Yesterday’s press conferences were eye-opening even by the usual standards post-Sevco match.
I’ll get to Lenny’s later on, it was a beauty and he said much that gladdened the heart. But at Ibrox they are still moaning, and greeting their wee faces off, over the cup final and the notion that somehow they were robbed out of the trophy.
This garbage was tiresome on the day. But at the time it was also painfully funny, as they tried desperately, and in vain, to find a crumb of comfort to salve them after the defeat. The hard luck story has been getting spun ever since. “The winning goal should not have counted” they wail, and so we should forget the length of time we played with ten men, their penalty miss and the chance we had when Edouard sent Mikey through on goal to put a big bow on the win.
Had the goal not counted, I firmly believe we’d have scored another one.
Edouard was on the pitch by then, and if you subscribe to chaos theory – which I wrote about before on this site – you’ll realise that there would have been no red card and no penalty for Sevco either; I reckon we had the match winner out on the pitch, and he’d have proved it.
I know for a fact that the team who rallied with ten men on the park would never have given up the trophy with eleven players. There is something particularly sweet about not playing well on the day, being down to ten men, and still having enough to win the game.
Today Gerrard wasn’t just crying for the sake of it though; he was crying with intent.
The intent was simple enough; he is putting pressure on the officials. The decision to give our goal at Hampden has been made out to have been blatantly bad; actually it was a 50/50 call over in a flash, and could have gone either way even with VAR. I still think it’s onside.
But that’s beside the point; Gerrard has done so much moaning over it that the narrative is already established. They are “due” a big decision, as if the sending off of young Frimpong at Hampden wasn’t one. Gerrard wants to put pressure on Clancy and the linesmen; Sevco is getting very good at turning up the heat under officials.
I don’t think the officials will have any say in the events of tomorrow.
I expect it to be as easy a day at the office as we’ve had against them in a good while. Why? Because it’s a massive opportunity to shut a lot of people up and to stamp our authority on this title race. It’s a home game against a side we’ve already beaten away and on a neutral venue in a cup final.
As such, I don’t think we have the slightest thing to fear from them, and because I expect us to be totally dominant, I don’t think we should fear what the officials do either. Turn up, play our own game, with confidence, and we will be just fine and we’ll end the year on a high and be eight points clear, albeit they will have the game in hand.
They know what’s at stake here … both clubs do.
Which is why Gerrard is trying, desperately, to swing the officials his club’s way before the kick-off.
It is a pitiful, and obvious, stratagem.
Like everything else he’s tried this season, I don’t expect it to work.
Nevertheless, he should be called out for it.
It is absolutely blatant.
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