As readers chewing on our content since last night will see, it’s a mixed reaction – there was a lot of good for sure, and we’ve also given a few blots as well.
But one definite good was the dropping of Joe Aribo.
This midfielder has been a total disappointment since his much-hyped move north. He was sold as a special player who could scale the heights of the multimillion values, but despite a promising peak where he had a decent friendly outing with a goal v Ukraine for his country, Aribo hasn’t delivered anything like that in a Rangers shirt.
And his omission from the Rangers team was as much a good move from Gerrard as it was a surprise – we had the giant CM as a Gerrard favourite, a potential ‘undroppable’ and that no matter how he played, he would start.
Well, his place on the bench last night assured us the manager is taking stock of one of his big summer signings’ poor displays and is now managing it.
Glen Kamara instead took that slot and while it still didn’t quite achieve his split level, he nevertheless looked like he really wanted to grab the opportunity, and had probably his best display of the season as a result.
Aribo, frankly, doesn’t look all that much better than Kamara has been this season – the Nigerian produces fleeting moments of quality, but not enough, and not enough to justify continued selection.
And his manager may just have run out of patience.
In Aribo’s defence, he actually played maturely for a 23-year old who’s never performed at this level – he would have been gutted not to start, having admitted UEL was a major carrot for him to come north. He did produce a decent cameo in his 10 minute appearance – and now that he knows he is capable of being dropped, it may give him the kick up the backside he needs to drop the complacency.
Neither he nor Kamara are especially outstanding right now, but the latter certainly made a reasonable claim for a place last night.
Then again, there’s also another guy called Greg Docherty…