Regular readers of Ibrox Noise will know we’re not Borna Barisic’s biggest fans.
The kid has talent, and a hell of a left peg, we don’t deny either – but he’s shown a lack of bottle, courage, and general cohesion with both his team mates and the Scottish game that Andy Halliday fills and then some.
Halliday has also produced some very decent crosses and set piece deliveries, something which goes unnoticed by those who want to believe that a Croat international is the superior player.
Which he should be – and with a call up again for his country confirmed today, the former Osijek man really is in a place where if he is going to start delivering for his club, having a good match or two with the mighty Croatia, a truly world class squad, is the place to start.
Borna Barisic has everything to prove. Some fans suggest he has already been great for Rangers – we just cannot reconcile with that.
He can cross, absolutely, but not so much recently. He has an excellent corner, yes, but again, it’s usually Kent who takes them (and assisted Joe Worrall’s goal on Sunday direct from one) these days.
He doesn’t show so much gumption on the ball, he doesn’t beat men, and he is just far too meek in performances to show that he’s got what it takes to wear this shirt.
When he had that bandage on and scored and created over those two legs against Rangers, he looked the real deal – but those two legs remain the best we’ve seen of him.
You do not get called up to the Croatian national squad repeatedly if you can’t play a bit, and few would be happier than us if a top class Croat realised his potential in our shirt and got adjusted to the style of our play and produced the kind of performances which encouraged a £2M investment.
You see, it’s not so much we rate Halliday so much, it’s just that we find it absurd a natural attacking midfielder seems better at left back than Borna blinking Barisic half the time – and we call that out frequently.
Far better for this club that Barisic gets a grip of the game here and becomes what he clearly is capable of being.
And that starts by shining for his country.