STEVEN GERRARD has been advised to think twice before blasting his back four.

The Rangers boss slammed his sloppy defenders after Spartak Moscow were allowed to come back three times before pulling off a remarkable 4-3 Europa League victory in the Russian capital on Thursday night.

Connor Goldson haphazardly sliced a clearance beyond helpless keeper Allan McGregor to present the home side with their second equaliser – and left Gerrard fuming.

He said: “I think Under-12s or Under-13s can normally clear the ball with either foot.”

Former Arsenal and England international centre-back Martin Keown, summarising the game for BT Sport, said: “I think he (Gerrard) has got to be very careful about language he uses, talking about 12-year-olds would have been able to clear that ball.

“The player is hurting enough as it is and so, also, is the manager. It was really kamikaze defending at times.

“Goldson was involved in quite a few of the goals that were conceded and it’s still fresh after the game.”

Keown, 52, capped 43 times by his country, added: “As he gets more experience as a manager…look, it’s damaging talking about a player in that manner.

“He (Goldson) doesn’t go with his left foot because he doesn’t trust his left foot. He tries to go for it with his right foot and it’s a disaster for him.

“He prods at it it, stabs at it. If he takes another stride and comes onto it with his left foot with a bit of confidence he clears it.

“It was a mistake after mistake, but Rangers showed good character in the match.”

Rangers take on Motherwell at Ibrox tomorrow afternoon and will be without Portuguese winger Daniel Candieas who was sent off last week in the 2-0 win over St Mirren in Paisley.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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