Gio made a bold Rangers call yesterday, and it worked

Gio made a bold Rangers call yesterday, and it worked
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 06: Steven Davis of Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Kilmarnock FC at Ibrox Stadium on August 6, 2022 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

If there was a gasp from fans yesterday at the lineup, including, we admit, ourselves, it was the omission of Steven Davis from the men who took the field.

After a vintage return v Killie, it was widely-expected the NI legend was going to start this one too, in lieu of the average options in Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara at present.

Instead, Gio launched a total curveball.

No Davis, no Kamara and no Jack.

Indeed, not a single ‘slow’ player in the midfield, with just John Lundstram on his own behind an attacking quintet of Lawrence, Kent, Tillman, and Arfield, with of course Colak spearheading.

This added pace took a man away from midfield, meaning the ball was definitely moving quicker in the middle, and while the overall pace of Rangers’ play in the first half could have been swifter, midfield itself wasn’t slow.

Indeed, Lundstram was feeding it wide as often as possible, and Sands and Goldson behind him were doing the same.

So while Davis’ form v Killie was excellent, Gio was right not to pick him, because this one had nothing do with midfield, and everything to do with getting the ball to Colak and the flanks as fast as possible, something Davo maybe isn’t the best for.

This is why, albeit with a gift of a penalty, yesterday ultimately worked out a huge triumph for Rangers. A quicker flank thanks to a lesser midfield and quicker players.

This is no slight on Davis of course, he will have a big role this season, but it’s up to Gio to know how and when to use him, and how and when not to.

And clearly he got it right yesterday.

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