Ibrox View: Ferguson spot on with Hampden verdict, Rangers had better options
Now that the dust has somewhat settled on Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Celtic in the Betfred Cup final, many will come out with what they believe went wrong for Rangers.
Celtic going down to 10-men and Alfredo Morelos missing a penalty were all massive moments in the tie. In all honesty, though, the Gers only have themselves to blame.
They missed a number of opportunities at Hampden Park, and even though Fraser Forster made some cracking saves – some chances they had were easier to score than miss.
Barry Ferguson has questioned Rangers and Steven Gerrard for the decision to bring on Brandon Barker in the final, labelling it a strange call.
“It’s easy to say in hindsight,” he told PLZ Soccer.
“Celtic going down to 10 men, he brings Defoe on. I know Barker might be a strange one to bring on, making that substitution. It’s easy to say.
The 23-year-old has only started two games in the Scottish Premier League this season, and Gerrard had a number of better options on the bench.
Barker has only scored once, averaging 0.3 shots and 0.7 key passes per game [WhoScored] – hardly stats that scream out that he could make a difference against a team like Celtic.
Defoe also came onto the field, but looking at the bench, Greg Stewart failed to make his way into the game despite his side needing a goal.
Stewart recently came off the bench against Hearts in the 5-0 win at Ibrox, scoring twice in the final 10 minutes. If that wasn’t proof enough to Gerrard that he was a better option than Barker, then we don’t know what is.
The 29-year-old would have been majorly frustrated, and Ferguson is right to suggest that Barker coming on over anyone else was a weird call from the Light Blues.
In other Rangers news, Ibrox View: Rangers should think twice over player role in reported deal