At last – we were nagging Stevie for this, and he finally delivered – he gave Scott Arfield a critically-needed rest.
Sheyi Ojo’s presence yesterday in Arfield’s new-found slot on the right of the front three with the Canada international on the bench pointed to Stevie rotating the ex-Falkirk man out for the right reasons – he’s had his effective moments in games, the 30-year old, but he’s been visibly tired and in desperate need of a break.
While Arfield had a little time off following the penultimate match of last season, he came back straight into the Gold Cup before arriving in Govan for pre-season.
We just felt the poor sod was burnt out.
Regular readers will know we rate him among the highest of all our personnel, but he visibly wilted this season with much less stamina than we’re used to seeing from him.
He noticeably struggled v the Danes, despite one or two good runs and a fine goal, with a generally quiet game by his usual standards – and that’s rather been his pattern all season.
And this dropping to the bench couldn’t have come at a more timely moment, effectively giving him a week off till the next match on Saturday.
In truth, we’d actually give him a few matches off – he really needs to recuperate without completely losing his edge, but we’ll leave the fitness work to Gerrard and club expert Jordan Milsom.
But we were delighted when the men stepped up in his absence and delivered a fine shift without him. Stevie needs to know the squad will fill in for each other and deliver when someone important drops out.
And they certainly did without Arfield yesterday.