Some Rangers fans have written him off – why that’s a mistake


There’s little doubt that after some promising potential in pre-season friendlies, Nigeria’s Joe Aribo has not quite set the heather alight at Ibrox when it’s come down to the serious business.

His SPL performances, while never awful, have lacked sparkle and perhaps a touch of heart, and his Europa League outings have similarly underwhelmed.

The colossal 22-year old has shown glimpses of his quality, with some excellent interceptions, some clever ball retention, good composure in possession and a penchant for some dominant marauding runs.

Unfortunately he’s not delivered this consistently enough, and Ibrox Noise raised the issue on Saturday, one day before the Old Firm.

We were slightly surprised that the majority agreed with us.

And then of course, while admittedly wildly out of position on the left wing, Aribo struggled badly against Celtic bar one tubthumping tackle on Scott Brown.

And yet, this kid just got called up to Nigeria, was effectively League One’s best player last season, and Premier League sides were in for him after he played a huge role in securing promotion to the Championship, and when Rangers fans watched him in pre-season, he looked quite the unit.

He looked like a hell of a coup.

There are, however, a great number of caveats for his struggles to settle in.

First off, Joe Aribo has played in League One for Charlton his entire senior career. He has never played in front of crowds of the size of Ibrox, the closest being the average of 30K he’d have faced a few times at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

Secondly, Aribo has never experienced the pressure of must-win. He has never experienced the pressure of genuinely gunning for a league title against a bitter rival like Celtic.

He had also never been in Scotland till he touched down in Glasgow after the pre-season training camp.

In short, this whole thing is a massive, massive culture shock for this lad – bear in mind the best team he’d ever faced in his young career up till a month ago was probably Blackburn Rovers. No European football, so his performance against Marseille was his first non-British opponent of real gravity.

Since then he’s faced Celtic, Legia, Midjyland and Hibs – and the pressure of the Rangers shirt.

What are we saying?

This lad needs a little time. He’s in a completely alien world right now, and the talent he has is undeniably enough to make him a valuable club asset, perhaps the biggest. But it’s evident he hasn’t settled yet, and some players do take longer.

Think to this morning’s piece about Kent – we didn’t see the best of him till October then December, and he had had plenty of experience at other clubs before Rangers.

Simply put, there is hope for Aribo – if played more centrally, and as more of a midfield marauder.

If he still hasn’t delivered by maybe December then yes, perhaps this is one destined not to work out. But given his potential, imagine the frustration if we give up on him now and he ends up a £50M PL player inside a year.

Hopefully Joe Aribo will figure it out.


  1. Dont blame him for Sunday he was playing out of his natural position one of the errors the manager made Aribo will come good in the role he is best at the shambles on Sunday was down to team selection they played the way that we did in the two home games at ibrox last term they were in our faces from the off we had no width or pace up front Stevie G tinkering again

  2. Said it before on here one bad game or two some fans players get stick, this lad has got a future in the game and will get better, if he had scored the winning goal last Sunday he would be best thing every, always has and it never seems to change at Ibrox the attitude to players who don't always hit the highs every game.

  3. Only idiots have written him off .He might have struggled in a couple of games but even then he has shown enough to show that he has real talent and given time, which he will get from the manager if not from the twatterverse, he will become a major player for us.Some " fans" make the same mistake over and over again by judging people too early ,Kamara , Davis , Morelos , Defoe , Arfield , Jack and Kent have all had it recently and in years gone by SuperAlly and Hates suffered the same way .Sometimes they are right like with a guy like Grezda , but he showed nothing at all in any game , bet generally they don`t take into account circumstances .We should give every player time to get used to being a Rangers player and then make a judgement.

  4. Played correctly, he's a fine player. Get OJO sent back and recall our own talent until they've at least been given a fair chance.
    Our treatment of Middleton is awful.

    And our rotation must stop

  5. He will turn it around, it is a pity he played out of position on Sunday but not his fault. He has great potential and he just needs to take time to settle in. True fans know this, but unfortunately others get on the lads back without thinking. He will be a great asset for the club there is no doubt about that

  6. I remembered a very similar article about katic last year.
    The boy is a player who just needs a little bit of support and time

  7. I'm confident he'll come good for us, but what are you basing your 'league 1's best player' statement on? Because I seem to recall another article in which you said Docherty's stats in leaue 1 were comparable but in a poorer team?

    Also didn't he play in front of 75k in the play-offs?

  8. You can't blame the lad being a bit overwhelmed & intimidated, but he needs to get over that quickly. He can play and is fearless going forward. We're not getting the best out of him and whatever the problem is, must be dealt with, quicksmart. This is not the season, for excessive problems.

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