Picking apart the myths about Rangers’ Borna Barisic

Picking apart the myths about Rangers’ Borna Barisic
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Borna Barisic of Rangers arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League group A match between Rangers FC and Liverpool FC at Ibrox Stadium on October 12, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We’ve seen a bit of ‘outrage’ from some Rangers fans over our assessment of Borna Barisic’s Croatia performance, despite widespread praise in the media and ratings sites about his display.

The most common arguments we got were ‘must have watched a different match, he was torn apart’, and further disagreement with an earlier piece about why he struggled under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, with fans arguing it wasn’t tactics because Ridvan Yilmaz was way more attacking.

So, we’re going to take these in turn and address them directly.

First of all, last night Borna definitely struggled with Junya Ito’s pace to begin with, which led to a tonne of clickbait headlines about co-commentator Jermaine Jenas claiming at that point, rightly, that Barisic ‘had a big problem’ with Ito’s pace and trickery.

The pundit was correct, and it was at that point Barisic then adjusted his game by way of tactical tinkering from coach Zlatko Dalic. Ito’s influence was therefore massively reduced from around 20 minutes onwards. In fact Ito’s stats read 9 crosses, one accurate, a single key pass, 82% passing, one failed attempt at a long ball and zero dribbles. 6.68 score from whoscored. Hardly evidence of Ito slaughtering Barisic on the right. Ritsu Doan, who was the actual RW? He did a bit better managing a dribble and a few crosses, but it wasn’t Doan the aggressive comments were about.

Once Barisic got wise to Japan’s right side, nothing was coming down his side at all, and it was a polished display. But don’t let that get in the way of some fans hating a Rangers player because it’s fashionable to do so.

Next, is the Ridvan comments; ergo how can the explanation of Barisic’s poor negative form under Gio wash when Ridvan was so much more attacking. Answer? That’s why Ridvan barely played! He wasn’t following Gio’s defensive archetype, so the manager preferred Barisic who did what he was told to. Gio’s explanations of language etc over Ridvan’s absence might have had a role to play, but ultimately Ridvan was too attacking for the manager so he barely touched him.

It’s not that complicated really.

So there you have it. You’re free to deride or agree at your own leisure because as Rangers’ board today was at pains to emphasise – it’s all about opinions at the end of the day.

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