What happened to Brandon Barker?

What happened to Brandon Barker?
Having a look at this....

We saw a very interesting comment on our social channels pertaining to our criticism and 5 rating of Brandon Barker.

The gentleman said:

“How can you praise Gerrards tactics then be so critical of Barker. Barker carried his role perfectly. He pinned their left back to his own half then matched his runs going forward which allowed Tavernier to shine. I agree he was quiet in the ball and there was no lung bursting runs using his pace but there was so much more to his performance today. A huge part of football is what you do off the ball and for that alone barker done a job today.”

This got some support, so we decided to investigate Barker’s contribution properly, and the best part of that is to track his movement and compare the effectiveness of his marking target.

According to the chap, Barker tracked Diego Laxalt and stopped him, so let’s have a look first at the on-loan Milan player’s match:

Diego Laxalt managed 8 crosses, the highest on the pitch, and two of them were accurate. No one was more effective, even including our own fullbacks, for crossing. He managed 3 long balls, of which 2 were on the money.

So, Barker’s impact on Laxalt is already starting to look negligible.

But let’s look at the heat maps for both players. According to the chap, Laxalt should be mostly in his own half and Barker should be mostly up the pitch on his side blocking or tracking him.

Diego Laxalt with 71 touches.
Barker with just 23, and a lack of discipline.

Not really, according to these, Laxalt was heavily in our half, and Barker was frankly all over the place, not disciplined to any one slot and not tracking anyone.

We didn’t see the display the chap was on about, and the majority did not either.

Gerrard also did not which is why he removed him after 61 minutes.

The truth is, Barker flopped yesterday, and the confidence was absent again. He did absolutely nothing on the ball, and was ineffective off the ball too. In fact no one was less effective marking their man or for their defensive duties in our shirt than Barker was. His stats defensively were pretty modest to say the least. Only Steven Davis was statistically comparable and his job is not defending at all.

What now for him? We don’t know. We’ve seen bad performances in the past, and players come back from those, but Barker seems a player who is very very up and down.

His big advantage is Stevie absolutely prefers him to Jordan Jones, so he is likely to get more chances.

It’s up to him to leave this one behind and prove what he’s made of.

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  1. Soon as i seen the line-up i said to my mate i would rather wr played jones and started kent over on the right side and jones on the left obv. Barker was rubbish yesterday. Hes a gd squad player to come in and give someone a rest against your Hamiltons and St.Mirrens, mabay a Lech Poznan so he can do a job fr us. But i wouldnt use him against any above mediocre teams unless we are done by injurys. Loving all the new peices your writing. 😎👍🏻

  2. For the umpteenth time Barker is a dud and not good enough for Rangers. He struggled to get into a mediocre Hibs team and that says it all. With players returning from injury I hope he doesn’t get anymore playing time. Time he was put out to grass we have let better players leave Murphy Docherty etc

  3. I have to agree this lad is not good enough for Rangers , he obviously has SG’s eye and has shown potential But he’s not good enough and was a passenger the same if slightly more than Morelos on Saturday. Jones for me everyone

  4. After reading the ratings I’ve watched the game back and can safely say he was a 5 at best. However, you gave him a 5 and Buff a 3. I can see why the 5. Rotten performance bar one run, hardly touched the ball and when he did, he gave it away. However, Buff was involved in everything good and exciting we did in the opening 15 mins. Was involved in the lead up to the free kick which lead to the 1st goal. From 18 mins I started to take notes when he first gave the ball away cheaply which led to a counter attack to see if from a great opening 15 he deteriorated so badly to a 3. Out of the 31 notes I took barely 3 were entirely negative/a cause of concern for us defensively before he released Arfield in the lead up to the 2nd goal. Most contributions were successful lay offs believe it or not. Also involved by occupying 2 defenders leaving the opportunity for Kent who should make it 3. By the 79th minute he’s still tracking back and intercepts a ball to Brown deep in our own half before releasing Kent who halts play. Yes he did leave it in a bit today on some but by doing so he stopped any rhythm they may have had and probably got in the heads of a few, also think Gerrard would have hooked him had he been carded earlier but why do so if he’s nosing up the opposition and getting away with it? Mentality is so much in these games. Also, the Alfie from last year that we all loved played mainly between the sticks. However, today when he did there was not one decent pass made for the runs he made including 2 attempts from Davis. I’m not gonna lie. I’m delighted we kept him and I personally think he was involved in everything good we did on the day. Will admit he looked like he was blowing out his arse from about 70 minutes. So a 3? Nae chance.

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