James Sands has been criticised more than most players this season. With no John Souttar to slaughter, attention has turned to the new scapegoat in the American, who now seems to be flavour of the month for abuse from fans.
Despite doing absolutely nothing wrong.
We saw this pattern start in Belgium, when fans called him a disgrace and the worst player out there, when in fact he was clearly our most effective defender (not that the bar was high) and did a lot more than most at preventing goals.
And if you want to break down into numbers, no one lost the ball fewer times than he v Killie, and his passing range was well beyond 90%.
Ibrox Noise was one of the first to show apathy about the former MLS star when he was in midfield. He was tidy, but quiet, and had no clear impact on the team at all.
But in defence?
He’s been solid, hasn’t cost any goals, and while he’s had hairy moments (so have they all) he’s not been responsible for any fails at the back.
He’s also only 22, and barely more than a kid at this point – but he’s become the new fall guy now that fans aren’t able to blame Souttar.
It’s a shame really – no matter what he does, he will be the scapegoat, and we’re not going to present all his stats because most of you have made up your minds.
John Lundstram showed a player can win fans over, we suspect Sands will have to hit the same heights to do the same.
Indeed, almost every comment we get about Sands hints that he’s a bombscare and it’s a matter of time before it explodes in Gio’s face.
Which sounds very similar to the 10 years of threats we had from tims about tick tock until they eventually gave up.
It’s more wishful thinking from some fans that want Sands to do something wrong so they can blame him for the team failing at something.
Perhaps support the lot?
If even Ibrox Noise can conjure positive words about Goldson and Wright, surely you lot can back Sands?