If one thing stood out (ok, many things stood out) yesterday, it was the untimely end of Andy Halliday’s time on the pitch as the 26-year old got hooked before half time was even up. Hot on the heels of the David Bates spat, another one may be brewing with ‘one of our own’.
The former Gabala loanee had quite the tantrum when in the dugout, and the source of his ire appears to have been manager Graeme Murty, and while it wasn’t nice to see him spitting with rage in the technical area, some fans believe it was understandable.
It is true that Halliday did not exactly have a stellar time on the pitch, but there is an accusation from some quarters that Murty, by taking him off specifically around five minutes before half time, was in some way blaming him for the first half and making him a scapegoat.
It is also true that something had to change, that Rangers had had an absolutely abominable time of it, thanks to a staggeringly bad team selection and even worse formation (whatever it actually was), but the way Halliday was singled out in the way he was did scream of an ascribing of blame to him.
And that wasn’t fair.
If Murty felt this had to be changed, why not wait five minutes and formulate a plan for half time, and make his team talk and alterations then?
Why did Halliday have to be pointed at in this way?
It is true that this is not unprecedented – remember Celtic doing the same with Boyata after 25 minutes after the defender was being destroyed by Barrie McKay?
So we are not talking about an evil crime here that’s never happened before.
But it is also true that Halliday was not a bigger culprit than anyone else and for him to be singled out did feel a little like a blame culture.
If changes had to be made, and they certainly did, why not hold on till half time and tweak things? Murty has said today he will sit down and have a chat with Halliday, but that is very unlikely to heal this new rift.
Halliday threw a major wobbler, but truth is whoever had been taken off at that point would have been equally furious. Unless they had individually done a Boyata.
That all said, Daniel Candeias equally was livid at being removed – although in his case he had a truly horrific match and deserved the hook.
It was a dark day for Rangers, and Halliday may not play again under Murty. Some might be happy with that, but personally we don’t think he’s been the worst player in the shirt.
Ordinary and does a job when called on. He’s worn the shirt with pride over the years, and we for one aren’t going to pin all Rangers’ woes on Andy Halliday.