A Wasp in the Ointment

Alloa Vs Rangers

There are so many stupid, amusing and downright ridiculous quotes by football players, managers and football panelists that is difficult sometime to pick out the most laughable. However, sometimes there is a message in what they are saying, trying desperately to get out. In attempting to come to terms with the recent 1-1 draw with Alloa at the renamed Indodril Stadium,  three “Colemanballs”, as these sporting quotes are now known, struck a chord:  "Most goals are scored between the posts" from Jamie Redknapp; Alan Shearer's "We haven't been scoring goals,  but football's not just about scoring goals. It's about winning", and Chris Waddle's  "That was a great finish, but you could say it wasn't a great finish because it didn't go in".

All three successfully managed to mangle the English language in an attempt to say the same thing:if you don’t score, you won’t win football matches. For the second time in a few days Rangers have found out to their cost that despite almost surreal amounts of possession, chances created, corners, shots on target - in fact, any stat you care to mention -  they are all completely irrelevant alongside the score line at the end of 90 minutes.

In a game of absolute Rangers dominance, where, for a spell at the end of the second half it appeared that the entire Alloa team was standing on their own goal line, Rangers managed to somehow end up  chasing a game that should have been out of sight by half time. Nobody can disagree with Mark Warburtons understated  summary of the game: “We have to be more clinical in front of goal to get the rewards for all of our good work.”

This is easier said than done, though. Rangers appear to have developed an increasing tendency to overplay in and around the opposition box and are always looking for an extra touch or pass. Martyn Waghorn - who  has scored 27 goals this season - has now not scored in 5 matches. Alarmingly, Waghorn appeared short of confidence before being subbed in the 65th minute. This mini slump is doubly concerning as there is some distance between him and the next goal scorers in line:  Kenny Miller on 12 goals and James Tavernier on 11. Miller has never been the most prolific of strikers and Tavernier is a right back. The culmination of this dearth of goals is that Rangers have only scored two goals in three games so far in February, which is the lowest number of goals in any three match spell this season. The dependence on Waghorn to find the back of the net has never been starker and the sooner he regains his goal scoring touch, the happier all concerned with Rangers will be.

On a positive note, Michael O’Halloran, although on the periphery of the action in the first half, put in an excellent second half display on the right wing filled with power and pace which was capped by a fine finish to equal the score. Billy King also gave the Wasps defence a torrid time when he was introduced . Both new signings would surely be certain starters against Kilmarnock if they were not cup-tied and will be a vital part of the title run in.

As for the home side, well, every decision regarding reduction of pitch width and “park the bus” tactics was validated by the result they secured. They need only point to the score line to justify their actions. Ultimately, Alloa adjusted the size of the pitch, not the size of the goalmouth and Rangers can blame no-one but themselves for dropping two points. The players need look no further than David Coleman - the man who was the inspiration for the term “Colemanballs” -  and one of his most famous quotes, to learn a salutatory lesson from Saturdays performance:

 “If that had gone in” he once said, “it would have been a goal”.

Written by cushynumber

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