Former Rangers striker Ally McCoist believes that the current Ibrox side are too reliant on a minority of players to produce match-winning moments after a weekend in which they lost further ground in the Premiership title race.
Steven Gerrard’s men were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Aberdeen on Saturday and then fell seven points behind the league leaders after their rivals defeated Hamilton 4-1 a day later. McCoist, who was working as a pundit for BT Sport on the latter game, fears that his former club rely too heavily on James Tavernier, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos to settle tight matches.
He told BT Sport [via The Scottish Sun]: “I have said it for a while. Celtic have more potential match-winners in their team. Rangers are too reliant on Tavernier, Kent and Morelos. Celtic have more of a goal threat whether it is from [Leigh] Griffiths, [Odsonne] Edouard or the boys round about them. I watched Rangers huff and puff against Aberdeen. I looked at Rangers’ bench and was asking if anyone could come on change the game? And the answer was I don’t really think so.”
McCoist’s protestations about Rangers being overly reliant on a handful of players to conjure game-changing moments are justified when looking at the disparity of goals and assists throughout the squad. Morelos is their top scorer by some distance with 28 goals for the season, with Jermain Defoe their next most prolific player on 17. The pair have scored 25 of the Light Blues’ 57 Premiership goals this term, accounting for 43.9% of their total. After those two, Kent and Joe Aribo are their chief scorers with just six goals each in all competitions (as per TransferMarkt).
In terms of assists, their leading goal creators are both full-backs, Borna Barisic with 14 and Tavernier with 12 (as per TransferMarkt). The latter has missed the last four games due to a recent virus. Kent, one of the players name-checked by McCoist, scored against Hearts recently but that has been his only goal involvement since the mid-season break (as per TransferMarkt).
Celtic, by contrast, have three players (Edouard, Ryan Christie, James Forrest) in double figures for both goals and assists, something that nobody at Rangers can currently claim. Also, Barisic’s tally of 14 assists is the same as Christie’s and would only be joint-third best at Parkhead, while two other members of Neil Lennon’s squad (Callum McGregor and Mohamed Elyounoussi) have scored more than the six goals clocked by Kent and Aribo.
Morelos may have scored more goals than anyone at Celtic this season but Kent’s tally of six goals and three assists is inferior to that posted by two Hoops players who also feature on the left wing – Elyounoussi has seven goals and six assists, with Mikey Johnston scoring and setting up six goals each.
Should Gerrard be under pressure if Rangers don't win the league?
Rangers have had to cope without Tavernier (injured) and Morelos (suspended) in recent games and, having gone into the winter break just two points off the lead, they now find themselves seven points adrift of the summit. McCoist appears to make a very valid point when lamenting their reliance on a small pool of players to turn draws into wins.
Rangers fans, do you agree with McCoist’s view that the team is overly dependent on the likes of Morelos? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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