While our initial match report may have seemed negative, one massive positive from today’s win over Kilmarnock were the performances of three men who should have been in from the start v Celtic:
Todd Cantwell, Nicolas Raskin and Antonio Colak.
We’ll start with Raskin. Bearing a resemblance to both Jordan Rossiter and Rino Gattuso, this busy little midfielder was all over the place, pushing, pressing, working, passing and even managing a shot or two while he was at it. This wasn’t the best he’s been, but the attitude and work ethic was bang on, and he showed every inch why Rangers signed him.
Next up is Cantwell. Another excellent show from this absolutely outstanding midfielder, no one aside Goldson touched the ball more than the former Norwich man, who must be starting to kick themselves that he never showed this level for them in more recent times. Rated MOTM with good reason, Cantwell played a major role in the first goal, and was by some distance Rangers’ best player, despite not managing an assist or a goal directly.
Norwich once rated Cantwell at £50M, the game looks absolutely effortless to him, and few have ever settled this well, this quickly, and looked an absolute bargain so early on. This was an excellent addition and he’s still not up to speed.
Lastly, Antonio Colak. He had a great game – he technically provided two assists, he had 5 shots, three of them on target, and his long ball percentage was 100%. He showed, completely, he can replace the Colombian and Rangers are far from weaker with that. He’s a different striker, but Michael Beale listened to Ibrox Noise’s pleas and changed the system a bit. Sakala and Kent were wider to get more width into the box, and it worked extremely well for the first 45 as Colak thrived. It was also the first time under Beale the Croatian hasn’t been subbed off with significant time remaining.
So while we might have sounded grumpy over the second half attitude, there was some positivity in there for sure, particularly around the three men who came in.
Pity they weren’t in from the start v Celtic eh?