Steven Gerrard says Steve Clarke’s comments surrounding Jermain Defoe’s apparent dive caught him by surprise.
Defoe went over in the box during Rangers‘ 4-0 win over St.Mirren last week, and while it looked like there was minimal contact, referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the spot – even though the former England striker didn’t appeal for a penalty.
However, despite the incident not involving his team, Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke still spoke out about the incident, saying that he wanted to see more “consistency” in the punishments meted out to players after Jordan Jones was given a two-match ban for diving earlier in the season.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s high profile Scottish Premiership game against Aberdeen, Steven Gerrard has responded by saying that he was disappointed to hear Clarke commenting on an incident that did not involve him or his team, and for essentially trying to ‘get one of my players banned’.
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) February 4, 2019
“I was very surprised by Steve’s comments, first and foremost because it’s got absolutely nothing to do with Steve Clarke or Kilmarnock,” Gerrard said in his pre-match press conference.
“We didn’t punish Jordan Jones, we didn’t give the Kilmarnock player a two-game ban, so why he’s trying to 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 very surprised by his comments and I don’t think there’s any need for them at all.”
Gerrard briefly worked with Clarke during his playing days when the Scot was a coach at Liverpool in Kenny Dalglish’s second spell in charge at Anfield between 2011 and 2012. Interestingly, Rangers face Kilmarnock in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at Rugby Park on Saturday afternoon.
Steven Gerrard is not happy with Steve Clarke. "First and foremost it's got absolutely nothing to do with Steve Clarke or Kilmarnock." pic.twitter.com/8ZLTPVbq3u
— STV Sport (@STVSport) February 5, 2019