Steven Gerrard has been very mild mannered since he arrived in Scotland. Indeed, in his career, aside geeing up his team mates and the ‘occasional’ loss of discipline in his earliest then later years, Gerrard pretty much played the game in the spirit of the beautiful game.
Most non-Liverpool fans hated him, but few would allege that on the pitch he was a bad sort. Passionate and aggressive, but never bad.
In short, Steven Gerrard respected football, and football (mostly) respected him.
Which is why when mild mannered Steven Gerrard stormed onto the pitch yesterday and berated John Beaton, there was serious merit to the reasons.
Remember, Rangers have won this league – it’s a foregone conclusion and has been for months. This result, while welcome, didn’t have a bearing on that. So this wasn’t about the importance of the win.
Remember also, Steven Gerrard is the biggest football star Scottish football has seen since Paul Gascoigne.
He’s not just world famous for football, he is a global megastar.
We’ve gone on a million times about how pathetic the SPFL are for not exploiting his image and name to further expand our game globally – the name Steven Gerrard would get deals we could never have managed before.
So, when Stevie marches onto the pitch and creates a scene, the world takes note.
It really does – and that’s extremely bad news, as Derek said, for the ref and for the Scottish game in general.
It took something absolutely preposterous to make Stevie bewildered with rage enough to actually confront the ref at half time, and Beaton’s tragic performance was it.
This is a serious moment for the SFA. For the first time since Gerrard became boss, he’s ‘taken it to them’ and directly confronted the state of refereeing in this country.
He’s done them a favour the past 3 years, he’s not gone there, he’s kept quiet, but now as Steven Gerrard, a respected world icon and football legend and, crucially, a former Scottish football outsider, our manager has changed tack and tackled this head on.
It’s very, very bad for the SFA and it’s been coming – when someone like Stevie talks, the world listens. When he shouts about it, the world changes – Gerrard is the influential kind of football man who can effect change.
He’s up there in football legend to what LeBron is in basketball, and look at the powers of change the NBA legend is having these days.
Make no mistake – last night’s incident may just be the final straw, and by far the biggest, which not only broke the camel’s back but completely squashed it.
Watch this space…