We’re just one game into the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership season and although Rangers opened their campaign with a draw at home to Hamilton Academical, new signing Joey Barton is already proving to be their signing of the summer.
Barton was the standout player for Rangers on Saturday afternoon, dominating the midfield so much so that he was awarded Man of the Match in his first ever game in Scottish league football, and there’s plenty to suggest already that Barton and Rangers is a match made in heaven.
Epitomising everything associated with Rangers Football Club, Barton was a key figure in the club’s first Premiership game in four years, offering his teammates a cool head despite Hamilton being in front for much of a game in which the Gers were expected to win comfortably.
The Barton we know never shies away from a tackle or two, and he certainly didn’t disappoint fans at the weekend.
And while his ‘get stuck-in’ philosophy had his own fans singing his name, it also riled his opponents into becoming distracted throughout the course of the game – in fact with the rest of the team following in Barton’s footsteps, the Accies ended up with five players in the referee’s book, while no Rangers player picked up a card.
As well as creating a series of chances throughout the 90 minutes, Barton was a rock in a midfield which needed to push on during the latter stages of the game, and while many teams would have been vulnerable to a counter attack, Rangers’ new number eight made sure that wasn’t going to happen to his side.
And if Barton continues in a similar vein then it won’t be long before wider plaudits follow.
Rangers are 7/2 to win the Ladbrokes Premiership and travel to Dens Park on Saturday to face a Dundee side who won 3-1 away at Ross County last weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.