‘No patience with Rodgers and his weak excuses’

19 February 2024 0 By Total Football News
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It was a weekend that could prove pivotal in the Scottish Premiership season.

Rangers took advantage of Celtic’s slip-up at home to Kilmarnock to go top while Livingston got a much-needed win that their fans will hope will kick-start a great escape.

That victory was at the expense of St Mirren, whose manager Stephen Robinson then had an altercation with a Buddies fan.

In summary, a typically eventful weekend in the Scottish Premiership. Here’s what you made of it all.

‘It’s crab football – side to side’

Celtic fans’ patience with Brendan Rodgers is wearing thin after the 1-1 draw at home to Kilmarnock.

James: It has been coming over the last couple of weeks; playing out from the back does not work with a team of Celtic’s ability at the moment. They do not have the quality players to do it – not once did Kilmarnock play the ball out from the back. Speaks volumes.

Anonymous: Under Ange – forward, forward, forward! Now it’s crab football. Side to side. No shooting outside the six-yard box. Players getting played out of position. Manager has lost the plot!

Paul: Very average leadership from top to bottom. Football standard has regressed under the current management. Poor choices of players to play certain roles and no aggression in their decision making on the field. This all relates to what happens on the training field. Fans are now losing patience with Rodgers and his weak excuses.

Andy: Said it before, shot-shy, tippy-tappy football with possession for possession’s sake. No cutting edge, slow and predictable. It’s like watching Neil Lennon’s dire 10-in-a-row season again.

‘It’s not a one-off. It’s happened too many times’

Peter: Truly dreadful performance. Lacking pace or enthusiasm. Manager and staff have obviously lost the players. No confidence in the team, no creative play, no quality. If we had lost we could not complain.

Anonymous: I was one of the supporters who wanted Brendan Rodgers back at Celtic. He has taken the team backwards, there’s no guile or rhythm about the team and we never look like scoring. Dermot Desmond should sack him now.

Lindsey: Celtic are doing a Leicester, but not in a good way. Same old excuses from Rodgers – recruitment, injury. Celtic are a good enough team even with these obstacles, so were Leicester.

Kilmarnock draw at Celtic ‘not a smash and grab’

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock fans had a “weird feeling” after the game.

Grant: Fair play to Derek McInnes – I wasn’t convinced with the line-up pre-game but tactically we were spot on. Obviously when you go to Parkhead you will have very little play and will have moments to defend but the goal aside, everything else Celtic threw at us was dealt with. We could have won in the end but absolutely delighted to with the point!

Amy: More than deserved the point. In fact, we were the team pushing to win. That bounce when the Watson header hit the net was incredible. Celtic are rotten and Killie are flying. Weird feeling to leave Parkhead thinking we should have won.

Adam: Great result today, tactics and substitutions were spot on and so far this season it’s played four [against Celtic], won two, drawn one and only lost one. So, why not keep that up for the rest of the season? Well done, everyone.

‘Real belief and it augers well’

Rangers supporters are buoyant and could barely be happier with Philippe Clement after the 3-0 win at St Johnstone that sent them top.

Steve: Impressive after a flat first half. Diomande’s goal showed what a tremendous player he could be. Much better energy in the second half and Tavernier impressive as always. If they hadn’t already had two clear penalties, I think Carey’s drag-back on Dessers would have been one too! Clement’s team have real belief and it augers well for the coming weeks.

Martin: Back where we belong – at the top. I have no doubt we will kick on and get stronger. The gaffer will not allow complacency to set in. He has set standards for the whole squad to achieve and they have delivered. Come on guys, bring it home.

Kenny: After a sticky opening 25 minutes and against a team whose sole tactic was to foul at every opportunity (24 fouls to six by the end of the game), Rangers and in particular Diomande, Sterling and Tavernier showed their quality in another deserved victory of the Clement era. But Dessers… if he scored half his chances, he’d be top scorer by now!

Steven: Where to start with Dessers…? After a few goals recently, you’d think he’d have a degree of confidence but nothing about his performance today suggested that. Silva hopeless too. Just as well the goals are coming from other areas of the park – notably the penalty spot! Solid performance. Three points the priority though.

