Gannon’s Article On Barisic Has Got Celtic Fans Laughing At Its Reek Of Desperation.

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It’s not often I do this, so you know that any article I select for it has risen above the rest and is kind of special in its own way. The article Michael Gannon wrote about Barisic this morning easily makes the grade. It is a wonderful example of unintended comic brilliance. I am, therefore, going to subject it to the special treatment of a paragraph by paragraph dismantling.

Let’s start with the headline, and it’s a beauty.

Borna Barisic to bank Rangers £350k World Cup windfall but Croatia star could be worth so much more.

“Oh what morsels, what delights, what crumbs of comfort can we find in this World Cup where we’ve hardly seen a single Ibrox player feature? Oh I know … here’s a good one …” And it helps The Mooch out too? Well, this should be interesting. This is the sub-heading:

The Ibrox ace has been overshadowed in Qatar by Celtic star Josip Juranovic but new boss Mick Beale could still get the benefit.

The benefit of what, except for the £300,000? The benefit of being overshadowed? Oh this is going to need to be very, very, very good indeed.

There’s not just one man flying the flag for the good old SPFL out in Qatar in the last four. Not that many seem to have noticed.

What a snide, little whiny bitch of an opening that is, like a woman bringing a box to a bring-and-buy sale picnic where people have brought entire chickens, and orchards, and bakers have supplied entire trays of bread, and everyone is complimenting them on it and she storms off in the huff because nobody said her cookies were good. “I brought food too … not that many seem to have noticed.” What a pitiful start, gushing of bitter tears.

Celtic’s Josip Juranovic has been getting plaudits from the pundits and punters alike with his displays for Croatia on their run to the semi-finals and with the full back eying a move, his price tag has been rising by the day. Juranovic admitting he’s not a 30m euro player the other day will have had Celtic suits spitting out their tea, but there’s no doubt the £2.5m signing will provide them with a hefty profit some time soon on the back of Qatar.

Haha! It’s unreal, isn’t it? Seizing on that Juranovic quote like that! Yeah he said it, but he wasn’t “admitting” anything, he’s being self-deprecating, a trait that I understand is alien to Scottish sports journalists who congratulate themselves on their Best Cardboard Box Under A Railway Bridge award ceremonies and think they’re the best in the business. The thing is though, it is the market which will decide what Juranovic is worth, not anything else, and a World Cup semi-finalist being looked at by teams all across the continent is priced higher than Gannon seems to think.

It’s been far more low key for his international pal and domestic rival Borna Barisic though. That’s fair enough. The Rangers man has only played one game – but it was a stormer in Croatia’s typically hard-fought draw and penalty shootout win against Japan. Which is something Gers new boss Mick Beale should be taking encouragement from.

First up, it hasn’t been a low-key tournament as much as it’s been a non-existent one. He got into that team because the first and second choices for the left back slot were injured. I had to read the next line two or three times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things; I actually was at first because I thought Gannon had written that “he” had “a stormer” … that’s not quite what he wrote, but it’s clearly what he meant and he either imagined that or made it up because as regular readers will know, as I wrote about it at the time, his performance was the butt of jokes all the way through the broadcast commentary. He did not have “a stormer” unless someone subtracted that word from the English language and put a new version, with a new meaning, in its place. He had a shocker. He was awful. He was not bested as much as he was beasted. At one point, when the player who had terrorised him throughout the game, was moved to the other wing a commentator said “he’ll be glad to see him go … the back of him anyway” as the guy had gone past him every time he was on the ball. He looked unfit. He shambled through the match like someone who had won a “Be A Footballer For A Day” competition and picked the wrong game. Gannon can invent whatever fantasy world he wants to live in, but that’s just a barefaced lie.

Barisic is a strange case at Ibrox. It wasn’t so long ago he was being talked about with the same kind of telephone number transfer fees now getting banded around about his buddy Juranovic. Now? There’s a lot of chat about polishing up Ridvan Yilmaz or even buying another left back, but not much about getting Barisic back to where he was 18 months ago.

I actually remember that chatter. I did a lot of laughing about it. But it wasn’t being “talked about” anywhere other than in the press and on the Ibrox forums. Certainly, not a living soul outside of Scotland took any of it remotely seriously any more than we did the valuations attached to Tavernier and Goldson and Morelos and Kent. Getting him back to 18 months ago means the player who their fans were screaming to replace … which is what the £5 million Turkish wonderkid was clearly supposed to do. Another “win” for Ross Wilson, that one.

Back then he was hot property – and he looked to be for the off. There are a couple of images that have summed up his last year or so, and both are pretty similar. Barisic was down on his hunkers at Ibrox in August 2021, greeting and waving like it was his big goodbye following the 2-1 win against Celtic. 

Doubtless he would have been for the off had any club made an actual bid. But hot property? So hot that nobody actually came in with one, contrary to the nonsense that has been spouted then and since about him. And “down on his hunkers”? Christ, that newspaper seriously needs a good editor. To hunker is to kneel or crawl. To be “down on your haunches” is to be in a squatting position. A little like how Gannon forced this article out, if you’ll permit me a graphic image. Just don’t blame me if it keeps you awake tonight, or puts you off your dinner.

