The selection of Rabbi Matondo today caused a few eyebrows to raise, and Ibrox Noise among many others crossed our fingers this was the Wales winger’s afternoon to shine.
In truth, he was quiet up till one beautiful turn didn’t quite work and he was muscled out, and the attacker otherwise waited for his chance.
And he got it – latching onto a brilliant ball from John Lundstram, Matondo ran at the defence without fear, slipped it through perfectly for the Croatian genius that is Goalak and he did the rest.
Not long after, Cammy Devlin halved Matondo and nearly broke his ankle, but the Welshman got up and got on with it after some treatment.
Matondo reminds us very much of DaMarcus Beasley – a slight, pacy but not necessarily overly dangerous winger, but who has skill and positional awareness and awaits his chance to make an impact.
For those expecting a wing wizard dynamo who dribbles like it’s going out of fashion, as yet this doesn’t seem to be Matondo’s forte.
Instead he thrives on openings, chances, spaces to run into and tellingly, positional fortitude where his place on the pitch provides a counterweight to the rest on the right, and gives defenders someone new to worry about.
He might not beat them all like Messi just yet, but he’s starting to show a little of his qualities.
The big aspect for us today was the fact for such a slight figure, he took the physical beating from Hearts on the chin, without complaint, and just got on with it. He showed some guts for the fight, and even though he’ll be more involved in the future, Rabbi Matondo can be pleased at his overall performance for this one.
He’s improving, and the more the fans back him, the more he’ll evolve.
We await it with interest.