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.