“Deserves his place” – Stevie makes unexpected plea over star

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and staff at Aberdeen
The boss could have the lot....

Steven Gerrard has made a very strange admission which may or may not be factually accurate but context-wise is a little odd.

He said this about Connor Goldson:

“[…]then make a decision who partners Connor (Goldson) because I think Connor is in excellent form. He deserves to keep his place.”

This is as weird as it isn’t. Connor Goldson has been in reasonable form this season, not spectacular, but not rotten and good enough, but it’s Gerrard’s statement that the defender deserves to keep his place which raises an eyebrow.

This is ‘out there’ purely because there has never been a question since Gerrard signed Goldson that the stopper will be dropped for anything other than rest.

Goldson, categorically, has been untouchable from day one, right or wrong, and Gerrard appears to be ‘defending’ his defender and his selection of him, by pre-empting a criticism that wasn’t actually there in this instance.

But it does, 100% absolutely undoubtedly confirm, if there was even remotely question otherwise, that Goldson is explicit first choice and will never be dropped for any reason under this manager.

This has two sides:

1: Goldson is playing decent at the moment, and probably just about deserves his place for now. Not outstanding, but not poorly enough to be dismissed to the bench. So that’s generally fair.

2: But even if he wasn’t in acceptable form, we know it wouldn’t matter, and it hasn’t in the past – he stays in the team, and his partner is selected from (now) four different choices.

We’ve never seen Stevie defend Goldson in quite this way before, and it’s unexpected.

Curious.