Rangers travelled to Paisley on Sunday to seek three points and continue a perfect start to our league campaign. Jim Goodwin clearly sent out his side to contain as much as possible, and hope that he could get lucky. His counterpart Steven Gerrard has faced this type of challenge before, and hasn’t always got the required result. However, a moment of quality from a player who has struggled to live up to expectations thus far made the difference, setting us up for two crucial games this week with much more positive vibes.
Allan McGregor – 7
Right place at the right time when he needed to be. Nothing spectacular but saw out the game well. Easy to say with hindsight, but I wonder what people’s reaction would be had the cross from the St Mirren forward had in fact gone in and whether a lot of blame would have been placed on McGregor?
James Tavernier – 7
Another standard day for Tav to be honest. Got what you would expect, reasonable crosses from wide, a set piece threat, very little to say about his game that has not already been said previously.
Connor Goldson – 7
What I liked about Goldson here was the fact he did not accept the fact that St Mirren were not going to do much offensively so he didn’t need to do anything, he pushed up, he looked to move the ball around, he performed the task of both a defender and a holding midfielder. We are often going to face teams who will play against us like this, it is useful to have his variety in these situations.
Filip Helander – 7
I’ve seen mixed reviews about his performance and even a couple of suggestions of “I don’t think he will do it for us”. Really!? He has only played two full games for us so far, and on both occasions looked perfectly comfortable I think. No way was he fouling their player when they claimed they should have had a penalty. I’m worried that people will view the price tag before the performance, not that he should come in for Nikola Katic on Thursday or Sunday of course.
Borna Barisic – 7
Finally. After just over a year of being in Glasgow, Borna Bear shows us that he can score a free kick. Yes he was unlucky not to have the goal against St Joseph’s, but this goal was an excellent show of technique that we have been dying to see. One goal does not a player make, of course, and his overall performance will be viewed as safe by many, but maybe he can come out of his shell a bit more now. And if you look at the pattern of teams he scored free kicks against (or should have), St Joseph’s, St Mirren…get money on him scoring against St Johnstone!
Ryan Jack – 7 – Man of the Match
Against the lowest of blocks, you need a player who will take responsibility for making something happen. I thought Jack took this on. He began shooting from distance, creating space for himself and others, and I thought his second half display brought on other players around him, enough to get us over the line. And again he does the job he needed to do defensively once we are ahead, not that we were under the cosh a great deal of course. His Scotland call up is absolutely merited for his recent midfield displays, and he is my stand out not because his performance was better than others, it was all much of a muchness in that respect, but his desire was what we required I thought.
Glen Kamara – 7
When it was needed he was strong and had his usual close control quality on show, so I don’t want my following question to affect my view of how he did on the pitch. But, why did we need to play him? It seemed excessive to put him into a game like this, considering he could be absolutely vital for us against Warsaw and the other half of the Old Firm. Maybe it was down to keeping sharp, but in any case it felt strange to see him play here.
Joe Aribo – 7
For the second game in a row, we maybe didn’t have the same “wow” feeling regarding Joe Aribo. Tough to produce your best when you’re surrounded by opposition in the attacking third, but we have seen him do it before, so his lack of playmaking was noticeable. Just hope he is merely saving himself for the Europa League tie, he can absolutely be the difference maker.
Scott Arfield – 6
Played a great pass to Defoe early on and should absolutely have got an assist for it. Other than that, can’t really say he did much to be honest. It was not a day for the wide men, and for the rest of the 84 minutes he was on the field we get not much more attacking threat from him I think.
Jermain Defoe – 7
If he puts that ball away then the game is so different. Does well to get into that position, and in fairness he did a lot of running through out his spell in the game, but there just wasn’t that finishing touch here.
Jordan Jones – 6
Like I said, it wasn’t really a day for the wide men, and when you are such a threat at taking advantage of space, you do look like you’re underperforming when that space simply isn’t there. What we still have not seen enough of yet is the ability to cut in and try a shot, he maybe could have done this more to give their defence something else to think about.
Steven Davis – 7
When he came in I thought we looked as comfortable in the middle as before, looking to make it impossible for St Mirren to do anything other than play it long and bypass the midfield. Comfortable presence in the centre.
Alfredo Morelos – 6
Thought his touch was off and he didn’t connect properly with many, if any, efforts. Not convinced his mind was not elsewhere. By that I do not mean another club, more the upcoming challenges and the potential to be the star man in both games.
Andy King – 6
Had such little time to make his mark on the game, but you do see that he has consistently played at a top level before. He would be someone who should be playing instead of Kamara in games like this, he would offer much more attacking threats.