According to quotes as reported by The Belfast Telegraph, Steven Gerrard has expressed his shock after Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke has called for Jermain Defoe to be banned.
The pair know each other well – Clarke was a coach at Liverpool while Gerrard was playing at the club – but he has said that the former Tottenham Hotspur striker should be punished for an alleged dive.
Defoe won two penalties against St Mirren, the first of which came after he was fouled by Ethan Erhahon, but the second was controversial, as he hit the deck before quickly getting back to his feet.
The veterna striker, per The Telegraph, said that he was surprised a penalty was awarded, as he had not done anything to claim for it.
Clarke, however, said he wanted to see the 36-year-old banned, particularly after Jordan Jones was suspended for two matches for simulation.
He said, according to quotes via The Telegraph: “I just want consistency, so if our player gets a two-game ban, I look forward to seeing what happens this week.”
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Gerrard, though, insists that Clarke has no right to pass comment on such matters and suggested that such opinions are beneath his former friend.
He said, per the Belfast Telegraph: “I was very surprised by Steve’s comments, first and foremost because it’s got absolutely nothing to do with Steve Clarke or Kilmarnock.
“We didn’t punish Jordan Jones, we didn’t give the Kilmarnock player a two-game ban, so why he’s trying to get one of my players banned is a surprise and a disappointment.
“Because that’s not the type of guy I know Steve Clarke for. He is usually first class, the dealings I had with him as a player when he used to coach me, and since I’ve been at Rangers. So I’m very surprised by his comments and I don’t think there’s any need for them at all.”
Gerrard is clearly expecting favours from managers he knows.
He would be well advised to realise that is never going to happen.
Kilmarnock’s manager has every right to say what he feels, particularly when there are parallels with a situation at his own club.
Gerrard’s comments are the classless ones – he has shown himself to be prone to an outburst of naivety, but he is Rangers manager and he should know that the actions of his players will be remarked upon.
Expecting an old friend to bite his tongue is ridiculous.