Was this the worst tactical error of Gerrard's reign so far?
Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images

Playing Scott Arfield on the right was a risk that didn't pay off

For his first senior managerial role, Steven Gerrard has got a lot of things right so far at Rangers.

Seemingly unflappable, he always says the right thing at the right time.

While his recent chopping and changing in terms of team selection may have raised a few eyebrows, in general, he has got most things right.

Gerrard has earned the seal of approval of most Rangers fans. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)


However, when the teams were announced last night, one tactical decision stood out like a sore thumb.

The inclusion of Scott Arfield on the right flank.

Arfield’s selection itself is not in question. The Canadian international has been sorely missed during a domestic suspension.

However, he has been a top performer this season when deployed as the most advanced of the central midfielders. Not blessed with great pace, the 30-year-old is most comfortable in the middle of the park, where he can make late runs into the box.

That ‘s how most of his six league goals this season have come about.

Arfield’s positioning was bizarre

Arfield was on the game’s peripheries throughout. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Last night, stuck out on the right, he struggled to affect the match. Taking on full-backs and delivering from wide areas just isn’t part of his natural game.

That sort of thing is supposed to be the bread and butter of Eros Grezda, who was left on the bench.

The decision ensured that Rangers only looked like getting joy down the left hand side. However, Glenn Middleton’s lack of composure saw multiple opportunities slip away.

Middleton provided the only natural width, but his ball control consistently let him down. (Photo by Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Arfield was the one player in the starting line-up capable of supporting Morelos through the middle.

Yet, while he was on the pitch throughout, Gerrard’s tactics ultimately ensured he wasn’t able to do what he’s usually so good at.

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