21 February 2019

There's Only Two Steve Clarkes

The older bears among us may remember a certain goalkeeper being subjected to a chant emanating from his own support of, ‘There’s only two Andy Gorams!’

There was of course only one Flying Pig – and this chant was affectionately dished out in true Scottish banter due to the media's report of a mild form of schizophrenia within the head of our goalie. At the time I recall it being quite hilarious, but one can only ponder what the reaction to banter directed towards mental health would be in this age of the modern day snowflake.

This chant could be resurrected for a certain Steve Clarke, but not in reference to any issues he has with mental health. Mr Clarke is a man who screams for consistency within our game and perhaps the best advice he could be given is to take his own.

Not even a week ago, his own player and former Rangers' striker Kris Boyd was subjected to sectarian singing from the Rugby Park terraces courtesy of the Celtic faithful. Not only that, he subsequently became a target for a flying piece of school uniform currency.

In this particular game, Scott Brown escaped a certain red card for a trademark shin high leg-breaking tackle whilst Clarke’s own player Kirk Broadfoot saw red later on for a challenge on the same player – although it was a high challenge, his foot was no higher than Browns at the time. Clarke's silence was deafening on all accounts, opting to want to focus on the game instead.

Fast forward to Wednesday at Ibrox and it's all changed.

After a five-nil thumping at the hand of Rangers, Clarke launched into quite a remarkable tirade about the West of Scotland after he had been subjected so some unsavoury singing from portions of the Ibrox support. As unsavoury as it was – it was no worse than what Boyd had received days earlier in the, erm, West of Scotland – as far as I am aware Clarke was not the victim of a missile thrown from the crowds.

Yet, without a hint of irony, after a 5-0 drubbing, Mr Consistency chose to forgo his opinions about focusing on the football on the pitch, and instead decided to tell stories of Rangers approaches and Chelsea rescuing him from terrible things years ago. He changed the narrative on a whim to suit and one can only wonder what Kris Boyd makes of his manager this morning.

Sectarian singing is an obvious problem in Scotland and, alas, this is nothing new. This is not an issue that will ever be eradicated with inconsistent actions such as we have seen with Mr Consistent. Turning a blind eye to some and lighting the flames on another will never eradicate an issue such as this; it simply encourages it.

Until every F-bomb is highlighted with matching vigour for screams of orange bastard or songs of the IRA then, simply put, no one will listen. Tackle the issue fairly and consistently or don't tackle it at all.

You can't extinguish a burning building by hosing down one side and you certainly can't fight sectarianism with the absence of equality.