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Might be argued that he didn't have time to show what he can do. Just like Kranjcar he had no pre season and definitely wasn't fit. If we had graded Kranjcar over the same period he too would have been crap. Niko was just gaining fitness while becoming used to the Scottish game and coming on to his game when we lost him.

 

I don't often agree with you; but I think you are right on the money here.

 

Kranjcar was getting increasing game time and becoming increasingly influential in his last two games vs Partick and Inverness playing 74 & 75 mins. I think it is easy to under estimate the time it takes to get up to full match fitness after injury or a spell at a lower level. Hately being one prime example.

 

Essentially Barton's pre-season was 150 mins football in the LC, then he was expected to go straight into playing the full 90 mins in four of our first five league games. Of course, he shouldn't have shouted his mouth off, but that's what you get with our Pal Joey. Personally, I saw enough of his ability to win the ball and send long range passes all over the park, to know that he would have been hugely influential for us, especially in the enforced absence of Kranjcar. He absolutely, gave his all vs Celtic and ended up at CB in a 3-man defence when our manager inexplicably replaced the injured Kiernan with Forrester (leaving Hill on the bench) and 3 minutes later even more inexplicably went to a 3-man defence when we lost Senderos at 3-1 down; and damage limitation should have been the name of the game. Even then Barton was to be seeing trying a last ditch sliding effort to prevent Dembele scoring Celtic's fourth.

 

As for Garner, a huge improvement in the last two games or more to the point, perhaps, the manager now playing to his strengths rather than trying to adapt him to his Plan A1. However, 3 goals in 18 starts (only one away at Parkhead and none at all since October) isn't the stuff of legends. I suppose it's arguable that he's like a canon(ball) that softens up the opposition central defence for the second assault wave, but the troops need to get closer to him to make a compelling strike force. I still think he (and what remains of our midfield) would be much better suited to a 4-4-2; but one can't argue with the overall performances in the last two games.

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I don't often agree with you; but I think you are right on the money here.

 

Kranjcar was getting increasing game time and becoming increasingly influential in his last two games vs Partick and Inverness playing 74 & 75 mins. I think it is easy to under estimate the time it takes to get up to full match fitness after injury or a spell at a lower level. Hately being one prime example.

 

Essentially Barton's pre-season was 150 mins football in the LC, then he was expected to go straight into playing the full 90 mins in four of our first five league games. Of course, he shouldn't have shouted his mouth off, but that's what you get with our Pal Joey. Personally, I saw enough of his ability to win the ball and send long range passes all over the park, to know that he would have been hugely influential for us, especially in the enforced absence of Kranjcar. He absolutely, gave his all vs Celtic and ended up at CB in a 3-man defence when our manager inexplicably replaced the injured Kiernan with Forrester (leaving Hill on the bench) and 3 minutes later even more inexplicably went to a 3-man defence when we lost Senderos at 3-1 down; and damage limitation should have been the name of the game. Even then Barton was to be seeing trying a last ditch sliding effort to prevent Dembele scoring Celtic's fourth.

 

As for Garner, a huge improvement in the last two games or more to the point, perhaps, the manager now playing to his strengths rather than trying to adapt him to his Plan A1. However, 3 goals in 18 starts (only one away at Parkhead and none at all since October) isn't the stuff of legends. I suppose it's arguable that he's like a canon(ball) that softens up the opposition central defence for the second assault wave, but the troops need to get closer to him to make a compelling strike force. I still think he (and what remains of our midfield) would be much better suited to a 4-4-2; but one can't argue with the overall performances in the last two games.

 

I actually take my hat off to the manager for going for gold. He didn't know Sendros would get sent off. At 3-1 we weren't getting anything. As the old song goes: It is better to have fought and lost than not to have fought at all. The UEFA cup final and McCoists 2-0 cup defeat against the tims are privy to that.

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I actually take my hat off to the manager for going for gold. He didn't know Sendros would get sent off. At 3-1 we weren't getting anything. As the old song goes: It is better to have fought and lost than not to have fought at all. The UEFA cup final and McCoists 2-0 cup defeat against the tims are privy to that.

