We are back with our first competitive game of the season, hooray! With that, we return with our look at how we rated our boys in blue (or in this case black, a very nice kit I think!) in this game. Do you agree with the calls? Who deserves more praise/criticism for their display? Have we got the right Man of the Match?
As always, let us know what opinions you have that differ from mine.
Allan McGregor – 7
– Lets face it, he had very little to do in this game. I’ve no memory of a save that he needed to make. A clean sheet, and a couple of hours to bask in the Mediterranean sun, what’s not to like!?
James Tavernier – 8
– The stats never lie when it comes to Captain Tav, and two assists is exactly what we have come to expect. The first being a neat through ball and the second a whipped in cross, it’s the versatility of his deliveries that make him stand out. He runs up and down the line with more ease these days too I think, his stamina is always impressive, especially in that heat.
Connor Goldson – 8
– “Goal poacher” is a term almost always used for penalty box strikers, but this seems to be appropriate for our tall centre back too! Even though the ball looked over the line from the Barisic free kick, the referee was not in a position to give the goal, so his timely intervention was an important one. Less said about the cross bar hit from two yards out the better though…
Nikola Katic – 7
– Through out the game, whenever Niko had to stand up against a St Joseph’s attacker, you heard one of the coaching team (I’m guessing Gary Mac) shout to him “don’t foul him Niko!” and too his credit he never did, so well done him for learning from his coaches. Mark down for allowing his man a free header in the first half, what a different atmosphere that would have been had the attacker been any good.
Borna Barisic – 8
– One of the best performances we have seen from Borna Bear so far in a Rangers shirt, the second half mainly. There is debate over whether he meant the assist for the opening goal or not. Look at his head before he crosses, he sees Jack in space. That is deliberate, a great bit of play. And his goal that should have been, that’s what we want to see from him. A set piece threat, we know he can do this. Let’s hope he can produce a few displays like this on the bounce and see his confidence soar.
Ryan Jack – 8
– Very neat finish early in the second half, a volley from an unusual angle that he tucks away. Other than the goal, a solid display in the middle, he is much better as an 8 rather than as a holding midfielder, but that extra bit of bite in that area is a useful asset too.
Steven Davis – 8
– Over the course of this season, I can see myself time and again referring to Steven Davis as the “Proddy Pirlo” because once again he played this role wonderfully. Tracks back to cover the defence when required, but when he is on the ball, the play begins to be dictated, and he did a really good job with that in this game.
Glen Kamara – 7
– Had an effort in the first half that went just wide, other than that I remember little about his performance. That’s not a bad thing, and this is a week after the game, but he wasn’t really needed in a tie like this, we didn’t need to win the ball all that often. But you always feel more secure when he is in the middle of the park for you.
Sheyi Ojo – 9 – Man of the Match
– Yeh, we are all getting a bit excited about this guy aren’t we!? And with good reason. He put in a lot of effort into the first half attacks and I felt he was unfortunate not to get more joy at times. His goal in the second half sums him up. Get the ball in space, run into the area, a curling effort inside the side netting, give the keeper no chance. He has speed, technical ability, a willingness to shoot at goal, and a bit of bite about him. If he can play like that every week, he will do very well for us indeed.
Jermain Defoe – 6
– The one player who I think might not be thrilled about his game in Gibraltar. I think it was clear that St Joseph’s wanted to keep him as quiet as possible in the game, his only chance of note coming from a shot in the area that curled the wrong direction. He looked frustrated, and let the boil over in getting a booking. Not surprised when he was subbed off, but take into account the level of opposition and the kind of game it is, it’s no reason to get into pant-wetting territory (me and my daft mouth).
Jordan Jones – 7
– Solid display I thought. Put in a lot of effort in an attempt to impress, he created a good amount of chances and on another day could have had 3-4 assists. Didn’t get anything positive in the stats department, but you can see what he wants to do and not many doubt that he can do it for us.
Joe Aribo – 6
– Came on for Ryan Jack with half an hour remaining. Didn’t feature in any attacks of note but good to get your first European game under your belt.
Alfredo Morelos – 7
– Also came on with half an hour to go in place of Jermain Defoe. When a striker comes off the bench and scores for you, you cannot ask for much more than that, and his header from a Tavernier cross was a good, powerful finish. Job well and truly done as far as he would have been concerned.
Greg Stewart – 6
– Got 20 minutes of the game as replacement for Jordan Jones. I predict that, should we make the group stages again, we will not see Greg in the squads for those games, so it’s great that he can get some European exposure now, even though the game was done and dusted by the time he came on.