Spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about Rangers is widespread in the media, but maybe in the case of Borna Barisic’s injury they’re right…
You know how the media loves to hype things up, right? Nothing sells faster than drama, nothing rated PG or less at least. It’s the lifeblood of any newspaper, podcast or blog, yes even this one, writing stuff that people actually want to read. Alas, in absence of actual drama, most sources will either create it themselves out of literally nothing or find one nugget of interest and twist it beyond recognition.
Occasionally though, there comes along an issue which gets hyped up and actually, after the fact, turns out it really was something. If I had an Inception horn, I’d be ringing it right now because the media which tried to scare the money out of your pocket – by reporting that Borna Barisic coming off injured for Rangers at the weekend was something non-trivial – may actually have been right.
Not the drama we all necessarily wanted to be correct, by any means. Barisic has cemented himself in Gerrard’s side and is absolutely the best left-back in the league, it isn’t even close. He’s rock solid defensively but also threatening up front and full of pace, trickery and creation – like a second James Tavernier, and who doesn’t want more players like him?
Sadly where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Barisic didn’t feature for Croatia, not even on the bench, in their international friendly against Switzerland last night. Barisic is more than good enough to start for Croatia, but if fit he’d almost certainly be in the squad at the very least.
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Now, it’s important to remember that this was just a friendly. So Borna went off injured during our 2-0 win over Ross County, noticeably limping, but the extent of his injuries was relatively unknown. Perhaps the Croatian national team left him out as a precaution, or because he was yet to be fully declared fit, or because he wasn’t training, or they simply wanted to give other players a try. There’s any number of inoculous reasons, excuses really, that could fit the bill here.
Further, while we’ve not heard from Stevie G on Borna, Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister downplayed the incident as a mere “impact injury” from which he’d recover quickly. Not that quickly, it seems.
What’s more concerning is the first Old Firm game of the season coming up in 11 days. Celtic aren’t playing well but keep picking up three points by hook or by crook, so these head-to-heads will absolutely decide the title this year, I have no doubt. At least it’s better than having it decided by some panel of unelected, bureaucratic morons.
So the Gers at least have new signing Calvin Bassey to fall back on, the 20 year old looked sharp a few weeks back when we put 5 past Motherwell, and held the line when he came on in place of Barisic at the weekend. Nonetheless, Ross County is hardly in the same ballpark as Celtic and you’d have to imagine the lad has not nearly had enough time to gel with the squad or develop to not be targetted and exposed in such an encounter.
Fingers crossed that McAllister is right about Borna and it’s all just precautionary, or the like. The rumour that he was injured a little more than Rangers let on may well be true, but here’s hoping the rumour that he will miss the Old Firm is just more of that media drama.