As the fall-out continues to rumble following Rangers’ Scottish Cup victory over Celtic, the post-match performance of ex-Parkhead striker John Hartson has been a particular embarrassment.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2-1 victory at Hampden – which saw Rangers book their place in the Final against Hearts – it was Chris Sutton who largely grabbed the headlines.
Undoubtedly more calculated than Hartson, Sutton began to ramp up the pressure on whistler Bobby Madden during the match and has been somewhat relentless ever since.
But when it comes to John Hartson, Sutton’s former Parkhead teammate isn’t as quick-witted or as sharp as the Englishman and his commentary of the last few days has been nothing short of an embarrassment to himself and his football club.
Nodding to this dodgy masonic conspiracy where the referees are all Rangers fans and favour the Ibrox club in their decision-making, the lack of self-awareness in the coverage is staggering.
Ex-Celtic striker John Hartson alludes to Rangers refereeing conspiracies
This kind of thing only rears its head when Rangers beat Celtic and rather than actual analysis of the match – where the Gers were far and away the better side – we have this awful coverage berating referees from individuals who freely admit they don’t understand the rules.
As Calvin Bassey steamed forward to assist the eventual winner off Carl Starfelt on Sunday, John Hartson bemoaned the fact his left hand “looks a bit offside”.
This is despite the fact that his left hand cannot be offside in any circumstance because it is a part of his body he cannot score with.
Speaking on GO Radio [19/04/22], John Hartson sheepishly backtracked for making these nonsense comments.
“Was it not his hand or his arm? That doesn’t matter now, I actually called it on television and said his arm and hand was offside,” said Hartson.
“But when I got home, I actually looked at the rules – which I should’ve done before the game, not after it – and it’s more so your shoulders.
“Your hand and your arm don’t count.”
This is absolute ridiculous stuff from the babbling ex-Celtic striker.
If this wasn’t enough, the former Arsenal and West Ham star, who is constantly peddling this rubbish about referees in the media, criticised the introduction of VAR in Scotland.
Yes, that’s right, the person who has issues with the standard of officiating has found a way to attack a technology which will help improve it.
You can’t make it up.
Taking aim at Scottish officials, John Hartson suggested it’ll make no difference because of club allegiances, once again nodding to this nonsense suggestion that that whistlers favour Rangers.
“VAR has to come in because it will help the referees,” said Hartson.
“As long as we get the right people sitting behind the VAR. Maybe people that come up from London, who have not got any allegiances to any football clubs in Scotland.
“Because otherwise your’e going to have the same problems. You’re going to get decisions and people will be making all sorts of things up – ‘who does this guy support, where do his loyalties lie?’”
These arguments are honestly terrible; the reality is guys like John Hartson and plenty of Celtic supporters cannot cope with getting beat by Rangers and you can set your watch by this rubbish.
Suck it up, accept defeat with some grace and admit that on the day Rangers were the better team and deserved to win.
But for people like John Hartson, Celtic are always cheated, never defeated, and Rangers will always get the rub of the green.
These pundits and this commentary deserves every ounce of ridicule it receives and we’ll continue to take great pleasure in calling it out.