There are various talking points surrounding Rangers at the moment. We have articles discussing many of those, and more to come after the AGM today, so this one will focus on the talking points from the match last night.

The first thing that’s evident is that this squad has some ability and heart. We knew that, which has made recent results all the more frustrating. The difference in the team was huge from the capitulations against Hamilton and Dundee. In times past, Rangers have shown their best in adversity, but next to no one believed they would do so this time around. What this now means, though, is a different type of pressure. As said, we knew there was some ability, but now we’ve seen the best evidence of that so far, and that was without some key players. The squad now has a higher benchmark to reach each week to satisfy the fans.

It’s clear from last night that Ryan Jack holds a bit of a grudge against Aberdeen. He was treated poorly when he made the decision to leave, especially for a player who had given a lot to the club. He let that chip on his shoulder inspire him throughout the game. After the first goal, the Aberdeen fans didn’t even have the energy to boo his touches any more. He not only won the battle on the park, he was victorious off it as well.

The performance of Carlos Pena was definitely a highlight. I’ve been something of a fan of his, as previous articles have stated. I will say, though, that he will still have games where he looks poor if he continues to play. He doesn’t have a great touch, and can be very lax with his passing at times. He also struggles a little with his back to goal, and can turn into trouble. However, his movement and positioning gives opposing teams real issues, and he’s a huge goal threat. He’s now scored more than most of our midfielders combined last season, and he’s not exactly been involved a lot. The change in formation helped him, and he was talked through the game in the defensive sense loads. He looked more part of the team than ever before, and that is the most promising part of his performance.

That leads to Murty, and his change of formation. Playing Ross McCrorie in midfield, starting Pena, moving Windass up front, all of those decisions were bold. He also dropped Candeias to the bench, the player who has created more chances for us than anyone else. On paper, many had serious doubts before the game. Those were dispelled really quickly. The formation is always secondary to the performance of the players, but both were on point last night. Derek McInnes, the man many want as manager, had no answer to the changes.

It was interesting to note that all three Rangers goals came from the right hand side. When you look at the team Aberdeen started with, they had Considine and Shinnie on their left. On the right, it was Logan and Christie. Most would justifiably consider their right hand side to be the weaker defensively, but time and again Rangers exposed them on their left. Both Holt and Jack were finding space there, which led to the first half goals, and Tavernier was enjoying the game immensely. It’s one of those situations where what looks like an easy answer to breaking a team down is actually very different in practice.

And that applied to more than just our main attacking threat. It was not expected that Pena would start, and many have written him off already. Moving Windass to the middle, still playing Miller, moving McCrorie forward – all of that would bring a negative response from many. However, those decisions meant we won the game with ease. This was not a lucky win, or down to Aberdeen being poor. This was Rangers playing well and deserving everything they got from the game.

As I write this, the AGM is happening, and there’s plenty to discuss. The mood was lightened somewhat by the win last night, but answers to certain questions will get angry responses. We’ll discuss that and plenty more in due course, but for a fan, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just enjoying a great Rangers win for a little longer.

Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with anything you’d like to discuss!