Gary McAllister made one key error at Fir Park on Sunday, and seems to have escaped criticism for it.
The Rangers assistant-manager has been part of the Steven Gerrard regime that’s impressed so many since taking over before the summer. The Rangers manager brought the former Liverpool and Leeds United star in to ease Gerrard into management.
It’s a combination that seems to have worked well so far. Rangers are on the verge of Europa League qualification and are unbeaten domestically so far. Life has been pretty good for the duo since arriving in Glasgow back in May.
However, senior figure McAllister made one big mistake in the 3-3 draw with Steve Robinson’s Motherwell on Sunday.
In the final seconds of the game, Gerrard decided to make a substitution. Ovie Ejaria came off for Lee Wallace to help defend one final corner kick. It needlessly built up anticipation and has been the much-maligned moment of the match.
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Pundits and supporters alike have stated that the substitution should’ve never been made. James McFadden said to the BBC post-match that it’s a superstition and an unwritten rule that you should never do as manager.
This is where you would’ve expected McAllister to step in.
Having spent time at Coventry City, Leeds United, and a brief stint at Aston Villa, he has a wealth of coaching and managerial experience. How he couldn’t see that his rookie manager was making a potential blunder is a mystery.
It was a decision made by Gerrard which was always going to open him up to needless scrutiny. Given the big week ahead for the club, and the positive start made, McAllister should’ve advised against it.
Granted, he may very well have done. For all we know, Gerrard went against his older colleague’s head and believed it a necessary tactical decision.
However, if not, McAllister has to be sharper to these things in the future.
It’s Gerrard’s first year in football management, and he therefore has a steep learning curve ahead. He’ll make rookie mistakes, but it’s McAllister’s job to ensure those mistakes aren’t overly costly and to limit them as much as possible.
Both the manager and his assistant must learn from what went on at Fir Park. It was a decision that probably cost Rangers two points in a game they were close to sealing three.
Sunday was a bad day for Gers fans, and subsequently McAllister has to be on his toes to make sure similar mistakes don’t keep happening.