Yes, for during the summer Steven Gerrard was adamant that Nathan Patterson was far too good to leave on the bench, and he’d use both he and James Tavernier throughout the season.
Four matches in, there’s not been a minute of young Patterson while Tavernier has reverted back to the former Tav we all know and love and returned to occupy his RB slot as normal.
Stevie promised that these two were just too good to leave on the bench or to have one of them on the sidelines, but strangely, that’s exactly what the manager’s done anyway.
He did add a disclaimer that it would mix and match depending on the fixture in question, but that Patterson hasn’t seen a second of action in the first four matches lends itself to the possible notion that in fact he isn’t going to play much at all and the captain will just continue at RB.
We get it, Stevie, like all football managers, does not speak the full truth – he can’t, because that would reveal his true intentions all the time and football managers cannot do that. They have to be canny with their words and resort to a little ‘economy’ with the truth.
The classic ‘7-10 days’ is a prime example of the vaguely liberal use of rhetoric to avoid being absolutely honest about something when it doesn’t serve the club or player’s interests to do so.
So we’re not slating Stevie for potentially ‘manipulating’ the truth a little if that’s what he has done.
But Patterson has earned a crack – a real one, and not just a starting slot every now and then. The lad has patiently waited his turn and aside his Covid gaffe, carried himself well as a Ranger.
He can also more than play.
Give him a chance, Stevie.