The Gers have three Scottish top-flight matches left to play before the end of the campaign and are currently nine points behind their arch-rivals as it stands, making a late title charge seem near-on impossible.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s men have two cup finals coming up this month but still need to see out the remainder of their domestic fixtures.
They face Dundee United at Ibrox today after beating RB Leipzig 3-1 in Europe on Thursday night, but one man who has played himself out of deserving a place in the line-up is left-back Borna Barisic, who is currently on a poor run of form.
Ex-Gers midfielder Derek Ferguson ripped into the Croatian international after the recent draw with Celtic in the Premiership. The full-back was beaten to the ball by Jota from a cross for the Hoops’ opening goal and the pundit was left far from impressed, saying:
“With Barisic, he got spooked. He has one look, two looks, he has three looks. He knows he’s there. Then there comes a time, you know he’s there. Is there a panic in him? Instead of thinking there’s the ball, I’ll go and meet it, he doesn’t react.”
Ferguson went on to say that Barisic “didn’t deliver” in the match and this was the case once again against RB Leipzig on Thursday. Whilst his team-mates put in stoic displays at the back, the Croatian struggled throughout the game and was unable to showcase the best of his abilities on the night.
The £18k-per-week lightweight failed to step up to the mark and has now put in worrying displays in two crucial matches in succession – against Celtic and Leipzig – and this should lead to him being axed from the starting XI today.
In the 1-1 draw with their Glasgow rivals, Barisic lost possession of the ball a whopping 26 times as he completed 67% of his attempted passes. He then gave the ball away on 14 occasions against the German outfit, whilst completing just 44% of his passes and losing four of his six individual battles.
These statistics, and the aforementioned quotes from Ferguson, suggest that the Croatian defender has been a liability at the back for Van Bronckhorst this month. Therefore, he must be brutally axed from the starting XI for this clash at Ibrox today as punishment for not delivering in those two big matches in the Premiership and Europa League.