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Michael Stewart got it badly wrong today

Michael Stewart is normally pretty solid in his football analysis. He talks sense most of the time and for me he calls it as he sees it. I don’t believe he has any agenda against Celtic or anything like that as he often speak well about us and of Ange Postecoglou. But he had a poor performance in the commentary box for Premier Sports today for the league cup final between Celtic and Hibs.

Throughout the game Stewart and Stpehen Craigan lambasted the performance of referee John Beaton, which they were right to do, because Beaton himself had a very poor performance. He wasn’t bad in terms of favouring one club, it was just there was no consistency in his decision to book players. A flying foul by Lewis Stevenson was only deemed a talking to but nudges on the back were deemed a booking.

But the problem lies when you criticise the referee for being inconsistent, and then you go and put your foot in it yourself by claiming the exact same type of foul for one team is a penalty, but not a penalty for the other team. It makes you look silly. Which is what Michael Stewart did today with his comments on the two penalty shouts for either team.

In the first half Greg Taylor was pushed down inside the box by the Hibs player, both hands on his back and shoved to the ground. It was a clear foul and should have been a penalty. Michael Stewart said in commentary that it was soft and wasn’t enough to be a penalty in his eyes. To say a clear foul in the box wasn’t a penalty having also seen it on replay, was bizarre.

The exact same thing later happened in the Celtic penalty box when Carl Starfelt bundled over Ryan Porteous in the box to which Stewart in the commentary box had the audacity to scream ‘PENALTY!’ as if he was a Hibs fan in the crowd. It was an utterly ridiculous call from Stewart, given his previous stance on Taylor getting shoved to the ground in the Hibs box in the first half. He continued to claim Hibs should have been given a penalty after seeing the replay.

I have to give credit where it is due to John Beaton on this occasion because he did treat both incidents the same. He still got it wrong in my opinion and both should have been penalties but at least he was consistent, unlike Stewart.

He was even asked after the game to clarify his remarks, with the rest of the panel obviously finding his comments strange, Stewart stuck to his guns and reiterated that the  push on Taylor was not a penalty but the push on Porteous was a penalty because ‘they were different’. That was really weak justification from Stewart.

I actually expected him to say after the game that looking back at both incidents that they both should have been penalties, I thought he would have been big enough to say he got it wrong, but instead he dug his heels in and tried to justify his ridiculous claim.

I like Michael Stewart, but he had a stinker today.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. John

    Worshipful Master Beaton was probably just evening up the fact that the two claims were identical. Everyone must realise that to give on and not the other is only reserved for Rangers games.

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