We’ll have a full analysis of our thoughts on the Europa League exit in due course, but it didn’t take Ally McCoist to confirm what we’ve been calling on here for months – Lassana Coulibaly’s become a complete shadow of what he was and isn’t the player we saw at the end of the July.
Why Steven Gerrard is continuing to select him is absolutely beyond us and against Rapid again he was invisible, lost, and had no effect on the match whatsoever. Coulibaly, that is.
We jest, Gerrard took this Rangers team far further in Europe than we could have dreamed – regardless of what happened in Austria it was a stunning journey with an incredible run of 11 matches unbeaten included. It was pretty incredible.
But why was Lassana Coulibaly selected for such a big match when his form has remained feeble at best, both domestically and on the European stage?
The Malian was, for a time, a big Ibrox Noise favourite – his destructive work in the middle was impressive and he allowed Ryan Jack, Ovie Ejaria and Scott Arfield to express themselves a bit more than they would otherwise – he took the flak off them.
But that injury v St Mirren has simply ended him – we cannot justify his place in the side at all. He’s a lovely guy, we can tell you that, but five months later and he has been an empty shirt and if Gerrard continues to select him, it will only hurt Rangers.
We cannot afford passengers, and unless Coulibaly has a remarkable turnaround in form before January, he is the absolute epitome of one now.
Maybe he has a stipulation in his contract where he must play a set amount of matches, which is not uncommon in loan deals – it’s the point of the loaning club to ensure their player gets minutes at their temporary club.
But it cannot be at the cost of the club who takes the player on. And right now Coulibaly’s presence in the first team is.