Well there is not much better than a last-minute goal, especially when it’s Rangers FC scoring it. I’m sure Joe Dodoo would have heard my cheer through the TV.
In the past, Rangers sides have played badly and ground out a win but it’s a different story today; Partick Thistle will be disappointed not to walk away with at least a draw. Here are some observations from the game.
Plan A and B are not working.
Mark Warburton’s plan B is to “do Plan A better” but neither are working out at this level. James Taverneir and Lee Wallace have less license to attack and the midfield is expected to do more defending against superior teams. This leaves Rangers FC toothless in attack, slow to break forward and still somehow short in defence.
Playing a fast paced, short passing game is an aspiration and a joy to watch but it requires players that are composed and confident in all positions. This Rangers team is simply not good enough to play this game plan. It is just too simple for opposition teams to press forward to counter the short passing from defence.
Too many players are keen to get rid of the ball for the sake of getting rid of it. Players in possession will often desperately wave a teammate towards them to take the ball and that does not highlight confidence on the ball. The evergreen Kenny Miller was one of the few that seemed to want to make things happen but Rangers can’t rely on Miller forever.
We saw a glimpse of Plan C and it’s time to adopt it.
It wasn’t wing play or short passing in midfield that lead to the goals but good ol’ fashioned striker interchange.
Kenny Miller provided 2 inspired assists that wrongfooted the Thistle defence.
When the much maligned Joe Garner was on the pitch he was often collecting the ball outside the box without any forward runs backing that up.
Garner would benefit either from a strike partner being a poacher in the box or taking the role himself.
Rangers relying less on the full backs and midfield to provide the creativity can only help the defence. 4.4.2 is hardly an innovative forward thinking formation but it could provide much needed performance and confidence boosts.
The Understudies Take their Chances.
Forrester was preferred ahead of Michael O’ Halloran and Barrie Mckay and really took his opportunity with both feet. O’ Halloran had roared into a guaranteed start lately with a pace and willingness to drive into the box. However it is clear that if O’ Halloran is closed down early he can’t use that pace to any effect.
Forrester is a lot better at making something out of nothing. Showing dynamism, composure and willingness for forward runs, this was Forrester at his best and easily Rangers best player.
Forrester’s form has ranged from inspired free transfer to being worth every penny we paid for him. On his day however, he is a tough customer for any SPL defence.
Of course we have to mention the hero of the day Joe Dodoo. Dodoo’s Rangers career has been limited by injury and substitute appearances on the wing. It is safe to say he metaphorically and literally took his chances through the middle.
He also seemed comfortable receiving the ball and bringing the others into play and clearly has an eye for goal.
To me, he has earned a start through the middle at Tynecastle; or as part of the front two if Warburton happens to read this article!
Has Martyn Waghorn’s Rangers Career Come to an End?
With some English Championship clubs reportedly sniffing around last season’s Scottish championship top scorer it is fair to say Waghorn’s opportunities have been limited this season. When Rangers FC were searching for a goal it spoke volumes that Warburton turned to the young Joe Dodoo who has made 1 start this season which lasted 15 minutes against Kilmarnock.
Warburton told the press that Waghorn was knocking on the door asking for game time but It is clear that Warburton is desperate for Joe Garner to justify the £1.8 million outlay as a lone striker and Dodoo has probably fired his way to second if not first choice. While Waghorn has played as an attacking winger before it is hard to find a place for him in this formation at the expense of the others. Perhaps both club and player are better off parting ways.