Rangers had strong performances all over the pitch against Osijek at Ibrox. The spine of the team was strong yet again, with both Goldson and Katic playing well. Coulibaly and Ejaria offered loads in midfield, on and off the ball. Morelos was outstanding in his hold-up play. Out wide, Daniel Candeias done a great job. Allan McGregor made some great saves.
There was one clear winner of the man of the match award though. After the match, Gerrard described the performance as stunning. As most will surely agree, Ryan Jack was the best player on the park on the night.
It’s easy to forget that Jack is not long back from a serious injury which kept him out for months. There were rumours in the summer that Rangers may have looked to loan him out as there were so many options in midfield. If Rossiter hadn’t picked up the ankle knock in pre-season, there’s every chance he wouldn’t have been starting matches just now. McCrorie started the first round matches against Shkupi in the position Jack is now occupying.
But based upon both legs against Osijek, Ryan Jack is going to be vital this season. In the first half, Osijek had some good spells, and Jack really shone in a defensive sense. He read the game well, cutting out a number of passes. His tracking back meant that the defence could just hold up play rather than have to dive in. Winning tackles, keeping possession under pressure, and rarely wasting a pass made Jack vital to the team in that first half.
In the second half, Rangers were playing higher up the pitch overall and dominating the ball. A large part of that was down to how Ryan Jack played. He was winning second balls and moving it quickly. As he was able to find the wide options with ease, it meant that Rangers could play secure football in the opposing half.
Ryan Jack would have been somewhat worried about his place in the team given our new signings. After the way he played against Osijek, you can’t imagine any midfielder is ahead of him right now.
Who did you see as man of the match? Tweet us @abouttherangers with your thoughts.