Undefeated. Unmatched. Unrivalled. What an incredible season. And what a way to sign off for the 2020/21 campaign with a thumping 4-0 victory against Aberdeen. The game was merely a warm up for the main event of seeing our side lift the Premiership trophy, of course. And many aspects of the actual match action will be lost on so many by now as the match aftermath included a lot of refreshment (as did pre match if we are honest) but the team still did a fantastic job to make sure this season did not end with a slightly sour note and we broke the 100 point mark to finish on 102 points for the season, and with a goal difference that few teams will be able to replicate. Our lack of conceding goals has made that possible. To only concede 13 goals over 38 matches, that’s genuinely mind blowing. And it helps to have magnificent defenders and goalkeepers to get to that. What a shame for Aberdeen they don’t have such luxuries. It only took us 5 minutes to open the scoring, and error from their keeper putting into his own net after good work from our right hand side. We grabbed a second with some wonderful work from the left this time and a simple finish for a late flourisher, who grabbed a second goal in the second half after Aberdeen put the pressure on to try and grab something (how they didn’t is mind boggling and hilarious). We got a late goal from our experienced front man to end the season with a real smile, and many more thereafter as our captain lifted our Premiership trophy, and images of players celebrating will live in the memories of Rangers fans forever.
For a long time we will reflect on this season and on how we found the strength of will to keep winning and keep a level of consistency for so long is simply remarkable. Many will talk about the sadness over a lack of fans being in the stadium, but world events being how they have been makes the achievement of our side in the league all the more important. Without having a Rangers team to watch and be deeply proud of, this global pandemic would have been all the more difficult to handle. We have learned to work from home, to have socially distanced walks, to have Zoom quizzes. But every weekend, we have been able to watch our team play and they have produced something truly special. And the best thing? We have a coaching staff who will want to find any and all ways to make this team even better. And I have full confidence in them to do so. Thank you Rangers. Thank you for one of the greatest seasons of league football we will likely ever see. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for 55.
Here is how you rated our players from our final game of this great season.
Allan McGregor – 7.8 (8)
A winner of many individual awards but he will tell you that the only trophy that matters to him is the Premiership. He was brought back to the club 3 years ago to help secure the league title, and he has been an integral part of the team who has achieved that. I mentioned about the records that have been set this season, the one that has to be seen as one of the most impressive is the clean sheet total. 26. That’s unbelievable when you think about it. Of course, Jon McLaughlin was important in achieving that, but very early in the season it was obvious that of the two great goalkeepers, McGregor was clearly the first choice. He wanted the win here so much, shouting at players to get their heads in the game, even on the last day of the season. For so many, he now becomes the best there has been. It will be a generational thing, no doubt, but it’s a fun conversation to have.
James Tavernier – 7.5 (8)
That moment. That picture. Lifting the title after so many difficult challenges as a Rangers player up to now. He deserved that moment of glory. Not only for that, but for the fantastic season he has had. Our top scorer with 19 goals, it could easily have been 20 if people wanted to be kind and award him our opening goal, he did all the work to be fair, and setting the example as he did, throughout the season. It is only right that his face will be the one many will see when we look back on the celebratory moments of this season.
Connor Goldson – 7.3 (7)
Every single minute. Every single second. Whether he was wearing the captains armband, or simply being a leader from the back, the ever reliable, ever dependable Connor Goldson was there. This is a man who merely a few years ago thought his footballing career was over and needing surgery to correct some heart issues. How ironic, as the last thing you could ever doubt about the big man’s game is his heart. He wanted this so much, to succeed, to be that rock at the back who just wins headers and takes charge. It is becoming hard to imaging a Rangers starting line up without Goldson being on the field. I’m surprised he has not received more awards for his achievements, he deserves all the praise possible.
Jack Simpson – 6.2 (6)
I think what we are learning about Simpson is that he is an inexperienced defender who needs time to get better. I think if he was a teenager we would be looking at him more favourably, but he is already 24 and from what we have seen so far it is quite clear has not had anywhere near as much first team experience as many other players of that age. He has qualities that clearly show why Rangers made the call to bring him in, I particularly like his ability to close down a loose ball and anticipate danger in time when the ball is not in the penalty area. But I think he needs to show more bravery going into next season, and he is going to have to compete with a few very good centre backs to earn a first team place. Let’s see if he is up for the fight.
