Glasgow Rangers paid good money to bring three international players from Croatian side Osijek to Ibrox over the summer months.

The Gers were paired against them in an earlier qualifying round of the Europa League, and the trio appeared to be bargain buys considering their talents.

Borna Barisic is an accomplished Croatia left-back, centre-half Nikola Katic is a Croat under-21 international and Eros Grezda is a versatile forward for the Albania international team.

They all have genuine football talent and the trio were bought for reasonable transfer fees. But, the bottom line is, do the Rangers men have the bottle to play in bish-bash Scottish football?

It now seems that only Rangers and Celtic are prepared to play attractive football designed to entertain the paying customer.

Even Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen now play a hit and run tactic, punt it up the park, which totally kills the game as a spectacle – but it is competitive.

McInnes will never have a team of Rangers or Celtic’s quality wanting him as a manager with those amateurish, junior league style tactics.

Any chance he may have had in the past is well and truly over for his newly derived system of humping it up in the air at every opportunity, and try and win the second ball.

Barisic looked a different class player against Rangers in Europe when Steven Gerrard saw him playing against the Ibrox club. But the Light Blues were a good football playing side, and he was a stand out.

When playing Motherwell at Fir Park and Hamilton away, then St Mirren in Paisley, and Livingston on their plastic pitch and Dundee at Dens Park, it is completely alien from free-flowing creative football. Kick and rush.

It seems to be too difficult for Barisic to adjust to the jostling, shoulder charging, late tackling tactics employed by the inferior Scottish teams who have no money to buy enough decent players, and the rotten referees give them no protection.

In the Scottish games Andy Halliday gets stuck right into them, where Barisic attempts to play nice football into the path of his Rangers teammates. 

Englishman Joe Worrall fights for the ball better than Katic, and Eros Grezda has still to learn how to play in Scotland without getting battered and injured in every SPFL game.

Halliday is unlucky not to be Gerrard’s first pick at left-back, even though Barisic is technically the better player from the two Rangers options.

But for certain games, Halliday will produce decent crosses, set pieces and throw in a couple of goals for good measure.

Barisic has been called up again for the world-class Croatia squad to prove my point on the two players, but international football is 100% more technical than Scottish league teams can muster.

Can Barisic work out how to star and adjust his game in a Rangers jersey playing at left back, by producing some solid performances that his talent is obviously capable of showing?

Gerrard will be looking forward to Barisic, Katic and Grezda proving to him, that they were all worth bringing to Rangers in the first place.


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