Sunday, 1 March 2020

Bizarre disregard for ex-Ger was a big mistake



Yesterday’s shambles will be pored over for a long time, another diabolical cup exit for yet another season, but we noticed something at Tynecastle that any blind man would have and we have no explanation for why Steven Gerrard not only didn’t rectify it, but didn’t even seem to notice it:

The ease with which Steven Naismith dominated Rangers’ backline and had no one on him at all.

Either Gerrard forgot to mark the most effective player on the pitch, or those assigned to him made a dog’s dinner of it.

Either way, Steven Naismith absolutely destroyed Rangers singlehandedly, winning headers again and again, and finding an astonishing amount of free room to do his damage.

What on earth was Rangers’ defence doing giving him that much space, and why on earth did our manager not appear to do a thing about it?

We know just how good a player Naismith is – he was awesome for us until his injury, and while he’s not quite that player now, it’s abundantly clear to anyone that he’s still one of the most effective forwards in the SPL and is astonishingly able in the air for a guy not particularly tall.

And yet, he appeared to roam free, with no one guarding him, joyfully alone to do his bidding with all the time in the world to pick out his spots, passes and headers.

No, we’re bewildered by the tactics employed to stop him, or the lack thereof.

If anyone has any idea what was going on, we’re happy to listen.
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