Assault, GBH, ABH, Tam McManus’ argued in his Monday column that goalkeepers are allowed to get away with just about anything inside the penalty area following Allan McGregor’s studs-up tackle on Lewis Ferguson in last week’s SPFL Premiership meeting between Aberdeen and Rangers at Pittodrie. Reader Paul Finnie suggested it was time for a referee or the Scottish Football Association to take action . . .
I couldn’t agree more with Tam McManus (Trust me, goalkeepers continue to get away with murder). Goalies get away with all sorts when challenging players in their box. As long as they are in the box they do what they like to opposing players and get away with it. It’s time someone made an example of one of them. Maybe Alan McGregor getting cited will be the start of something.
Paul Finnie, by email
Thoroughly enjoy Tam McManus’ contributions to The Herald. I find your insights and sharing of past experiences enjoyable and generally detached from the West of Scotland paranoia. However, I always feel journalists feel obliged to cite examples of failings on both sides of the Glasgow divide to demonstrate their fairness. But come on Tam, Craig Gordon is rarely called upon to make saves never mind going about injuring folk. Keep up the good work.
Eddie McCallum, by email
Paul had plenty to say during his lunch break because not long after taking a potshot at goalkeepers he soon turned his ire towards Kilmarnock‘s artificial pitch . . .
Surely Kilmarnock aren’t considering replacing their existing artificial pitch with another one? Every time I see a game on tv at Rugby Park it makes me cringe that we are playing our top class competitive matches on that kind of surface. Artificial pitches are OK for small sided games and training on, but should not be used for our professional SPL matches. The quality of the matches suffer as a consequence, and players look like they are trying hard not to injure themselves during the games. This diminishes the enjoyment for spectators, both at the game and on TV.
It also gives a distinct advantage to the home team who are used to the strange bumps, grooves, bounce and run of the ball on these pitches. If you have a workmanlike, organised team ( like KIllie and Accies ) it will dumb down the opposing team and cause them to play a different game from the one they normally do on grass.
Get rid of them as soon as possible.
Paul Finnie (again), by email
Another reader was particularly agitated following Scotland’s Six Nations defeat by Ireland claiming that Gregor Townsend should concentrate on coaching Sevens rugby.
What a shambles. Teflon Townsend did not give an after-match interview. Darling of the press. Sitting in his glass box eating his sweeties. I shall repeat myself: the biggest scandal was releasing Vern Cotter to give Townsend the national team job. He has not got a clue.
Fifteen-a-side rugby is a strategic game. All these ludicrous attempted offloads one-handed passes and one-hand backflips are being encouraged. Basic passing from favoured players such as Huw Jones and Sean Maitland is shocking for professionals. Maitland’s attempt at a two-handed chest push pass in the 79th-minute sums him up.
Then there was Blair Kinghorn going under a high ball front on. These are schoolboy errors. If Kinghorn does not know the correct method then coach him for five minutes and he’ll never forget the basics again. The Townsend appointment was a mistake. The Sevens would be his natural habitat for flair and silly risks. Watching [Saturday’s] match was hugely disappointing. Beating Italy is our level now and unless we tighten up, play basics well and limit silly risks, England will score 50.
George Wallace, by email
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