A nine-man Glasgow Rangers side crashed out of the Europa League at the round of 16 stage on Thursday evening.
Steven Gerrard’s men were defeated at Ibrox for the first time in just over a year by Czech Republic champions Slavia Prague, also ending a 13-game unbeaten run in the competition.
The visitors took the lead early in the first half, but things went from bad to worse after the break. Just six minutes after being introduced from the bench, Kemar Roofe received a straight red card for catching the goalkeeper with a high boot.
Slavia Prague doubled their advantage shortly later as Leon Balogun followed the 28-year-old in for an early shower.
However, the Gers duo weren’t the only two players to badly let Gerrard down on the night. You could probably make a case for pretty much everyone, although the fact that Scott Arfield was hooked after just 55 minutes was rather damning.
As a key member of that engine room, in the absence of the injured Ryan Jack particularly, the 32-year-old veteran should’ve stepped up to the mark in what was a historic occasion for the newly-crowned Scottish champions.
Instead, he was lightweight and anonymous alongside Steven Davis and Glen Kamara.
Arfield managed the fewest number of touches (29) of any Rangers player to start from the off, even fewer than goalkeeper Allan McGregor (40), and that’s just not what you need from someone who is supposed to pull the strings in the middle of the park.
From those limited touches, the Canada international struggled in possession, losing the ball nine times whilst he could only make 71% of his 24 passing attempts. This was comfortably the worst effort from any Gers player, and that’s just not what you need from a midfielder.
Considering Arfield is averaging an accuracy of 84.4% of his passes this season, via WhoScored, he was clearly having an off night.
The former Burnley ace won just one of seven duels (14%) too, only emphasising how much he struggled to combat the industrious strength of the visiting Czech Republicans.
GlasgowLive graded Arfield a 4/10, the joint-worst from the starting XI alongside Balogun and claimed: ‘It’s just not worked out for him since coming back from injury and he really struggled in his 50 odd minutes on the pitch.’
Indeed, the ageing midfielder hasn’t managed above a 6.22 WhoScored rating since mid-December and last night was just another sign of why the Gers should be looking to move on from him sooner rather than later.
He badly let Gerrard and the club down.
AND in other news, Exclusive: West Ham will be monitoring Rangers striker, claims Pundit…