The full extent of de Boer’s repertoire has yet to be seen by the Rangers supporters, but his return to the side against Killie gave the fans a good indication of what they can look forward to next season.
The Dutch star, who had not played since facing Brechin in the Cup at the end of January, scored the first goal and set up the third in what turned out to be a comfortable win.
However, he also showed the prompting and passing which will make him such a key figure in the side next season.
That said the biggest roar of the day was reserved for Ally McCoist, who was encouraged onto the field at the end by Dick Advocaat to take the adulation of the public he served so well for 15 years.
The biggest disappointment for the fans, though, was that Bobby Williamson did not put the veteran striker on – even for a few minutes.
McCoist, who retires next week, hugged the Rangers players, swapped shirts with Jorg Albertz and was even given the matchball by referee Mike McCurry. Wasn’t it just typical of Rangers’ greatest goalscorer to upstage everyone again?
From a Rangers’ point of view the day belonged to de Boer and Lorenzo Amoruso, who were Rangers’ top men, although Stefan Klos had to make significant saves from Jesus Sanjuan and Craig Dargo before Rangers stamped their authority.
It was e Boer who gave Rangers the lead after 19 minutes and settled the game down from a Rangers point of view. He cleverly escaped his marker to meet Albertz’s corner from the right with clean, glancing header which flew past Colin Meldrum towards the left corner of the net.
Gus MacPherson hooked the ball clear with his left boot, but was clearly behind the line as he did so and referee McCurry awarded the goal to make it a sweet comeback for Dutchman de Boer.
Dick Advocaat believes it will be next season before the supporters see the real de Boer, but he showed enough examples of his quality to thrill the Ibrox crowd who were given the performance and result they wanted.
It was also a good day for Amoruso, who has given another indication that he will not be here next season, setting up the second goal and scoring the third.
It was his ball forward in the 65th minute which led to the second Rangers goal, although the greater contribution came from Killie’s Mark Reilly.
He lost concentration while collecting Amo’s long ball allowing Peter Lovenkrands to rob him of possession and the Dane slipped the ball unselfishly into the path of Rod Wallace who could not miss.
Amoruso then powered a header past Meldrum at his near post in 68 minutes following de Boer’s excellent corner and the game was over as a contest. The big Italian was unlucky with another header in 84 minutes when Reilly cleared off the line.
It was Wallace and Tore Andre Flo who notched the other goals in what turned into a rout, although Klos was disappointed that Craig Dargo was not picked up in 70 minutes when he notched Killie’s only crumb of comfort from the game.
Flo was the creator for Wallace’s second goal in 78 minutes when he cleverly laid off Fernando Ricksen’s ball forward and the little Englishman thumped a right foot shot which Meldrum managed to touch but failed to prevent from crossing the line.
There was a similarity to Flo’s goal two minutes when he danced in the box to create the shooting chance and then slammed a right foot shot which seemed to squeeze under Meldrum before crossing the line.
The fans were satisfied – well, nearly. The called for the introduction of McCoist but Williamson would not accede to their demands, realsing that he could not be seen to be pandering to opposition supporters.
It would have been nice for Ally to get a run, but Williamson’s reasons were understandable. Nostalgia, it seems, is not what it used to be!
RANGERS (3-4-1-2): Klos; Moore (Lovenkrands 55), Konterman, Amoruso; Ricksen, Tugay, Albertz (Kauppila 74), Numan; de Boer (Dodds 71); Wallace, Flo. Subs not used – Christiansen, Wilson.
KILMARNOCK (4-5-1): Meldrum; MacPherson, Innes, Dindeleux, Hay; Mitchell (McLaren 71), Mahood, Reilly, Sanjuan, Calderon (di Giacomo 77); Dargo. Subs not used – Stewart, McCoist, Fowler.
Ref: Mike McCurry.
Man of the match: Lorenzo Amoruso.
Moment of the match: Ally’s final, final farewell to the fans.