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[FT] Rangers 2 - 0 Progrès (Aribo 20; Ojo 53)


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6 hours ago, DMAA said:

Agree that he disappointed but if it wasn’t for that excellent finish from what was a half chance at best we could be going into the second leg with only a single goal lead.

 

 I’ll take a bad performance and a goal over a “good performance” with no end product any day. 

Don't bite for the three brothers of doom.

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I thought the game was quite similar to last Sunday's Blackburn friendly.

 

After around 60mins, we seemed to stop working so hard off the ball and lost our shape to an extent.  Jones played that bit wider than Arfield had so not sure if that's what caused the uncertainty.  

 

I felt Ojo and Aribo both tired as well so that's why Progres looked so dangerous on the counter as they had space to exploit.  I think Kamara or a Docherty would have been a better option to see out the game for the final quarter and was surprised the latter wasn't on the bench.

 

There were lots of positives too.  Some of the passing and moving really is sublime but there has to be an end product and we need to choose the right time when to go direct.  Jack and Aribo were superb at times and I thought our use of the ball from the back was (mostly) very good.  Goldson, Edmundson and Davis all had their moments in losing the ball in dangerous areas though, so they need to avoid that going forward.

 

Defensively we coped largely OK but didn't look comfortable at set-pieces and I felt we missed a presence in the middle of the park later on.  The formation is so fluid, it can leave space on transition which someone needs to address.

 

Lots of food for thought then but, all in all, 2-0 isn't a bad result so onwards and upwards!

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A very strange performance last night. We could've won by a barrel load but also drew 2-2. 

 

First half we were fantastic. From the whistle we were in their faces playing that high pressing game, quick passing and a high tempo with the ball. 

 

Second half we seemed to lack ideas or any urgency and were lucky not to concede. 

 

McGregor's handling worried me. He seemed to flap at a couple of 'easy' catches although he did make a fantastic save with his legs. 

 

Goldson must have scuddy photos of Gerrard's wife on his phone. He shouldn't be 1st choice centre back but I felt that Edmundson and Aribo both played well again. 

 

We really need to work on our creativity in the final third. We seem to struggle when we get there.

 

Lots more to work on in general. A better team last night would've taken one of their chances. 

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Ojo was very poor right up to his goal which has to be accounted for. 

 

If he's going to bring far more goals then that's going to be great even if he is a bit sub par sometimes. 

 

He does look like he will bring more goals. 

 

It was a good result and decent performance. We will though as I said last night have to be a lot better than this very soon. 

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But for some wasteful finishing and the ref not knowing the new rules on penalties, the tie would be absolutely done and dusted. However the warning signs were there and on another day we draw 2-2 there as Progres were a much better side than the one 2 years ago with 2/3 really quite decent players that looked every bit as good as ours.

 

I thought Edmundson had a really good first half but he definitely has mistakes in him, as you would expect coming from the level of football he has been used to, and is one for the future, but not this season IMO.

 

Jack has really upped his game this season, gone are the always sideways safe passes and now he is going box to box, looking to move forward with and without the ball, so much better and I hope he keeps it up.

 

Aribo has some lovely touches, but like most flair players of this level, he goes missing for chunks of the game at a time. Similar could be aimed at Ojo, he perhaps contributed for about 10 minutes last night. When he does it is usually positive, but he becomes a spectator at times. Consistency required from both and they will be fine.

 

Cant wait to see Arfield at full steam if he is still 2 weeks behind everyone else! His blindside runs when Morelos drops off and he goes in behind are sublime and if only we had better players who can spot these and play him in more often we would benefit enormously.

 

Some of the quick one-twos and triangular passing in the first half was joyful. Some of the slow, obvious, methodical build up play in the second was tedious. Our subs had no impact last night, Stewart & Jones couldnt get into it and Defoe didnt get any service and with Arfield off we had no link-up between midfield and strikers.

 

Score the first goal over there and its done. Make a mistake and let them score, and the ghosts may well return, which doesnt bear thinking about! I've gone from wanting a proper hiding of this mob to "just get through". Not sure if that says more about us or them but the sentiment is the same.

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Having reflected on the game, I am really pleased with how the team is shaping up.

