The truth behind Rangers’ flat display at Ibrox

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 01: Scott Arfield of Rangers celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League play-off match between Rangers and Galatasaray at Ibrox Stadium on October 01, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If one thing stood out head and shoulders above all else in today’s massive win, it was the impact and influence of Scott Arfield, and specifically, how Rangers struggled terribly in the middle without him.

As Ally rightly put it, no one was running from midfield to overlap into the box, and the one man we hoped would, Joe Aribo, simply didn’t, and doesn’t have the mobility in his game to really do that anyway.

This meant the forwards had absolutely zero support from midfield runners, and had zero support from the flanks with both Tavernier and Barisic playing defensive matches.

But what a difference having Scott Arfield would have made.

Of course, it’s slightly academic, we still won, deserved or not, but this was a poor performance, easily Rangers’ worst this season, and even though our tactics were very negative, Arfield’s presence would have helped a tonne with linking the beleaguered midfield to attack, and the wings.

Without that, there was a massive static gap with the front three, given they’re so used to the constant movement the system usually has.

The fact the shape was so rigid (Morelos just ahead of Kent and Roofe behind) gave some idea of how little movement there was, something which would have been very different had Arfield’s dynamic off-ball movement and work been present.

Of course, it didn’t ultimately matter – we got a mammoth 3 points and probably won the title today, but this one showed just how important Arfield is to Steven Gerrard and Rangers.

He’s easily the best signing Stevie made, and remains our MVP overall.

Get well soon Scotty.