GRAEME SOUNESS is no stranger to controversy and he gets paid well for his opinions on everything from ping pong to politics.

The 69-year-old former Scotland international midfielder has picked up a wealth of experience as a player at Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Sampdoria and Rangers.

Likewise, he has been in at the sharp end of management with the Ibrox club and the Anfield outfit as well as pitstops at the likes of Galatasaray, Torino and Benfica while also managing in England with Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle, the Tyneside club being his last port of call in a dug-out after being sacked in 2006.

Souness has never been one to hold back when he feels the need to make a remark, especially when there is a microphone in the vicinity.

SEEING RED…Graeme Souness is about to be dismissd by referee David Syme after a wayward challenge left Celtic midfielder Billy Stark grounded in August 1987. Stark had the last laugh with the only goal of the game.

We are all aware of his affection for a club across the Clyde from Celtic Park and that’s fair enough given his time in Govan as a player and a manager.

However, some recent comments have been a tad more mystifying than the normal.

One observation, in particular, was a real head-scratcher for anyone who has been witnessing VAR in full flow since its introduction last month.

Souness, admittedly from afar, claims Ange Postecoglou’s side have enjoyed a monumental slice of good fortune via new technology and that is why his old club, who have just pushed the eject button on boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, are trailing nine points in the title race.

Forget the humiliation among Europe’s elite where a six-game run of embarrasing results with TWENTY-TWO goals crammed into the Ibrox club’s net to make them officially the WORST performers at this level, the veteran media pundit has focused on the Premiership.

Bizarrely, Souness told BBC Radio Scotland: “They [Rangers] have lost the games against Celtic which puts them [Celtic] in a very good position.

“But they [Celtic] have got away with a couple of very interesting VAR decisions.

“It could have been a very different story if they had gone against them.”

Souness does not elaborate or go into specific details or highlight any moments when Dame Fortune smiled radiantly on the Hoops.

PENALTY? Well, VAR thought so. The moment Steven Fletcher’s header hit the elbow of Alexandro Bernabei to gift Dundee United a contentious spot-kick.

So, we are left to puzzle over what VAR decisions had provoked the ire of the one-time Govan hero to make such an outlandish statement.

Celtic could point to questionable penalty-kick decisions that went against them which allowed Dundee United and Ross County to score what could have been crucial goals at Parkhead.

There was also the blatant handball from Hearts defender Michael Smith that went unpunished by referee Nick Walsh and VAR assistant Steven McLean on the afternoon the new system was introduced to the champions.

And what about the crazy explanations that followed Filipe Jota’s ‘goal’ against Motherwell at Fir Park where a camera missed the judgement call and had to rely on another view from the opposite end of the pitch?

We could go on.

PENALTY? Well, the referee and VAR thought so. The ball touches the arm of Matt O’Riley after a ricochet off Callum Johnson to gift Ross County a contentious spot-kick.

Souness appears to have been on a planet VAR, VAR away when he missed the yellow card for a Livingston player being overturned and transformed to a red as his old club struggled against 10-man opponents and only managed a 1-1 draw with a goal in stoppage-time.

And then – in what turned out to be Van Bronckhorst’s last stand – what did he think of the VAR decision to award the Ibrox side a penalty-kick against St Mirren after referee Kevin Clancy had originally booked Ryan Kent for diving?

Since VAR came into play, four penalty-kicks have been awarded against Celtic.

In fact, only one team in the top flight have not had a spot-kick given against them this season, with or without the aid of new technology.

And, naturally, that is the team closest to Souness’ heart.

The second-half of the season threatens to see the continuation of the chaos and carnage from the bunglers who do not appear to be able to work the new technology.

Another thing that is certain is that the Glasgow derby at Ibrox on January 2 2023 will not pass without incident.

And perhaps Souey will give us his take on that encounter afterwards.

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