Things we learned — Rangers 8-0 Hamilton

By Jamie Currie
 November 10, 2020

Rangers followed up their 3-3 draw with Benfica with an 8-0 mauling of bottom side Hamilton Accies at Ibrox. In an utterly dominant display, the goals were shared around the team. Scott Arfield, Kemar Roofe and a Joe Aribo brace had Rangers 4-0 ahead at the half-time interval.

Usually you would expect Rangers to come out and manage the second half, make sure there are no injuries and conserve energy with the game being already won, but no. They put their foot to the floor and added a further four goals in the second period; Kemar Roofe started the second-half scoring grabbing his second and then a sixth was added by Brandon Barker and it wouldn’t be a Rangers performance of note without a penalty and James Tavernier scored the penalty after Defoe was upended and then he added the 8th to complete the scoring.

Kemar Roofe is better playing with a striker in a supporting role

Kemar Roofe grabbed a goal and an assist but his movement in between the lines flummoxed Hamilton. 53 touches, 34 passes and two key passes but his cleverness created space for the likes of Aribo and Arfield behind him to get ahead and have a positive impact in the final third.

Personally, I would like to see a Roofe, Kent and Morelos trio in the next fixture against Aberdeen; it has everything and if it clicks, it would be great viewing and a major threat to opposing defences.

There is a ruthless mentality about Rangers this season

Eight goals, 24 shots on goal and none at all against. Rangers did not take the foot off the gas and they kept going for it. This has been coming as I had said in the Kilmarnock review and perhaps Hamilton visited Ibrox at the worst time given how the match unfolded in Lisbon.

It’s a small observation, however, it could turn out to be quite significant in terms of this team’s over mentality. At seven nil Rangers have a penalty Jermaine Defoe has been playing well and been unfortunate not to find the net, while Rangers have Kemar Roofe on a hat-trick. Cast your mind back to last season, James Tavernier allows Defoe to hit a penalty at the Copland end against St Mirren. This season, there is no sentimentality. Tavernier — the designated penalty taker — strides forward, ignores his teammates claims and strokes it down the middle.

It’s all about getting the job done, and making sure Rangers continue to hit the standards everyone expects. That particular moment from Tavernier was pleasing to see. He’s a captain who is totally focused on the task in front of him.

Steven Gerrard no longer gives the smaller clubs too much respect

A pleasing aspect of Steven Gerrard’s management and team selection this season have been his willingness to adapt the shape and personnel. For example, in some matches he has used 4-2-3-1, he’s used the two 10s and even sometimes he’s used 4-3-3 with two natural wingers.

However, as we saw in this match and Kilmarnock away, and others, including Celtic, the make-up of his midfield has been far less defensive than the previous two season. There is no need for the Davis, Jack, Kamara three in matches like this.

Having Jack as the single pivot, creating a back three with the two centre-backs allowed Tavernier and Barisic to down the sides, but it gave Aribo and Arfield the freedom to join the front three and get beyond. It was no surprise given the way Rangers set up that Arfield and Aribo managed to get in the scoresheet and have such a positive impact.

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