What on earth must Jeremy Toljan be thinking?
After 135 minutes of Scottish football he has watched three of his new team-mates being brutally assaulted for the sum of one yellow card.
On Sunday at St. Johnstone, within seconds of each other Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard were ‘taken out’ by Jason Kerr and Joe Shaughnessy respectively. Play on said referee Willie Collum as a stretcher was called for the French striker.
On Wednesday night with the outcome of the match secure, Hibs substitute Darnell Johnson decided to plough into Emilio Izaguirre. Referee Craig Thomson found his yellow card as another Celtic player was stretchered off.
After the match Toljan might have taken a look at social media, where Allan McGregor’s unpunished attack on Lewis Ferguson’s shin was taking centre stage.
Whether it’s incompetence or something more sinister Scottish football is a killing field right now. Why would any player with prospects in the game put their career on the line in games refereed by Willie Collum, Craig Thomson or Bobby Madden?
Developing with Brendan Rodgers is an incentive and playing in front of 60,000 fans under the disco lights has attractions, but why put your future on the line against hatchet men that seem to have the sympathy vote from match referees.
With the climate and a top flight of just 12 clubs often playing each other five times a season, or three times in a fortnight, enticing quality players to Scotland is a hard sell.
Add in the prospect of serious injury and it’s easy to see why players like Toljan will be very reluctant to commit themselves to the Scottish game for anything other than the shortest period possible.