written by – Jordan Campbell
It was the perfect ten for Warburton as Rangers brushed aside Livingston 3-0 to keep up their 100% record but the fashion in which they did it was not a continuation of their blistering start to the season. However, goals from Wallace, Waghorn and Law were enough to maintain the gap between them and second placed Falkirk.
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
Made his first outstanding save of his Rangers career when he tipped off a great long range effort to keep the scores level. Dived bravely at the feet of onrushing players well to smother the ball and displayed his ability to command his area again. Improving with the speed at which he releases the ball too.
Tavernier – 5.5
Has to ensure that he doesn’t become complacent or single-minded. Too often tried to force things by driving down the line even when faced with 4 yellow shirts. Would be better to pick and choose his moments to bomb down the line as giving up possession so high up the pitch could come back to bite us against stronger teams.
Kiernan – 8
His most assured performance yet. Strong in the tackle and kept a good line next to Wilson. Had a few slide tackles which received warm praise from the Ibrox faithful but should be wary that he doesn’t dive in needlessly. Only attempted one cross-field ball which was pleasing and he never looked troubled.
Wilson – 6.5
Wilson spoke in the match programme about his passing and composed nature being his main asset but as a result of this style maybe a bit of slackness creeps into his game. Well, in the first half he didn’t really put a foot wrong and then within a minute of the restart he casually gave away possession twice so at least he knows his own game! In saying that though, he and Kiernan are improving their organisational understanding all the time and it is no coincidence that the number of clean sheets are beginning to rack up.
Wallace – 7
A superb strike for the opening goal on a day when the fans paid their tribute to his loyalty and impassioned displays by unfurling a banner of him with the word ‘Captain’ underneath. He put in another energetic performance and led by example as he was one of the few who didn’t allow his levels to drop even though things weren’t clicking into gear.
Halliday – 6.5
Went about his business in the usual manner and is growing into the role as he becomes accustomed to the discipline needed to perform well in it. Had a couple of stray passes but kept everything short and simple which others should take on board.
Zelalem – 6
Didn’t control the game like he did last week but still pulled off a few of his Iniesta-like turns up against Darren Cole. He was maybe guilty of taking it too easy at times but he is the sort of player who needs others to be on the save wavelength on order to play at his best and the lack off fluency never allowed for that to happen.
Holt – 7
Early on he was the real driving force for the team. He made numerous darting runs into the box and cut the ball back well but unfortunately there were no takers. The one criticism I have of him as that he struggles to maintain this for the whole game and is probably why he was subbed but I thought he was one of the most productive players on a day where many were off the pace.
McKay – 6.5
Struggled to get on the ball as much as he would have liked although his movement was smart. The left flank suits him as he was at his best when he was cutting in and linking up but he is now prepared to take the defender on the outside as his weak foot has improved considerably.
Oduwa – 6
Never stopped committing his men which is what you want form a player like him but his decision making and lack of end product let him down. He could have delivered the ball into the box several times after he had reached the bye-line but his want to please the crows saw him try and needlessly pull off a trick or two. Showed flashes of what he is capable off but has to do what he did last weekend on a more consistent basis if he is to improve.
Waghorn – 6
Missed a golden chance early on when his tame shot was parried away by the keeper in a 1v1 situation, however he patiently worked space for himself in the box just before half time and coolly slotted home – still needs to be more clinical though which will come if he adds more composure to his game. The weight of his lay-offs were a tad too heavy on occasion which is usually one of his strengths but he did do well when he dropped deep and spread the play.
Shiels – 7 (on 74′ )
Very busy when he came on and always looked to keep the ball moving.
Law – 7 (On 63′ )
Like Shiels, made a real impact when he entered the field and got his just rewards when he cleverly rifled the ball high into the Livi net to seal the victory.
Miller – 6 (On 63′)
Tended to drop too deep which was my issue with him last year. Didn’t add the same spark in his cameo role as he has done in other games but it was difficult given the disrupted patterns of play.
Team performance: 6/10
It’s strange that such a comfortable victory was met with such an unhappy reaction from the players and management but the drop in standards compared to previous weeks was noticeable and it us only correct that they want to put it right ahead of the St Johnstone game. Passing was often slack and one-paced and we didn’t have the same energy or explosiveness which has come to embody Warburton’s side so far. The positive thing was that the three points were never in danger and digging out results when you’re not playing well is what is needed to win championships.