Sunday, 26 January 2020

A culture of favouritism is endangering 55



Steven Gerrard’s assertion that he’d like to sign 8 new players on the basis of the loss in Edinburgh leaves us with such mixed emotions it’s difficult to know where to start.

First off, he’s right – we DO need new blood – but then we’ve been banging on about that on the site for ages. That we need better squad players than Jon Flanagan and Jermain Defoe to replace guys like Tavernier and Morelos.

Not to diss Defoe, but he’s not for every match, and while the Hearts loss did actually give him space and he turned out to be painfully wasteful with it, it shows that he’s not the kind of striker we need as a target man. He does his best, he does, but he was so poor v Gorgie that we now suspect we can’t always rely on him.

But the further point from Gerrard’s statement is that it only highlights his painful favouritism coming home to roost.

We have talent like Ross McCrorie, Greg Docherty, Jamie Murphy, Jordan Jones, Matt Polster, Nathan Patterson and frankly quite a few others, but these guys have basically been given no chances under the manager.

No extended runs, no nothing, and the only reason Katic is playing is Helander’s injury.

Gerrard, in saying we need 8 new players, is rubbing salt in the wound of reasons why recent performances happened – because of two reasons:

  1. The wider squad isn’t good enough. That’s beyond doubt now.
  2. And his refusal to use some of the best reserve players.

Because he hasn’t used guys like Polster, Docherty and McCrorie (could recall him at any point, that’s our discretion), instead he’s relied on the same old bench options like Ojo, Barker and Halliday, and they are miles away from being useful subs.

We used to whine, all of us, at Stevie for rotating too much, well it was more that CERTAIN players got rotated too much and others were in by default.

There’s an entitlement about this team now, if you’re in Stevie’s gang you’re in the team. Goldson might be starting to grow on us a little but he, like Tavernier, Kamara and arguably Kent have not earned their places – just ended up being favourites. And others just waste away on the bench.

The culture at Ibrox now is if you’re part of the clique, you’re in, and if your name is something like Docherty or Jones, you’ve got no chance.

It’s no way to go forward, and it puts 55 deeply at risk.
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