Steven Gerrard’s extraordinary comments yesterday over James Tavernier only serve to prove the manager’s hypocrisy with regards his own rules.
It is not inaccurate to say Gerrard has had quite the positive effect on Rangers since arriving at Ibrox in May of last year, and that we’re top of the table with Celtic and possessing a real shout of a shift at the title is down 99% to the influence of the former Anfield legend.
But he has certainly made errors, and yesterday’s post-match quotes about his captain clearly proved without any doubt his own rules don’t apply universally.
“James has been in the firing line for a few weeks, and today there were a few more groans which isn’t helpful. But, he has shown great character by putting in the perfect delivery, and Fil has shown great leadership by wanting to go and be first and wanting to get his team a big win. [James] never hides, and I think he needs me and he needs his teammates at the moment. I don’t think there is a lot wrong and he will play through this and he will come back to his best which is top. We haven’t got many options to replace him – we have had injuries to Flanagan. I think James needs the crowd with him at this moment, and that will help him to play through this little barren spell he is having.”
In fairness, a manager supporting his players isn’t exactly front-page news – managers should generally try to back their charges, especially when those players are in particularly bad form – but the problem in this case is the fact Gerrard has been quick to castigate most of the rest of the team when individuals have had poor matches.
It’s not his support of Tav that is the problem, it’s the lack of it to other players when they have had similar bad spells.
If Stevie is going to smear his players for individually poor performances, he has to do it as a rule, rather than picking and choosing which ones he’ll be kind with and which ones he’ll throw the book at.
Or he could just big up every player who has a down time or mistake, rather than slagging off a Jordan Jones or a Umar Sadiq back in the day and attacking their integrity.
No, Gerrard has done many good things, and we applaud those – we’re top of the table and laying gloves on those around us. But this one simply isn’t fair or consistent.