Steven Gerrard has just been accused of something controversial

Steven Gerrard has just been accused of something controversial

We’ve had a very interesting argument expressed by some of our readers in response to the recent articles criticising Steven Gerrard’s apparent-uneven handling of James Tavernier and perhaps Connor Goldson compared with how he deals with other out-of-form players.

One response suggested the article was nonsense because if Sir Alex could treat Eric Cantona differently, with kid gloves, this showed that managing different players differently was valid. The difference here, clearly, is Cantona wasn’t in bad form – he was just a primadonna who had to be treated like one however he was playing in order to get the best out of him at all times. Ferguson knew that. To suggest backing Tavernier while in bad form while slating the rest for the same thing is comparable to the soft touch over Cantona rather misunderstands our point, but we do still accept the validity of the argument.

However, a surprisingly common agreement we got for the piece actually went further than just ‘unfairness’. There is clearly a difference in how Tav (and Goldson) are handled when playing poorly compared with the rest.

But some responses suggested a ‘nepotism’ angle, where the English, NI and Welsh players are treated differently, better to the Scottish players, and the likes of Greg Docherty, Andy Halliday and others suffer the brunt of this.

Because Tavernier and Goldson are English, and immune, it gave these readers grounds to believe Gerrard is pro-English (or anti Scottish), and tends to select the southern British players over our natives.

And just like we suggested the ‘managing different players when they play badly differently’ argument was poppycock, this clearly is too.

Just ask George Edmundson, Brandon Barker, Wes Foderingham and Jon Flanagan to name three.

Injuries or not, these four have been mostly out in the cold under Gerrard, and they’re all English. They’ve barely had a sniff since he took over, and it’s been Katic and Helander, Sheyi Ojo or Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor and Borna Barisic/Andy Halliday who’ve mostly occupied their slots.

And then there’s Welshman King, and NI’s Jones – both fringe players under this manager, rightly or wrongly.

Plus if we look at the Scottish players we have, Docherty aside, the only two genuinely good enough to justify their place in a Rangers-level Rangers are the best two we have – Jack and McGregor.

Halliday, Stewart and Murphy just aren’t good enough, sorry. We rated Halliday hugely till the real Borna showed up, and then a real Rangers-level left back arrived to make us forget ever making an argument for one of our own.

There is no denying Gerrard is a little uneven with his treatment of some players – look at how errors by Tavernier and Goldson are dealt with compared to how Jordan Jones got lambasted.

But to suggest it’s nationalism does seem far-fetched at best to us.

There are four critical first names on the team sheet – Goldson, Taverner, Jack and McGregor. Those are the four who play if fit. Two English, two Scottish.

We don’t think there’s a serious argument here.

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  1. I keep saying this, Jones never got lambasted for playing badly , he got lambasted for a reckless , stupid tackle that got him sent off and badly injured something Tav and Connor have never done.Jones damaged his own start to his Rangers career but if he plays well he will get chances to keep the jersey.This anti Scottish claim is nonsense , Halliday and Docherty are both not the level we need and lucky still to be at Ibrox , Murphy is coming back from injury so who knows and Stewart is part of the squad though maybe not a first pick every week.Others have been left out too, notably Polster .Gerrard picks on quality and cannot please everyone as we all see things differently.

    • Agree. Tavernier and Goldson have made genuine mistakes but Jones was guilty of a selfish, reckless act without caring about the impact on his manager, his team and his fans. It was quite rightly called out as unacceptable and it's now a long road back for him as a result.

  2. The replacements for tav and Goldson is flannigan and Edmundson who correct me if I’m wrong are both English. So u can’t say he’s playing English players over scottish ones 🤦‍♂️ Who ever came up with that idea doesn’t seem to get that. It’s more if a case of captain and vice captain which means they will play when fit

  3. If Docherty is not good enough, and u am not expert enough to have a properly informed opinion, how did he achieve more goals and assists for a team that would have been relegated without him, than Aribo managed for a team that was promoted?
    Not knocking Aribo, but he keeps getting chances and Docherty doesn't. Until last night, Aribo had guess sporadically. Doc has not had enough games to be sporadic!!

    • Should read "I am not expert enough" and "Aribo had played sporadically"
      IN, any chance of an edit function?

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