Referees didn’t lose the game for Rangers, but they didn’t help

Referees didn’t lose the game for Rangers, but they didn’t help
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 28: Referee Willie Collum looks at a monitor as they watch a VAR Review during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and St. Johnstone FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We absolutely hate talking about refereeing, for us it’s losers’ chat, a way to excuse a bad result by pinning the result on the man in black.

If there is one thing we absolutely do not like (yes we’ll put that on record) about Rangers manager Philippe Clement it’s his repeated whining about officials.

They are indeed bad in Scotland, very bad, but after five months the guy should know this by now.

They’re not professional, literally, as in they are not full time, they are semi-professional and haven’t been trained up to the standard of say the Premier League in England, where there are still a tonne of errors and mistakes.

Regardless of VAR, or refs, Rangers lost yesterday because we weren’t good enough, but, BUT we will admit Alan Muir’s performance was a wretch.

Yes, referees can have poor matches too, and Muir would surely admit he wasn’t on form yesterday.

Many are pointing to the call of leaving Dan Casey on the pitch after a challenge from the defender forced Ross McCausland off.

Was it deliberate? It was the same as Dujon Sterling’s incident – it was a reckless follow through that we’d call an orange card. But on this occasion Muir did not consult VAR which left fans enraged.

We’re not joining the lynch mob which demands Muir be hung drawn and flogged – he did have a terrible match and missed many other things, including a blatant pull on Ridvan Yilmaz shirt in a clear free kick.

He was bad.

But so were Rangers.

One point we’ve seen made is that Ross McCausland was having, again, an inconsequential match. Had he not been injured, it is very unlikely he’d have any kind of impact to change proceedings anyway, so that one honestly didn’t make a whole host of difference to how Rangers’ match went.

We will accept the point that down to 10 men, Motherwell may have yielded, if the call had gone to VAR and Casey sent for an early bath. But given how they defended, and how wasteful Rangers were, we’re not so sure.

But this is ifs and buts. And maybes. We don’t operate in those.

The fact is we can’t be bothered blaming referees for things that go wrong. We never have. We will call them out just like we do our players and managers, but referees don’t decide matches, players do.

And on that front, Rangers fell way short at Ibrox.

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