The reaction to Jordan Jones’ omission from the Europa League group squad has been of surprise, acceptance and general confusion.
It was a big call and got a lot of headlines, especially with Stevie electing for Brandon Barker in his place – after Jones’ red card on Sunday, he appears to have been made a bit of a scapegoat – not so much by fans, in fairness, but certainly by the manager who took out his frustration on the winger by castigating him heavily after that result and informing him, more or less, that he was ‘out’.
Fans have immediately pointed out the apparent hypocrisy here with Alfredo Morelos getting chance after chance all last season, and only seeing Gerrard’s wrath finally by the end of the season after his fifth red card.
Whereas Jones got one red card and was immediately told by Gerrard that he was as good as binned.
It’s an odd one – we really do get the impression Stevie isn’t a big fan of the NI international – Sheyi Ojo has played a lot more, and even Scott Arfield got selected on the left v Killie over the winger.
We don’t really know why he took such a harsh tone with him after the red card, a red card which made absolutely no difference to the result (it was already 0-2 of course), but he did, and to emphasise the point he axed him from the group stage fixtures.
Of course, Jones is out for a month with the injury that misguided tackle caused – so there’s a justification that he’d be taking up the slot of a fit player. But the matches don’t start till the 19th either and he’s projected to be back in early October so would be available for plenty of matches.
No, it was a moment of madness from the lad but we really feel Gerrard went too far with his condemnation of him, given it was a first offence, and showed a lack of understanding of what a debut in an Old Firm is actually like.
Especially if you bring him on as a sub deep into the match when you’re already 0-1 down and the side’s been playing terribly.
We just feel Gerrard isn’t Jones’ biggest fan, and no matter how well he plays that probably won’t change.