Goal Graphs by – Mike Driggs
Tactical Analysis by – Rousseau from GersNet
To see higher definition, interactive versions of these visit Mike’s site.
* Firstly, a rare goal from a corner. Not much can be gleamed from such a goal because it is so unusual. Casting my mind back, it was a rather fluky, scramble of a goal, albeit finished powerfully by Lee Wallace.
* The St Mirren goal was as direct as a team can be on the counter-atack, intercepting the ball deep in their own half, before long balls cut through our midfield and defence. The central positioning is interesting, and seems to be a theme. Many goals conceded this season have come from the central area, which is surprising considering the space vacated by our roaming full-backs: one would have thought opponents would target the flanks. Perhaps opponents are wary of our pace out wide, or our central players are not stopping attacks successfully enough? Like any counter-attack, it starts with a loss of possession, so we must be patient and careful in possession. If we do lose the ball, we must cut off the passing lanes, preventing them from penetrating our midfield in the centre.
* The ball looks to be recycled a lot in the central area, around the half-way line. This is not surprising as our centre-backs are likely to be pushed quite high as we dominate possession. It seems many attacks will start deep in the middle of the park, before being directed wide; a pattern that perhaps suggests our opponents will allow us to have the ball deep in our own half?
* Incisive channel play is quite clear from the graphic. Again, the ball will start deep and get moved out wide, before narrowing in on the channel through runs or long passes, followed by through balls.
* There are two long, diagonal switches of play. The squarer ball is most likely a switch in play, when we have the ball deep in our own half, but the longer, more penetrative switch of play is most likely a counter-attack. A switch of play in general could be quite effective, to change the angle of our attacks, but the counter-attack by us is somewhat unlikely.
* Two of our goals (out of four) have come from penetrating, through balls, begun in the channel. Again, casting my mind back, both goals were scored by runners from deep — Wallace and Jason Holt if I remember correctly. This could be quite a productive avenue for us. It perhaps suggests that the St Mirren defenders are quite sluggish, unable to deal with the through ball quickly enough, or a lack of organisation in tracking deep runners. For this to work we need players brave enough to make those tireless runs, looking to penetrate deep into the St Mirren defence.
* For Rangers to get the three points, we have to be wary of the counter-attack in the central areas, and we must make use of the success wing-play and incisive channel-play has brought in the past, with willing runners absolutely key.