First game without Goldson reveals true nature of Rangers

First game without Goldson reveals true nature of Rangers
Rangers v Aberdeen - Scottish Premiership - Ibrox Stadium Rangers James Tavernier left celebrates with Connor Goldson after Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis scores an own goal during the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xAndrewxMilliganx 59781979

If one thing today was the biggest shock, it was the absence of Connor Goldson from the team sheet. Theories raged online about the reasons, but we laughed loudest at some enlightened sparks claiming he was being rested for Thursday.

The real reason of course was isolation, and it meant Balogun and Helander paired up for the first time, the first time a duo in Rangers’ defence hasn’t involved the ex-Brighton man for well over 80 matches.

And comically, the performance showed Rangers don’t actually need Goldson like we thought we did.

The defence was no more or less shaky than normal, the play style was exactly the same, and while there were notably less clearances than usual, and neither defender exactly covered themselves in exalted glory, Rangers looked no more or less exposed than they have this campaign and certainly didn’t play from the back any differently.

It was clearly demonstrated that Goldson is not indispensable, and that while our manager likes him and it’s his call at the end of the day, Rangers can indeed cope without him.

It all harks back to Rangers’ depth at the back – it isn’t outstanding, but Goldson doesn’t transcend the quality in the illustrious way it might have been believed.

He’s a decent stopper, mostly works fairly hard and has rarely let us down in the past year or so, but it’s not like he’s special and it’s not like we cannot cope without him.

All we know is we can win without him.

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  1. It’s all about opinions but I thought we did miss him. Sometimes it’s not what did happen but what didn’t. Both Balogun and Helander had some scary moments that may not have arisen had the calming influence of Goldson been there. We also missed him in the box for our own corners where he is our biggest threat.

  2. While the style of play remained similar and the defence no more (or less) solid, we did miss Goldson. No other defender can play the diagonal long pass like he can. That has been a really important part of our game plan for at least the past 18 months. You saw today that the Saints midfield and defence slid left and right as the ball was played down each side – well coached. Goldson disrupts that by suddenly playing a raking cross field ball to the opposite wing, giving our full backs acres of space to run into, and tearing up the defence’s strategy. None of that today – we really missed him and he is even more important in the eul

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