Anatomy of a goal – how Rangers REALLY conceded at Pittodrie

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ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 10: Lewis Ferguson of Aberdeen is challenged by Alfredo Morelos of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Pittodrie Stadium on January 10, 2021 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around Scotland remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Earlier and indeed in some previous entries we’ve discussed the Aberdeen goal, and how so many fans were quick to jump on captain James Tavernier’s back, while failing to notice Borna Barisic on the other side doing nothing to get back.

However, in the discussions that have followed, fingers have also pointed at Nigerian international Joe Aribo for losing his man, claiming the ex-Charlton midfielder was the most culpable.

There is some truth in this – Aribo, completely ball watching, merely ran as Kennedy sprint wide behind him through completely unopposed into the box to finish the ball, with Tavernier charging in behind him helplessly too late.

Aribo’s awareness wasn’t good enough as he let the goalscorer have the run of the pitch, but anyone blaming Aribo for this failure sadly completely misses the point.

Which is thus:

Rangers desperately, utterly, and entirely need Ryan Jack back, as soon as possible.

Blaming Aribo for not being defensively aware is like whining when Filip Helander shoots wildly wide – it’s not his forte nor his strength.

Aribo let his man go because he simply isn’t great at sweeping up a counter attack – he isn’t aware of what’s happening behind him because the lad isn’t defensively astute. He at least kept running and made the effort to track once he eventually cottoned on.

That’s not his fault, not Steven Gerrard’s fault and not the system’s fault – it’s because he was asked to do something he’s not great at, because we’d rather have Ryan Jack doing it.

And then there’s Glen Kamara – he was caught completely for position and he’s supposed to be far better at the defensive work, yet he made a real lack of effort to get back, unlike Tavernier and Davis and even Aribo who kept running – Kamara actually stopped and just let it happen.

The only two who appeared to not actually give any of the brown stuff about this attack were Kamara and Barisic. The rest all tried to stop it, at varying levels of effort.

But as we say, ultimately the system let this happen, because Aberdeen were able to expose the full backs and defence in a way few have.

Why are we still going on about this?

Because it’s important – you can bet your bottom dollar Stevie has absolutely forensically analysed this goal and will be learning and instructing from it.

But deep down he’s just hoping Ryan Jack is back for the weekend…

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