With the half season almost done, we thought we’d have a look at some of the stand out players, for good and bad, who have made big impressions this campaign so far, and assess where they are, where they’re going and what we feel about them.
We’ll start with the obvious star of the season:
He’s been staggering this season. Sure, he wasn’t great at Pittodrie and he tried just too hard at Hampden to score, while also finding an on-form Fraser Forster, but overall his record this season is ridiculous, and his record in Europe even better. His value has gone through the roof and a player of this type who scores as easily as he does can only get better and more lucrative. What an improvement.
Unpopular opinion alert – we don’t rate him so much. We were never big fans of this guy in the first place, but warmed to him a little particular in the split last season, when some of his performances were stand out, but this season he just hasn’t done it to anything like the same level, and more and more of our readers appear to agree. We’re not convinced by his poor concentration in the middle of the park, and while he works hard, we can’t help feeling we’d be better off now with Greg Docherty or Ross McCrorie in there. Or at least given a chance.
He had a dodgy first season at Ibrox, and then a better second one – this campaign he’s become mindblowing. Works harder than anyone to cover every inch of pitch, this lad has become the best Scottish midfielder playing the game today, and no one does his dynamic game better than he. Defends, attacks, scores, and supports. The complete midfielder.
Had such an inauspicious start to life at Ibrox, and certainly hasn’t won over the masses yet, but performances like Thursday’s will help, even if he was guilty a touch of some overindulgence and poor decision making. He has the talent for sure, and he has the physical presence, just get the sense he needs to believe in himself a little more and adapt more efficiently to the SPL.
From the utter flop of last season and even up till ‘that’ goal at St Mirren to the world class LB he now is, Barisic has risen from all the rot of before to becoming the cream of the club. A £20M+ FB easy, if Tierney is, Barisic has absolutely seized the chance, settled down, and become the complete modern FB. He’s outstanding now.
We alluded to this earlier – trying a bit too hard to impress, Kent has had a patchy return to Ibrox, and needs to settle down, take expectation off his shoulders and just play for his team and not for the cameras. This is where Steven Gerrard will earn his corn, managing this kid, calming him down. We know how good Kent can be, but he seems unsure of himself right now.
We’ll stop at Goldson – the former Brighton man has been exposed a lot this season, a little unfairly perhaps by us given we’re well aware of just how dominant he is aerially. Indeed, few defenders clear the ball as much as he does, but unfortunately the physical ‘defending’ part of his job is definitely his weakness. He doesn’t tackle, intercept or press enough, and requires a physical partner like Niko who does.
So there you have it, a number of the key players in the side, not all, but a choice selection. We’ll cover some more in a later entry, but we’ll see how many you agree with of that lot.