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[FT] Alashkert 0 - 0 Rangers


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Thought I'd leave it until today before commentating on yesterday's game. Positives first: to qualify for the EL group stages for the 4th straight season is fantastic consistency and worthy of great praise given the challenging circumstances year on year. Well done all!

 

In that regard the manager and his staff as well as various players have lots of credit in the bank when it comes to effort, attitude and quality of performance. It's not easy to hit the ground running early in campaigns so such context is well worth noting.

 

However, as the manager is fond of saying, that's now in the past. We must look at where we are now and, for whatever reason and without hysteria, the start of this season - and right through pre-season too - has not been good whilst our body language and confidence seem poor.  Defensively, we look unsure of ourselves, our midfield is rarely offering the platform we rely on and our attack is misfiring game after game. Too many changes (some enforced, some not) haven't helped and one would hope these will be minimised across coming weeks. The trip to Armenia and the conditions over there are also a negative and will explain some aspects of our pedestrian performance last night. But, again, these guys are professional athletes and if you want consistent success, these are the hurdles you must navigate. No excuses.

 

Now, Sunday's game isn't exactly a title decider so fans have to avoid panic. CV19 issues are a factor but we still have plenty of quality to stand tall as defending champions (have our players forgotten this or taken it for granted?) at Ibrox this weekend.  Of course Celtic, as always, will offer a test of nerve but, given last night's qualification, I'm confident our players will call on their experiences in such games last term to find the muscle memory and frame of mind to finally get going this season. Personally I can't wait.

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As ever, I prefer to see us going into a game against that lot with something to prove, we got the job done but SG will not be happy with them. Conversely, I think the first spanner has fallen into the spokes of the great antipaedoean revival.

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I expect the heat was a factor last night. Morelos looked as if he’d never been in a hot country before. Unusually Hagi’s radar was off. Aribo was very good, Kamara and Helander were fine. Paterson is mature for a young Scottish footballer.

 

I liked McRorie’s outfit. He did well what he had to do. Got the look of a young Billy Ritchie about him. Needs to bulk up a bit but as we all know that comes naturally every year. Being an athlete he’ll convert that to muscle.

 

There were a couple of crosses an old-time ‘keeper would have come for, going through the centre halves if need be. Modern defence planning maybe says something different. @Frankiewill tell me.

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i don't think we should put to much emphasis on the performance last night. We clearly went out knowing we had no subs to make in very hot conditions and were always in the lead and played accordingly. 

 

they misses are perhaps a worry but i think they were largely symptomatic of the conditions. 

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I thought we missed both Tav and Kent BTW. That said I would think that and there were other factors at play. Without Kent we lacked a link between midfield and attack and we really struggled to press. That may well have been the heat mind you. Patterson did fine but we had little threat down the right without Tav. 

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3 hours ago, the gunslinger said:

i don't think we should put to much emphasis on the performance last night. We clearly went out knowing we had no subs to make in very hot conditions and were always in the lead and played accordingly. 

 

they misses are perhaps a worry but i think they were largely symptomatic of the conditions. 

I think if the chances fall to Itten, Roofe or Defoe we are guaranteed at 2/3 goals. Morelos is off the pace at the moment. Christ, even his goals have had an element of fortune IMO. The "header" against Malmo came off his side. His goal V the Armenians just crept under. The sclaffed shot V Ross County. I know a goal is a goal regardless but it seems indicative of his general play at the moment.

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25 minutes ago, BlackSocksRedTops said:

I think if the chances fall to Itten, Roofe or Defoe we are guaranteed at 2/3 goals. Morelos is off the pace at the moment. Christ, even his goals have had an element of fortune IMO. The "header" against Malmo came off his side. His goal V the Armenians just crept under. The sclaffed shot V Ross County. I know a goal is a goal regardless but it seems indicative of his general play at the moment.

hasn't morelos scored all our European goals. 

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