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Rangers striker Kemar Roofe’s tackle on St Johnstone star Murray Davidson: What have coaches and pundits said about it?

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stuart Wallace/BPI/Shutterstock (11743857m) Kemal Roofe of Rangers fouls Murray Davidson of St. Johnstone Rangers v St Johnstone, Scottish Premiership, Football, Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland, UK - 03 Feb 2021
St Johnstone star Murray Davidson on the end of horror tackle from Rangers striker Kemar Roofe.

St Johnstone star Murray Davidson faces a fitness sweat ahead of this month’s Betfred Cup final.

The Saints ace limped off against Rangers at Ibrox and is now a doubt for the Hampden clash with Livingston on February 28.

Davidson appeared to receive treatment on his right leg before being withdrawn.

However, an earlier horror lunge at his left leg by Gers striker Kemar Roofe has sparked fierce debate.

Here’s what the coaches from both sides – as well as former players and our man at the game – had to say about the incident.


Rangers No2 Gary McAllister

He said: “I thought the referee had a good view of the situation.

“Knowing the type of player that Kemar is, I think the referee seen it as a yellow.

“He mis-controlled it, tried to retrieve it and the ref has seen it as a yellow.”

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson

He said: “It was one of those where I don’t think there was any malice in the tackle but it doesn’t look great.

“TV pictures can slow it down and make it worse than it is.

“The only thing I am worried about is I’ve lost my player from the challenge. Not great.

David Munro shows Kemar Roofe a yellow card.
David Munro shows Kemar Roofe a yellow card.

“Murray is a concern with the cup final coming up, we’ll have to wait and see how he is.

“I don’t know if he needs a scan, I will know more in the morning.”

Former Scotland Women’s boss Shelley Kerr

Speaking on Sportscene, she said: “I agree when you watch it live, it doesn’t look like there’s too much in it.

“But you can see he catches him and I think it’s a red card.

“I think he’s trying to protect…he’s trying to shield the ball but I think the key thing here is that he does have a wee bit of a lunge.

“I don’t think there’s any intent. I really don’t because I think his first thought is to try and win the ball, to protect the ball.

“But it turns out to be a wee bit reckless.

The aftermath of the challenge.
The aftermath of the challenge.

“I think you could even see by his reaction that he’s more frustrated at his touch because I don’t think he realises that it’s been a bad challenge.

“And I definitely don’t think there’s been any intent.

“I just think it has turned out to be a bit of a lunge because he’s had a bad touch, tried to protect the ball, tries to get his body in there but it didn’t look great.”

Scotland legend James McFadden

He said: “I think Kemar Roofe, initially, when he takes the bad touch, is going to try and put his body in between the ball and Murray Davidson.

“But when he takes that extra lunge, for me he loses control and you can see the damage it’s done on Murray Davidson’s leg.

“I don’t think he meant to go in and hurt him but I felt as though he lost control, and he’s very fortunate that he stayed on the pitch because the referee was right in front of him.

“It’s right in front of the ref, who I think can see the whole incident. So I would expect he (the referee) feels it is dealt with.

“We are getting the chance to slow it down and see that little extra lunge but I would be surprised if there is any retrospective action.”

Ex-Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands

Speaking on BBC Sportsound, he said: “It could’ve been a completely different game if he’d been red carded.

“Rangers were lucky he only got a yellow and kept 11 men on.

“Had we had VAR, this would’ve been a straight red card. We don’t have it up here so instead the referee has to make a split decision.”

Former Rangers, St Johnstone and Dundee United striker Billy Dodds

He said: “Roofe should’ve gone.

“I don’t think it matters whether it’s intentional or not.

“Looking at it again, it was on the border of (being) a horrendous challenge.”

Courier sports writer Eric Nicolson, St Johnstone correspondent

“Forget this nonsense about Roofe protecting or shielding the ball.

“The best in the business at doing that was Kenny Dalglish and you would never have seen him going over the top in this sort of reckless fashion.

“It was a crude, high and out-of-control challenge and intent – or lack of it – is a red herring.”

Murray Davidson limps off at Ibrox during Rangers clash.
Murray Davidson limps off at Ibrox during Rangers clash.

Courier sports writer George Cran, our man at the game

He said: “In real time – watching from way, way at the back of the stand where the football writers are situated at Ibrox this season – it was very difficult to tell just how bad the challenge was.

“There was a very clear scream from Murray Davidson which had the alarm bells ringing.

“However, the referee only showing a yellow card – after being right in front it – made me think that maybe it wasn’t so bad.

“Then the video started appearing online and it was clear Roofe should have been given his marching orders.

“It was a potential leg-breaker and, although it didn’t look like there was any intent from the Rangers man, it was an awful challenge.

“It’s amazing to think Davidson played on for a few minutes and just shows the sort of player he is.

“Hopefully, there’s no lasting damage and he can make the cup final.”

Charlie Gilmour: St Johnstone new boy who caught eye of Unai Emery at Arsenal and refused to stay in his comfort zone

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