Jonny McFarlane, Andy Newport and Scott McDermott discussed all of the latest Rangers news on the most recent edition of the Record Rangers podcast, and during the show, the journalists spent some time talking about Gers boss Steven Gerrard’s decision to play Jermain Defoe versus Livingston last weekend.
Defoe made his third appearance and his first start of the 2020/21 Premiership campaign versus Livingston last Sunday, and the 38-year-old marked the occasion by bagging his first Premiership goal of the season.
During this recent edition of the Record Rangers podcast, McDermott was full of praise for Gerrard’s decision to go with Defoe from the start versus Livingston, with the journalist declaring that this move was a “masterstroke” from the Gers boss.
He said: “Up front, I mean just touching on Defoe, obviously, for the weekend, I was probably a bit surprised – I’m sure a lot of people were – to see Defoe starting the game on Sunday, [he] almost kind of came in from the cold. People were expecting maybe [Kemar] Roofe after Liege or maybe even [Cedric] Itten if he was going to change it up, but I thought it was a masterstroke to play Defoe on Sunday.
“Not only did he look fresh and fit and sharp, but the way Rangers played, the way they got through Livingston when a lot of it was a bit more direct, it was passes over the top for Defoe to run onto, I thought it worked an absolute treat for them – as I say, the game was won by half time.”
Was this a masterstroke from Gerrard?
TIF Thoughts on what McDermott had to say about Gerrard’s decision to start Defoe…
Judging by what McDermott had to say, it’s clear that while he didn’t expect Defoe to start at the weekend, he thinks this was the right decision, with the journalist indicating that the £1.26m-rated centre-forward played a key role in helping the Glasgow club to effectively put the game to bed early on.
Defoe didn’t get the full 90 minutes on Sunday and left the pitch just after the hour mark. Despite that, he took the joint-highest number of shots (two) of any Rangers player in this game – hitting the target with both of them and scoring from one – while the 38-year-old also managed to draw the joint-highest number of fouls (three) of any Gers player in this game, according to WhoScored.
So, with that in mind, it may be fair to say that Defoe made a significant impact on this game during his time on the pitch, and as a result, we feel it’s understandable why McDermott seems to think that Gerrard used the Englishman wisely.