Pedro Caixinha has told his players that they need to be up to his standards, quick.
At the same time he has demanded that the Sevco fans have patience in him, as he’s only just started.
He has denied being able to work miracles; his definition of that is getting a team full of signings allegedly trying to force their way into highly technical national teams to actually play football at a level which can take care of the side that finished 4th in Luxemburg last year.
Ibrox last night was not the place to go if what you wanted to see was “sexy football.”
In fact, Sevco played an atrocious long-ball game which was as bereft as it was dreadful to watch. They struggled. People will try to make excuses for that, and some might even point to Brendan’s nightmare in Gibraltar as a fall-back. But it doesn’t stand up.
Brendan Rodgers was in charge of Celtic for the first time in competitive football that night.
Last night at Ibrox seven of the starters were Caixinha regulars from last season. He’s had ample time to know what these guys can do, and the signings were all guys he chose; three of them are Portuguese and the other was Ryan Jack.
He said he can’t “work miracles” in three weeks, as if that’s all he’s had. But Caixinha has been at Ibrox for months. Last night was his twelfth game in charge of the club. He has drawn two of them and lost three already. He’s correct to say he isn’t a guy who can turn this around in three weeks. He’s right about not being a miracle worker. But as Sevco can’t afford to wait to see if he can do it in three years – he has never lasted a club beyond that – my guess is we’ll never known.
Everything Sevco fans saw last night should haunt them.
The seven players he had in his squad last season were woeful … and I include Kranjcar who wandered around the pitch making the odd pass but didn’t last till the 60th minute. If their fans really believe he’ll be up for a scrap when the going gets tough they are bonkers. Many of their websites praised him and Ryan Jack – The Daily Record’s Sevconut bloggers said he looked like he’d “been there for years” – as if they’d taken on the cream of European football and passed a major test.
Hey, reality check; this was the team positioned at number 440 in UEFA’s club rankings. To put that into some kind of context, St Johnstone, who shamed Scotland last night with their own abject performance, are ranked 215. Lincoln Red Imps are 338.
Caixinha has done what all dreadful managers do.
He’s assumed upon arrival that he could turn the squad around. He changed his tune quickly, after declaring them the “best in the country.” He then dismantled that team and built another. Now he’s asking for time. This is a common thread that runs through the careers of these guys … when it starts to go wrong he’ll blame the players who were there before his signings arrived, he’ll talk about dressing room factions … all of it will be true, except that it will not include any self-analysis.
Sevco fans have been sold a bill of goods by this guy, their board and the press. The manager who thought he was inheriting Scotland’s best team and then saw reality hit him like a runaway train has signed eight players, with their season ticket money … and that all looks great, but it depends on a very big If. It only works if the manager can spot a player. If he can’t then this has been a disaster of a close-season that will have serious ramifications.
Their club is a train-wreck waiting to happen.
Ignore any talk about comparisons with this and Brendan’s start at Celtic. Newly minted managers are allowed a bad start. Gordon Strachan had one just as bad, and went on to win three titles and get us out of two Champions League Groups Of Death. You can’t judge a manager after one game.
But you can after a dozen of them, and Caixinha can plead for time all he wants but the death clock is already ticking loudly behind him. He’s out of his depth, and it shows. Last night, but for a dire refereeing decision to deny the away team a penalty, he came very close to seeing his own future flash before his eyes.
It will happen.
It’s just a matter of time.
Sevco fans had a guy with a magic hat last year … this year their manager is telling them he’s no super hero.
We figured that out already.
Not so much batman, as bat-shit crazy man.