What could Rangers manager Philippe Clement have gotten from Antonio Colak?

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What could Rangers manager Philippe Clement have gotten from Antonio Colak?
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 24: Antonio Colak of Glasgow Rangers celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal with his teammate Thomas Lawrence of Glasgow Rangers during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off Second Leg match between PSV and Glasgow Rangers at Phillips Stadium on August 24, 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

There is no denying few to none of Rangers’ exiting players of the past few years have shone.

One or two have done ok in places, but none of them have gone onto bigger and better things, and in most cases, it’s been a straight drop.

But the tragic case of German-born Antonio-Mirko Čolak, or Goalak to you and I, where the three-times Croatian international has absolutely crashed in Italy, really serves as a reminder that sometimes the stars align and it’s the right club right time for a player.

And if that’s ruined, it’s Parma. With Cyriel Dessers dividing fans, we found ourselves looking back at our old favourite…

Čolak was incredible for Rangers. Once he’d opened his competitive account for the club against Kilmarnock, he went on a run of 7 goals in 7 matches. The man was on fire, scoring in all competitions including Champions League qualifiers.

But then ‘that’ trio of matches derailed it – Celtic, Ajax then Liverpool. 8 goals conceded with none scored, and suddenly fans turned on him as a waster.

Cue those complaints going quieter when he then nailed 6 in his next 6, but after the Liverpool debacle at Ibrox, somehow fan favour just went completely off him and after that, a huge portion of the support, previously his biggest backers, wrote him off as a loser.

So when we remove that horror group of three matches, Čolak scored literally 13 in 13. A truly stunning record. Add them it’s still 13 in 16.

He was, aside Haaland, the UK’s most on-fire in-form striker at the time.

But after that, the Champions League debacle seemed to count against him – he was significantly blamed by many fans for the lack of goals scored, despite the complete lack of service he got, and then with injury compounding matters, he faded from the front lines.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was soon fired, and then the appointment of the Mick was the absolute end for Čolak at Ibrox.

So, with the most talented striker we’d had at Ibrox for some time now in Parma, it’s safe to say his spell in Italy has been a shambles.

I Gialloblu sit at the summit in Serie B, certain to get promoted, but the Croat just isn’t a part of it. He’s made only 5 starts all season, and has never scored in any of them. He has been a sub 15 times and scored 3 times with those.

That’s it.

Čolak is not in the right league or at the right club for his play style, he had it perfect at Rangers to begin with and he truly believed he had found his home at last. The stars had aligned and finally he was scoring for fun and looking world class with it.

But ‘those’ three matches hurt him a lot, two starts against Celtic and Ajax (the team was absolutely out of its depth here) and a cameo v Napoli (including a near-goal from a header) were damaging, but his fade after injury definitely stung. And the Mick was a curse on Rangers hurting more careers than just the Croat’s.

Čolak was at the right club at the right time but it became the wrong time, and now he languishes on a Serie B in Italy.

One can only imagine what Philippe Clement could have got out of Antonio-Mirko Čolak.

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