What a difference 97 minutes may have made to Glen Kamara, the Rangers midfielder finally, at long long last, showing a massive glimpse of the old form which formerly had fans fearing big bids from Premier League giants for his signature.
While he had a decent match a week or two ago, this one was the Glen Kamara that Michael Beale has been hoping for, and was a clear response to the signing of Belgian star Nicolas Raskin. The onwatching Belgian is in exactly the same position as his, and the Finn was making an absolute point to his boss and the new signing that he may not quite be done at Rangers just yet. While he surely still wants his move out, Beale’s words to him and actions may have helped to get him something like back to his best.
His stats for this one: 93% passing (best on the pitch), 3 accurate long balls of four attempts, 4 tackles, and two key passes. It was his most productive outing since the road to Sevilla, and was by far his best domestically for over a year.
And is worth pointing out it wasn’t just ‘only Hearts’ – this is a high-flying Hearts, 10 unbeaten in a row, 4 clean sheets in a row and on their patch without having anyone sent off. This was a serious and credible performance and Kamara rightly earned Man of the Match for his display.
He may have been stationed on the left, but he covered a tonne of ground, while keeping his relative position on that side and helping out everyone else.
This was a precise, controlled, and impressive team performance from a player who has been sleeping far too long.
It is frustrating on many levels, because this shows how good Kamara actually is – most of us had forgotten how good given his clear apathy on the pitch for 12 months+.
But if Beale has managed to persuade Kamara to change his mind and stay at Ibrox, well, if he’s going to play like this, few would complain.
In reality, the Finn is likely working his ticket to impress suitors and get a summer move – that would still be fine by us. But we saw tonight just how good he can be when he actually tries.
Maybe a wee bit more of that Glen?