We’ve had an interesting response to a recent piece in which we accused Steven Gerrard of hypocrisy.
In the article we suggested he had one rule for James Tavernier, and perhaps Connor Goldson, and another for the rest of the squad.
Some of the objections from the replies were intriguing – a common theme was that in the case of certain individuals off form, Gerrard knows that some players need a rollicking where some need an arm round them.
The assumption was that Tavernier and Goldson, we assume, are the two who need to be treated with kids’ gloves.
Forgive us, but that’s absolute poppycock, and those who assert it are either naïve, or playing devil’s advocate.
Why, explain, is it that two players in a squad of over 30 are the only two to be given this nanny-state treatment when they’re out of form?
Why is it every other player to make mistakes or have bad form immediately falls into the ‘rollicking’ category and gets individually named and slammed by the manager? Borna Barisic especially got utter abuse last season from both fans and the manager, and that’s just fine?
And supposing it’s true, supposing by some bizarre coincidence these two really are the only two who ‘need’ this kind of ‘soft love’ – what on earth is going on in a game formerly played by men (and of course by women now these days) that certain individuals are now absolute wimps who can’t handle being told off?
What is this? Nursery?
We’re sorry, but this is not washing with us, and only enhances our case further.
As Ibrox Noise’s Derek argues, the moment Nikola Katic has one bad game this 22-year old kid is dropped and individually criticised. James Tavernier, captain and nearing his 30s needs to have love and pillows for months when he’s in bad form?
How on earth can anyone justify such uneven-handed treatment in the way they have?
Now, we should point out – we are actually not criticising Gerrard here. Our criticism of him previously was the inconsistency of the treatment and that was the earlier article. Not this one. We’re criticising, on this occasion, those who responded that think it’s fine to put an arm around a near 30-year old captain and console him and tell him everything’s alright (this is the guy who leads us, by the way) and keep selecting him, but a 22-year old Katic outside his country for the first time is absolutely fine to dump to the bench in a rough love fashion.
And even if that is ok, even if we stretch ourselves to believe this ridiculous argument is valid, why on earth is this ‘wimp’ you guys are portraying installed as the captain?
Guys like Gough, Butcher and Ferguson used to stride the captain’s armband like colossi and could handle it like men if they got a few boos or criticisms.
Now we must whisper sweet nothings into our captain’s ear, give him a hankie and keep selecting him? What next, a cot?