Steven Gerrard and Joey Barton are both English Premier League central midfielders of a certain generation. And Liverpudlians.
But that’s where the similarities really begin and end.
Not only are they two different styles of player for being midfielders, but Gerrard’s success and influence in the game is far grander. Barton’s name is big in Britain, Gerrard’s is massive everywhere.
Now, for reasons good and bad, the two will forever be connected to Rangers.
And Gerrard looks to have got one thing right Barton didn’t.
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Lots of talk but little action
When Barton joined Rangers he had quite a lot to say about the challenge and the league.
His cocky and abrasive brought hype that his performance didn’t really live up to.
In the aftermath of a 5-1 humbling at Parkhead and tensions were running high. Barton had an infamous bust-up with Mark Warburton and Andy Halliday which resulted in him, and his coffee machine, being thrown out of Ibrox.
Whatever happened inside the dressing room, it was a bridge too far for Barton and Rangers.
Gerrard understands importance of Halliday’s role
Although none of us might ever know the extent of Barton’s bust up with Halliday, it won’t ever really matter.
What does is that Rangers diehard Halliday has outlived the Englishman at Ibrox.
More than just outlive him, Halliday is experiencing a renaissance under Gerrard – something many Rangers fans themselves might not have foreseen. He’s in his fourth season at Ibrox.
Halliday’s role and presence at the club is more than just what he does on the field.
He knows the culture of club, is a committed fan and is willing to work harder than anyone to prove himself here.
It’s the hard work and dedication that’s seen him retain a place in Gerrard’s plans.
Steven Gerrard realises just how important Halliday’s dedication to the cause is at this football club.