Friday, 19 October 2018

Gerrard launches veiled attack on national FA

Steven Gerrard has dropped more than a hint of anger at the Malian FA at Lassana Coulibaly’s late return, for the internationalist only arrived back in Govan today rather than earlier in the week with the rest of the returning players.

The holding midfielder has not quite reached the heights of form pre-St Mirren since coming back from injury, but nevertheless he’s a valuable asset to the squad and ‘something’ has stopped him coming back from international duty on time.

Gerrard was at pains to confirm it wasn’t his fault, and may be speaking in forked tongues about his country’s FA who were responsible for the logistics of his absence.

He said:

“Lassana got in today, which is a bit late for my liking but he’ll be fine for the weekend. You want your players here, resting and recuperating and getting ready for Hamilton so it just means he hasn’t been involved in the last couple of days of preparation for Hamilton. But he’s a fit lad, he’s been around since day one. He knows how we play, it’s not a big deal. But any manager will tell you the same, that when the players come back a few days before the fixture it’s not ideal. He’s done nothing wrong, he’s tried to get back as quick as he can.”

In short, the player may or may not be truly up to speed for Sunday, albeit Gerrard added that he was fit and healthy and ready for the match, but clearly he is not happy with how the Malian FA have dealt with the use of him, and the player himself is completely free of blame.

This kind of behaviour leaves managers less likely to co-operate with FAs. The player and the club must be respected, and it doesn’t seem like Mali have here.

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