There is a lazy accusation that can be thrown at Steven Gerrard’s Rangers team whenever they drop points and every fan will be aware of it – “same as usual, bottlers”.
After managing just a draw against Hibs at Easter Road – returning to the top of the table in the process – the immediate inquest centred around the inability to grind out a result when it mattered most, just after Celtic had won the day before to go level on points, but when emotions have calmed, and the red mist clears, there is more to it than that.
To start with, and to get it out of the way, the obvious one is the officials. Calling out missed penalties and red card offences when you are winning is one thing, losing two points because of ineptitude is another.
I’m not one for conspiracy theories, however, I’m not a huge believer in coincidence either, the assistant referee who “missed” the clear offside for Hibs equaliser has some interesting numbers when it comes to the disparity between the clubs that he officiates on – surprise, surprise Rangers are not a beneficiary.
Statistically, we are twice as likely to lose when Frank is on the line. And we win 30% more games when he is not on the line. Thats quite a variance. pic.twitter.com/l4X8FHYTAg
— Jas Boyd (@Jas72Boyd) September 20, 2020
Rangers were also denied a possible penalty against Livingston on the other occasion we dropped points in the league, we just haven’t had the 50/50 decisions in any game so far this season, especially compared to the other side of the city – see their penalty against St Mirren as a recent example – but apparently, these things even themselves out over the season.
Just been sent some stats from a Facebook page. Fixed a few wee errors in it but Operation Stop 10 in a row is in full flow.
Last time each SPFL team got a penalty in the league. pic.twitter.com/HqnmSjZ88r
— Jas Boyd (@Jas72Boyd) September 14, 2020
To address the issue of “bottle” is a lot easier, two years in a row Rangers have reached the group stages of the Europa League and more specifically, on Sunday, they were 1-0 down against a high flying Hibs side before pulling it back to 2-1.
Do Rangers lack bottle?
If they lacked bottle, they wouldn’t have got themselves in front from a losing position, it wasn’t bottle that cost them the points, it was bad defending and even worse officiating.