The Motherwell manager was really rather upset with fourth official John McKendrick on Wednesday night. So much so that he threatened legal action against him; having told the press post-match that he was "disgusted and horrified by the attitude of the fourth official" and accused him of having "an agenda" against McGhee, he then added "I'll be speaking to a lawyer".
What McGhee expects from his counsel is unclear. For a start, it can be reasonably pointed out that most of us would have said 'agenda' with any grown man who is behaving like a complete bellend.
The legal threat was just about the most ridiculous of McGhee's post-match comments, just ahead of his claim that "I wasn't even getting excited about the fact we were losing the game...I was having a bit of a laugh actually" when he was sent to the stand. Motherwell were 6-0 down at the time. As you can see from the video below, McGhee did indeed take it all in good spirits.
All right, he was being goaded by Dons fans who, recalling the humiliating period when he managed their club, thoroughly enjoyed his terrible night. But the "get that tae f***" at the end will be remembered and treasured by Scottish football supporters for a long time to come.Alternative angle of Mark McGhee's infamous "GET THAT TAE F***" incident from last night. pic.twitter.com/VAmvLgHReC— The Terrace (@terracepodcast) February 16, 2017
The 7-2 humiliation at Pittodrie comes on the back of a 3-0 drubbing at home to Hearts in their last league match, where 'Well midfielder Carl McHugh was given his marching orders with the game goalless and his side promptly went to pieces. McGhee was not exactly gracious after that match either: "It's never a red card in a million years. It's an embarrassment...I think every single player on the pitch was astonished".
Erm, aye. Those Hearts players who went mental at the challenge were clearly astonished by the decision. And whilst Andrew Dallas is a honking referee - he booked a Hearts player in that game when one Motherwell player tripped over another - it's hard to argue with a dismissal for a challenge where one player catches the ankle of another with his studs. Unless you're McGhee, who in his current mindset would probably abuse a referee who claimed that the sky was blue.
Motherwell didn't even appeal the dismissal, though they did release a rather whingy statement requesting "clarity on the guidelines surrounding serious foul play and in particular 'excessive force'. This writer's own opinion is that hacking an opponent's ankle with your studs showing is probably 'excessive force', but then what do I know? 'Well also made reference to their failed appeal of Scott McDonald's red card against Rangers the previous week, which they clearly thought was unreasonable even though McDonald had, er, hacked an opponent's ankle with his studs.
Of course, it's coincidence that the officials got such stick on two occasions were Motherwell got thumped. Their performance with ten men against Hearts was shambolic, not least because of the double substitution McGhee instantly made which handed all initiative to Hearts and left him without sufficient attackers to get his team back into it after they fell behind almost instantly. And conceding seven in a single game tells its own story. Lucky for McGhee that both times he had other subjects he could complain about, rather than having to take awkward questions about his team's horrendous catipulations.
Managers behaving like twats is hardly a new thing; blaming referees for their own mistakes isn't exactly original either. But this particular manager is actually on the SFA payroll, for he moonlights as Gordon Strachan's assistant manager. Perhaps given his status a bit more decorum might be appropriate? I would imagine the 'lawyer' comment was just petulance rather than a genuine threat, but if McGhee was indeed to get a solicitor involved I don't imagine his paymasters would be impressed.
Hell, I hope they throw the book at him anyway; it's just as well that all the payoffs he's had from clubs that have sacked him over the years (Aberdeen included) mean that he can probably afford the hefty fine that's coming his way...
Lawrie Spence (LS) has ranted and spouted his ill-informed opinions on Narey's Toepoker since September 2007. He has a life outside this blog. Honestly.