Most people have heard of the saying that says â€œif you can’t beat them, join themâ€�.
It seems like Scottish football has invented a new phrase which suggests kicking the living daylights out of them instead of joining them.
At the end of last season, as Celtic fans will know, Kieran Tierney was brutally assaulted by an Aberdeen player and he ended up requiring hospital treatment.
First of all, I’m quite happy to call this an assault because it wasn’t a normal foul or challenge that went wrong. Take the Celtic match v St Johnstone, a horrible clash led to a Murray Davidson leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
That incident, clearly, was accidental and I, for one, hopes that he’s fully recovered and back on a football pitch as soon as possible.
But what about the assault on Tierney at the Scottish Cup Final last year? If a football player is waving his elbows around, you’d have to question what he is doing if he isn’t trying to injure an opponent.
Add to this, the fact that the same player has been sent off in the past for the same thing â€“ elbowing an opponent.
While I don’t really blame the player for it, I do blame the referees and the SFA. If the SFA are consistent and give red cards every time that he throws his elbows out at people and give him a more severe ban every time that he does it, he would have to stop it.
The same could be applied to any player. For example, every time that someone loses the plot with Neil Lennon, his punishment seemed to get more severe because of the fact that he had been punished before and he â€œhad previousâ€�.
At the end of the day, the player in question didn’t appear to have a great deal of ability so he’s just doing what he’s allowed to get away with to try to even things out a bit.
By allowing the player to go unpunished, it sends the message that it is OK to assault Tierney or other players with your elbows. We have saw multiple incidents over last season where Tierney amongst others have been on the receiving end of some pretty nasty tackles.
At the game against St Johnstone, we had what looked like a punch being landed on Tierney. Last season, a Motherwell player put a hole in his leg.
I know that we have other examples of fouls on players but I’ve decided to highlight Kieran because he seems to be on the end of more fouls than others.
The SFA and referees refuse to do anything about this behaviour so where does it end? Will we have to wait until he gets an injury and then hope that he can recover and get back to form?
I think it’s time for Celtic to speak to the referees, to the SFA and this time, to make the findings public. We’ve had letters sent before to complain about officials but we never find out the outcome of these letters. And more importantly, the standard of refereeing doesn’t seem to improve.
While I’m sure Kieran can look after himself and doesn’t need me to write about it, I would expect our players to be sent off if they committed a similar foul against an opponent.
I am no fan of international football, mainly because I see the Scottish national team as the SFA’s football team and not my team. The SFA refused to provide adequate protection for our players so why should we allow them to play international football?
Is it perhaps time to have some sort of video refereeing in place? Surely it wouldn’t take long for a guy in the stand to speak to the referee and confirm that the incident is worthy of a red card. The punch was almost an off the ball incident.
While the play is ongoing, an official in the stand could easily be watching a replay and inform the referee that red card is required. When the next break in play comes round, the card could be shown.
Another incident, in where video footage would have been useful would be the St Johnstone goal, had we video clarification, it would have saved me from looking like an idiot and it would have saved the ears of the person sitting in front of me.
At the time, I was absolutely convinced it was offside and I know that I was not in the minority this time round.
The referee even looked slightly confused, although, I’m not sure if that’s just his normal expression. But in the few seconds that it took the players to celebrate the goal, someone could have confirmed the decision from the stand.
I don’t want to stop the game and check video footage for every decision but I do think it would be good to have this in place for game changing decisions such as the elbow on Tierney, the punch on Tierney or for goals that may or may not be offside.