Monday, 21 January 2019

Has Steven Gerrard run out of patience with star player?

When Ibrox Noise made a claim a week or two ago that Borna Barisic’s time in Scotland had been a ‘disaster’, we were met by pure disdain and borderline mockery.

Some replies bigged him up and dismissed his injury issues as ‘bad luck’ while others suggested he was a ‘Rolls Royce’.

However, these individuals have gone remarkably quiet following yesterday afternoon’s latest injury shambles with the Croat, and have been replaced by more realistic fans labelling him, sadly legitimately, as ‘Rossiter mark 2’.

And Steven Gerrard, when asked about Barisic post-match, looked absolutely exasperated with the 26-year old as if he has run out of patience with his repeated injuries.

To quote him exactly:

“I don’t know (if there’s anything serious), you’d have to ask Borna. He had me worried because he tapped the floor about 55 times but I’m not sure, you’d have to ask Borna. He looks like he’s moving ok now.”

Aside the mischievous possibility of the 55 trolling that we suggested yesterday is the more serious issue of a £2M Croatian international who can’t stay fit for more than a few matches.

As a few supporters have stated, when he played on in the Europa League clash with a bloodied bandage, harking back to Terry Butcher and Dado Prso in the day, it made him look like a hard fella who would be robust and could play on through the pain barrier.

Unfortunately that display against Rangers is the best (and only time) we’ve seen Barisic actually live up to the amount we ultimately paid for him.

His performances for Rangers, when they’ve rarely happened, have been unconvincing. His attacking play isn’t especially imaginative and he can’t beat a man, nor does he have any pace, but he counters this with some scintillating delivery and a hell of a torpedo on his left foot.

Meanwhile defensively he gets caught out a lot, and doesn’t seem to quite know how to read the Scottish game. He’s not especially physical and unlike Tavernier lacks pace and dribbling skill.

But of course none of this matters anyway when he can’t stay fit – and his manager really does seem to be losing patience on the whole thing.

Mercifully Andy Halliday has risen to the challenge and is making the LB berth his own – so the failure of Barisic leaves less of a hole in the squad and more of a hole in the club coffers. There has been talk that some Turkish sides were interested in him a week or so ago, and frankly Rangers would be inclined now to take the money and run.

And that will deeply frustrate Steven Gerrard.

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