Without beating about the bush, Andy Halliday was completely cheated yesterday at Ibrox by an opponent endeavouring to get a fellow pro sent off.
Hibs midfielder Fraser Fyvie, recently praising of Rangers to then-fellow team mate Rob Kiernan at Wigan prior to the defender’s move north, engaged in a flagrant disregard for dignity and honesty and feigned the receipt of a headbutt from Rangers’ defensive anchor.
It completely conned referee Bobby Madden who, from the angle he was at, had no hesitation in judging it foul play and an instant red card, assisted by the instant plummet from Hibs’ engine room man to the deck with hands clutching a non-existent injury.
This is yellow card at best. Common sense must prevail – red reversed and Fyvie disciplined for conning ref pic.twitter.com/gP7IjgDJ6L
— TheRangersNewsFeed (@TheRFC_NewsFeed) December 28, 2015
Going back many years this kind of misconduct has swilled in the game for some time, with a famous example being Kyle Lafferty hurtling himself to the turf pretending to be butted by Celtic’s (then-Aberdeen) Charlie Mulgrew in 2009.
His assistant manager Ally McCoist demanded he apologise, his manager Walter Smith fined and reprimanded him, and the player himself gave a very public piece of contrition:
“It was something I should not have done and I deeply regret what happened. I will make a personal apology to Charlie Mulgrew because he should not have been sent off. I also want to apologise to the referee and his assistants. It is difficult enough for officials to handle important SPL matches without me making it more difficult by behaving the way I did. I also totally accept I have let down the club and the supporters. There are standards at Rangers Football Club that need to be upheld and I have fallen way below those standards. What I did was wrong and I would like to say sorry to the supporters because they should expect better from a Rangers player.”
Contrast this with Fyvie and Stubbs’ contributions to the post-match nonsense:
“Well, if you look at the video, Halliday kicks out at me to start off with, then he leans in. From there, Bobby came in and made the decision to send him off. If you look at the kick, he’s kicked out at me straight way. Then he reacted the way he did, so it’s up to Bobby to send him off. Was he asking for a red card? I don’t think anyone really asks for a red card but, yes, I would say the referee had no choice.”
Fyvie completely dodges his own vile conduct and pins it all on Halliday.
His manager only exacerbates things:
“I disagree with that. It all depends how your glass is. If it’s half empty it’s different. Why did Andy Halliday put himself in that position? People will say Fraser has done this but you know me, I won’t duck a question and yes, he probably could have reacted better. But why has Andy put himself in that position? I was a bit worried because coming off I think Andy was blaming me. But I never made him go towards Fraser. They were winning the game at that time. Let’s answer the next question. Why lead with your shoulder into someone.”
In other words, both Fyvie and Stubbs deflect the cheating part and try to blame Halliday for the whole incident.
Compared with how Rangers players and their managers react to one of their own behaving this way, it is just night and day. If Fyvie has a hint of honesty about himself, he will apologise.
But he will not. Because it is Rangers, is it not?