Joe Aribo – 7.1 (7)
I’m enjoying the talk about Joe Aribo being better at left back than in any other position. I don’t fall into that way of thinking, I still believe he looks his best in the final third, but the way he can slot into that position and do a solid job, bring his own attacking style to the role and still remain disciplined within it, is something that I’m a fan of having the squad. Not to “pinch a position” but if the team are needing to chase a game for instance, bringing on an attacker for a left back and stick Joe back into the defensive line is not a bad way to go forward. Hopefully his injury does not keep him out for too long.
Glen Kamara – 6.8 (7)
A momentous season in many ways for Kamara, who has shown that he can perform at such a high level. As a squad we know that the key area to improve on is the midfield area, because we need to support guys like Glen and give ourselves more viable rotation options. We have asked a lot from him this campaign, and he has stepped up and been one of the most impressive performers. It’s not a sexy job that he does but as the season has gone on fans have grown to appreciate the role he has and the way he does it, as well as grow to love the man behind the role as well.
Steven Davis – 7.3 (8)
For a goalkeeper who is in the final years of a footballing career to win awards is not as big a surprise as outfield players. For this outfield player in particular, with the role he has and the way he has to play it in order to stand out, that is a really special player you are talking about. He was one of the four main guys who you looked at and said that it made complete sense for them to be recognised for their greatness. And people who watch football constantly and understand how important it is in terms of the job Davis has done, it’s little wonder he has fawned over as much as he is. Heart and Hand are deeply proud to have sponsored Steven Davis this season.
Ianis Hagi – 7.4 (7)
The winner of the young player of the year award for Rangers, and given he has the most assists in the league this season, it’s hard to argue with that. Clearly he was up against stiff competition in Nathan Patterson, but over the course of the season Ianis has been vital in opening up a game that needed that extra wee bit of quality, that bit of spark. There will be many fans who will say he has not done enough this season, but lately, in a role that has allowed him to feel more free, he has looked a lot more like the thing, and I hope that is considered going into next season. All the same, he’s a fantastic footballer who has done so much to help us win this league title in the way that we have.
Kemar Roofe – 8.1 (8) – Man of the Match
Criticism of Roofe in the last couple of months has been understandable, as there was a while where we were struggling to see where he was making a positive impact. Clearly he has finished the season really well, and a couple of goals to top off a season he will look back on and know he has played his part in. His first was all down to the work of others but the all important third goal in the game comes from him cutting inside, and hitting a shot on his left foot that everyone was sure was going in. That’s how he has been playing, like a man that you know is going to do the business. Let’s hope that carries into the new campaign.
Alfredo Morelos – 6.1 (7)
He will always get judged on whether he scores for us, but this day will be remembered for the lad with the cheeky smile, his Colombian flag draped over him, lifting that trophy and having just the best time ever. So many of the younger fans idolise him, he’s an influence on so many as he scores the goals, is vital to the way we play, and he is despised by everyone else in the country. I have never wanted a player to enjoy success more than Alfredo Morelos.
Ryan Kent – 7.8 (8)
The most brilliant moment of the game came from Ryan Kent, a phrase often uttered when he is on the field in all honesty. The drive to just keep running down the left hand side, get himself into the area and cut the ball back to set Roofe up for the finish, that was a special moment. We talk about the whole team having the desire to keep going to the very end, Ryan Kent epitomises that. He loves being here, we love him being a part of our attack, it is the perfect relationship and he is a player who could do so good for us for so many years.
Scott Arfield – 6.2 (6)
He has saluted his way to the title. We need not so much more to be honest. Someone who had spells of being an important first team contributor and spells of being a bit of added energy in the middle of the park from the bench.
Jermain Defoe – 7.1 (7)
The last goal of this season, scored by Mr Goal Machine himself. This title win is a career highlight of his, and he is still capable of putting the ball in the net in a very classy manner. I think it is important that he remains next season, in whatever role that may be deemed useful.
Greg Stewart – 6.2 (6)
A rare sight throughout the season, but the quality of player is still obvious I think. Not to the extent he should be starting, but in recent cameos you can see why he is in a side that has won the league. Let’s see where his future lies.
Scott Wright – 5.4 (6)
Let’s see how he develops next season, a player who has shown real quality in the times we have seen him, and someone who will work well in the way we play.
Cedric Itten – 5.2 (5)
Another whose development next season will be interesting to see. Some vital goals, but fans need to see more from him to see that he is worth a longer term view.