For all that Antonio Colak was far from the problem against Union Saint-Gilloise he is currently suffering by comparison due to the man he is deputising for – one Alfredo Morelos.
Capable of winning games on his own, I’m not sure even El Bufalo at his rampaging best would have faired much better in Belgium however, it’s clear that we still rely on him being available for big games – as do most teams and their best players.
Speaking to Football Insider though, former Gers gaffer Alex McLeish reckons that need more strength in the forward department, despite the signing of the Croatian international:
“There is no doubt, for too long, Morelos has been the main talisman.
“He’s the one they look to, to score in those big games. We have seen him do it on so many occasions.
“Kent was a big miss on the night as well [v USG], he can change a game. But there was nothing in attack.
“They need to get back up for Morelos so they don’t have to rely on him through every campaign. That is what needs to happen.”
I usually agree with McLeish but I don’t think he’s right on this occasion, the issue wasn’t Colak, it was the players behind him and a lack of creativity that saw us struggle. Signing another striker won’t guarantee qualifying for the Champions League or progress in the Europa League if we drop down.
There isn’t a problem with having a talisman, a player capable of lifting those around him. Real Madrid had one for years in Cristiano Ronaldo as did Barcelona in Lionel Messi, most teams have a player who is either the focal point or who makes the team tick, it isn’t unique to Rangers.
As we saw last season in the latter stages of the Europa League, the issue isn’t Morelos’s availability, it’s how we set up without him. We scored plenty of goals in his absence and put in some of our finest performances so it’s an excuse that isn’t really valid anymore – is Colak as good as Morelos? No. But he needs to be given more of a chance and a lot more help from his team-mates before he should be written off.