We were all hoping for Rangers to bounce back from Wednesday’s 1-0 loss at Ibrox to Aberdeen. However, they could only manage a 1-1 draw against a bottom of the table Dundee side. Kenny Miller put the home side in front, but his goal was cancelled out by Andy Halliday’s free-kick. The result and performance were simply not good enough at Dens Park.
I am going to take a look at why this was the case, as I discuss all the talking points from the match:
The Joe Worrall experiment has to come to an end
He wasn’t solely to blame for another poor display, but his part in Kenny Miller’s goal was nonsensical. He got caught under the ball, yes, under it. You would shout at a five-year-old if he got caught like that. Having him at the heart of the defence has to come to an end. No more chances unless it’s an extreme emergency. For me, he seems to give the likes of Connor Goldson nerves. Most times he is playing, I feel there is always an error in him.
Going forward, he should be behind Katic and McAuley in the pecking order. Steven Gerrard now has to understand that he should not be rotating his back four. It’s time for him to pick a defence and stick with it. Hopefully, that doesn’t involve Worrall.
Kent’s injury killed the creativity
Ryan Kent played in the number 10 position behind Kyle Lafferty and whilst I didn’t think he had an outstanding first half, his use of the spaces in between the lines and his ability to play in half-spaces was badly missed in the second half. When he was replaced by Middleton, none of the other players behind Lafferty showed that type of spacial awareness or subtlety to mirror what Kent had provided in the first 45. Middleton couldn’t get past Cammy Kerr, while Grezda and Candeias just didn’t show enough quality.
Crossing isn’t the only way to break teams down
Steven Gerrard admitted in his post-match interview that the players didn’t follow the game plan. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t make for good reading. Surely he wasn’t telling them to continually get the ball wide and fire crosses into the box? But the whole second half display came down to the midfield again. They simply shirk any kind of attacking responsibility.
Ryan Jack and Jordan Rossiter aren’t attacking players. However, if the team is lacking any creative spark from the attacking areas, one of them has to take it upon themselves to move the ball at a higher tempo and squeeze the game. It’s not good enough and it’s worrying when the midfield has the ‘play it safe’ mentality when a pair of gonads are needed to drive the team forward and commit an opponent and potential space for others to run into. I’ll let you decided: one shot on target in the second half, is that anywhere near acceptable?
A horrible end to a horrible week – but not all is lost yet
It’s been a horrible week results-wise. However, as bad as it’s been, nothing is won or lost just yet. December was always going to be a tough month. It’s simple: Rangers have to win every game left in this month. Does it look likely just now? No. But it’s not impossible and it’s the only thing that they can do to removed the deflated feeling amongst the fanbase at the moment. It’s on to Rapid Vienna on Thursday night where only a win will do.