Axed again – two Rangers men’s times are surely up…


Yesterday’s trip to Methil was an entirely productive one for Rangers, with a comfortable 0-3 win secured at fairly minimal effort. A professional performance was all that was needed and the players selected delivered that.

However, events on the bench were considerably more telling about the grand scheme of things amidst the names listed but, more crucially, not used.

This blustery day in Fife may not have been primed for fancy football, but with Jamie Murphy and Borna Barisic both named on the bench, yet overlooked despite the comfortable score, it screams a lot about the prospects for both.

This was a match for the fringe players to stake a claim, that is, the ones who are still marginally part of Steven Gerrard’s plans. There was obviously no Graham Dorrans (said to be injured again) or Eros Grezda (he’s done at Ibrox), but Murphy, while relatively surplus, was not seen as completely axed, while Barisic, up till two weeks ago, was ready to be part of the team going forward.

It really has all changed.

Barisic rejected to the bench yesterday was a damning indictment of his chances of breaking through at this club – dismissed in favour of Andy Halliday and not even brought on for minutes, his presence on the bench said everything about what his standing is in the eyes of Steven Gerrard. While not completely cast out, his feeble displays back in competitive action have shown his signing to be a waste of time, and a waste of money, and he’s just not suited to the team or the league. Maybe Gerrard will give it another go, but yesterday was his chance to do so and he declined the opportunity.

Meanwhile Jamie Murphy will have been absolutely devastated not have gotten any time as a sub. Even Jake Hastie was preferred to him, Hastie having had a very slow start to life at Ibrox.

And Gerrard’s selection of he and Brandon Barker as replacements ahead of Murphy told the 29-year old everything he needed to know about who was priority and who isn’t.

Gerrard was willing to give Hastie a little spot of time to prove himself (in fairness he did his case no harm) ahead of Murphy – and on top of the sale of Daniel Candeias some weeks ago there’s an undeniable feeling that bar some exceptional cases (Tavernier, Jack and Morelos) priority is going to Gerrard’s own recruits.

And frankly we don’t entirely blame him for that.

But it does cast a huge shadow over Jamie Murphy’s chances of ever being relevant in the Gerrard era, and we can’t help feeling he’s better off away on loan or being outright sold.

As for Barisic, well, it just hasn’t worked, and if he couldn’t get a start in a League Cup match, or even a sub cameo, we think that says it all.

Our manager is a ruthless man, but it’s evidently working.

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  1. I hear what you are saying but Murphy was never going to play on that pitch. Need take it slow with Murphy cant rush him. Murphys presence on squad yesterday was to boost him and get him involved with squad.

  2. The problem I see is that Borna Barisic just isn't getting the kind of service he needs down the left flank – when he was playing with Osijek he was being asked to run onto balls that were played in behind the opposition's right-back – he would run onto the ball and whip in vicious deliveries on the run towards the runners into the box – with Rangers this type of ball seems non-existent because we play with 2 wide men and he doesn't appear to be able to beat a man or overlap consistently.

    • Somewhat agree here, if you go back to big Laffs goal against villareal where Barisic overlapped Middleton and put a terrific ball into the box, that is his strength. I noticed a few times against Kilmarnock in the first game of the season he made a good couple of runs that were just not spotted. In contrast though when in possession of the ball he seemed more happy to get the hot potato away from his feet and not make an angle.

    • Yep, would like to see Arfield left of the front 3 like he did at Burnley, with Barisic overlapping.

      With the left wing options in the squad, can't see this happening much.

      Not sure what we're we're really expecting from our full backs with wingers on the pitch. Tav has also withdrawn more this season,d think he's been any worse than Barisic considering the consistent playing time he's getting.

      How many goals have been conceeded from the left with Barisic on the pitch this season? He's very useful in attacking set plays also.

  3. Gerrard said that he had thought of putting Murphy on but the pitch dictated that he left him sitting on the bench .I half agree about Barisic , I expected him to play with Halliday in midfield to give them both game time , but the fact that Halliday ( who was honking by the way ) started in front of him must be a worry .Not suprised that he didn`t get on , King and Barker were always going to debut and it was good to see Hastie get on .He looked ok and the best of the three subs.

  4. I think Barasic needs to prove his worth on the training ground. Gerrard has played him and on several occasions there's just no passion or drive. He seems to lack that aggressive attitude. Maybe he's just the type of guy who will never get angry. If its the case he's never going to push his way in. Even when we score he's like meh… jog back to position. I doubt we'll ever see what we're after. Murphy imo isn't good enough.

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