2020-21 Player Ratings Round Up

folder_openMatch Ratings, Rangers FC

So, the 2020-21 season. The season where we all had to adapt to how we watched our Rangers team. When RTV pulled out all the stops to give us the best possible home matchday coverage in lieu of being in the stadium, with world renowned commentator Clive Tyldesley joining the team. Whether it was by yourself, or with your family, we found a way to make sure we did not miss a single moment of this crucial season.

And oh how the players responded! A league season that was so important, not just for Rangers, and one that fans would have felt helpless to try and salvage if things were not going our way, but us Rangers fans need not have been so concerned, as the team put in one of the most incredible league seasons in living memory. 38 games. 32 wins. 6 draws. 0 defeats. 92 goals scored. 13 goals conceded. So many numbers, but the only one that matters is 55. A league season that was managed so magnificently by Steven Gerrard, who has built a squad that were just far too good and far too consistent for anyone in the league to deal with. Yes, the cup competitions have been a disappointment, and absolutely should be looked at as a missed opportunity, but spare me the talk that Steven Gerrard does not deserve the Manager of the Season award. If this was a tighter league race and not quite so spectacular, then a debate is there to be had, but that stats I mentioned earlier, in a competition that literally decides the best of the best over a full season, as well as further strides made on the European stage, makes Steven Gerrard the obvious choice. If you disagree, well you were hardly likely to agree anyway, were you?

But as much as the manager and the coaching staff have created the conditions for this fantastic campaign, ultimately it is down to the players on the park who put in the performances who should get the most credit for this season. Each one who has pulled on the jersey has played their part, whether they have played 1 game or all 57. And after every game, Heart and Hand gave you the chance to rate how you felt each player did in the game. These results, which would be published afterward, have been tallied up and we can now go over three categories for our players based on the results you have provided us. These categories are:

  • Highest rating overall for the season
  • Highest average rating for the season
  • Highest individual match rating

The winners of these awards have been your choice entirely, so thank you all for contributing to this over the whole season. Let’s get started!

Overall Rating

This has been decided by adding up all the ratings for every single game to get to a final figure. Naturally, you would expect players who have featured more over the season to be at the top of this. As much as this is true, it is interesting I think to see where players rank on this list. Each player on this list has played more than 1 game this season. Here is how the results played out.

1.        Connor Goldson – 392.4

2.        Ryan Kent – 359.4

3.        Borna Barisic – 344

4.        Glen Kamara – 341.8 & Steven Davis – 341.8

5.        James Tavernier – 324

6.        Allan McGregor – 300.6

7.        Alfredo Morelos – 296.4

8.        Ianis Hagi – 291.7

9.        Joe Aribo – 287.5

10.      Scott Arfield – 276.6

11.      Kemar Roofe – 222.4

12.      Filip Helander – 216.3

13.      Cedric Itten – 203.6

14.      Leon Balogun – 177.2

15.      Ryan Jack – 160.7

16.      Jermain Defoe – 117.6

17.      Bongani Zungu – 110

18.      Nathan Patterson – 100.3

19.      Jon McLaughlin – 93.6

20.      Calvin Bassey – 91.1

21.      Scott Wright – 75.8

22.      Brandon Barker – 63.3

23.      Greg Stewart – 45

24.      Jack Simpson – 36.9

25.      Jordan Jones – 28.7

26.      Leon King – 11

27.      George Edmundson – 10.6

So, congratulations to the winner, Connor Goldson!

He has featured in every single game, and did not miss a second of the action. He deserves to be one of the faces you see when you think about this season. Players, typically defenders and goalkeepers, have done this before in football, but when you take into consideration the defensive record that comes with this number of appearances, that makes you understand just how important he has been for us.

