We were pretty convinced Brandon Barker was going to start yesterday, and he did, and we anticipated him taking the chance to show the world what he was about.
After his injury took him off on 25 minutes, it became apparent Barker is just not cut out to play for Rangers, and that doesn’t appear to be changing.
Steven Gerrard isn’t getting much wrong at all – hell, even the experiments and tinkering he does occasionally still ultimately works out.
And he really believes in Barker, mainly because the kid puts in great training sessions.
But he is having repeated inability to show up similarly for matches. There appears to be a psychological block here, a widely-known one, which sees him fade into obscurity in games when he’s actually very effective in training.
Before he went off yesterday, Barker barely had one touch of the ball. In 25 minutes, his entire impact was pretty much one or two touches, and that was about it.
Next thing we know he’s injured and goes off.
Glen Kamara comes on and within 5 minutes has done more with the ball than the winger had for that near-opening half hour.
Barker is one we just don’t agree on – we know a sh*t tonne less than our manager about the game, nor do we deny it, but we suspect a lot of our readers and fanbase in general probably have doubts about the ex-Man City man too.
His entire career he’s never played more than 22 league matches in a season (in Belgium’s second division and in the SPL with Hibs) and while he hardly cost much and is reasonable squad fodder, he’s one the boss appears to prefer over, for example, the currently unavailable Jordan Jones.
It seems to be to do with attitude, and his belief there’s something there.
But so far it’s only shown up a little bit, and nowhere near enough to justify the minutes he’s had.
It’s Stevie’s call, and he’s getting very little wrong, but most fans definitely have concerns about Barker’s playing time.