Stars Duds of the Game
Inspiration: After each National Hockey League game — the local media votes for the ‘Three Stars of the Game’ — basically the Man of the Match — but as a treble! So in that spirt – normally we discuss Rangers Three Stars of the Game. But when they play like this – we must focus the attention to the Three Duds of the Game.
Star Dud: Ian Black – really wasn’t involved at all for most of the match as Alloa dominated the midfield battle. In particular, Black failed to contain Ryan McCord, who did more to dictate the flow of play then any Rangers midfield player. When Black was on the ball, his passing was poor as he never seemed to string a play together.
Star Dud: Fraser Aird – normally one of Rangers more reliable players, Aird had a real stinker on Saturday. Maybe it was the knock he picked up early on, but he was largely ineffective up the right flank & when he did managed to launch a ball into the box it was usually aimless with no target at the end of it. Additionally, he failed to close down Alloa’s left back, Mark Docherty, who was able to send in the ball that eventually ended up in the back of Steve Simonesen’s goal.
Star Dud: Nicky Law – even though Law had a few chances on goal, it is difficult to overlook his inability to hold his ground in midfield. Law & Black looked second rate compared to Alloa’s central midfielders as Rangers failed to penetrate the Wasps through a centralized attack. Law was fine in the final third of the pitch, but didn’t do enough to dictate the tempo of the game.
Kris Boyd was heavily involved in the attack, particularly early on & while he didn’t have a poor match – he has now gone six league matches without scoring a goal. Last season, he already had three goals in six Premiership matches for Kilmarnock. Additionally, he never went more than three league matches without scoring in 2013-14. Rangers mustered 16 shots v. Alloa – with only three being on target & Boyd definitely had a hand full of those wayward shots. One of those shots came in the opening few minutes & it was only a couple of feet off target. After that, his shots got further & further away from goal. He is definitely pressing & it is causing him to rush some of the chances that come his way…Steven Smith was a surprise replacement for an injured Lee Wallace & while he held his own defensively, he was woeful on set pieces. Normally, Beckhamesque (no, really he’s quite good on a free kick) Smith was putting way too much air under his services on Saturday…It was a scrappy & timely goal that David Templeton tapped in, but for the most part he had no impact on the match. Bad habits were on display again as he looked to dribble the ball into the ground – even whilst surrounded by three Wasp defenders. He needed to be more decisive & willing to distribute the ball if the play wasn’t there.
A positive note…
Yes, he picked up a silly booking but strangely Bilel Mohsni put in the best performance from any Rangers player v. Alloa. He wasn’t perfect – he had a brain fart that almost led to a chance on goal & missed a couple of sitters off of corners but Mohsni was a rock defensively. The Wasps seemed to look to exploit the absence of Lee Wallace, as much of the play came from the right side of the pitch, however they couldn’t get the ball past Mohsni on most occasions. Any ball in the air was his & his defending was clean for the most part.