They say you learn more in defeat than in victory, but we must admit tonight Rangers fans learned quite a lot about their team at Tynecastle as Michael Beale’s team tore in-form Hearts apart.
Here’s what we feel we saw as the Famous trampled all over the Jambos:
1: Michael Beale’s philosophies, which we’ve been praising from the beginning, finally started to hit home properly as his side put in a complete performance for the first time since he arrived. Whatever we reckon of his soundbites and press conferences, we’ve been vocally impressed about his tactics and system, and the evident effect they’re having on the team. Michael Beale is starting to impress his system on Rangers and 10 wins of 11 show just how well it’s working.
2: Glen Kamara, as alluded to earlier, remains a player capable of being world class. He always did, but he never got the move to a higher domestic league to show that. He didn’t quite develop given he lacked that switch – there’s only so much you can evolve to in the Scottish Premiership. This was a vintage performance though, showing all that potential. He’ll never realise it staying in Scotland, but we can see how good he could be.
3: Despite his recent promises about this very fixture to the contrary, Beale once again refused to play Morelos and Colak together – it’s just lip service, like Giovanni van Bronckhorst paid to the idea. We don’t know what the future for the Croatian holds, but despite his outstanding finishing talent, we don’t think Beale fancies him too much.
4: Todd Cantwell once again absolutely bossed and strolled his outing, this time as a later sub. He makes the game look easy, and Hearts couldn’t get near him except to foul him. The guy, even at his early juncture in his Rangers career, looks a class apart from anything we’ve signed in recent seasons. There’s a reason Norwich once rated him at £50M. Once he gets up to speed he’ll only get better.
5: Is this the predicted Rangers end for Scott Arfield we suggested? Cantwell is miles ahead of him, and he wasn’t on the bench tonight either. Rangers have so much talent in his general position that as much as we love Scotty and he will give it all for the cause, we can’t see him getting much of a look in now that Cantwell joins Hagi, Lawrence, Tillman and Lowry in his slot.
6: Despite playing Fashion Sakala and Ryan Kent in the superficial wing positions, they just don’t play wide at all – Beale doesn’t use his wingers for width, he uses his fullbacks instead, and the wingers instead are free-roaming attackers, all three of whom will use every blade of grass in the final third to cause damage. Beale essentially plays with three 10s.
7: On this performance, Nicolas Raskin will have to earn his way in. Beale loves Kamara, and he has spoken highly of both Jack and Lundstram too, so the Belgian may not just find himself waltzing in there. A good problem to have.
8: Morelos might have scored twice but unfortunately the Colombian’s laziness and poor concentration meant he missed out on scoring at least two more, being caught offside four times, which also cost Sakala a goal as well. He still lacks obvious focus at times, and the lad could be so so much more if he could just wean out the negatives in his game. We could be talking about a sensational night of him nabbing four goals and assisting one, but instead it’s two and bad offsides. Still, a striker’s currency is goals and he did do his job. Mostly.
9: Fashion Sakala keeps getting better, an assist tonight. He’s showing his esteemed Colombian colleague what focus, hard work and dedication can do, and while he’s always going to be rough around the edges, he has won us grumpy critics at Ibrox Noise over significantly by adding a lot of polish to his game. Beale has absolutely worked a miracle on him. Imagine how good Alfie would be with Fashion’s hunger and work rate.
10: This was Rangers, v the third best side, on their patch, with just £3.5M spent on just two players in the window, one of whom didn’t play and the other only got 20 minutes, and we blew our opponents away. Beale is getting a lot right on the pitch, and we wonder where we’ll be in six months.
There may be more…