Eight things we learned about Rangers in win v Livi

Eight things we learned about Rangers in win v Livi
Todd outstanding again (Credit Rangers FC)

Aside from the ratings, there was actually a fair bit to digest from Saturday’s fairly routine win v Livi, and Ibrox Noise will take you through all the things we think we learned or observed as Rangers picked up our first three points of the campaign.

1: The best central defence pairing, by a distance, is John Souttar and Leon Balogun. Both are big, strong, and powerful, and both read the play impeccably well, happily putting themselves in the hurt to protect the back line. Souttar has increasingly been going into midfield as well, and starting off many many attacks, while Balogun has shown that his exceptional pace, even at 35, remains as bright as ever. Despite being, in many ways, quite similar, they actually work very well and have a good understanding. This is what it is to have two high-quality defenders in the rearguard.

2: If Michael Beale does not accept that neither James Tavernier or Connor Goldson are good enough going forward, he will be his own biggest enemy and fall in the same trap every Rangers manager since Mark Warburton has been victim to, with these two costing many. Dujon Sterling might not be Roberto Carlos but he’s better than Tavernier, and Souttar/Balogun both exceed Goldson by a distance. It’s as plain as day.

3: The trident attack hasn’t quite got going yet. Eking sign of small improvement from Danilo, but both Dessers and Lammers look completely lost in Beale’s narrow system, and he changed from two central men playing wide v Servette to more narrow v Livi, and it still didn’t work. Thankfully the goals went in anyway, but Beale might be concerned that this £15M trio still isn’t gelling.

4: Nico Raskin needs a rest – poor guy looks jaded, and doesn’t look the power of nature he was last season. He’s just spent at the moment. He had a summer tournament and it’s clearly taken some extra from him.

5: Borna’s renaissance is highly welcome – he still has one of the UK’s best left pegs, and it’s nice to see him looking a bit more ‘with it’. He’s not in the form of his life, but he’s definitely better than he was.

6: Todd Cantwell remains exceptional – he was so good v Livi that he managed to injure an opponent purely by tricking him. The guy is a class apart and it’s plain to see why he recently had a £40M price tag. He delivered in Europe too, even if some noisy idiots reckoned he had a rubbish game (yes, there were some).

7: Jose… you probably wondered when we’d get to him. Yes he’s absolutely remarkable, he’s settled in instantly and it highlights his class that he’s already first pick inside one match. Easy on the ball, not bullied, great vision and looks around a lot, this is a fine player and an absolute steal at £1.2M. This is the kind of calibre of player Rangers deserve.

8: Beale’s substitutions might have seemed odd as hell (as they often do) but for once, there was method in the madness. We’re giving Rabbi Matondo his own separate article, but yes, he thrived in a cameo, and while Sima was less effective, he got a goal, as did Dowell. This time, the strange subs absolutely worked and Beale deserves credit for that.

And that will do for now.

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  1. Really enjoyed reading this, it’s great when you guys put out a positive article it rubs off well onto me it does anyway. Keep up the hard work lads. 💙💙

  2. I really hope Beale has read this . It completely covered the defence issues that have alarmed us all Goldson Tav Barasic. Souttar and Balogun 100% correct , we still need another CH. Raskin does look a little jaded . We lack pace and width still and again this will be seen by other coaches too.

  3. 1. Correct
    2. Absolutely
    3. Afraid so, hoping it is only a bedding in process
    4. Need to spell him out so he can get a rest, then
    5. If he can keep it up, and wants to sign, give him a new contract. If he won’t sign, sell for good money.
    6. Correct. We are going to struggle to keep some of these players in the not-so-distant future
    7. A bargain if you add a zero at the end of that. Another who can kick on and go for big money. This is our future, get used to it.
    8. I guess he is still getting used to his team. Hope we continue to improve

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