Antonio Colak today put to bed two myths about him – one that he can’t score as a sub (he finally exorcised that in Paisley) and the other, that he cannot play as the lone striker.
True, it was a dead rubber end of season match, but the Croat has given Michael Beale something to think about, and maybe won over a few doubters in the support as well, fans who reckoned he can’t do anything aside score.
As his heatmap below shows, Colak spent plenty of time all over the pitch, coming deeper, laying the ball off, winning possession – it is a factual myth that the Croat cannot play the deeper hold-up role, and while we will never claim he’s a big physical unit like a peak Morelos or the archetypal Daniel Cousin Diego Costa mould, what he does he does very well indeed and clearly benefits from support around him.
Like any striker, of course.
Goalak will never, ever stop giving Rangers goals. He is a natural-born predator and after strong claims from sources were that Beale had dumped him like he did Arfield, his strong cameo display v the Buddies does hint that the Croat has a chance at Ibrox.
He is absolutely good enough – he’s scored in the Champions League qualifiers, he was scoring domestically for fun at the start of the season, and he just keeps on proving himself – but so many fans don’t want to know, for some reason.
Has this match changed things? Well that depends on Beale, of course. Colak today proved he can work in Beale’s system, in Beale’s Rangers. He can score, come deeper, and work hard.
But we just get the impression from this manager that like he did with Scotty Arfield, he just doesn’t like or want Colak and nothing the lad can do will change that opinion, one that seems to be shared by a lot of the support, for wrong or wrong.
Sometimes some players just never gain fan favour whatever they do, and Colak might just be one of those. Those who like him, love him, those who dislike him will never like him whatever he achieves.
But then, end of the day, if Beale works with him, sets his team up to help the lad, Colak will be like a new signing next season.
He is an exceptional striker who has never caught a break anywhere.
Maybe it’s time he got one at Ibrox.