Rangers enjoyed a sensational month in October as they went unbeaten in all competitions across all six of their competitive outings.
Steven Gerrard’s side won four of their six games, drawing the other two, as they retained their place at the top of the Scottish Premiership and picked up their first win in the group stage of the Europa League.
Gers captain James Tavernier was superb in October as he registered two goals and a whopping five assists from right-back in all competitions for Gerrard. However, in doing so he lost possession of the ball an eye-catching 136 times in five games, which works out at an average of 27 losses of the ball per match.
In the 6-1 win over Motherwell, the ex-Newcastle man attempted 29 crosses throughout the match and completed just six of them – picking up two assists. This, along with his overall possession loss numbers, add context to his goal contributions throughout the month as he was consistently given opportunities to misplace passes and crosses before eventually finding a teammate to create a chance.
One player who had a hugely positive influence on the team during October was Romanian international midfielder Ianis Hagi. The playmaker was Gerrard’s real hero throughout the month as he put in a number of eye-catching performances for the Gers.
He played in five of the six matches, having endured a disrupted September due to isolation rules, and impressed with his displays in the Premiership and Europa League. In those five games, he averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.18 and that was not boosted by the 6-1 drubbing over Motherwell as he was given a deserved rest for that match.
Hagi also played a key role in an important win for Rangers as they faced St Mirren away from home. The hosts took the lead early on through a terrific long-range strike and the Gers were under the cosh against a well-drilled side defending for their lives.
However, this awakened something in Hagi as he took the game by the scruff of the neck and was crucial to everything Rangers did to end up winning the game 2-1, including winning the penalty for the equaliser from Kemar Roofe. He completed 90% of his passes and only gave possession away seven times, whilst recording a SofaScore rating of 7.5 as he ran the game from midfield.
The 23-year-old wizard ended the month with an exceptional eight chances created in five games, whilst also registering an assist by winning the penalty for Roofe. His average rating of 7.18 also shows that the overall standard of his performances were excellent, whilst he lost possession 71 times in five games – an average of 14.2 per game, which is significantly lower than Tavernier’s turnover rate.
Hagi’s starring role in the win over St Mirren in difficult circumstances also proves that he can turn up in the big moments for the Gers, which is why he was the real hero of the month.