Earlier we discussed how the tactical switch today heavily benefited Joe Aribo who played easily his best match as a central 10 for Rangers.
However, it did come at a bit of a cost. We mentioned how Ianis Hagi’s intelligent off-ball running created space and an outlet for Aribo, along with Tavernier’s overlapping passes, but there’s a real downside to this:
While Hagi still had a good match, and his quality was evident, he was a bit isolated on the right in terms of the damage he could actually do – he roamed inside and got the ball more, yes, but unfortunately, as Romanian journalist Emanuel Roşu confirmed, he’s wasted on either wing.
This is a lad who has to be central to effect the game directly, and while his movement off ball really helped get the best out of Aribo, the counter side is the lack of direct input he was able to have while hugging the touchline.
The cost has to be measured against benefit – and not only did Joe Aribo enjoy his best match in some time, but Ryan Kent played far more as a pure winger today and we saw much more like a performance from the old Kent.
So, while Hagi wasn’t placed in his best possible slot, it allowed at least two other players to excel more.
But as long as we keep winning, no one will mind.