Pedro Caixinha has dropped Kenny Miller from Sevco’s game tonight against Hamilton, in a move that will shock the Scottish striker and sends a clear message to his dressing room faction; Pedro will fight for his job, and do anything to keep it.
Dressing room splits are common at clubs, but the one at Ibrox has been getting out of control for a while now. Pedro Caixinha clearly believes that Miller is part of the problem, as this site and others have repeatedly written. The veteran striker has friends and allies not only in the dressing room but throughout Ibrox; he was handed a new contract last season in spite of clear evidence that the manager did not fancy him.
Miller also has friends in the media, and I expect the reaction to his banishment – he is being made to train with the youths at the moment – will be handled very differently to similar news about Michael O’Halloran and other ex-players.
Caixinha clearly had no choice.
If that meeting earlier in the week was as fractious as some say then something had to give, and it looks like Pedro’s patience with Miller and others has snapped. He knows these guys are trying to isolate him, and public shows of dissent have severely weakened his authority. This is a last-ditch effort to restore it.
But it’s doomed to failure. The problems were never limited to Miller; that was made crystal clear when Dorrans handed him the armband at the weekend the moment he came onto the pitch. Caixinha was said to have been particularly furious about that at the team meeting.
It is a small gesture but a telling one; the players clearly view Miller as a leader whereas the same respect is not afforded either to the manager or his anointed unofficial captain Alves. His departure for Spain prior to the game now looks ever more ominous for his countryman.
Some outlets yesterday were reporting that Monday’s team meeting had resolved these problems; that was wishful thinking at best. Does it sound like they’ve been resolved? The club is in freefall and the real danger for them is that there’s no clear sign that their troubles are nearing their end.
Sevco plays tonight. If they drop points the fans are going to go absolutely bananas. Yet few will be angry with the manager for dumping Miller; most of them believe he should have been cut loose in the summer, and almost all are aware that he’s caused dressing room unrest.
This is going to run and run. With no money to sack Pedro right now and Miller being lined up as a cheap option for the manager’s seat and thus unlikely to be sold these two are going to be at the same club, and each other’s throats, for a while to come.