Backlash to controversial Steven Gerrard comments completely miss the point
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Backlash to Steven Gerrard's "protection" comments miss the point

Steven Gerrard spoke about the need for “more protection” from referees in the wake of Rangers’ stumbling draw with Kilmarnock this weekend.
In that, Gerrard wasn’t shifting blame as many in Scottish football have seen it. He’s merely pointing out the obvious. When I seen the likes of Gary Dicker’s comments, I about spat cereal all over my kitchen wall. He’s having a laugh isnt he? He knows he is, right?
In the second half of this season Rangers have been pitched against the ruthless approaches of Kilmarnock and Aberdeen. They’ve scythed, shuddered and shouted their way by us. And anyone decrying Gerrard’s complaints completely miss the point.

Gerrard has asked for the greater protection for his players from the hatchetmen of the league. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There is absolutely no doubt the issues on the field begin and end with Rangers. We lack urgency, creativity and confidence. But at times this season we’ve looked a fluid, exciting and capable side.
We’ve despatched so many sides who we’ve previously struggled against or who we’ve dropped points to later. Motherwell 7-1, Aberdeen 4-2 and Kilmarnock 5-0 immediately spring to mind.

Rangers lack invention and leadership

In others, we’ve looked a throwback to the disjointedness of the last eight years. A team lacking spark, guile, invention and leadership. A team struggling to bear the expectancy of 50,000+ fans on their shoulders.
But this notion that hacking, being over-physical or sullying the referee is just the way of Scottish football is a nonsense. When the likes of Kilmarnock or Aberdeen play us at football, we win. Serious foul play is not a footballing tactic, stop acting like it is.
When teams are allowed to kick, punch and scream their way through matches, it not only somewhat brings the game into disrepute, but it makes it an ugly watch.

Steve Clarke knows fine well how he sends Kilmarnock sides out to play. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Referees are encouraging a slugging match, putting themselves at the centre of games and letting the munters run riot. And it’s no wonder – anything given to Rangers
is seen as a masonic conspiracy or a determined effort to help the Ibrox side win the game. Referees are being so scrutinised they have started displaying a nervous hesitation around decison making.
Yes, that also includes not sending Connor Goldson off on Saturday.
It’s murder when these hatchetmen are afforded as much opportunity as possible to grind out petty results. No wonder Rangers and Gerrard are raging – you wouldn’t see this level of foul play allowed in any top league in Europe.
It’s not just Rangers that need greater protection from referees, it’s the standard of football up here.

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