It’s tricky to be so analytical over a game that was basically done after two minutes, but there have been times where we have seen Rangers teams put in laborious performances against a similar level of opposition. Therefore, it seems right to praise the things that players did right in this game, as well as question aspects that we perhaps didn’t like as much in our first competitive game at Ibrox for the 2019/20 season. And nobody comes away feeling disappointed with their night I think, but some will be happier than others.
Wes Foderingham – 7
He had a bit more to do in this game than McGregor did in the first leg, got down to make a save in the first half and contributed to keeping the ball out of the net in a goal line scramble in the second half. Other than that, he sprayed the ball around his centre backs, and a clean sheet in the bag.
Matt Polster – 7
I can imagine that views on Polster’s performance will be quite divided. You have people who say he brings good energy to the team, and others who think he is a poor mans Tav, especially when it comes to crossing. I think both are fair opinions. He didn’t hide, wanted the ball, came forward with it, but his crossing was poor and often would end up on the opposite flank. Yes he gets an assist, but the deflection helps significantly and is by no means the highlight of the 5th goal. Not terrible, can see what he offers, but won’t be usurping James Tavernier at right back any time soon.
Connor Goldson – 8
I was very impressed with Goldson’s tracking back in this game. A couple of times St Joseph’s tried to break on the counter, but Connor was very good at recovering possession and was otherwise a solid unit at the back, giving the minnows no joy. He wore the armband with distinction I thought, although getting involved with the Gibraltar sides forward near the end and getting a booking was a but unnecessary given the state of the game at that point, but his assist for the second makes up for that. Did he mean it? Probably not, but I’m in a good mood so I will give him the benefit of the doubt!
George Edmundson – 7
This boy is huge! He won the vast majority of his aerial duels, and even when he didn’t the opposition would feel his presence. Did nothing wrong on the night, but we never really saw the distribution that we have come to get very excited about from his two previous Ibrox outings so far. Maybe it wasn’t the kind of game that needed that, but this game seemed to be a case of “focus on the defensive task”.
Andy Halliday – 7
He seemed fairly pumped for the game did our Andy! I wonder whether that final moment of pushing and shoving near the end represented how he felt about that performance? Disappointed not to have contributed more in attack? Was he overly solid defensively? A lot of the counter attacks we faced came down their right hand side, just something I noted when at the game. I think both his and Polster’s performances were very similar, although I think Halliday was more unlucky at times.
Greg Docherty – 9
An early assist in the first half, and then the rest of the half both he, and the team to be honest, seemed to go into friendly mode. But the second half? Docherty was outstanding. This was a proper midfield display. Tracked back to retrieve possession, got stuck into challenges, brought the ball forward, won a penalty, got another assist, and he looked like he could have done it for 180 minutes. This game was important for him to prove he has a place in this team this season. If he can replicate that kind of game in the league this season, he will get plenty of chances.
Glen Kamara – 7
It’s hard to think about what Kamara did in the game. That’s the second time that I’ve said this about him, but again it’s all about context of the opponent we are facing. He sat in the hole, did his job when he needed to, but it was nothing fancy and nothing worth writing home about. And sometimes, that is exactly what you need.
Joe Aribo – 8
His goal in the second minute, with his weak foot I might add, was a wonderful moment of quality. Last season we were screaming for a typical “Number 10” player and Aribo looks perfect for that responsibility. Not only does he want the play to go through him, looking for the ball, head up, looking for the pass to play, he can win the ball too. He does have the physical presence in the midfield that makes sure that he is not going to be one of these lazy players who just waits to be given the ball. He demands it. Very good run out.
Greg Stewart – 7
This is another player where people will have very different views. My two cents on the matter is I believe he had a mixed night. He is not a quick player, he doesn’t have the physical presence that others in the team have, and both of these aspects did catch him out a bit I thought. However, when the ball is at his feet, he can be very good, and his wee bit of play to set up the final goal was classy. The game didn’t play to his strengths, but when it did he utilised it. That might be the way it’s going to go with him for us, but by no means does that mean he can’t play a good part for us this season.
Alfredo Morelos – 9 – Man of the Match
Of course he gets the player award, he got a hat trick for goodness sake! But for a while it looked like he was slightly disinterested in the game, annoyed at the lack of service he was getting. But, as has always been the case with the Buffalo, a goal can completely change his mood, and the second half was a performance of someone who was hungry to get the scoring feeling again and again. He does well with the first, a poachers finish. His penalty was very well taken, it needed to be considering the keeper went the right way. And his hat trick goal was a beauty, the flick with his opposite heel, and I loved that he was subbed off at that moment, very fitting. Is it too easy to read too much in the celebrations? The signals of “this is where I am and am happy”. If he does stay, and plays like that, it can only be good for us.
Jake Hastie – 6
I don’t want to be overly critical on our very own Kieran, but I’m sure he will feel frustrated about his night as well. I like the fact that he busts a gut to win the ball back, but it was from losing the ball himself that this would come about. He also had a great chance which he put wide, a chance that I think he scores if he is brave enough to use his right foot. But, he is quick, he is keen to impress, and he will get time to develop into a very good player I think.
Scott Arfield – 6
Great to see him back on the field, came on for Hastie and went to left wing, before switching to the middle of the park after the 4th goal. No moments of flash, but having come back from the Gold Cup, that is of little surprise.
Jermain Defoe – 8
Absolutely brilliant substitute performance from Defoe. Both of the goals are so typical of the kind of striker he is, totally deadly. The ball in from the right for the first is not an easy one to get on the end of, but it was really sharp movement from the England international. His second, after lovely build up play, showed his calmness in front of goal. And there was little doubt about the fact he was going to put it away. Excellent contribution, and it’s great to know that we have someone who can come on and be so impactful from the bench, that’s if he doesn’t start of course.
Josh McPake – 6
It was so good to see him get some game time, it’s reward for the excellent displays with the youth sides. The one moment from him I remember was on the break, he played the ball across rather than taking the shot on. I think he should have shot, and more experience would maybe mean he would have. But well done Josh, you’ve made your senior debut for Rangers and if you keep doing the work, more good things will come your way.