Big Gerrard call could have lasting implications for £2M man…


Steven Gerrard has confirmed Borna Barisic’s removal at half time tonight was tactical and not injury-related as the Croat’s yellow card may have played a hand along with his unimpressive performance in Luxembourg.

Normally a booking like that for a fullback wouldn’t be enough to haul them off, but clearly Stevie felt he’d either made a selection error in that area or Barisic was at risk of an early bath as the former Osijek man found himself remaining on the sidelines for the second half.

Barisic has enjoyed a slight renaissance this pre-season, looking a bit more confident with more assured defending – but there’s been a bizarre lack of those killer crosses as the player has either changed his style of play under Stevie’s instruction or has paradoxically lost the confidence to deliver them.

There was another absence of any crosses from him this time, and coupled with the yellow card, Gerrard saw fit to remove him at half time and put Andy Halliday on in his place.

Stevie confirmed this after the match:

“I took Borna off at half-time because I can’t take any risks with him. I have to think of team instead of the individual and it was the same with Scotty Arfield when he got booked. I can’t have any ill-discipline because I didn’t trust the officials tonight. The way the officials were tonight there was every chance there could have been a second yellow and I don’t need that moving forward.”

In Barisic’s defence, Halliday wasn’t a lot better.

Whether this has any bearing on selection for Sunday’s all-important curtain raiser at Rugby Park we shall see, but being yanked off at half time certainly bordered on ominous for Barisic.


  1. The manager has stated clearly why he took him off. If it was performance related then we would've had no players come out for the second half. It was a terrible performance and one that reminds me of those draws with St Johnstone, Dundee, Hibs etc. last season. The ones that cost us too many points last season because we couldn't finish teams off. I'm a bit worried at the moment that we're heading the same way.

  2. Did seem like that 😔 but will add that Progres were fouling all night and cards werent shown but Barisic receives one for a collision that wasnt his fault, couldn't believe my eyes at times

  3. Give Borna a break man. He was up against a player that threw himself to the ground anytime he went near him, and the ref constantly fell for it. Stevie was right to take him off, he said he didnt trust the ref, not Borna. Why dont you write about how awful Ojo was? Or Tav jogging back to defend? Or how Kamara seemed off the pace of the game which is saying something cause the game was slower than Scott Brown. Give the left back a break.

    • I thought Ojo was one of our better performers to be fair. He created about 3 great chances for Morelos which ironically I think Defoe would've buried.

    • He came alive after Morelos came on. Felt Ojo wanted too much of the ball instead of passing it to someone in space.

  4. The guy has till Christmas to prove himself in this league.
    However I fear he does t have the heart for it.

  5. Shocking performance. We should be hammering these teams.This is what to expect from every team in SPL this season (Celtic Excepted) buses well and truly parked.

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