Steven Gerrard and company won’t have enjoyed the half an hour journey back from Rugby Park after losing 2-1 to Kilmarnock on Sunday. The loss meant that the Gers have taken just two points out of a possible 12 off of the Ayrshire side this season, although that might have been three from 12 had Borna Barisic not given away a silly penalty late on.
Whilst the game had a dead-rubber feel about it, if anything, it served as a reminder as to why Barisic has been in and out, but mostly out of the side this season. The Croatian full-back only signed at Ibrox last summer after impressing against the Gers for NK Osijek in a Europa League qualifier, but the £1.8 million man, as valued by Transfermarkt, has been woeful for the most part this season.
The 26-year-old is just one of the many reasons why Gerrard has struggled at left-back this season. With both Barisic and Jon Flanagan flopping, Lee Wallace spending most of the season in the solitary confinement he’s seemingly been in since last season’s episode with Graeme Murty and Andy Halliday a midfielder by trade, you can see why these problems have surfaced.
Barisic’s short time in Glasgow hasn’t been memorable at all, and it’s probably best that he bows out like that. The only way that the Ibrox faithful are in danger of having lasting memories of the Croatian is by way of some massive blunder. We’re yet to see anything from the full-back to suggest that he can prove otherwise, and as that’s the case Gerrard should get rid and bring in a more capable defender.
Whether or not Gerrard does go out this summer and targets a left-back is still to be seen, but whilst they continue to limp through with Barisic, Flanagan and Halliday holding down the fort on the left of the back four their title dream will remain just that. Should the issue be addressed next season then hopes will be boosted, but for now, shipping off Barisic is key as the silly season approaches thick and fast.
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