If one Rangers player has experienced a particularly raw deal since Michael Beale took over as manager, it’s Croatian hitman Antonio Colak.
Only two or three months ago the on-fire striker was an outside bet to make the Croatian world cup squad, today not only did he get overlooked in favour of inferior alternatives, but he’s lost his place at Ibrox in favour of ‘an inferior alternative’ as well.
Antonio Colak is one of the most talented finishers Rangers have ever had, and it’s not that long that we go back and he was close to breaking all-time records with this club in terms of a pure goal haul.
Today? Beale is overlooking him in favour of overweight and off-form Alfredo Morelos, and the Croat can only look on from the bench as he gets repeatedly ignored.
The claim from his manager is he was injured, but then he retrospectively claimed Glen Kamara was injured for Ross County and proceeded to put him straight back in v Motherwell. We’re not sure we really trust much Beale says.
But end of the day he has been out of the picture for whatever reason since Beale arrived, and only made the bench for Celtic.
We know his form did dip as the whole team’s did, but no one can possibly use that as a reason when Morelos’ diabolical current state is being noted by onlookers, unless there’s credibility to the conspiracy theory that Beale is actually putting the likes of Kamara and Morelos in the shop window, hoping to sell them this window. Not, it would seem, that they are seizing that chance.
But Colak must be deeply frustrated. His record for the season remains outstanding – he has 14 goals and two assists in 24 appearances, including the 6 blanks in the Champions League and a dry Scottish Premiership spell of one in five from Motherwell onwards (16th October).
So while the squad and he tailed off, give him the chances and he will still bury them.
We can’t even rely on Morelos’ mischief making because he just doesn’t bully defenders any more, he’s just not got the heart these days. So the whole ‘hold up play and can do more’ theory for the Colombian doesn’t even apply any longer.
Colak quite simply must start in the next one – we know Morelos is Beale’s pet striker, but he has to deliver on his ‘promises’ and drop players not in form, which is the same promise ol Stevie once made and happily broke repeatedly.
If the Croatian isn’t starting v Utd, unfortunately we have yet another manager who says one thing, does another, and sticks by his favourites.
It’s Goalak’s time to shine again.