Watching the game yesterday, I was too happy to be terribly focussed on the wailing of people like Andy Walker over the Alex Cochrane red card. It’s only this morning, re-watching it all, that I realised how stupid their complaints really were.
Alex Cochrane prevented a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
There is no doubt about that at all.
Maeda himself was perfectly capable of putting the ball in the net, but there are two Celtic players – including Kyogo right in the middle with nobody near him – waiting on the pass and all he had to do was roll it across and we’ve got a tap-in.
It’s a clumsy challenge, but it’s a foul and the rule book is pretty clear on what the punishment for preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity is. The howls from Andy Walker were just an utter embarrassment.
The moment the red-card was flashed he accused the officials of having “ruined the whole game.”
Which still had plenty of time to go.
The whinging about it from Naismith was expected, and so too was the allegation that it had “changed the game.” As if Maeda or Kyogo putting the ball in the net – as one of them was almost certain to do – would not have put us well on the road anyway.
The only real shock (or maybe not) is that Nick Walsh – who had a great view of the incident – didn’t think it was a red in the first place.
He is an abysmal official but there is no excuse for that whatsoever and instead of people making out that he had made the right call he should be asked to explain how in the Hell he’d made such a wrong one.
The second he was called over the TV panel knew it was going to be a red card, which tells you that they knew the decision was actually correct. It didn’t stop them moaning, Walker especially, who I thought might self-destruct such was the pitch of his wailing.
If yesterday hadn’t been a title decider the manufactured fury over this would have lasted all week.
In the meantime, yet another in a long line of incidents at Ibrox which didn’t result in a decision against their club goes largely unremarked on, except for a ludicrous newspaper report trying to justify it.
The truth is, that’s a much bigger story.