Jon Flanagan’s inclusion in last night’s Rangers starting XI constituted a major surprise.
The Gers’ most recent match against Hearts only took place on Sunday, so an element of rotation was expected.
With Scott Arfield suspended, Ryan Jack was likely to come back in. Glenn Middleton, rested at the weekend, was also always likely to replace Eros Grezda.
Andy Halliday once more showed his capabilities at left-back at Tynecastle. Yet, tonight, he found himself back on the bench.
Instead, Flanagan received a recall. It is never pleasant to witness a player low on confidence, but that’s where the scouser is right now.
With his preferred right-back position filled by the captain, he is now regularly deployed at left-back.
It is still yet to work. Last night’s performance was just more confirmation of what we already knew.
The 25-year-old is shaky in possession and patently refuses to overlap on the left flank.
He’s a fish out of water, and who can blame him? He has suffered a range of serious injuries already during his short career and is being asked to play an unfamiliar position.
Gerrard must see something that the Rangers faithful can’t, but continuing to recall the player is a big risk.
Surely, when Barisic returns to full fitness, Flanagan will go back to serving exclusively as right-back, where he will be much more comfortable.