After every major flare up this season, people have retreated back to their corners and licked their wounds.
But before they’ve done so, they have condemned.
They have condemned wholeheartedly or reluctantly.
In full possession of the facts or having none of them to hand.
They have condemned because that is what you do, to defuse the bomb.
Yesterday in the aftermath of chaotic scenes at Celtic Park, much of the media agrees that only one man is to blame for it; Scott Brown, come on down.
There’s just one problem with this narrative; it’s built on foundations that are shakier than a still-drunk council worker on a Monday morning. (I was that man once; God knows how I’d have got through today.) In fact, it is completely without merit at all.
When a club’s players behave as atrociously as those from Ibrox did yesterday a responsible manager, watching those scenes, would have behaved appropriately, and professionally. He would have pulled his players into the dressing room and fined the lot of them.
He would not have looked for scapegoats or played the victim card, as Gerrard did yesterday.
Amidst all the headlines today about our captain, where are the ones slamming the Ibrox boss for his absolutely atrocious comments?
Not the ones blaming Scott Brown for provocation – that’s the pitiful whining of the loser, somebody’s who’s just been beat and who sees his and his team’s pretensions exposed for what they are. No, I’m talking his comments on Halliday.
It was the Hampden Excuse all over again, the one the Ibrox club deployed in the aftermath of the riot of 2016, and which the media let them get away with.
“Andy went in to protect his own people – I would have probably done that myself,” Gerrard said, of the melee that could have sparked a riot. In all my life watching Glasgow derbies I have never heard more ignorant or more dangerous words out of a manager’s mouth.
I think at this point, having heard Gerrard yesterday, that it would be wrong for us to focus overmuch on Alfredo Morelos. Those who have pointed out that he was never sent off in Finland or under Pedro Caixinha might be onto something. When a manager praises a player for nearly starting a riot and in the same press conference makes excuses for two who slammed our captain in the face then it’s perhaps time to ask whether he’s the real issue here.
Morelos might get the headlines, but his team has received eight red cards this season along with more than 40 yellows. They are at the bottom of the Fair Play league, with a point more than Hamilton. This is what the manager has brought to their team.
Scott Brown, in the meantime, is what he has always been; one of the most disciplined footballers in Scotland. Look at his record. He may pick up bookings from time to time but it’s a strange day indeed when he is sent off; his red card this season came at Kilmarnock, for celebrating scoring a last minute goal. When he was goaded at Ibrox earlier in the season he didn’t bitch or complain, far less set about an opposition footballer. None of our players did.
Blaming Brown is so easy.
It is so much easier than holding other people to account, it seems.
It is definitely easier than taking a measure of personal responsibility.
Even in the aftermath of the game, when being interviewed by the media, Brown didn’t slaughter anybody or ramp up the tension further. In fact, his comical defusing of the whole matter will be a YouTube highlight for years to come; a measure of the man and his class, on and off the pitch.
Other people need to take a good long look in the mirror, and if the media held that mirror up for them that would be both responsible and professional from them.
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