EASTER Road has witnessed two of the worst debuts ever made by two of the greatest players to ever set foot in Scotland.

Early on in his first ever game as player-manager of Rangers, Graeme Souness, quite by accident I’m sure, dragged his studs down the back of George McCluskey’s Achilles while the ball was elsewhere. He was sent off in shame with his dad watching on. Hibs won 2-1.

Fast forward a few years and a new-look Celtic are in Leith for the opening league game of the season. It’s 1-1 fairly late on in the game, some Swedish bloke called Henrik Larsson is put on as a substitute.

With what was maybe his first touch of the ball, he gives away possession to Chic Charnley and, bang, his shot from 25 yards is in the top corner. Just imagine if Twitter had been about then.


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Souness would been slaughtered, left without a name by some. Larsson branded a dud. After one game.

Those incidents were eleven years apart but both Souness and Larsson were treated more or less the same. Sure, neither made a great start, but for the life of me I can’t recall anyone in the papers, on television or the radio, writing off either of these icons.

And, yet, it happens now. One bad performance, a couple of poor passes, and the jury is back in and the judge is wearing a black cap.

What nonsense. Folks, it’s pre-season. Stop writing off a new player after a few hours of football. History tells us that’s a daft thing to do.