A few months later and he was crouched down on his heels again, this time at Celtic Park, where he allowed Liel Abada to sneak in behind him to grab another goal in a derby drubbing that swung the title pendulum towards the east end of the city. It seemed like he never quite recovered from the chasing he got that night. In fact, it looked at times like he’s mentally checked out after that previous Old Firm encounter earlier in the campaign.

He certainly got his ego handed to him that night at Celtic Park, and no mistake. But it wasn’t the first time that he had turned in a suicidally bad performance. And his abysmal displays since have been nothing to do with being “mentally checked out” as much as they are to do with being “found out.” He’s a desperately limited player.

At that stage he seemed destined for a deadline day move to Roma that never materialised and he was never the same since. In fairness, there were a couple of ropey displays before then, but there were also some right good ones too.

“… a deadline day move to Roma that never materialised …” Oh my God, stop it, I’m laughing so hard I’m going to have a hernia. Fantasies have a habit of not materialising. I’ve harboured one for years about Sophie Turner giving it up all for a life in Glasgow that has never materialised either. I’m actually beginning to think it never will. And the confession that before Celtic Park were some “ropey displays” is passed off as if it was nothing. Actually, that’s everything and it explains, quite adequately, why there was never any move to Italy or even the prospect of one.

This was a guy who was man of the match when Rangers beat Celtic at Parkhead in 2019 – the first time they’d won there in nearly a decade. He might have had a couple of horror shows against the Hoops but he gave them some amount of grief with that left boot of his as well.

The paragraph of a writer who knows he’s lost the thread of his argument, that he’s shot at the target and missed but who refuses to do the decent thing and start a new piece, on a different subject, rather than continue flogging the dead horse. When your entire argument about a player being special hinges on one game three years ago you don’t have an argument, just a mad delusion which you persist in regardless of reality.

Beale is looking to get the old band back together at Ibrox and he could do with getting a tune out of Barisic when he returns from Qatar. There’s still uncertainty around Yilmaz. He was an expensive signing but remains a work in progress.

Aaah yes, that old line about “getting the band back together.” Except that the song-writer is no longer there, the lead singer is in the huff and the bass player is no longer a crowd pleasing pin-up but fat, out of shape and eating fried banana sandwiches on the side-lines and looks as if he’d rather be anywhere else but on the stage. On top of that, forgive me for pointing out that an “expensive signing” for a club in their situation needs to be a bit more than just “a work in progress.” That’s a pathetic defence of a signing that has, so far, been a disaster.

Barisic is a proven player who now has a World Cup on his CV. If Rangers didn’t already have him and were in the market for Croatia’s back up left back, they probably couldn’t afford him.

Barisic is a player with “played one game and looked shit at a World Cup” on his CV. That’s hardly breaking new ground in football. And he wasn’t the backup left back. Gannon clearly didn’t listen to the national coach or the commentary in the game; he was the backup to the backup. On top of that, he’s now over 30 and on the downslope of his career. If they couldn’t afford him that’s only because they are skint anyway.

Everyone knows his attributes. Going forward he’s a real threat and has a delivery like a medieval catapult. But Beale managed to get the big lad defending properly when he was last at Ibrox and if he can get his concentration levels honed again then he could either save or make the club a right few quid. Rangers have already made about 350 grand in compo for Barisic just being at the World Cup, but they might benefit even more when he gets back.

Everyone knows he’s slow, lazy and gets caught too often out of position. I repeat; this is why they signed the Turkish player. As to “a delivery like a medieval catapult” … nice choice of words. I bet Gannon doesn’t know that medieval artillery was also slow, cumbersome, shockingly expensive and wildly inaccurate … which is why it was mainly used during sieges. You had to be a pretty bad operator to miss a massive stone wall.

And you need to be a pretty bad journalist to turn in this sort of fantasy-feel-good-Sevco cheering guff, and you need a worse editor who is willing to publish it.

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  • John Copeland says:

    Big Gannon if I’m not wrong is regarded as a Celtic scoop is he not ? Having said that ,I believe he’s a major typist for the Daily Star …. To quote his favourite catchword … Blimey..

  • scouse bhoy says:

    their whole operation is medieval the new picture on the wall is proof of that roll on the loving cup toast now that is medieval off the radar.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Reek of desperation?
    Reek of shite would be more fitting.
    I was going to be posh and say excrement, but I think I got it right.

  • Tony B says:

    Ah yes. Michael Gannon the Aberdeen fan. Nauseating servile toadying to the fascist klan. And for what? Money? Attention?

    Whatever, is it worth selling your soul for?

    Shame on him.

  • D C says:

    No wonder people are leaving in their droves about buying a Daily Paper full of one sided
    Opinion that is so short from the Facts,

    They do need a EDITOR who should have the
    balls to address people like Gannon ,, let them know they are they are employed by a newspaper and not SEVCO ,
    try to inflate a a false value on a group of players useless lazy and a
    Fat ballon of a STRIKER .

  • Suspicousmind says:

    Give a kid crayons and blank sheet of paper.Voila!

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