Ryan Kent in second place is also down to how often he has featured for us. He missed only 4 games in the whole season. The difference in terms of numbers shows that as far as performances are concerned, both he and Goldson were similar. However, watching the team this season, Goldson was far more consistent, where as Kent had spells where he was struggling to produce results to go with his hard work, along with being the stand out influencer in what was an excellent season from an attacking point of view as well. The same can be said for Borna Barisic, playing a total of 51 games in the season, and he is definitely a player that we would miss if he was to move on in the summer, and this can only be allowed for a price that matches his impact for us, as well as the opportunity to fill this gap.

Average Rating

The ratings over the season were then divided by the number of games played to see who was giving their best on the field when featuring. Players had to play a minimum of 5 games for them to be included, meaning the one solid performance from Ciaran Dickson at 6.8 doesn’t have him near the top, that wouldn’t be overly fair I don’t think! Here are the results.

1.        Allan McGregor – 6.99

2.        James Tavernier – 6.89

3.        Connor Goldson – 6.88

4.        Steven Davis – 6.84

5.        Ryan Kent – 6.78

6.        Filip Helander – 6.76

7.        Borna Barisic – 6.74

8.        Glen Kamara – 6.70

9.        Nathan Patterson – 6.69

10.      Jon McLaughlin – 6.69

11.      Alfredo Morelos – 6.59

12.      Joe Aribo – 6.53

13.      Ryan Jack – 6.43

14.      Leon Balogun – 6.33

15.      Ianis Hagi – 6.21

16.      Kemar Roofe – 6.18

17.      Calvin Bassey – 6.07

18.      Scott Arfield – 6.01

19.      Jermain Defoe – 5.88

20.      Scott Wright – 5.83

21.      Jordan Jones – 5.74

22.      Cedric Itten – 5.50

23.      Jack Simpson – 5.27

24.      Bongani Zungu – 5.24

25.      Greg Stewart – 5

26.      Brandon Barker – 4.87

Congratulations to the man who takes number 1 spot here, our number 1, Allan McGregor!

What’s interesting here is comparing these results to the overall numbers. It shows you that our goalkeeper has impressed so much when he has been on the field, and Jon McLaughlin being as high here compared to the other list clearly shows the strategy we have had with our goalkeepers really paid off. But what a season it has been for McGregor. He has been the recipient of many awards and he absolutely deserves it. People can be critical of him not coming off his line, but it doesn’t matter when he pulls off unbelievable saves so often. He looks like he can carry on for years to come as well.

For a right back, Tavernier has been sensational in an attacking sense, as well as showing great improvements at the back as well. Top scorer with 19 goals, as a captain, and for that not to be the primary job for him, he deserves all the praise he receives, and you can tell he loves it. Credit as well to Steven Davis for featuring so high on both lists. Some may have doubted whether he could have a strong impact for us this season after some tougher matches last term, but he has been vital to our play and the way we have dominated. A very quick shout for young Nathan Patterson too, he has ended up impressing a great deal in the brief amount of games he has played in, plenty to come from him.

If you consider where players have played on the field this season, I think this tells us what we believe was our strongest 11 of the season too. This would be: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Kamara, Davis, Jack; Aribo, Morelos, Kent. I think the stand out name there is Ryan Jack. He hasn’t featured a lot but when he did he clearly impressed. Can he be relied upon going forward? Does his inclusion there show that we really need to look at the middle of the park for improvements this summer?

Individual Match Rating

There has been a total of 8 occasions where a player has rated 9 or higher during the season. Performances that deserve an honourable mention before we look at the top 3 include: James Tavernier’s 9 in a 5-1 away win against Motherwell, Ryan Kent’s 9 in our 4-1 Old Firm victory in May, Allan McGregor’s 9 in our 4-0 Europa League qualifying win at Willem II, Connor Goldson’s 9.1 in the opening Old Firm victory with his 2 goals being the difference & Allan McGregor’s 9.1 thanks to his amazing save in Prague in our 1-1 draw with Slavia.