 

- Our midfield is excellent.  I can't imagine many teams being able to close them down and we will easily play it through teams that open up or try to press us.  Unfortunately, only Celtic are likely to do that in our own league.  Aribo is a superb player, but the combination of him, Davis and Jack looks so fluid and comfortable.  Others will have a hard time getting to that three.  Jack is a different player and although I always liked him anyway, he's gone from good to great over the summer from what I can see so far.

 

- Our defence has strength in there but frailties still exist.  Edmundson looks so solid and at this stage is the best of our centre backs.  He did make a couple of mistakes but he has the attributes to become a world class defender (yes, I said world class!).  His passing technique is already up there with the best and reminds me of Gerrard and Beckham in style.  Goldson has been so consistent but now he's suffering from too many lapses in concentration.  He needs to be dropped the same way Katic is if this continues.

 

- We are creating chances in abundance.  We would have drawn or lost that game if we played them before (and of course we did), mainly because we failed to create chances.  However, we are now creating the chances, but lacking the finish.  I see others saying that our final balls are poor.  Some of them are, but last night we created 11 clear cut goal scoring chances, and if we had VAR last night we would have had 4 (because neither of the chopped goals were offside).  11 chances should be more than enough to win any game so that's a massive improvement.  Our normal operating range of chances even last season was 3-7.  In the games we played so far that range is 8-15.  These stats are important because it's sometimes natural to think we are suffering from the same issues when we are not.  We are now creating, but we need someone to finish them.

 

- Morelos is our best forward, and his link up play is a surprising and welcome development.  He's beginning to show a maturity in his game which makes him more valuable.  However, we've but got plenty of players already to develop the play.  What we need is someone to finish the chances and that's why Defoe is the best option for us up front.  Defoe has the uncanny ability to pop up in the right place and needs no space at all to get his shots away.  Out of the two, he would score more goals.  Unless others start to convert more chances (and in which case I'd stick with Morelos), we will have to get Defoe on earlier to secure the goals and wins.

 

-  Our attacking midfielders are struggling.  Arfield and Ojo aren't working well enough together.  Our game plan last night was to cross the ball early and then try to get on the second ball.  For that to work, either Ojo or Arfield needs to be on the edge of the box with the other attacking the first ball along with the striker.  Too often they were both picking the same option.  That will come from playing together or communicating better, or both.  They are both very creative though and when they click it could be devastating for our opponents.  For Jones to be effective he needs to develop his ability and skill set to cut inside with more creativity.  He was too predictable.  Last season Middleton was given plenty of chances to be more creative in cutting inside but was unable to demonstrate it, so I hope Jones can develop this side of his game, otherwise our system is not going to work.  Stewart is very accomplished in the role but he looks to be only comfortable on the right side of the two attacking midfielders.  We need that left side sorted out.  Indulge my fan boy tendencies here, but this slot is just crying out for Kent.

 

- Our overall style of play is a joy to watch, but it's so noticeable how much fitness plays a part in its success.  It was clear that we can last for around 60 minutes.  Even at full fitness we can only expect the players to keep up that level of intensity for maybe 75 minutes.  That means that we have to either go flat out and then manage the game better.  We either have to be smarter when we are pushing forward with speed, or at least have periods where we just play keep the ball in the final third.  One way or another we need a way to last the full 90 minutes, otherwise I fear we could concede late in games.  When teams pack the defence as most will do against us, it takes so much more out of our players and it shows.

 

-This team and squad is light years ahead of previous seasons and I'm even more confident now that we will smash this league.  If we develop the sharpness to finish the numerous chances we are now making we will have a few 5-0 victories this season, which all bodes well for my predictions.  And while I'm on the subject of predictions, let me state now that both Aribo and Edmundson will bring in record transfer fees because these boys are the real deal.

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37 minutes ago, Gaffer said:

This team and squad is light years ahead of previous seasons and I'm even more confident now that we will smash this league.

I was feeling like that until this week.  The two performances against Blackburn and Progres have me concerned that we still have the same flaws as last season - a lack of cutting edge which leaves us unable to finish teams off.

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1 hour ago, the gunslinger said:

It was a good result and decent performance. 

You think that was a decent performance?  We are lucky not to be coming away from that match with a worse result than two years ago and the result is below par.  

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14 minutes ago, Briton said:

You think that was a decent performance?  We are lucky not to be coming away from that match with a worse result than two years ago and the result is below par.  

😂

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