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  1. Having his say.... https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/gordon-smith-the-season-is-ending-as-it-started-in-a-shambles/ Gordon Smith: The season is ending as it started – in a shambles by Gordon Smith May 20, 2019, 12:01 am I was shocked by the SFA’s decision to overturn Jon Flanagan’s two-game ban. The retrospective punishment they had issued earlier in the week was spot on. Television evidence clearly showed the Rangers defender elbowing Scott Brown in the face during the Old Firm derby. It was a red card all day long. Making the SFA appear ever more shambolic in the eyes of the public is the lack of transparency surrounding the U-turn. That has to change. celtic issued a statement labelling the entire scenario “a huge embarrassment for Scottish football”. You can’t help but agree. What’s more, it will continue to be a problem because clubs will surely now be queuing up to appeal against all manner of sanctions. The season started with a bad, bad decision by the SFA in rescinding the red card shown to Alfredo Morelos for taking a boot at Scott McKenna at Pittodrie. It is ending the same way. Across the game, what everyone is looking for is consistency of decision-making. It is infuriating to see one of your players or officials treated quite differently to a rival. I am sure many fans will wonder why the incident involving Jozo Simunovic and Jermain Defoe was not highlighted on the BBC’s Sportscene programme, which tends to take the lead on these issues. They made plenty of Flanagan flattening Brown, but the clash that Rangers made much of after their player had been cited was not even mentioned by the Beeb. In the current climate, these are the kinds of aberrations that fuel conspiracy theories. It lends weight to the argument that the SFA compliance officer will only act on the referee errors that TV picks up. The furore over missed red cards was just one element to another compelling Old Firm showdown. Of course, there was the sectarian singing. I have spoken several times in this column about the need for strict liability to deal with such breaches, and that remains my view. Rangers, as a club, reacted appropriately to the deaths of Lisbon Lions Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers. So they will have felt let down by a sizeable section of their support last Sunday. On the park, where in the last Old Firm game at Ibrox celtic were just inept, here they were outplayed. Tom Rogic, a matchwinner for his team on so many big occasions under Brendan Rodgers’ charge, was cramped for time and space. By contrast, Steven Gerrard’s side produced some terrific football, full of pace, precision and positive intent. They did so too for the most part without top scorer Alfredo Morelos, who played only 11 minutes off the subs’ bench. Rangers play with more fluidity when he is not involved, and this was proof positive. If the club receive a big bid for the Colombian in the summer, they should take it and use part of the funds to strengthen their squad. Not that there is much remedial work to be done based on this display. As a combination, the midfield three of Steven Davis, Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara is greater than the sum of the parts. Kamara really caught the eye. For £50,000 from Dundee, he has to be the signing of the season, while Scott Arfield delivered another all-action display. Overall, it was a great advert for Gerrard’s efforts to convince potential summer signing targets they can come north and be part of a group which has a chance at ending celtic’s bid to make it nine-in-a-row. The flip side is that this result will have served as a wake-up call to the celtic Board. They will now be all the more determined to ensure they have the right manager in charge, and to supply him with the funds required to ensure continued domestic dominance.
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