SINCE I find the 2019-20 vintage in Scottish football undrinkable, I have deliberately avoided blogging for some time. However, after watching last night's BT Sport broadcast of Kilmarnock v Rangers, I have been moved to return to my keyboard.
It wasn't a bad game; ok, it reaffirmed my belief that the skill level in our game is woefully low and reinforced my belief that the bulk of the current Rangers' squad are most definitely, as my late Father would say – NRC: Not Rangers Class.
Faither was born when King Edward VII was on the throne, and he got into Rangers when Bill Struth was just starting off as Manager. All future Rangers players, to the Old Man, were judged against Davie Meiklejohn and Alan Morton, while Jimmy Fleming, the great centre forward of the 1920s and 1930s, was a distant relative.
The Old Man was an unreconstructed Hun, who would be horrified at some of the things going on around Ibrox today.
The level of class player absent from today's Rangers squad
Me, while I believe Jim Baxter was the greatest Scottish footballer, I avoided Hundom, Kilmarnock has my heart, so, I was very happy with last night's result – I think we showed, in the second half, a greater desire to win, and got our just reward.
But, what really bugged me was the utter undisguised bias of the BT pundits. In the post-match summing-up, it was almost a case of: “How did that happen, little Kilmarnock have no right to beat the mighty Rangers.” Their comments were boak-inducing.
Even Chris Sutton could barely hide his disgust, that Rangers had lost, while their puerile arguments around the lead-up to the first Killie goal had me pondering the question – did James Traynor write that bit of the script?
We don't have VAR in Scotland. In fact, we will only have it, when UEFA and FIFA order the high heid yins at Hampden to introduce it. I reckon VAR will very-quickly demonstrate just how many “honest mistakes” our referees make in a season – particularly in games involving a certain two Glasgow clubs.
VAR is, as I understand it, supposed to clear-up decisions, where there is: “A clear and obvious error by the on-field officiating team.”
Now, I am willing to conceded the ball may have hit Roddy McKenzie on the arm, in the build-up to Stephen O'Donnell's goal. Personally, I have my doubts (but I would). If it did hit his arm, it merely brushed against it, however, even after several replays – there was no clear and obvious arm to ball contact. Therefore, the goal stands.
The “experts” were also convinced Rangers were denied a penalty. Maybe so, but, to me, the first use of the arm was by Morelos, and, in any case, having been earlier booked for “simulation,” I am still trying to work out why he wasn't given a second yellow and sent off, for a later, equally blatant, dive.
Just about the only person on the night who showed genuine “Rangers Class” was Steven Gerrard, post-match. He accepted responsibility for the loss, he would not entertain any “hand ball” claims and he showed, to me, that he has the makings of a top manager.
This Old Firm bias has been at coronavirus levels in the Scottish media for years, and, to my mind, as the papers shed readers faster than leaves in autumn, the bias has got worse. It's as if, in the minds of the guys at the top in the various media outlets, only the Old Firm fan base can read, listen to radio or watch TV. So, everything they produce has to be skewed to sate this market.
I was so pleased to see Alex Dyer sending his side out for the second half at Rugby Park last night, with clear instructions to have a go at Rangers. I wish more Scottish managers would be as gung-ho.
As I have said, this is a poor Rangers team. The Celtic squad is better, but, to me, it is still a poor Celtic one. If, by some miracle, the current lot could be matched against the Lisbon Lions of 1967 – I fancy Big Billy & Co would win with goals to spare.
Scottish fitba really is going to the dogs – on and off the field.