Kemar Roofe’s joke of ‘about time’ might have been said in mirth, but the striker made a very potent point about a problem Rangers are suffering of their own making.
Asked by RTV if the quality of service had helped him, he said:
Only, he wasn’t, was he?
A huge problem on Rangers’ back this season, one of our own making, is the over-reliance on Alfredo Morelos and his hold-up play.
Because we didn’t sign Lyndon Dykes and ended up with Cedric Itten, we had no deputy for Morelos on those occasions he didn’t play, and therefore no lone striker that can drag defenders around and pull his team up the park. We built the system for Morelos but didn’t back him up with a deputy.
That is also the case for Roofe – he cannot play that role.
What he CAN do, as Ibrox Noise preached a few days ago, is thrive as part of a duo, hence we were in favour of him and Sakala as a pairing.
Lo and behold, on Sunday Gio put that exact pairing out, and while it wasn’t 100% in sync, Sakala’s running and movement gave Roofe a tonne of space and allowed him some freedom to be a striker.
In short, Rangers cannot play one up top without Morelos, because we have no one who can do it otherwise – and trying to play that system to Roofe will lead to no service ergo no goals.
But put him up top with another, and he thrives.
It’s not rocket science, and it gave Rangers 3 goals at St Mirren.
Maybe Gio’s learning the basics.