 

It's a bit off topic and very well rehearsed in the past but the same 4-1-4-1 with some variations got us through 8 games en route to the final with only one defeat and we were up against a team that had gubbed Bayer Leverkusen (famously 4-1 away) and Bayern Munich (even more famously 4-0 at home) in the Quarters and the Semis; so I think Walter was entitled to stick to the same tried and tested formation against Andrey Arshavin and co. It's worth remembering also that that was the only match that Jean-Claude Darcheville played the entire 90 minutes in his short Rangers career. I don't recall anyone (other than Barca in the CL group) complaining that we got to Manchester playing defensive football. I agree we never looked like winning the game; but to all intents and purposes we only lost 1-0 as the second was scored 4 minutes into injury time when we were belatedly going for it having taking off defenders and midfielders to be replaced by Novo, McCulloch and Boyd towards the end.

 

It would have been great to have won, but no one expected us to go all the way; and I for one am happy to have been on the journey all the way from Podgorica to Florence.

Edited by BrahimHemdani
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The first few games I see Garner I thought we have a new Kris Boyd who wont contribute to the team. Going on last 2 games he could now be a bit of a Sebo who throws himself about and tries but wont get the goals.

 

For me the jury is still out on him. I still think Dodoo could be a goalscorer, he hasn't had a run of games but his 2 finishes at Firhill were quality. Would like to see Dodoo and Waghorn together.

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I think Garner has been very unlucky on many occasions where if the oft mentioned 'fine margins' had gone in his favour his goal tally would already look more respectable. As an example he has hit woodwork on multiple occasions and had shots cleared off the goal line etc. All things being equal it has to start happening for him sooner or later.

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I actually take my hat off to the manager for going for gold. He didn't know Sendros would get sent off. At 3-1 we weren't getting anything. As the old song goes: It is better to have fought and lost than not to have fought at all. The UEFA cup final and McCoists 2-0 cup defeat against the tims are privy to that.

 

The problem of course was, playing sub-standard or not, that Kiernan gave a sloppy goal away straight after a rare good chance for us at 2-1, then had to go off injured with us essentially going 3-at-the-back, only for Senderos to go off too. That left us with no CH at all. The rest is history and IMHO no benchmark for games to come.

 

The second game was better, yet we were still not at the races or up to our standard. Who knows what the Ibrox game will hold.

Edited by der Berliner
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I think people are still missing the point about Barton - yes he was unfit and wasn't exactly rubbish (but also without showing any glimpses of being a class above), but I think most fans would have given him at least half a season to get fit and in form, or even the whole season if he played to a half decent level without fulfilling his promises. The problem is that is own lack of self control, his angry narcissism and his hubris removed from him the opportunity to improve and show what he could do - nothing else.

 

When you look at it, footballing ability includes more than skills on the park - as it's a team game, you also have to have the skills to get on somewhat with your team and manager. In that regard, when you sum Barton's ability up, taking everything into account, for us he was effectively just shite. He spent over six weeks doing absolutely nothing for our cause due to his own actions and attitude. He wasn't even good enough in that regard to get us a small, token transfer fee - he was effectively worthless.

 

Now if you compare Kranjcar, the contrast is that he showed glimpses of something classy from the start, but looked very unfit, but he worked at it and improved and started to look quite valuable to us, and was then unfortunately injured. No histrionics, he seemed fully committed and there is no record of him not having the skills to get on with the team and manager.

 

With Garner, there's been no suspension, and no injury, and he's been working at it and putting the shifts in. Maybe he didn't or doesn't fit in the system, or maybe he's not quite good enough, but he seems to be giving everything, unlike Barton. So he deserves some time, and the manager looks like he's finally tweaking the tactics to suit the players we have, and the opposition, and it's working, so maybe Garner can benefit from that.

 

But in the end, I think most folk will prefer a guy who tries his hardest to do his best and gets on with everyone, but isn't quite good enough; to a guy who says he's the best, doesn't show it and then throws the toys out of the pram, refuses to conciliate, basically upsets the whole apple-cart, and is rightly shown the door.

 

We tend to prefer honest grafters to flouncing prima-donnas - with the exception that the latter is so amazing that the histrionics are just about worth it. Barton didn't fall into that last category. Garner does seem to fall into the first.

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