Ibrox Noise was interested to note recently an article from one of Glasgow’s best-loved papers, a long-standing institution of neutrality which has always been in the middle of the Old Firm. The Evening Times, now called the Glasgow Times, and its sister paper the Herald have always had dedicated Rangers hacks, Celtic hacks, and a position of covering both clubs fairly.
It’s always been biased in its own respective content for each club, and that’s fair enough. It’s one of the few daily prints we actually have some respect for.
But we were curious by its recent Ianis Hagi piece, in which its writer suggested he was Rangers’ main man up front and his form was a major reason why Rangers’ was so good.
The gentleman used some stats to prove his point, and while we did indeed reveal one of Hagi’s performances was a lot better than some fans alleged (St Mirren), it was an isolated incident this season and sadly the Romanian’s displays have been less than stellar.
So we were curious why the writer was so adamant not only was the ex-Gent star performing well, but he was the main reason Rangers’ attack was so solid.
Looking at the last two matches he started, let’s check out Hagi’s stats:
Livi – passing 75% – 2 shots, none on target, 1 key pass. No dribbles, lost the ball 3 times, disposed twice, 45 touches.
Hamilton – passing – 77% Shots – 6, on target 2. Touches, 47. One key pass. No dribbles. Fouled once.
The best numbers here are against Hamilton with 6 shots and 2 making the defence or goalie work.
Now, when we go back to St Mirren, the numbers tell a different story:
Passing – 89%. Shots – 5, on target 2. Touches 66. 48 passes. Successful dribbles – 2.
By no means Messi but noticeably better than the other two, overall.
We just don’t know why the Times have praised Hagi’s contribution this season as being Rangers’ prized asset up front, when both the numbers and what we’re seeing with our own eyes generally doesn’t back that up.
We love Hagi, to be clear – we’re big fans, and we fully back him to climb out of this. Hopefully, starting tomorrow.
But it is bizarre to suggest he’s more important so far this season than the staggeringly in-form Ryan Kent whose stats lately have been scary.
But they do say it’s all about opinions?