Kris Commons in Rangers salute but fears Bobby Madden ‘incompetency’ has long term implications

Impressed Kris Commons tribute to tireless Rangers’ incredible efforts to sink Celtic and reach their first Scottish Cup Final since 2016.

But he was left miffed by “baffling” Bobby Madden’s display which included not booking Ibrox enforcer John Lundstram despite a series of late tackles.

Commons believes Rangers manager Gio van Bronckhorst deserves kudos for his game management during a week in which his side also reached the last four of the Europa League.

The Dutchman entered the week knowing big wins were needed and the former Celtic star was left impressed with how Rangers outlasted their fierce rivals.

He told the Daily Mail: “What a phenomenal effort that was from Rangers at Hampden yesterday. It was a triumph not only of fitness, but of courage and sheer desire.

“Their determination to go the extra mile and find some extra reserves of energy and power was all the most impressive given what happened against Braga on Thursday night.

“To go the full distance of 120 minutes and win in extra-time says a lot about a team’s attitude. To do it twice in a matter of days is truly remarkable.

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“All the more so when you consider the context of both games. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that Rangers’ entire season hinged on the outcome of both of these games.

“Had things not gone to plan, their whole season would now be in ruins. Braga would have dumped them out of Europe, with Celtic then marching on towards a Treble.

“If that had happened, fans would have been calling for Van Bronckhorst to be relieved of his duties in the summer.

“That’s how things work in the Glasgow goldfish bowl. It wouldn’t have mattered that he’s still relatively new in the job.

“Instead, the picture now looks totally different. Rangers now have a Europa League semi-final to look forward to as well as a Scottish Cup final.

“It always felt like this could be a defining few days for Van Bronckhorst and full credit to him because he has passed it with flying colours.

“These two victories have restored his reputation among the Ibrox supporters at a time when he was beginning to come under serious scrutiny.

“Back-to-back wins in games of such magnitude show fans that he will be the man to lead the club forward next season after an inevitable squad rebuild in the summer.”

Madden’s display was filled by a series of pundits and Commons contests that it was a day to forget for the man in the middle.

And the 38-year-old reckons the whistler’s display leads to bigger questions on what VAR will truly bring to Scottish football

He added: “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?

Callum McGregor is booked

“Yeah, VAR will obviously help with the big decisions like penalties and red cards. But you are still relying on the referees showing a basic level of competence 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.

“The performance of Madden doesn’t take away from the fact that Rangers were simply the better team on the day. They deserved to win.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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