Immediately at halftime during the match on Saturday, I saw the internet full of comments that Miller should come off asap. This was a trend until he was finally pulled in the 61st minute. After the game I saw many people rating Miller with a poor game, and it confused me. What I saw during the match was Miller was in great positions multiple times, and that he was simply not getting the service or chances that he normally does.
As such this post is a breakdown of the good and bad from Kenny Miller's 60 minutes against Hamilton. I hope to do this weekly with one person from each match whom I think is getting unfair criticism.
Please see the graphic below for a breakdown of Miller's statistical contribution (the numbers are explained in greater detail further below it):
Minutes - 61'
Touches - 22
Passes - 16 for 17
Turnovers - 1
Shots - 0
Crosses - 1 (Successful crosses into the the opponents box)
Fouled - 2 (Fouls against)
SCnrp - 5 (Was open for a Scoring Chance, but did not receive a pass)
urP - 4 (Passes towards him, unsuccessful because they were unreasonable for him to receive [weak pass, defenders in way, off target, intercepted])
Def Clear - 2 (Clearances out of his own box from set piece or corner)
BuP - 1 (Successful tackle to break up opponents play/win ball/regain possesion)
HP - 9 (Heavy Pressure - Amount of times that his pressure on the opponent forced a hasty/errant pass)
In addition to the raw stats, here are some notable plays that also occurred during Miller's time on the park.
Tav with a pass from defensive third, Miller just past half-way, one touch volley pass to Waghorn (30 yard pass) who was on the run. Waghorn drove to outside of goal, was ultimately run just barely out of play, crossed in under goalie, Miller scored after running all the way from half-way to directly down centre of goal. Chopped off due to ball going out of play.
Halliday shot at the edge of the box (right side), Miller next to penalty spot, no one within five yards, Halliday decided to shoot with four Hamilton players on him, with the goalie directly in line of his position.
The two photos below show this in perfect view. Miller would have had time, in my opinion, to gather the ball, take a touch or two, and fire it home.
Hill to Miller just past half-way. Miller with an immediate header directed up top to Waghorn and Wallace, but neither could control it. Wallace did almost get a clearance deflection with chance on goal from their keeper.
McKay receives ball from Wallace, Miller spots that he is mostly one on one, calls for the ball, and didn't receive service.
Tav had two opportunities to pass to Miller on wide right but for whatever reason didn't do so, and instead went with a lower % pass to the centre of the field.
Five seconds later...
Tav with a freekick that the goalie punched out, right at the edge of the six yard box. Miller was a few yards in front of the keeper, directly under the path of the ball, but didn't jump or attempt to provide any sort of distraction to the keeper.
Miller coming into box, one guy two yards to his inside, no one in front or on the outside. Halliday again doesn't give him service with Miller calling for the ball, instead Halliday goes to edge of the box and gets fouled (does result in a free-kick that Waghorn struck the outside of the post with).
Waghorn received a deep ball to the right of the box. From there he tries a very difficult entry into the area, then a tricky cross into Halliday who is running into a congested area with three defenders and the keeper (who is facing Wagorn and Halliday). Meanwhile, Miller was arriving towards the edge of the box, and the only person who could have stopped a pass to him (about five yards closer to the goal than he was), was running towards Halliday, and not facing Miller. A ball to the edge of the box would have provided Miller with an open look at goal. Miller was visibly upset as he yelled in Waghorn's direction.
Barton with a great sliding challenge that supplied the ball to Miller, who then had a key one touch pass to Waghorn at the edge of the box. Waghorn drove into box and shot wide. Initially I didn't notice this, but on the side view replay, if Waghorn had put a hard low pass across box, Miller was open for the tap in.
Tav drove to the edge of the box from midfield, Miller making supporting run down the right side, unmarked, and Tav decides to take a shot, attempting to score through THREE defenders and their keeper.
Barton with a through pass to Miller on right side of the box, too hard in front of Miller, but he regains it, and passes it from the right edge of the box all the way to the edge of the box to meet an incoming Barton who instead of a one touch shot, has a poor touch (almost all the way back to Miller) and Barton takes a shot that would have needed to go through FIVE defenders and the keeper before entering goal. Shot was blocked.
Miller intercepted Hamilton corner on the far left portion of the box. He trapped it in the air, brought it down, dribbled AROUND a player in the box, and then passed it to Wallace who was on the move. Wallace lost possession halfway up field. That was Miller's last touch of game.
I feel the above analysis shows Miller's performance wasn't as bad as some claim. Personally I think more criticism should have been placed on Andy Halliday - as well as other players' decision-making in forward areas. I am not sure if Rangers tried too hard to walk the ball into the net, versus find that key run/pass that has worked well for them in the past. But as the pictures above show, Miller played his role adequately and was exactly in the right spots at the right times.
Mike Driggs writes for Rangers Report and you can view their excellent analytical site via Twitter here.
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