Despite some loose defending and a rather relaxed attitude, the win against Falkirk was pretty routine. That doesn’t mean there weren’t talking points from the match, though. Yet again, one of those has to focus on the referee…
CAN SOMEONE JUSTIFY THE YELLOW CARD?
On Tuesday night, David Bates was blatantly kicked off the ball. The referee must have saw the incident, but only produced a yellow card. Against Falkirk, Bates was punched by Muirhead in the last place you want to be punched. Again, the referee must have seen it, but yet again only a yellow card was produced.
Now, I prefer to try and judge incidents in the context of the match and what the referee will have seen as opposed to replays or the likes. What I can’t work out at all is just how both incidents were only yellow card offences. If the referee had missed them altogether, the players would be facing retrospective bans. That alone tells you that both should have been sent off.
Mistakes from referees should be expected. They probably make less of them than any one player does. If you can see why a mistake was made, you can at least have a little sympathy for it. In these cases, there’s no good argument for the decisions at all.
CUMMINGS AND MORELOS
There’s been a fair bit of debate surrounding this partnership after the match. Many feel that the players were both far too selfish and seemed unwilling to pass to each other. In truth, I can see why that’s being suggested. I do think, though, that it was more about circumstance than anything else. Cummings was chasing a hat trick from the 21st minute. Morelos was getting frustrated at not scoring. Both are young strikers eager to impress, and I think that took over more than anything else.
I suspect we won’t see them as a partnership too often, but I do think it’s a leap to suggest that they don’t like each other, or that Morelos is annoyed at genuine competition. If it continues into other matches, then that could be justified. It’s more likely just to have been about the nature of the match this time.
MORE RANGERS STORIES
The biggest debate the match prompted involved Bruno Alves. Many would have expected him to be in contention for a start against Celtic. As such, playing in this match would have been seen as the warm up to that.
Given this was his first start of 2018, a lack of sharpness could be expected. He seemed a yard or so slow in getting to players to press them. He won headers well, but overall will have felt he didn’t have a good game. You could see Murty getting frustrated in the second half when he gave away a few daft fouls. There’s no doubting the quality of Alves, but even someone of his ability will struggle to play his best when his season has been as disrupted by injury as this one has.
I can’t see him starting against Celtic. The game against Falkirk confirmed he needs more matches.
Celtic in the semi final. It’s the game the players seemed to want, given their reaction. There will be an excitement going into the match, but that will heighten if Rangers can get a result in the upcoming league match…
Anything you feel we’ve missed from the match? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!