Gers Gaffer Gerrard Right To Highlight Positives But Still Work To Be Done

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard got his first taste of life as Scottish Premiership manager, as he watched on at Pittodire as his side were held to a 1-1 draw.

In truth, last season’s runners-up Aberdeen struggled against The Gers. Even when the Glasgow side went down to ten men, after just twelve minutes, they were in the main part the better team. But Derek McInnes’ men showed the resilience, that’s seen them finish second in the top flight in each of the last four seasons, to grab a late equaliser.

A big part of all that was good in the Rangers performance was their midfield. They were strong, energetic and disciplined in the middle of the park.

The trio of Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly and Scott Arfield worked well together and gave the team a balance that they’ve been missing perviously.

They won the ball back, charged forward when given the opportunity and they all stuck to their tasks.

Unfortunately for Gerrard, Jack had to come off due to a head knock on the 82nd minute. His team’s shape was never the same without Ryan’s combative nature in the engine room.

The Gers manager gave Ryan Jack high praise indeed after their recent Europa League win over Croatian side Osijek:

“I am delighted with Ryan’s performance,”

“I’ve got a good type on my hands there. He’s a player who cares, who wants to win and is prepared to go out and do exactly what you’ve asked of him.”

“I think he made one minor mistake during 90 minutes in a big football match. As a midfielder, I was jealous of Ryan’s performance tonight.”

The Gers boss will be hoping that Jack’s injury won’t keep him out of the team for long as he’s already seems to be an integral part of Gerrard’s plans.

We again noticed that Rangers have improved at the back. Connor Goldson adds much needed composure and his partner at centre-back, Nikola Katic, seemed to get better as the game went on.

Allan McGregor proved that he adds vital experience at the back. The goalkeeper was constantly communicating with his backline.

While Gerrard will have seen plenty of positives in his team’s efforts, there can be no doubt that some things still need to be addressed.

I think James Tavernier and Goldson should’ve been more switched on for Aberdeen’s goal. Both made weak attempts when defending for that split second and it cost their side a deserved victory.

Alfredo Morelos has learn how to control his temper. I think the red card was extremely harsh and he could receive more protection from the officials but you also have to say that the young Colombian hitman does himself no favours when he reacts to provocation by kicking out.

Rangers can still be sharper in the opponents half. Obviously it doesn’t help when your centre forward gets sent off so early in the game; but we also can’t forget that Jamie Murphy missed a very good chance, Arfield had a tame effort easily saved and Josh Windass made a poor decision not to pass the ball when he reached the Dons box in the second half. Had they got a second goal, that would’ve probably put the fixture to bed.

Once again Rangers failed to manage the game and see out the victory. That was one of their main problems last term and out of the two teams it will be The Gers that will be more disappointed with the draw, even though they were down to ten men.

If they are going to close the gap on champions Celtic and taste any success this season then they’ll need to be more ruthless and keep hold of leads.

It would be encouraging for the fans and Gerrard that the team were doing the basics well for most of the game and that they showed great character but at the end of the season that will count for very little if they drop too many points.


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