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: Bilel Mohsni – looked like a player that knew he was leaving in January as the Tunisian put in a real, half-hearted effort that led to countless flubs & mis-kicks. Seemingly always a step or two behind the play, his defending was poor & his control of the ball was embarrassing at times. He was so far out of position on the second goal, exposing Lee McCulloch – who simply is not competent enough to compensate for Mohsni.
The decision to play Mohsni is infuriating. The domino effect is that Richard Foster is deployed out as the left back – where he looks like he has his boots on the wrong feet, in order to shift Darren McGregor – the club’s best defender over to right back. The Rangers defence has been shambolic ever since Mohsni’s return to the lineup & subsequent departure of McGregor as McCulloch’s parter in the center of the backline.
Logic would dictate Steven Smith playing at left back while Lee Wallace is out, with Foster playing at the right with Jig & McGregor as center-backs. This is not rocket science.
Star Dud: Lee McCulloch – he was OK in the first half & an absolute mess in the second. The reality is that he is learning a new position at the age of 36. When lined up alongside McGregor he doesn’t have to worry about his partner & can focus on his positioning, spacing, etc. While playing with Mohsni – there is too much for Jig to do & he is not competent enough of a defender to do so.
At this point, put Marius Zaliukas back in the lineup alongside McGregor & let McCulloch take Ian Black’s spot for a while. Black really hasn’t done much in his time at Ibrox to warrant an automatic spot in the lineup each & every week.
McCulloch is the captain of a team with a severe deficit in leaders in the squad. Where are the future captains in this team? Who are the players forcing a change in the apathy that has engulfed this team?
Star Dud: Jon Daly – has devolved into a player who over the last few weeks probably committed more fouls then he has had touches (let alone shots). The forward is a shell of his former self & has resorted to cheating in order to make up for his immobility. At least Kenny Miller was tracking back into the midfield searching for the ball…Daly was out for a walk in the park. An absolutely pointless outing for Daly – who blocks Nicky Clark, Ryan Hardie & Calum Gallagher from playing time. His contract is up at the end of the season – let younger, quicker forwards get a chance.
Dean Shiels followed up scoring the crucial goal last week – by going MIA for 45 minutes. This is why it is foolish to trust Dean Sheils…this is what he does. For much of his 45 minutes, there was no tangible sign that he & Richard Foster had any aspirations to sync up & get involved in the play on the left flank. Ally McCoist must have noticed that & flipped Shiels to the right so Fraser Aird could generate an attack from the left. Shiels was slightly more involved but his substitution at the half was indicative of his disengaged play…David Templeton came on for Shiels & it was more of the same. Templeton did absolutely nothing besides highlighting how easy he has become to defend…Nicky Law showed no cohesion with his teammates & looked disillusioned throughout. He had a few bright moments but one play in particular stuck out for me. At one point Law made a good play & was able to spring Aird up the right flank with a short pass that sent Aird into space. Law, seemingly content in his good play, just stopped playing at that point – too pleased with himself to actually keep running. This left Aird isolated on the right & he was soon surrounded by defenders – his only outlet would have been Law who had switched off.