Steven Gerrard could have told his Rangers players to play as “butchers” against Slavia Prague last week, according to Czech journalist Lukas Madl.
Writing on the Seznman Zpravy website, Madl recounted the events that unfolded in the Europa League last-16 tie at Ibrox last week but took special aim at Rangers, and in particular Gerrard, for Kemar Roofe’s challenge on goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar.
Roofe was instantly sent off for essentially kicking Kolar in the head and causing the goalkeeper to have stitches and suffer a frontal sinus fracture.
There was no denying it was a red card and we hope that Kolar recovers quickly but there seems to be a massive wave of hatred against Rangers coming from Prague at the moment after Roofe’s challenge and Glen Kamara’s accusation he was racially abused by Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela.
And that seems to have painted Madl’s opinion about Rangers, with the Czech journalist suggesting that Gerrard – or even someone else at Ibrox – instructed players to rough up Slavia’s players last week.
“The fact Rangers played as butchers is completely indisputable,” said Madl on the Seznman Zpravy website. “The intensity of their rudeness and indiscrimination far exceeded all standards. Even the Scots, which are still a little sharper than the rest of the world. But not really that much.
“It can’t be a coincidence that the Rangers just got rid of it like this. They had to be instructed to do so. And from someone other than Steven Gerrard, their coach, a Liverpool player star in the past, a captain usually associated with gentlemanship and traditional moral values.
“‘Play so it hurts.’ Did he tell his players before the match with Slavia? From what we saw on the field, with a high degree of probability yes. But the question arises as to whether Gerrard has gone any further.”
Madl added: “Anyone who has seen this can hardly get rid of the suspicion that Roofe must have known exactly what he was doing. That he wanted to attack Kolář, injure him, take him out of the fight. I’m sorry, but that’s how it looks to me.”
Madl went on to suggest that Rangers knew that although experienced goalkeeper Přemysl Kovář was on the bench, he wasn’t fit so inexperienced 18-year-old Matyáš Vágner would have replaced Kolar.
Talk about clutching at straws
Roofe’s challenge was dangerous and reckless. He was sent off and will be banned from UEFA matches for however long they deem fit.
We’re not going to condone his challenge – it was horrific – but we will say we don’t think there was any malice in it.
Now that’s been said, it seems that there’s a massive wave of deflection resonating from Prague at the moment.
Slavia’s reputation is in absolute tatters with fans across the UK calling for them to be booted out of the Europa League for their staunch defence of Kudela after he was accused of racially abusing Kamara.
Kamara’s claims were dubbed “imaginary” by Slavia on Twitter while the Czech club have also accused the midfielder of hitting Kudela after the game.
Slavia are doing whatever they can to shift focus away from the alleged racism incident that happened on the pitch and this piece of absolute tripe from Madl shows that clearly.
If Rangers wanted to injure their goalkeeper, would they have really waited until a substitute was brought on in the second half?
Would Gerrard have really known that their experienced substitute goalkeeper wasn’t fit?
Would Gerrard have really risked going down to 10-men to force a change in goals?
It’s honestly one of the most bizarre theories we’ve heard since Thursday.
In other Rangers news, there’s been a big update on speculation linking Gerrard with Tottenham.