One more time this year, Rangers will have to wait a couple of weeks before playing another game due to the break for international matches. But what a way for us to go into this final pause of 2020, an absolute demolition job of Hamilton Accies by the huge score of 8-0. For some time we knew that this was a result that was going to happen to one of the lesser teams, and in many ways it was a shame it had to be Hamilton given the attitude of Brian Rice, a man who will stick by his principals of wanting to play the right way no matter what. We were looking for a reaction from the side after losing 2 points in the last minute in Lisbon. The fact our team reacted by securing the largest win margin in the league in over 50 years gives you an idea of the character of the side.
You just know that the team will be just as proud of the clean sheet as they are of the goals. And the determination to keep driving on, the manager on the sidelines demanding we take a throw in quicker to keep the pace of the game going when we are seven goals ahead, was just a joy for all the Rangers fans watching around the world. And they have been a joy for us to watch for the last few months, finding different ways to win, keeping clean sheets, looking good to qualify out of the Europa League group. This really has been a great spell for this side, and it just feels like it will get better and better. One game at a time, though. And that next game will be with us in a couple of weeks. I’m counting down the minutes until we see our side once again.
Here is how you rated our players from this massive win.
Jon McLaughlin – 6.8 (7)
He passed the ball well in the box. That is genuinely the only thing you can talk about with his game though. Hamilton did not have a single shot on target. That’s it. That’s the paragraph.
James Tavernier – 8.9 (9) – Man of the Match
Let’s list off all the contributions in this game. He puts in the cross that leads to Roofe’s first goal. That was the only major impact in the first 45, but he made a massive contribution to the second. Those wonderful three words “penalty to Rangers” basically mean “goal” because Tav is just far too good at them. And not long after he gets his first he slots home his second, a left footed shot in the penalty area. The fact he is up there in the first place is just brilliant, his willingness (and to some extent audacity) to push forward and look to keep adding goals when we are already 7 up is just a brilliant way to sum him up. His form has been nothing but exceptional, as is his endless work ethic. That is why he is the skipper. He leads from the front, and his teammates are more than ready to follow him.
Connor Goldson – 7.8 (8)
Given Hamilton really did not have any attacking threat it is very hard for us to talk a lot about what he did really well and all that. But, like Tavernier, the attitude of Goldson has been so important to the team overall of late, including in games like this, and he has been an ever present in what has been such an impressive period, so it is very right that we celebrate him for that in a game that he literally strolled through. Even though it was possibly the easiest game for a central defender, he was still barking instructions as normal, keeping mentally sharp, and leading the line the way Steven Gerrard will want him to.
Leon Balogun – 7.4 (7)
Given the way the game went, I still think Filip Helander would have been better served getting the run out to shake off what was a stinker on Thursday. Nevertheless, Leon was back in and was absolutely fine, did the job of the second defender, listened to his defensive partner, and caused no issues. Not that there were any issues to be caused.
Borna Barisic – 6.9 (7)
It was a quiet first half for Borna who was brought off at half time. Is not directly involved in any of the first four goals when he was on the park, we attacked in a different manner from what would require him to be making that effort. Like the rest of the defence, he did not need to do that much at all in terms of preventing anything from Hamilton.
Scott Arfield – 7.7 (8)
He gets the goal run going when he runs into the area to get on the end of a ball from the left, a very Arfield style of goal given it asks for two of his finer qualities, energy and a calmness in front of goal. He adds an assist to his game as well, again in the first half, where he definitely shone more. By the time we hit the second half there was little he needed to do, and was sensibly brought off with 20 minutes remaining. When we dominate a game as much as we did, there is less need for his best qualities. But he has done very well following his mistake against Benfica.
Ryan Jack – 7.2 (7)
Like Borna, Ryan only played the first half, and it was quite obvious that his role was not going to be overly required in this match as the first half went on. He seems to have found some good form and looks more assured in this very well performing team, and for games like this he feels like a better option for the holding role than Davis, as those games need less control from that area and more of a defensive minded outlook, which I believe Jacko gives.
Joe Aribo – 8.3 (8)
This was a great midfield performance, in a position in the midfield that he should definitely be focussed on going forward. His double comes in the first half, his first a placed shot that seemed to take a lot longer to go in than it really did, and his second a guided shot in the box which landed high in the net. Play him as a centre mid. Persist with it. This is where he looks his best for me.
Kemar Roofe – 8.5 (9)
Absolutely superb. Two goals, one assist, and so much quality and class in comparison to what he was up against. He gets his head onto a cross from the right to put us two up, and gets his second when tapping in the first goal of the second half. He is also the provider of Joe Aribo’s second goal, but the stand out thing for me was just the total quality of him on the field, be it his movement, his drive, his positioning. So much good stuff. And he is beginning to look like a steal at the price we paid. Whether he plays as the striker or one of the wider attackers, it’s really up to the coaching staff. I like him in that position a lot though.
Jermain Defoe – 7.5 (7)
No goals but that does not mean he did not contribute to a good number of goals. He plays a brilliant pass which leads to the assist for the first goal of the game. He plays the ball across the box which proves to be the assist for goal number six. And he wins the penalty which leads to goal number seven. His purpose in the team is to get the goals, of course, but as you can see his contribution is still very important, and shows that his starting in games like this is definitely worthwhile.
Ryan Kent – 7.7 (7)
This was a much better display. He has broken his long streak of games without a goal or assist. He received the great pass from Defoe and lays the ball into the area for Arfield to smash home the first goal. From there, there was a happiness around his game we haven’t seen so much of in the past few games. I was an advocate of him having a rest in this game, but I am glad that he got the chance to play in this game. Hopefully the international break won’t curtail this return to form.
Bongani Zungu – 7.0 (7)
It was great to finally see him on the field for us, but there is always a worry with players that we sign that when they finally make their debut it can be anticlimactic. In all honesty, Zungu looks very handy for us. He looks really good on the ball, his passing is precise and smart, and seems to have really good vision. He also looks strong in the challenge, an imposing physical presence in the middle of the park. From this evidence he looks like a natural defensive midfielder first and foremost, but you could see him play in one of the other central midfield positions. Yet another great option.
Calvin Bassey – 7.2 (7)
It always makes me smile when I see Bassey get a run out. Not only can you tell he is enjoying being at Rangers so much, there is real potential for him to take over that left back slot in the future and be great for us. And the fans are really getting behind that idea the more and more he shows up well, as he did again here.
Brandon Barker – 6.7 (7)
He scores goal number six, a side footed effort that those who have been annoyed at the criticism he receives (beyond the justified) will have been very happy to see. That’s a couple of occasions he has come off the bench to score for us, although this game was less tense than the previous one.
Ianis Hagi – 6.0 (6)
Not much he can really do here other than just admire what his teammates have done up to this point, and poor Hamilton must have dismayed at just conceding an 8th goal and on comes assist machine Ianis Hagi. Fortunately for them, we showed a bit more mercy in the final stages.
Cedric Itten – 5.6 (6)
I’m getting the feeling Cedric is a “special teams” type of player for this season. Will start against Kilmarnock for a specific reason, but otherwise his appearance will, in the main, be limited to substitute ones. He is young though, so there is plenty of developing for him to do.