I don’t know whether James Tavernier feels relieved tonight or not. I don’t know whether he’s embarrassed or not or even if someone who’s spent the last year at Ibrox even has the capacity to feel that emotion any longer. I do know a lot of Sevco’s fans are embarrassed tonight, both for Tavernier and at him, and the rest of the team too, in spite a winner deep into injury time. Relieved, yes, but deep down they know this was a hair from dropped points.
They say that success has a thousand fathers whilst failure is an orphan; definitely true, and it helps that we’re not even talking about a defeat here but a rather abysmal home win against Dundee. The responsibility for this unfolding calamity of a season probably stretches out in every direction, but I rather feel that nobody wants to own it.
Tavernier is not responsible for it. But had Forrester not gotten his late goal it’s Tavernier’s mouth that would have made tonight’s particular phase of The Crumbling all the sweeter for the fans of other clubs. If Sevco fans are truly sick of all this and simply want to hide under the bed, well I don’t blame them for that one bit.
There was a famous American TV show back in the sands of time called Truth Or Consequences. It was so named for a segment in it, where contestants would have to do a series of “truth tasks” and if they couldn’t the presenter would say the dreaded words;
“You did not tell the truth … so you will have to pay the consequences.”
Well the consequences of not facing the truth are much harder and weightier than those for failing to tell it. Telling the truth is a concept that’s going out of fashion in the 21st Century; it’s not for nothing that people call it the post-truth era. But although their board frequently misinforms and even lies, and the media supports various lies and the governing bodies are propping up others, these people are not strangers to the truth.
We tell them enough of it.
Deep down some of them are wholly aware of what the more inconvenient facts and truths are. It’s not our fault that they don’t want to accept it, but facing up to it could have changed everything for them and helped. Believing in the lies, as they’ve chosen to do, embracing outright falsehood and living in a bubble … that is a disastrous strategy and it always was.
Tonight some of them will hide behind a 1-0 home win, and tell themselves things are on the up.
Others know better, and they will look at guys like Tavernier and his big talk about how the club will easily secure second spot and they will know so many of the players Warburton branded a “success” the other day in his ludicrous interview with a pet hack are simply overmatched in Scotland’s top flight. They do their talking in the press instead of on the park, and the media will run their nonsense all day every day but they are setting things up so the fall is even harder than it needs to be.
Their next four league fixtures are Partick and then Hearts away, followed by Aberdeen and Hearts at home. The more aware amongst their ranks know the potential not just for disaster but for an apocalyptic end to the year are there in those matches and every one of them will be a sweat, every one of them will be a struggle. Every one is fraught with danger, and had Forrester not scored late tonight every one of them would be a must-win.
James Tavernier ought to be mortified by his own bravado.
Tonight a lot the people who had to sit in the stands – with the most expensive season tickets in the country – will be raging with him for his attitude and the way his words will be used to beat their whole club over and over again as this season drags on and on and on.
But this malaise starts at the top, and the manager is just part of the problem.
The rest of it lies above his head.
The AGM is on Friday.
Forrester’s goal has bought them all a little time, but it’s running out fast.