Lachlan: Can’t understand how Wright can get a place in this Rangers squad never mind match-day team. Not good enough to wear the Rangers jersey. Great win on a difficult pitch though.

‘VAR has ruined football’

St Johnstone fans were pleased with their side but disappointed with video assistant referee after Rangers were awarded two VAR-awarded penalties.

Anonymous: VAR and standard of refereeing is a disgrace. The referee did not have the conviction to stand by his on-field decisions, except when awarding free-kicks to Rangers. That suggests to me they are just doing what they are told to by the VAR operator. I saw someone suggesting it should be renamed RAR (Rangers Assistant Referee).

Ryan: VAR has ruined football. It’s helped the ‘armchair fan,’ adding drama and excitement at home – but for those in the ground it’s dreadful. Ruining games completely.

Jason: Craig Levein needs to get Stevie May back. We don’t know what has happened to him – we haven’t seen him for a long time. And he needs to get us a decent goalkeeper because Mitov is rubbish. He is not that great, we need a better goalkeeper – like an English keeper.

The honeymoon period seems over very quickly for interim Aberdeen boss Neil Warnock after the draw with Hibernian meant his wait for a league win goes on.

Anonymous: Neil Warnock seems to find everything funny, but the fans aren’t laughing. Dave Cormack has turned us into the laughing stock of Scottish football with his knee-jerk sackings and bizarre appointments. We are going backwards under his stewardship. Time for him to admit he’s out of his depth.

Robert: Simply not good enough. Should not have brought Warnock onboard. Confidence is awful.

Justin: Didn’t expect miracles at this stage of a poor season but at least the fight seems to be there. Warnock isn’t pulling any punches with his honest assessment.

…meanwhile Hibernian fans seem split on manager Nick Montgomery – but fairly convinced their defence is dreadful.

Michael: Our defence is still a massive cause for concern – too many mistakes and look very nervous. In saying that, I thought we played some nice stuff at times, just too slow now and again. Plenty of positives to take from this game.

John: Schoolboy defending is costing us week in and out. We are lucky we have a couple of poor teams below us or we could be in serious trouble of relegation.

Darren: That’s three decent performances on the bounce so we’re going in the right direction. We need to start winning football matches sooner rather than later or I fear the fans will turn on the manager.

Irate manager Robinson argues with St Mirren fan

‘We must get behind our coaching team’

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson got involved in an argument with one of his own fans after the 1-0 defeat by Livingston – but he has been backed

JD: 1987. Our most memorable season. Silverware coming at us from every direction. However, the league form was not so hot. We finished seventh, six wins (12 points) behind Dundee and 19 points behind Hearts. Thirty-six points from 44 matches and a goal difference of -15. Tony Fitzpatrick helped bring the gaffer to SMFC and we must get behind our coaching team.

‘Much more substantial foundations’

Whisper it, but Hearts fans seem to have been fnally won over by Steven Naismith as the Tynecastle side beat Motherwell 3-0 to go 14 points clear in third.

Alan: It’s fascinating watching the incremental changes implemented by Naismith. Narrow defeats turned into wins, increased consistency, project players coming good, youth to first team pathway and more front foot football. These are much more substantial foundations than the lack of Aberdeen/Robson cavalry-charge heroics he was criticised for adopting.

Dave: Hearts are obviously lucky to have Shankland. However, what’s also been evident over the last few weeks is Naismith’s ability to affect games whether changing shape or making positive substitutions.

…for Motherwell supporters though, it was a case of “same old story”

Kevin: Unlike Stuart Kettlewell, I thought the referee had a very good game. Kettlewell talks a good game, but can’t back it up this season. Same boring, old story. Soft goals conceded week after week, yet he didn’t sign any centre-backs or another goalkeeper in the window. No-one to blame but himself.

David: Total lack of attacking intent and a defence which yet again lacks the ability to defend basic crossed balls. The midfield missed the presence of the one player who can make a pass and create something in the opposition half.

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