I liked the look of the Glasgow Rangers starting XI against Hibs, even though Steven Gerrard had said on Friday after the 4-2 away win in Denmark that he would make three or four changes for the Ibrox game.
It’s only common sense when you have bought in so many players for the new long season of SPFL and Europa League games all mounting up and taking their toll on the players.
I thought Rangers were absolutely brilliant for the first 30 minutes of the match. It was an almost perfect display from a very fit unit, who were using the high press to gain maximum effect.
The way Gerrard’s Rangers moved the ball, and the speed they won it back, was a joy to watch as his game plan worked. Hibs were always struggling to cope with the constant pressure applied.
Scott Allan was Hibernian’s best player and with one sensational pass, he split Nikola Katic and Conner Goldson for Daryl Horgan to pull one back by slipping the ball past Allan McGregor without breaking his stride.
Playing three at the back should eliminate losing that kind of goal, and make Rangers so hard to score against. It would also allow James Tavernier much more freedom as a right-wing-back.
By playing three centre backs, Rangers could play two up front and five in midfield.
Goldson, Katic, Helander:
Tavernier, Jack, Aribo, Davis, Jones:
Morelos, Defoe or Arfield
The most-improved footballer at Ibrox this season is Alfredo Morelos, who has suddenly become more of a team player and is passing the ball more than he normally did. He is holding his temper in check – what a difference.
He looks as if he is happy at last playing for Rangers in Scotland and with this new team that Gerrard has formed to suit his talents. He can see the difference in the standard of the team he plays for.
Jermain Defoe has always played well when given the opportunity and his movement and shooting ability is different class.
Rangers are so lucky to have both players signed up, and I think they are ready to play together now. It’s well worth trying for a game or two.
I really like Glen Kamara, but the way Ryan Jack has turned into a really top star, you would always choose him first. He covers every blade of grass, and always makes himself available for a pass.
Jack is extremely versatile, as he can be your holding player, who adds class to any Gers midfield position, one of the first names to start.
With 6ft 3in Goldson, playing beside 6ft 4in Katic and left-footer 6ft 4in Helander at the back, Rangers won’t lose many goals from free kicks and corners.
My feeling is that Tavernier could be worth double the money if he masters the wing-back position by providing lots of goals and assists, and not the same worry about defending.
Steve Davis is a revelation this season and Joe Aribo is a different class addition, with his box-to-box ability helping this Rangers team. He also scores important goals.
The last couple of games for left-sided Jordan Jones has proven to the Rangers fans that he is good enough to keep his place in the side.