Noel Whelan believes Kemar Roofe let Glasgow Rangers down with his challenge on Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kolar in the Europa League on Thursday.
Whelan blames Roofe
The Gers were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday after losing 2-0 at Ibrox to Czechia champions Slavia. They were outplayed, but they weren’t helped by Roofe, who made a terrible late challenge on goalkeeper Kolar.
Talking to Football Insider, Whelan blamed Roofe, saying his dismissal killed his side’s chances of getting a result. He said:
“Look, it’s a striker’s challenge.
“That’s the problem. Sometimes you get that enthusiasm and you want to change the momentum of a game. You’ve got to find that happy medium of control and controlled aggression.
“Last night, that was just rash, it was stupid and it killed their whole chance of getting anything out of the game. It really did.
“It’s moments of madness like that which lets the side down. It lets the manager down them but more importantly, lets the own player down as well.
“Not a great introduction to the game for Kemar. I’m sure he’ll look at that maybe curb his kung fu, karate kid from now on.”
It is hard to disagree with Whelan in this case. Roofe had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he launched his boot into Kolar’s face, and the score was only 1-0 to Slavia at the time. His sending off made it hard for the 55-time Scottish champions to get back onto level terms, and it soon became 2-0 after that.
Is Roofe to blame for the defeat to Slavia?
Regardless of your allegiance, there is no defending Roofe’s challenge. It was reckless and dangerous, and the red card was fully deserved. The defeat wasn’t only down to the £5.4m-valued striker (Transfermarkt) – Leon Balogun was also sent off and was poor throughout, and the Gers were unable to cause their opponents too many problems even before Roofe left the pitch – but the first red card may well have been the turning point.
In other news, Alan Hutton suggests this ace could leave.
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