Things got pretty heated on BT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra on Friday night as Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist came to blows over Rangers’ treatment of their seven COVID rulebreakers.
Earlier in the season, Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were effectively banished from the first-team after attending a house party.
On Thursday, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey and Bongani Zungu were all named on the bench for the win over Antwerp in the Europa League with Patterson coming on at half-time to score and Zungu featuring later on.
Ex-Celtic striker Sutton has accused Rangers of lack of consistency in dealing with the players.
Speaking on BT Sport 1 on Friday night, Sutton said: “What would George Edmundson and Jordan Jones be thinking of the whole situation? Because they were basically banished. It’s a double-standard isn’t it?”
McCoist replied by saying: “No, he’s been 100 per cent consistent. Because Rangers took the football club’s best interest at heart, it wasn’t double-standards.”
Sutton clearly wasn’t happy and added: “Well it is if Edmundson and Jones are banished, it’s a double standard to bring these players back in, isn’t it? That’s just the way it is.
“I’m not saying it’s the wrong decision but that’s the way it is from the outside and how a lot of people are looking at this.”
McCoist becoming visibly annoyed with Sutton’s responses and the row between the pair started to get heated. The ex-Gers manager and striker replied: “But what if he’s not on the bench and [Leon] Balogun gets injured? What happens? You can’t put [Ryan] Jack at right-back, so what’s he going to do about it?”
Sutton finished the argument by saying: “I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just saying it’s a massive double-standard.
“Even you, and you worm your way out of a lot of things, have to accept that there’s been different treatment.”
Consistent but inconsistent at the same time
Rangers are in a different situation now than they were when Jones and Edmundson broke the COVID rules.
Neither Jones nor Edmundson were required in the first team because Steven Gerrard had, and still has, plenty of options in their positions and that is probably why they were loaned out in January.
Patterson is clearly below Balogun in the right-back pecking order, Bassey second at left-back and Zungu somewhere further down in the middle, but all of them are more important than Jones and Edmundson were.
We think that’s why McCoist is getting at because Rangers needed Patterson on Thursday night against Antwerp.
However, they did not need Zungu and that is where a big issue lies for us because they do have enough options in the midfield and by the time the South African came on versus Antwerp in the last 10 minutes, the match was already won.
Why was he handed an opportunity? Especially when he’s a loan player.
In other Rangers news, Patterson has confirmed a new commercial deal since his goal against Antwerp.