As Rangers succumbed to their first home league defeat of the season on Wednesday night, fingers were pointed at those who underperformed.
While Alfredo Morelos naturally received criticism for the reckless actions that reduced the Gers to ten men, he wasn’t the only one.
Ovie Ejaria – the young midfielder on loan from Liverpool – was also singled out, and some common themes emerged among the criticism. One, is that the 21-year-old doesn’t impose himself on matches the way he should.
Ejaria does absolutely nothing
— Nicola Mulholland (@nicmul84) December 5, 2018
Ejaria doesn’t look interested. Never seen anyone hide so much.
— Lew (@lewmcca) December 6, 2018
Other fans were less specific, but clear that they believe Ejaria doesn’t have the quality required of a Gers player.
Genuinely one of the worst performances I’ve seen at home from rangers and SFA. Shocking performance from Ejaria, that’s about 4 or 5 games now he hasn’t been good enough
— D.C ™️ (@crofty1872) December 6, 2018
— Robbie Mclachlan (@robbiemc_1872) December 5, 2018
Many called for the Englishman to be dropped altogether. With the same fans suggesting that it’s time to focus on a homegrown talents, like Ross McCrorie.
Coulibally and ejaria need dropped.. Rossiter jack and mccrorie in on Sunday!
— S A Y E R S Y (@sayersy1872) December 6, 2018
Obviously, when passions run high, fans can exaggerate. But, is that the case here?
The youngster has now made 25 starts for Rangers in all competitions, a near permanent fixture under Gerrard. While there are flashes of promise, he has struggled to put a complete performance together.
His stats are meagre in an attacking sense too. He hasn’t found the net since the 1-1 draw away at FC Ufa in the Europa League, and assists are similarly scarce.
In light of this, at least some of the criticism is certainly justified. Rangers need more from a first choice midfielder than the odd good piece of control or eye-catching dribble.
Right now, we need someone capable of taking control of the game. That could be by physically dominating a midfield battle, or consistently creating opportunities with key passes.
At the minute, Ejaria shows no sign of doing either.