Match Ratings – Kilmarnock 1 – 2 Rangers
The league is back! And our first contest on route to 55 this season was at the now horribly familiar Rugby Park, where our form in the league was not happy reading. But, this is a new season with new hopes, and a win on the opening day has given us all a lift. However, it almost didn’t play out that way, as a poor performance from the Gers meant we needed a last minute winner to secure the three points, but who amongst the squad were the stand outs, either for good or bad?
Wes Foderingham – 6
I don’t think you can criticise him too much for his lack of being able to stop the Kilmarnock goal, it would have been an incredible save had he pulled it off. Other than that though, he didn’t really have much to do but he did look slightly nervy when I saw him, more so than normal.
James Tavernier – 6
He got a crucial assist, and his forward run in the build up to winning the corner was excellent, and his corner for the first goal was another great set piece. However, Tav looked poor outwith these moments, especially in the defensive sense. In fact for the last few games his overall demeanour has looked less and less confident. I hope that having helped secure the late win he will find that charisma again.
Connor Goldson – 7 – Man of the Match
You have to give the big man the man of the match award purely for the moment of getting the winning goal. The determination to make sure he was on the end of the cross was wonderful. Had he not scored, another opening day draw would have been such a deflation, so thank you Connor for your brilliance!
Nikola Katic – 7
How good is he at attacking set pieces as well!? Helps when he is absolutely huge to be fair. Like Goldson, he was OK defensively, I don’t remember either doing anything particularly wrong in that aspect, but watching him and remembering that we have Helander and Edmundson also available in that role makes you think we should be able to concede much fewer goals this term.
Borna Barisic – 5
Ok. I think we have been fair in regard to giving Borna another chance this season, and we all want him to do well. He had one cross that looked dangerous but it was dealt with by the Kilmarnock back line, and Ojo could have helped his stats by burying a header. But I think Barisic is reverting back to type, not busting a gut and not doing on the left what Tavernier can do on the right. Can Halliday make more of an impact in that game? Can Greg Taylor? I don’t think it’s unfair to think in that way now.
Ryan Jack – 6
I talked before about deciding what role he wants to be in our midfield going forward, and there were flashes of him coming back to retrieve the ball from a counter attack that made me think “maybe that’s what he can do” but he then wanted to turn into the passer of the midfield and he is not very good at that I don’t think. Takes way too long to release the ball, by which stage the ball is often given away.
Steven Davis – 6
I think his performance was indicative of the whole side to be honest. There wasn’t a killer ball played, not a challenge that made you stand up and go “YES!”, he was just there, playing the role he has played so far, and was unremarkable in doing so.
Joe Aribo – 6
Played way too deep to really do what he does best. That said, he nearly scored a wonder goal which ultimately led to the winning goal. I think he was dropping as far back as he was due to the deep line the Kilmarnock defence, midfield and attack were playing, but I believe he can still take on a defence like that. And let’s face it, a lot of teams will play like that against us, so we need him to do that more.
Sheyi Ojo – 5
The pitch was far too narrow for him to do what he does, but that still can’t excuse the total lack of effect he had on this game. He seems to have lost every ounce of confidence he had when he was doing the silky stuff against Oxford and St Joseph’s. Here’s the thing Sheyi, those games count for nothing in terms of making an impact when you compare them to these type of games. We need to see more from him.
Alfredo Morelos – 6
He had a thankless task with the lack of proper support from the wide areas, and he did a decent enough job in the first half without any end product. The big takeaway from his game here though was losing his man for the Kilmarnock goal. If you were to put blame on someone for conceding the goal, that lands at Alfredo’s feet sadly. I think he knew this as well, hence his delight in our winner not long after.
Scott Arfield – 6
Thought he did well for his goal, in the right place for when the ball fell and had the composure to slot the ball in under pressure. However, he could have helped Morelos a lot more that what he did. No real supporting runs, no second option for the midfield and defence to find in the attacking areas, no other moments to pick out in his performance.
Jordan Jones – 7
Received the expected welcome from his former fans, and did everything he could to throw it back in their faces, so fair play to Jones for the balls he showed in his 12 minutes in the park. Direct runs, clever passes, a good display that I think deserves rewarded with a chance to claim a starting place.
Greg Stewart – 6
He had hardly any time to do anything, but what he did right at the end in holding up the play to see out time should be pointed out and celebrated.
George Edmundson – 6
Came on far too late to really give him a rating.