Scott Arfield’s red card against Hearts really came back to haunt Rangers this evening at Ibrox.
Aberdeen took a 1-0 win in Glasgow to once again lay a crucial blow on Rangers. Fortunately for Gers, Celtic could only manage a 1-1 draw at Fir Park against Motherwell too. Both sides are now level on goal difference, but Rangers remain ahead on goals scored. Kilmarnock, however, top the table after a 2-0 win over Livingston.
It was a dreadful result at Ibrox, however, and that’s where most of the spotlight should be for Rangers fans. The build-up play was slow, lethargic, and lacking cohesion all night. It most certainly wasn’t the display of a Rangers side at home this season.
There could be several reasons for that – the main one that jumps out, however, is the lack of an Arfield in the side.
The onus was on the likes of Lassana Coulibaly and Ovie Ejaria to create tonight. Helping to link the play and feed Alfredo Morelos, with an onus on working well with the wide-men – neither midfield star did their job.
Outfought and lacking urgency
Instead, they were totally outfought by an Aberdeen side who are nowhere near what they have been in recent seasons.
The lack of invention without Arfield in the team is a real concern for Gers supporters. This is possibly the reason as to why Gerrard wanted a new number 10 in January. There needs to be others outside of the former Burnley man willing to take some responsibility and create going forward.
Tonight had to be considered a big chance for Ejaria to make his mark. He came to Ibrox and was known as an attacking midfielder who could make things happen in the engine room. Tonight, he was like a rabbit in the headlights when the responsibility fell on his shoulders.
Added to that, Coulibaly continues to under-perform in a blue jersey. Gerrard continues to give him opportunities to impress, but he isn’t paying him back.
Rangers have to find some sort of solution ahead of the trip to Dundee on Sunday. If they don’t? Don’t be surprised if they come up short once again.