Rangers fans saw midfielder Joe Aribo in a more advanced position for the first time since September’s Old Firm defeat at Ibrox as the Gers dismantled Hearts 5-0.

The Nigerian international came under heavy fire after the match against Celtic passed him by in the more advanced role, not where we’ve traditionally seen him.

In the Hearts hammering, Aribo got the chance to show what he can do playing further forward in front of an expectant Ibrox crowd.

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The former Charlton midfielder got a well-worked assist for Ryan Kent’s goal and was comfortable enough on the ball when he managed to get on it.


Once against we saw his ability to take the ball down and as per usual with the gangly midfielder, his control was generally impeccable.

But there’s frustration around Aribo in that he does not yet have the confidence to take a game by the scruff of the neck.


You always feel he plays it too safe and is happy to take a secondary role in the side. The supporters are waiting to see him take the stage as the leading act.

He played well enough today, but there is something bursting inside the midfielder that the fans are willing out.

It’s early days in Aribo’s Rangers career and going by Gerrard’s decision to play the midfielder further forward you get the impression the Gers boss isn’t yet convinced of his best position.

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo put in a decent shift against Hearts but fans are still willing him to take games by the scruff of the neck. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What Aribo clearly needs is time. Time to settle into his surroundings, time to settle into Gerrard’s team and time to get that confidence which can make him a match-winner.

It’s there – we saw flashes of that again today – but maybe there’s a case for fans needing to be more patient to help him build it.

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