written by – Jordan Campbell
Rangers started their Ladbrokes Championship campaign with a highly-entertaining 3-1 victory over St Mirren in front of a sell-out crowd at Ibrox.
I will be rating each individual’s performance and picking my Three Stars of the Game but this year though we will be keeping a log of each player’s ratings in all four competitions with a view to crowning our own Rangers Report Player of the Year & Young Player of the Year.
I’ll be taking a stance more akin to that of L’Equipe’s infamously harsh rating system (they’ve only handed out seven 10s in their history) as opposed to the more lenient and easier to please British media. So with that in mind, 6 will constitute an average performance.
But don’t hesitate to let us know what you would have graded them in the comments section.
The Three Stars of the Game were:
Foderingham – 7
Commanded his box superbly, especially from crossed balls – a problematic aspect of goalkeeping for Bell and even Allan McGregor at times. Came out and claimed the ball from corners with the minimum of fuss which gave the defence and the crowd confidence. Quick off his line on a number of occasions to cut out dangerous balls in behind which was a credit to his concentration and anticipation. Handling and distribution with the ball in his hands was neat and tidy but still looked shaky at times when in possession due to the amount of time he took to pick an option. Defenders have to remember to play to his left foot though as they are putting him under pressure.
Tavernier – 7
Powerful running again but has to be careful he doesn’t let his good start go to his head and become complacent. Shot from long distance too often for my liking and forced things when in possession trying to get round two or three men when it would have been better to turn inside and move the ball quicker. In saying that though, his pace is a real asset down the wing and he was always willing to support Walsh. Defensively, he has a lot of work to do as the penalty incident showed. He got attracted to the ball when he should have held his position to cover for the overlapping St Mirren player and ended up diving in with a stupid, reckless tackle.
Kiernan – 6.5
Has two great feet but is too keen to prove it. His long, diagonal balls work wonders at times but as we saw with the goal they can leave us susceptible to the counter. A ball aimed at Walsh was under hit by quite some margin and left our midfield too high up the park to recover. Then, as McMullen drove at Wilson he got caught ball-watching and as a result didn’t drop off to stop the ball going through to Howieson who had ran in behind him. Made a good block at 2-1 and was relatively solid but there are a few minor errors he has to try and eradicate if we’re to start recording clean sheets.
Wilson – 7
Looks more composed with every game. Weak challenge on McMullan in second half was the only blip in what was an assured 90 minutes from the man who seems to be growing into a leadership role at the heart of the defence. Not many bones to pick with him.
Wallace – 9
Back to his best. Scored a rare brace in what was a true captain’s performance. A magic flick round the St Mirren full-back inside his own half saw him set off on a a lung-busting run which would have been a goal to remember had Walsh have hit the back of the net on the stroke of half-time. His fitness levels were a sight to behold too as he never stopped bombing up and down the line.
Halliday – 8
Ran the midfield once again. The passion he displays is admirable as was the series of slide tackles he made within the space of 10 seconds but he has to be wary of allowing the adrenaline to cloud his pitch geography as he sometimes left a hole in between the midfield and defence. On the ball, once again he was excellent as he sprayed the ball about the park but the signing of Eustace may allow him to push higher up the park where he will be able to show his attacking qualities.
Law – 7.5
A tireless performance which will have gone some way to winning over the boo boys. Playing in a more advanced role next to Holt he picks up the ball in dangerous areas where can shows his quality as he showed in the first half with a number of balls played through the right channel. Good intensity to his closing down too but needs to get himself int better goalscoring positions.
Holt – 7.5
A really intelligent footballing performance. Great pass slid through to Wallace for his second but his smart movement makes him a nightmare to mark as he is always looking to pop up in between the lines. Kept the game flowing which means his work sometimes go under the radar but he was effective and ultimately unfortunate to be substituted.
Walsh – 7
Needs to have a look at his footwear as he was slipping all over the place but he did show his ability when on the ball. Much like McKay he does his best work when he comes inside with the ball and in the lead up to Wallace’s second goal he produced a great run after plucking the ball effortlessly out of the air. Got to the bye-line consistently but his crosses were often put into an area instead of actually trying to pick out a man.
McKay – 8
His most complete performance so far. A constant thorn in St Mirren’s side he was a great outlet on the left wing along with Wallace – the left flank suits him more as he can drift inside and link up. Showed great footwork throughout and his deliveries from corners were more often than not right on the money. Tracked back when called upon too and seems to be maturing under Warburton, just needs to add that consistency to his game which often evades wingers.
Waghorn – 8
Against Peterhead he did everything but score and it was much the same again. Another brilliant performance from the frontman who is the perfect focal point for the team. His first touch was sublime when under pressure and he showed great vision when in and around the box. Did well when he went out to the right once again as he was able to exploit the gaps left by the tiring opposition but needs to be more ruthless in front of goal.
Shiels – 7.5 (on 60′)
Did well again when he came on and managed to bundle the ball home for the third.
Clark – 7 (on 60′)
Templeton – 7 (on 83′)
Well weighted ball into Shiels’ path for the goal. Didn’t have enough time to do much more.
Team Performance: 7/10
Started off brilliantly but the sloppy goal gave St Mirren hope and we didn’t recapture our rhythm until after they missed the penalty. Finished strongly though and should have won by a far greater margin had it not been for Ridgers’ exploits on the Saints goal.