In third place, Allan McGregor with a 9.3 rating after our 1-0 Old Firm victory on January 2nd, a game that felt pivotal in giving us the confidence to feel like we were definitely going to win this title. Here is what I said of this performance:

During the 1990’s, there were many Old Firm clashes that followed a similar trend to this one. We, as the dominant side, would go into the game as favourites only for that lot to come out all guns blazing, looking to get a foothold in the game. They would press higher, and create a lot more chances, but would time and again be foiled by the greatest goalkeeper that we have ever had to date, Andy Goram. This performance from McGregor was the equivalent of Goram at his peak. When the rest of the team were not able to gain that influence on the match, the goalkeeper was able to keep us in the tie, in the hope that we could make the breakthrough ourselves. Early on, a scramble that required sharp reactions from McGregor in the area really set the tone for the half. He does really well to ensure the ball does not get past him there, but this was not the highlight of his afternoon. That came when a shot from the edge of the box looked set to curl in, but McGregor reached to tip it behind for a corner, with the ball clipping the post in the way past. This save should be included in all highlight reels of his Rangers career when that concludes, for both its quality and its importance. It is the kind of save that demoralises an opposition, and that we went into the break at 0-0 was the only real positive to take from the half, and that was thanks to our goalkeeper. Celtic failed to test him in the second half, and once we went ahead he knew his role was to let the clock run down at all opportunities. This was a truly outstanding performance from him, and a small shout out to his distribution as well which I thought was excellent. It is common for fans to talk about the “Mount Rushmore” of goalkeepers and who ranks higher than whom. Whichever of the four has been the best for you, there is no question that this performance was one of the best from a modern keeper in the Old Firm derby.

In second place, James Tavernier and his magnificent display against Galatasaray that helped secure Europa League group stage football for a third consecutive season. This is what I said of it at the time:

Both in this game and in recent weeks, the performance levels of James Tavernier have not only been outstanding, but heartening in equal measure. He, more than any other player in the squad, is aware of how hard it can be when the team is at it’s lowest ebb, and so many of us want him to experience the successful times, we are willing him to succeed and lately he has been the driving force behind our very solid run. Speaking of runs, how he finds himself that far up the park get his head on the Barisic cross defies old style football comprehension. He is a right back come striker, runs up and down the park endlessly, and as well as scoring the key goal and beginning the move that led to the first, he didn’t have too much bother against Ryan Babel either. What a run of form he has been on, it’s simply incredible, and no player deserved a player of the month award more than him.

And the winner for highest single match rating is…Alfredo Morelos!

His 9.5 rating for his sensational display against Royal Antwerp at Ibrox was the stand out display of the season. And this is what I said at the time:

This has to go down as one of the finest performances from one of our players in Europe for quite some time. It was the complete display, a goal, two assists, and winning the penalty. But it was also the control of the game that he sought after that was so impressive, as well as a moment of sportsmanship I think we were all rather bemused by at the time but, given the result, we can look back on it and be incredibly proud. The goal he scores was opportunistic for him given the work done by Kent but all the same the finish is a tough one to pull off. To do it first time, that’s what makes that goal so impressive. Our second goal owes a lot to the pass played from Morelos into the feet of Patterson. Again, Antwerp are caught off guard and the maturity to play that ball into Nathan’s feet is very exciting for the coming games. And then you go from an excellent pass to an excellent run after Hagi sends the ball up field. Alfredo is ready to pounce on it and is clever in that he does not immediately take the ball but waits that extra moment to move past the defender before playing an excellent ball into the centre to repay the favour to Ryan. And it might not always be the done thing to praise a player from winning a penalty, but you again have to look at the movement from Alfredo. And his stopping the play when the Antwerp player pulled up caught the eye of the footballing world which, although not crucial, feels like a wee added bonus to his evening. Speed, finishing, strength, maturity, intelligence. All of it. And it was fantastic.

I hope that both this article, as well as the match rating articles throughout the season, have proved beneficial for you in getting a more rounded look at how our players have done in this incredible season. It’s fascinating to get the views of as many different fans as possible, and it has helped me view some players from another perspective. I am already looking forward to next season and what that may bring, but I will never forget the joy that this season has given me.

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