Former Rangers star Gordon Smith believes that Neil Lennon’s Celtic team wouldn’t have found a way to beat the Ibrox side on Sunday if VAR had been used, The Daily Record report.
Smith, who is also a former Chief Executive of the Scottish FA, thinks that if he’d had his way in 2009, Rangers would have emerged victorious against the eventually triumphant Hoops.
A goal from Christopher Jullien sealed the 1-0 win at Hampden, pushing us towards our tenth successive domestic trophy.
Replays showed that the Frenchman could have been marginally offside and all week we’ve heard moans out of the Rangers-supporting camp that we didn’t deserve to lift the League Cup.
Smith’s is one of the most creative yet.
As quoted by The Daily Record, he said: “Celtic’s goal was definitely offside and it would have been confirmed by VAR, had it been available in Scottish football. I was a member of the UEFA and FIFA players’ committee in 2009 when I proposed video analysis should be considered to improve the decision-making in football.
“It was rejected by the rest of the panel because it would ‘spoil football’. I argued Hawk-Eye technology had improved tennis but Beckenbauer insisted they were both very different sports.”
Unfortunately for Smith and his former side, the apparently incredibly forward-thinking football administrator (no laughing in the back) did not get his way.
Smith would go on to tell the paper: “I believe the decision [on Sunday] proved decisive as Rangers would’ve gone on to win had the goal been called offside. Celtic were not an attacking force and created very little but after opening the scoring they were able to drop back and hang on in defence, especially when they went down to 10 men. I don’t like to see any game won by a goal that shouldn’t have been allowed.”
Celtic are unbeatable in Scotland when it matters
What Smith neglects with his comments is that, if we’d not had that goal awarded, we’d have likely found another way to win.
There’s no point in pretending we outplayed Steven Gerrard’s team, we didn’t. We were poor. However, we showed the mentality in the big moment that separated us from our city rivals.
Rangers had multiple chances to punish us and fluffed their lines every single time. Fraser Forster was other-worldly in goal, there was no beating him on Sunday no matter what they did.
Over the last three and a half years Celtic have been imperious domestically. In almost every match that’s truly mattered we’ve come out on top, somehow.
I believe we would have done so again on Sunday, so Smith’s moan rings a little hollow.