Kemar Roofe arrived in the summer with a big price tag and had the fans hoping he was the man that could propel Rangers onto the next level.
He really burst onto the scene with his moment of world class ability in Standard Liege, when he scored the goal which will surely be in contention for goal of the year at the Ballon D’or awards in 2021. It wasn’t just the finish, but the dribbling and determination before that moment that might just have got people’s attention.
His superb finish from outside the box against Benfica was another moment of sensational striking and once again people began to take more notice.
Truth is Kemar Roofe has a little bit of everything. His superb double reverse run and finish at home to Aberdeen was another different type of goal. Similarly his goal at Ross County when he hit the front post, to slide Rangers in front, was another different type of goal.
Mark Hateley spoke about Kemar Roofe on our new Rangers podcast on http://www.Ten10podcasts.com and said he has a little bit of everything. The ability to drop deep into space and pick up the ball, the ability to score a range of goals and the ability to be the man in this team who scores twenty plus goals.
That’s high praise from a man as renowned as Mark Hateley, he’s also a man who knows a player when he sees one.
So on Saturday when Rangers faced a situation that is unprecedented in my memory, two banks of five and our centre backs so high they were basically attacking midfielders, there were horrible flashbacks to events of last year that need no explanation.
Rangers had blown a huge opportunity against St Mirren with a gutting defeat to lose our near perfect season start. It was a poor performance, littered with mistakes, at a time when cup glory looked a real possibility. Make no mistakes we threw it away and the old criticisms are hard to hide from or defend.
It wasn’t good enough and the manager took responsibility. He told press it was on him for the changes and now, in previous years he may have had a pop at the players, he was prepared to perhaps learn lessons in his approach from before.
So return back to Motherwell’s Ibrox visit and with seventy minutes on the clock every one of our arses were tightening just a little bit more. In fact there was no music in my house but I could hear ‘Hello darkness my old friend’ all too clearly.
But Rangers threw caution to the wind and it was Roofe who came up aces to equalise then add a third. Once again he showed he has yet another side to his attacking play as he scored penalty spot finishes any striker would be proud of.
That’s half way goals, strikes from outside the box, jinking runs, near post movement and now these goals to add to his now double figure goal tally.
Mark Hateley said he has a little bit of everything and well Kemar is doing nothing to suggest he is wrong.
The truth is his movement, finishing and all round play has added dimensions to our game we previously lacked. He gets involved and he’s intelligent, as demonstrated on Saturday when he knew to get close to Itten in the box as the big Swiss would distract many players. That instinct led to the goals in a game we wouldn’t have recovered earlier in this calendar year.
It had been pointed out to me just how good Kemar Roofe is by a close friend, occasionally a player comes to Scotland and he’s a step above, it looks like he may be right.
Glory to the new born king? Perhaps it’s a bit early to bestow that praise but a few more vital moments and there won’t be too many disagreeing.
Finally, as Rangers head into a massive league period it’s a congratulations to all the players and management on the season so far. St Mirren proves we must avoid complacency and keep on it but the only team that will stop Rangers is Rangers themselves. We have given ourselves a great opportunity but that’s all it is, we’ve had a laugh with ‘Live it up’ but everything needs to be put on the back burner and really kick on.
John Bennett expertly addressed everyone with two key phrases in his AGM speech. 150th year anniversary and number 55.
Well both are now in sight but nothing is achieved yet. But if we keep going and Kemar, and others, keep doing what they are doing then it might just become closer in the months to come.
Now there’s a thought this festive period
My best Christmas wishes to you all this festive period, let’s hope it’s a red, white and blue 2021
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise