Rangers were lucky to escape an Ibrox defeat on Wednesday night against Aberdeen. The Dons scored twice within 16 minutes before Alfredo Morelos pulled one back midway through the first half. A late James Tavernier spot-kick saved their night and the absence of Ryan Kent has been highlighted as the reason behind their shaky spell.
“I don’t think Rangers have a player like Kent just now [to go at them], Scott Wright is and he promises to be one, but for some reason, he has not exploded the way we would have liked him to do. Kent’s energy off the ball is so important as well out of possession because of how Rangers press.”
Former Rangers star Neil McCann has said to Rangers TV (as claimed by The Scotsman) in the aftermath of a disappointing draw. He has also blamed Morelos for the lack of urgency in his post-match analysis and the claims made by the ex-Scotland international can’t be ruled out completely.
Although Kent was yet to hit the peak this term prior to suffering a hamstring strain, his off the ball work rate, directness and energy helped Steven Gerrard execute his strategy of quick transitions and pressing football. The Englishman lacked the end product at times, but his lively runs and dribbles often caused menace in opponents’ defensive third.
Why Rangers Are Struggling In The Attacking Third
The gaffer, meanwhile, has tried Kemar Roofe and Scott Wright down the left in the absence of the ex-Liverpool attacker. None of them has been able to replicate his mastery down the wide. Wright, in particular, has failed to utilize his pace and precision. Roofe is more effective from the middle as he lacks the pace and draws fouls while operating from the wing. This slows down the Gers high up the pitch and interrupts the free-flowing football that used to be set in motion via Connor Goldson’s long diagonal balls from the deep defensive line.
Moreover, the wastefulness of Morelos has cost the Gers on quite a few occasions. The Colombian deserves plaudits for firing in 100 goals in Rangers colours but, at the same time, missed some glorious opportunities in close encounters. He could not convert sitters against Hearts a couple of weeks ago and the Jambos punished the reigning champions by scoring a late equalizer. El Bufalo looked lethargic last night against a makeshift Dons backline, and his work rate has reduced significantly of late if compared to previous terms. Gerrard, therefore, must be counting on Kent’s return and Morelos’ masterclass to turn things around in due time.