A title race is brewing phenomenally well in Scotland and after Rangers bounced back from their draw last weekend on Wednesday night, Gio van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox side are now breathing down the necks of their closest rivals.
Their 1-0 win over St Johnstone was far from a classic and indeed, it wasn’t a particularly vibrant performance from the Gers who were rather sluggish in midfield and offensive areas.
This is a team who have played a considerable amount of football of late, with plenty of midweek action both domestically and in Europe to savour.
While last week they were tormenting Borussia Dortmund and knocking out one of the most exciting sides on the continent, this week they were struggling and battling with themselves.
The performance of Scott Arfield typified that with the midfielder looking rather leggy when asked to play from the right-hand side. However, the man next to him in the no.10 role also looked severely off the pace; Joe Aribo.
The dynamic Nigerian has been brilliant in spells this term, registering 14 goal involvements for Rangers. Yet, in the last few weeks, his form has dwindled.
It’s not difficult to see what the issue might be either, as he has played a lot of football already in 2022, travelling to Africa and back for AFCON while now throwing himself into a Premiership title race.
There were a few bright moments from the former Charlton man on Wednesday but ultimately his numbers make for pretty grim reading.
During his time on the field, Aribo lost the ball on 23 occasions, meaning he ceded possession once every 3.4 touches.
Furthermore, he was a lightweight in defensive duels, winning just ten of the 23 he was involved in throughout the game.
To make matters worse, he completed just 72% of his passes, failed to complete a single dribble and saw two shots sail off target.
As a result, it may well be time for van Bronckhorst to omit him from the squad. It’s clear that the attacking midfielder needs to freshen up and until he does so, his performances may only become more of a concern.