and O’Donnell stopped them. Basic stuff.

Wes Foderingham. Sure, he didn’t get the semi, but the selection of this one left fans bewildered. While we won’t totally blame him for Stewart’s stunning goal, nevertheless we have to wonder if McGregor might have done better.

Joe Worrall. Another mediocre night from Worrall who simply isn’t good enough to play for Rangers, and few fans defend this selection. His diabolical selling of himself late on could and should have gifted Killie the winner, but for Foderingham’s fine reactions to save the loss of all three points.

Jon Flanagan. Has picked a poor time to have a dip in form, and is currently struggling desperately. Was absolutely destroyed by Burke on more than one occasion and Killie had way too much joy on the right. This is one Gerrard sussed, mercifully, and took him off.

James Tavernier. Two stinkers in a row for Tav – caught out of position a few times, and Jones had the freedom of Ibrox at one point after getting miles in behind him. He’d been good of late, but just the past two or three matches Tavernier has lost a lot of form and is reverting to his old self.

The left back problem is Steven Gerrard’s fault, sorry, but it is. He told John to leave (can some fans please stop with the false rumour about homesickness?), has shown no interest in Lee Wallace, and he chose to sign injury-plagued Borna Barisic, leaving us with two auxiliary LBs in Halliday and Flanagan. This is exposing us down that side and both Flanagan and Halliday had anything but good nights last night (Halliday was decent in the first half as DM).

All in all another poor night, and Clarke did his homework, outclassing and outfoxing Gerrard. Just like McInnes did at the weekend.

Not good enough.
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