Work out how that equates to “Neil Lennon getting involved”. I can’t.
A quick rundown of the “flashpoints in the game”
– Whittaker (Rangers) sent off
– Bougherra (Rangers) grabs the referee’s arm in some crazy attempt to prevent his team-mate being sent off
– Diouf (Rangers) assaults Celtic physio
– Diouf (Rangers) runs 60 yards to the Celtic dugout to confront Celtic management team
– Ally McCoist (Rangers)has to be physically restrained from attacking the Celtic manager
– Bougherra (Rangers) is booked for a deliberate and cynical career-threatining foul on Gary Hooper
– Bougherra (Rangers) sent off for using excessive force against Commons
– Bougherra (Rangers) engages in a fit of histrionics and yet again physically man-handles the referee
– Kyle Hutton (Rangers) attempts to take Scott Brown out of the play and is booked
– At the final whistle Diouf (Rangers) receives a second yellow card for sarcastically applauding the referee three times and then offers the referee his jersey
– Diouf (Rangers) walks over to the Rangers support in an attempt to throw his jersey into the crowd and has to be restrained by police
– McCoist (Rangers) and Lennon (Celtic) have a verbal confrontation on the sidelines.
A couple of observations about the above list.
1. Apparently walking onto the pitch of your great rivals to wave and acknowledge your own fans was a heinous crime and an act of outrageous provocation back in 2004 if your surname happens to be O’Neill, but appears to be only a minor matter barely worthy of comment in 2011.
2. The very man pictured losing the plot above and seen on camera making his snide remarks to the Celtic manager was, unbelievably, one and the same who just the day before made this statement – “Why wind people up when you don’t need to? That’s my opinion on it.”
Changing their opinion on things is a bit of a habit down Ibrox way at the moment isn’t it? When’s the season extension due again? Dignity indeed.
It is not necessary to understand the general picture, but you may want to count and compare the Rangers misdemeanors against the Celtic ones. Of course it was only too depressingly predictable (or tiresome as a certain SFA official might say) to be confronted with media headlines about “O*D F**M SHAME” the next day.
This is bad enough, but despite the litany of shame perpatrated by Rangers players and officials listed above, the Scottish media tonight have decided to round on Neil Lennon making him the focus of
Darryll King on Radio Clyde says the root of all the trouble is Celtic having a “controversial manager”.
Apparently receiving death threats and being repeatedly the victim of assault makes you “controversial” and completely to blame for your assailant’s crimes.
Even Graham Spiers has been got to, agreeing with one particularly rabid caller that Neil Lennon has brought all of this on himself.
But the most disgusting example of bigot apology and doublethink came from former Rangers captain Richard Gough.
Gough’s credentials for working in the Scottish football tabloid media are impeccable – he used to play for Rangers and is only slightly less partisan in his views than Mark “Goebbels” Hateley.
After misleadingly describing the McCoist-Lennon confrontation as “Neil Lennon getting involved yet again”, Gough claimed to know Neil Lennon personally before going on to basically perform a character assassination on him, with the usual “he brings it on himself” claptrap packaged up in the language of “he gets under people’s skin”.
By way of some contrast, the impeccably objective ex-Rangers captain then offers a glowing character reference for his good friend “Alistair” exonerating him for his actions in the face of whatever outrageous provocation the media have now created out of their febrile imaginations.
Mr Gough then criticises Neil Lennon for coming onto the pitch at Ibrox in an “inflammotary” manner to applaud the Celtic fans. Mr Gough says nothing about the headcase Diouf’s histrionics in front of the Rangers support last night so presumably condones that.
He then pipes up with the Walter Myth, that you never see the man with nosurname do anything like that. Well, maybe not to applaud fans, but certainly the Myth has entered the field of play many times before, for example to berate Connor Sammon and referee Steve Conroy resulting in a charge of “adopting a threatening and aggressive manner”. The Myth also has previous for berating and assaulting the fourth official.
But why let all that get in the way of a convenient Myth.
This is enough to have us reaching for the sick bucket but then Gough astonishingly offers the case of Alan Shearer kicking Neil Lennon in the head back in 1998 as some sort of proof of the Celtic manager’s poor character. “It shows that he gets under people’s skin” according to Mr Gough.
So there you have it. All players now have free reign to go about booting each other in the head on the proviso that the victim has “got under their skin”.
Incidentally, Alan Thompson was sent off in 2004 after squaring up to Peter Lovestodive who needless to say fell to the ground spectacularly when no contact was made. “By the letter of the law Thompson had to go. The act was violent and agressive even if he never made contact” was the opinion of the Scottish media to a man and woman.
Yet, here we are in 2011, and the Laptop Loyal are full of mealy mouthed excuses for the tantrums of spoiled and beaten Rangers players and officials, and we have one of them saying it’s OK to kick Neil Lennon in the head because “he gets under people’s skin”.
This is the calibre of “neutrality” and objectivity proferred by Radio Clyde and their counterparts at Fake Radio and Radio Shortbread who are little better. Clyde should simply go the extra step and get a flute band in to play musical interludes between each rabid perma-rage Rangers supporting caller. We know they want to and their priority constituents would certainly love it.
By the way Mr Gough’s scandalously biased comments were brought to you courtesy of the BBC, the national broadcaster funded by the taxpayer, who love nothing more than to crow about their reputation for impartiality, whilst every Radio Scotland broadcast is positively bursting at the seams with ex-Rangers players and self-confessed supporters queuing up to criticise Neil Lennon and Celtic in general.
Neil Lennon was unfairly and squarely blamed for imaginary death threats to referees back in October, as according to our discredited media, he “provoked” Celtic fans into a state of frenzy against our bedraggled officials by having the temerity to make the most mind-numbingly obvious statements in reply to their questions, and for having the gall to be lied to by a referee.
Well, who is then to blame for the bullets sent not just to Lennon, but to other Celtic players, a much more serious threat than one made up by Daryll Broadfoot or from some drunken halfwit over the phone? Who has been responsible for whipping up the neanderthals with access to live ammunition by validating their vile prejudice by providing the excuse that Neil Lennon “get’s under people’s skin”?
God forbid, but if anything sinister should happen to Neil Lennon then the spineless apologists for the bigots in our Scottish media should be in the dock.