Brendan Rodgers has blasted the referee following the stalemate against St Mirren, Steven Gerrard has said that the form from his Rangers side is not good enough and believes that Kenny Miller deserves a ‘lap of honour’ at Ibrox. All this and more in today’s Rumour Mill.
Rodgers bemoans ref in St Mirren stalemate
Brendan Rodgers criticised a “poor demonstration of officiating” after Olivier Ntcham was sent off in Celtic’s goalless draw at St Mirren.
Reacting to the decision to send French midfielder Olivier Ntcham off, Rodgers said: “I never like to focus too much on the referees but for both teams I didn’t think any of the four officials were very good at all.
“I don’t know if it’s a mark of all the attention that’s around them at the moment. But there were lots of incidents he got wrong, and for St Mirren as well. The sending-off, for me, is not a second yellow card.
“If you watch it again, the first one is a booking and we take that. But before the second one there is an incident when Olivier makes contact with the ball and wins the ball, but the referee gives a free-kick against us.
“Then when you see it in the corner Olivier is running across to block the ball up the line and the St Mirren player is falling over as he plays it and at the same time Olivier slides but doesn’t have contact with the player.
“So from that – and it’s in the corner which makes it lively – then the referee falls for it and he gets a second yellow. For me it wasn’t a second yellow or a sending-off.
“Listen, it’s simple – I don’t think they were good.”
Gerrard: Rangers form must improve
Steven Gerrard has called on his Rangers players to improve and build up momentum following the international break.
He said: “We are not happy with the points total,” Gerrard said. “If I was an excuse merchant, I would say: ‘Oh, what about Aberdeen or the last result against Motherwell?’
“But that’s happened. No-one remembers that. Five out of 12 is not good enough. We need to amend that, starting against Dundee.
“If you look at our league fixtures from now until the next international break, they are fixtures that, if we play anywhere near what we are capable of, we have got to be looking to take maximum points.
“We are in a league where you can’t afford to make mistakes or concede last-minute goals or go down to ten men and not get the result your performance deserves. (The Herald)
Scott Brown has opened his heart on the explosive fallout with former Celtic boss Tony Mowbray which could have seen him leave the club.
He told the Daily Record: “It hit me like a hammer when he told me to find a new club. I didn’t want to leave. I enjoyed playing for Celtic and all my family were here. But now I’m being told to find myself a new club.
“I had to get back on the phone and tell people I think I might be free to leave in January. Then all these offers start coming in and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, whatever happens happens’.
“I had an offer from Newcastle. There had been also interest from Harry Redknapp at Spurs and I was waiting to find out if he was still wanting to do something. So I’m sitting there thinking if I should go or not.”
“In the second half he tells me he’s sending me on at left back and then says, ‘As soon as you get on you take that armband. You’re going to be the captain now!’
“What was going through my head? I was thinking there was obviously no one else on the park for him to give it to.
Steven Gerrard - Miller deserve clap of honour
Steven Gerrard has said returning Rangers striker Kenny Miller deserves a hero’s welcome at Ibrox when Dundee visit.
“He will be desperate to score tomorrow. He will be desperate to play well and win. For him, I hope he gets a wonderful reception. I think he deserves it.”
He added: ‘I hope he is appreciated tomorrow, I do. I’m pleased for Kenny and Lee that the scenario is sorted and dealt with, and also for the club.
“For me, walking into it and being asked about it wasn’t comfortable. I’m just pleased everyone has moved on from it and we can talk about football and football players.”
Morelos must kick on
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has urged Alfredo Morelos to kick on from his first Colombia cap.
The 22-year-old made his international bow in the friendly with Venezuela last week and Gerrard said that he should use it as the ultimate motivation saying: “He is in a great place. I have just said to him that if he wants cap number two he best start posting goals for Rangers and putting in consistent performances. That’s how caps come.
“We want all our players to be internationals and make their families proud.
“But the message is that consistent performances, individually and collectively, are what get you caps.
“I know Alfredo really enjoyed the experience.
“He has come back fine. He might be a little bit jet-lagged but that doesn’t stop you scoring goals.” (The Herald)
Neil Lennon backs Clarke
Neil Lennon has claimed the SFA should know they have a problem when a mild-mannered manager such as Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke has fiercely criticised them.
The Hibs boss stuck up for Clarke saying: “He is very articulate, he’s very calm and I don’t think there was a lot wrong with his statement, so why he is getting hauled over the coals I do not know. “I’m quite sure he will go there and defend himself and not retract anything. There is confusion and frustration and a manager who has been in the game a long time saying his player or club has been wronged. “And I think he has every right to come out and speak on behalf of his player and his club. There wasn’t too much damning in the statement for him to be up on a charge. (Edinburgh Evening News)
I’m getting back to my best - Mackay-Steven
Aberdeen winger Gary Mackay-Steven says feeling wanted at Pittodrie has helped him rediscover his best form.
He said: “This is the best start to a season I have had in the last few years.
“I feel settled and content.
“I got a good pre-season under my belt, which I think is the most important thing.
“If you complete pre-season and get a lot of minutes then it bodes well for the season ahead.
Djoum thanks Souttar
Arnaud Djoum has thanked Hearts team-mate John Souttar for helping him overcome the first major injury of his career.
“John was a big help to me. I asked him a lot of questions about the rehab and what I needed to do to come back stronger, so I can thank him for that. It is good to have someone who has been through the same injury before and can help you. You see how strongly he has come back from this injury, he is playing his best football now and is in the national team so that gives me a lot of inspiration.”