This is a slightly accompanying article to the earlier one about Polster and Patterson, and it highlights further an issue we’ve discussed lightly on the site without ever going into it in full details:
Being dropped no matter how well you play.
The quintessential example of this is Niko Katic – regularly being dropped after some superb displays, in favour of last season Joe Worrall, and this Filip Helander.
Obviously the Croat is ok with this, we think, because he signed a new five-year deal – but then equally that’s a LOT of job security and who would turn that down anyway?
But the general rule under Steven Gerrard is that some players play under one rule, and the rest under a different one.
No matter, for example, how badly James Tavernier might ever play, he is never dropped – same with Goldson and Jack. Some players, whatever the fan opinion of their virtues might be, are immune to losing their place as a result of bad form.
Whereas a Matt Polster, a Nathan Patterson or anyone else comes in, deputises, and plays arguably better than the man they’re replacing, and just loses their place back anyway.
In short, no matter how well you do, you lose your place.
It’s not good for morale, and it’s hardly fair – and when we consider how rotten Flanagan was v St Mirren yet held his place ahead of both Polster and Patterson, we start to recognise how dangerous this favouritism Stevie gang culture actually could end up being.
We’ve whined about Greg Docherty enough on the site, so no point going there again, but he’s one victim, along with Jordan Jones.
Jones had a terrible match v Stranraer, and immediately lost his place again. Flanagan had a worse one v St Mirren but kept his.
How inspirational must it be to get the call to deputise, knowing no matter how well you do, if you’re not on ‘the list’ then you’ll be back on the fringe the next match?
We don’t understand why Gerrard is so loyal to some players and so against giving good performers an extended run if they earn one.
It doesn’t help anything.