Steven Gerrard can’t have much to complain about after Glasgow Rangers thrashed Hamilton Academical in a thrilling 8-0 win at Ibrox to stay nine points clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership on Sunday afternoon.
The Light Blues are currently unbeaten in 20 games, stretching all the way back to the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at the start of the season, and Rangers will look to resume their remarkable run when they face the Dons after the international break.
Scott Arfield combined with Ryan Kent to open the floodgates, as goals from Kemar Roofe and Joe Aribo put the Gers three goals up inside 19 minutes to put the game beyond Hamilton, before Aribo and Roofe doubled their efforts, and Brandon Barker and a brace from club captain James Tavernier capped off Gerrard’s biggest win since he first took charge of the club.
Whilst Aribo, Arfield and Roofe ran riot over the Accies, there was one player who’s poor performance went relatively unnoticed – Ryan Kent.
Before we get started, let’s just make one thing clear – Kent is still one of the club’s best players by a country mile. But that doesn’t mean that he can be totally exempt from criticism, if anything, far from it, as he still has some areas he urgently needs to address, namely working on his aerial duels, which are a glaring weakness.
Per SofaScore, the 23-year-old received a respectable rating of 7.3, but this was the lowest score out of the entire front three – he lost possession more times than Jermain Defoe and Roofe (15), whilst he only won five out of ten duels overall, hit the woodwork once and missed one big chance.
It’s fair to say that this was a rather disappointing display from a player of his standards, as he once again failed to find the back of the net, although he at least assisted Arfield’s opener. In fact, he has failed to score since the 4-0 win over Willem II in the third round of the Europa League qualifying stage this season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, former Leeds and Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan insisted that the erratic Rangers ace “needs to improve” his finishing and goal contributions in general.
Kent has only scored four goals and supplied two assists in 19 games in all competitions so far this season, whilst he is averaging 2.9 shots per game, via WhoScored. He just needs to be more clinical in front of the goal, that’s for sure. Maybe the international break will give him a chance to rest his weary legs.