If ever a match summed up the most astonishing turnaround for a Rangers player in recent memory, it was today’s stunning performance from Borna Barisic to finally affirm his place now as one of Rangers’ best players.
With a ridiculous free kick, a dedicated song, and top-class defending, not to mention the return of those brilliant crosses, Barisic has absolutely, unequivocally become Croatia Borna for the Famous Glasgow Rangers.
His form this season started slow, no denying it, even despite the excellent pre-season he’d had.
He didn’t get up to speed and he wasn’t even crossing.
One goal at St Mirren changed Borna’s season.
That absolute miracle free kick has kickstarted his campaign, and we’re now seeing the world class Barisic doing it in the red, white and blue of Rangers at long long last.
If ever Steven Gerrard was rewarded for persistence with a player, for waiting a long long time for him to deliver on the promise, Barisic is it. His defending is outstanding (how many times did he track back today), his link up play in midfield measured and balance, and he’s no longer afraid to take men on – and usually gets a cross in.
In short, £2M for this Croat international, after looking like a rip off from Osijek for a long time, is now starting to look like 10% of his true value.
The Boy George chant in his honour, cleverly thought up by the UB many weeks ago, is the ultimate praise for a player growing into a true fan favourite now. Usually these chants are reserved for cult heroes, the players we love for their heart and ignore their limitations – Borna is now showing heart and lacks any limitations at all.
The difference confidence has made to him is staggering, bewildering, but not unexpected. We waited, we hoped, we begged him to reproduce his international form in our colours, and he is now.
Stevie G has been rewarded for his patience with this lad.
And now left back is not only not a problem any more, it might just be one of our strongest positions.