Yet another former pro slates Bobby Madden's Celtic showing; flags up missed red card
Two things can be true at the same time – Celtic didn’t deserve to win the match against Rangers and Bobby Madden had a shocker of a refereeing performance.
Despite what some think, these don’t have to be duelling verdicts when you’re looking at what happened at Hampden on Sunday.
While it’s true Madden didn’t make any blunders that directly impacted the scoreline, such as a penalty call, his overall control of the game and selective use of the yellow card were undoubtedly factors.
Chris Sutton and Michael Stewart both called him out on Premier Sports yesterday.
Today, Kris Commons has joined the chorus with a scathing verdict. He reckons John Lundstram, who was important for the Ibrox side on the day, should have been sent off.
He told The Scottish Daily Mail [18/04 print edition, Verdict supplement page 5]: “A lot of people were questioning the performance of referee Bobby Madden. In all honesty, I found some of his decisions absolutely baffling.
“John Lundstram was excellent in the heart of the Rangers midfield, but the reality is that he was extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch for as long as he did. He could have been booked quite easily on three different occasions at the very least. But Madden was extremely lenient, to put it mildly.
“This raises another question. What good is VAR going to be in Scotland when the basic level of officiating is so obviously incompetent? Yeah, VAR will obviously will help with the big decisions like penalties and red cards. But you are still relying on the referees showing a basic level of competency beyond that.
“When we’ve got such an awful standard of refereeing, VAR isn’t going to be the silver bullet that a lot of people seem to think.”
It’s true, if anyone thinks VAR is going to be a watershed moment for refereeing in this country, they are deluding themselves.
I think using the system is worth a shot given it seems to be the way the game is going globally, but it wouldn’t have improved what we witnessed from Madden yesterday.
It’s concerning that Madden could be in the running to take charge of the final derby at Celtic Park, though hopefully the Scottish FA go for someone less controversial.
In other news, Defiance from Celtic after Hampden blow.