It’s fair to say that after Philippe Clement’s first game in charge, there’s a bit of positivity in the air. Fans wanted to see some kind of change in philosophy and attitude and they definitely got it on Saturday.
The players were full of energy and attacking intent. Two things which had been missing over the last few weeks before the international break. The manager came out and said he wasn’t Harry Potter but he definitely worked some kind of magic last week in training.
It was exactly the level of intensity the fans wanted to see. High pressing and attacking football hasn’t been seen at Ibrox for way too long. Hopefully that has now changed with the hiring of Clement.
So, let’s break it down. This article is going to look at the numbers from Saturday and compare them to the last home game. There was a stark upturn in performances, do the numbers also prove that?
Rangers 4-0 Hibernian
- 53% Possession
- 4 Goals
- 2.65 xG (2.32 xG from open play)
- 23 Shots (9 on target)
- 7 Big Chances Created
- 5 Big Chances Missed
- 85% Pass Accuracy
- 67% Tackles Won
- 46% Ground Duels Won
- 58% Aerial Duels Won
That is the kind of home performance Rangers fans expect. The manager would probably want the possession percentage to be higher. He would also, presumably, want to work on how clinical the team is.
Five big chances missed is way too high a number. On the other hand, Rangers previously weren’t creating anywhere near enough chances. So there’s a positive and a negative on that side of things.
The biggest change the fans wanted was better chance creation through consistent attacking play and that was on display at the weekend. The positives were there and hopefully they can be built upon in the coming weeks.
Rangers 1-3 Aberdeen
- 71% Possession
- 1 Goal
- 2.55 xG (2.24 xG from open play)
- 18 Shots (5 on target)
- 5 Big Chances Created
- 4 Big Chances Missed
- 87% Pass Accuracy
- 55% Tackles Won
- 41% Ground Duels Won
- 55% Aerial Duels Won
Those numbers are indicative of the performances under Michael Beale. Lots more possession compared to Saturday but less shots, less shorts on target and less big chances created.
This shows that Rangers kept possession for possessions sake under the previous manager. The lack of cutting edge was glaringly obvious and hopefully that will change.
The lack of bodies getting forward was always a concern previously. However, there was absolutely no issues with that on Saturday.
Going forward it truly was a polar opposite performance to the last one at Ibrox. Considering expectations, it really couldn’t have gone much better for Philippe Clement.
It was a great start for the new Rangers boss. It’s important to not get carried away though. There are some big tests coming up, like Sparta Prague on Thursday and Hearts on Sunday.
If the same level of intensity and attacking prowess is on show then it may be time to build the optimism. The squad has some players that have let themselves down in the past. Can the new start Clement has given them all help to revitalise a few of them?
Just how impressed were you by Rangers against Hibs? As far as debuts go, how would you rate Philippe Clement’s first time in the dugout?
ICYMI we had an in-depth look at Abdallah Sima’s performance vs Hibs here.
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