Summer hot-shot to flop? Maybe not – opinion


As another match passes, we at Ibrox Noise do wonder exactly what we think of Joe Aribo.

We know we’re sounding like a broken record, and we naturally loved the second half performance yesterday and the four goals including Aribo’s assist (even if one of them was offside), but while we’ll focus more on the good this afternoon, in this piece we wonder when on earth this player is ever going to deliver consistency on the potential he shows brief glimpses of, such as his more convincing second half display yesterday.

He’s been with us a while now, a few months in fact, and all the reputation he came with has only modestly been demonstrated on the pitch.

We won’t quite accuse him of being an empty shirt, but Aribo’s big problem is that for such a large lad in such an integral position on the pitch, he just doesn’t stand out often enough and performs at a mostly average level.

We want this guy to get better, truly, and we were pleased to see him step up in the second half yesterday with more authority.

He got a call up for Nigeria, but unfortunately only for a friendly – and while he had a great evening, we place little more credibility on these performances than we do on club ones.

And it’s certainly more than a bit telling that arguably his two best performances since joining Rangers before yesterday’s second half both came in friendlies – v Marseille pre-season and v Ukraine for his country a few weeks ago.

Down to the serious business and the pressure of delivering when it truly counts (does a win over a bottom-feeding side count?) Joe Aribo hasn’t entirely shown up.

Indeed, in a national poll, curiously enough only the ineffectual Brandon Barker and struggling Greg Stewart rated worse than the Nigerian for yesterday’s display, despite the second 45, and it appears being dropped for Feyenoord didn’t do a lot to inspire him from the start. Mercifully Stevie’s half time talk did.

We don’t like harping on about Aribo and sounding like we’re picking on him. He’s evidently a very decent guy and certainly conducts himself well enough as a Ranger. And he showed more quality in the second half than probably his previous 5 matches put together.

He just doesn’t play particularly well often enough, and hasn’t shown consistent sign of it enough in weeks and weeks in our shirt.

We produced an article many weeks ago suggesting we give the guy till Christmas before writing him off as a dud – well, we’d like to partially retract the sentiment contained therein. There were external forces at work with regards that piece, and we don’t fully stand by what we published that day. It was something we’d never done before and never will allow on this site again.

The truth is Aribo confuses us – often has no impression on matches, doesn’t look interested in what he’s doing, and is frequently no better than Ovie Ejaria. We’d actually marginally say the latter is probably better. But then he has a far stronger second half and we get seduced into thinking he’s getting there. Is he? Time will tell.

All we can hope is he proves us wrong to doubt and Stevie manages to get the best out of him.

Because his best so far is nowhere near frequent enough.


  1. Must be doing something much better than Greg Docherty on the training ground. But God knows what.
    I like him, I think he has a lot of potential. I hope he does well and gets a lucrative move south which brings us a lot of money.
    But Greg Docherty would die for that jersey. He produced more goals and assists last season for a team that only escaped relegation because of him than Aribo managed in a team that got promoted.
    SG has forgotten more about football than I will ever know and he must see something to play Joe ahead of Greg. I just don't know what.

  2. Wow, are we seriously trying to decide whether or not Jo Aribo is good enough to be a Rangers players before we have reached the end of September? Some players obviously make an immediate impact, and some don't. Super Ally, if I recall correctly, took a year before he was accepted as good enough to play for Rangers.
    Or what about our £7m man, Ryan Kent. How long was it before he started to show his ability?
    My personal opinion is that Aribo has shown glimpses of having fantastic ability, and he will come good and probably become our top midfielder. Of course I might be wrong, but the hype surrounding Rangers winning his signature was not of Aribo's making.
    Give the guy a break, let's see how he is doing by Christmas time.

  3. Totally agree. Played totally out of position against Celtic has affected his confidence.Confidence is everything & he will come good.

  4. He got an assist. Think you're being a wee bit harsh on the lad. Ojo, was not good for a long time and is just getting success, now.

  5. Seen flashes that make me think he will come good. Even at his current rate he should double figures goals for the season. Pretty decent in my book.

Comments are closed.