It was a chance missed for Rangers. Add to that they picked this match against Aberdeen to throw in their worst performance of the season.
The game ended 1-0 to the visitors with Scott McKenna’s goal being enough to see them over the line. Furthermore, both sides had strikers sent off with Sam Cosgrove and Alfredo Morelos heading for early showers.
As usual, the talking points from the match are going to be looked over:
The midfield without Scott Arfield is a problem
Slow, one-paced and shirking any responsibility. Aberdeen went man for man in midfield and the Rangers midfield had no idea how to combat that. Mainly because they all wanted to sit behind the ball and play five-yard passes all night. Not one of them broke the lines, and tried to support Morelos or even run beyond him. The creativity from that area of the park was virtually zero. Not only that, they were bullied by Ball, Shinnie and Ferguson on what was a night where everything went wrong from the first minute to the last.
Rangers deserved nothing for their performance and that’s exactly what they got.
Rangers ill-discipline is becoming another big issue
Steven Gerrard said he had a 15-minute meeting about keeping eleven players on the park and the players failed to do it again. Of course, after the last few days, all eyes would have been on Alfredo Morelos. These are the times where he has to be mindful of that and not give the referee the opportunity he had been craving since handing him the first booking to send him off. He did exactly that in what was a complete act of stupidity. In addition to Morelos, Kyle Lafferty also was lucky that he wasn’t a Colombian national or he would have been booked for dissent and that would have resulted in him being sent off, having picked up an earlier yellow for a foul on Shay Logan. It’s something that really has to be eradicated from the squad.
It’s no use getting men sent off every other game. The players have to play on the edge but also be mindful that it’s easy for referees to be influenced by media campaigns, they are only human after all.
The unbeaten home record is now gone
How quickly things can change in football. Rangers have gone from an unbeaten start at Ibrox to now losing five vital points. The home form has been superb up until this point. There is no doubting that, but if Rangers do have any serious aspirations of mounting a proper title challenge, they cannot drop any more points at Ibrox, particularly in the short term.
Having said that, it was a sore one, and I’m sure Steven Gerrard and his players will be gutted. However, nothing is won or lost just yet. They have to get back on the horse and go to Dundee on Sunday and put in a strong display and most importantly bounce back with a victory. That’s all there is for it at this stage. If they want to be serious, they have to prove they have the ability and mentality to deal with another bump in the road.