Chris Sutton suggested on BT Sport’s commentary during Rangers’s Scottish League Cup win over Livingston on Wednesday (broadcast 25/9; 20:09) that Ryan Jack was potentially fortunate not to be sent off for a first-half incident.
Steven Gerrard’s men booked their place in the semi-final of the competition with a 1-0 win. It was a frustrating night for the Gers, and it appears that Jack was one of the players who let the frustration get to him at one stage.
The Rangers midfielder was attempting to win the ball from Marvin Bartley, who was looking to shield it out for a goal kick. Bartley went to ground in the corner after Jack had arguably made minimal contact.
And that prompted the 27-year-old to kick out at Bartley while the Livi man was on the floor. And Sutton suggested that he could have few complaints if the referee had decided to sent Jack off.
“He has a little kick out there,” he told BT Sport. “Now, whichever way you look at it, it’s absolutely ridiculous from Jack. And we have seen people see red for that in the past.
“You just can’t do it.”
It would have been a harsh red card. But Sutton is right to suggest that Jack took a real risk. And he was perhaps helped by the fact that Bartley did not make too much of the challenge.
Fans could probably think of a number of players who would have chosen to roll around and overstate how hurt they were knowing that they could get the Rangers man in trouble.
Jack has been one of Rangers’s best players so far this season. So it would have been a real blow if the referee had decided that the incident was worthy of a card.