Borna Barisic and Calvin Bassey both had very different international breaks as one was regailed for a wonderful night while the other deeply struggled.
But it wasn’t the way round you’d have thought.
With Bassey in good form at Ibrox, he was surprisingly unable to translate that to his nation, and had a pretty dreadful night v Ghana, being lambasted by his country’s media in the maiden debut for the Super Eagles at his favoured LB position. He was rated 1/5
Meanwhile Barisic thrived v Bulgaria, peppering in crosses and looking just like his old self, scoring a stunning 8.6/10 by his country’s media and nailing the MOTM award as a result in a score which will depress the Croat fans who cannot stand Rangers’ star LB.
Bassey may be in more confidence at Ibrox right now, but this international appearance from both may just have changed that a touch.
Anyone with an ounce of sense (something in short supply in this modern world) will know Barisic is technically and ability-wise the better player, with a far superior CV and greater capability to thrive at high levels. He’s struggled for confidence since the Old Firm debacle and became extremely unpopular with a lot of supporters as a result.
These supporters prefer Bassey, and in fairness the Nigeria man has had a great season for the Famous, but Barisic’s intelligence, crossing and positional sense he doesn’t have. What Bassey thrives in is power, athleticism and physique. And there are many occasions, especially in the SPL, where such attributes are extremely useful.
If Barisic can get that confidence back, though, he’s our best LB. No disrespect to Bassey, who’s given a lot this season, but he’s not the best LB at Ibrox. On present domestic form he offers more, yes, but this break rather highlighted who the real Rolls Royce of the two is.
Hopefully we can see Barisic back to his best soon in the Light Blue.