Stop laughing now, this is a serious post!
Yes, Sevco has unveiled the big surprise, in advance of the weekend.
And for a moment stop to think about that; Pedro, who refused to go and watch Celtic v PSG because there was “nothing to learn” – yeah, nothing his players could make use of even if they were capable of it anyway – has now given away his entire match strategy with five days to go.
You couldn’t make this up, honestly.
They will rest Kenny Miller for the “must win or die” League Cup game against Thistle tomorrow, because they want him fully fit and up for the battle on Saturday.
Before I get into slagging this, it does make a weird kind of sense.
Miller was the only player who even remotely looked good against us in the last campaign, so there’s an argument for saying he’s their most important player on the day, but the news they are “saving” their over 35 striker for the match because he’s their best hope of getting a result is a truly astonishing reveal of how much faith Pedro has in the players he has signed, reputedly for big money, and will fill their fans with utter despair.
Sky Sports News broke the story today; here it was on Twitter.
The news has gone down like a lead weight on some of their forums, where they have been calling for Miller to be dropped for big games for many months. The news that he’s out tomorrow has pleased them … the news he’s being saved for Saturday instead has seen that pleasure deflate quicker than a party balloon popped with a cocktail stick.
They thought they couldn’t feel worse with a makeshift defence preparing to face down the most potent attacking partnership in Scotland since Larsson, Sutton and Hartson were in their prime, and now they’ve discovered that they are, to paraphrase one of them “a man down as well.”
The manager will be under severe pressure over this decision, whether they win tomorrow night or not of course; go out and you can expect to hear some of Miller’s mates in the media making noise that he was their best option for that game too. Go through, put Miller back in the team and suffer the inevitable defeat on Saturday and their fans will turn on Caixinha and demand to know why he started when they clearly didn’t need him.
Of course, all this presupposes that the decision to rest Miller was Caixinha’s alone and not one taken by the player himself. He seems to have free run of the club, and if he had made this decision on his own it would not surprise me in the slightest.
In fact, Caixinha hinted at this during his press conference today.
As usual the media missed it completely, or decided to ignore it.
He was asked about Wallace’s injury and said this;
“It is always a disappointment when you lose players and you cannot count on all the players.”
Now I wonder what that could have meant?
But talk about desperation … if this is Plan A, God knows what Plan B looks like.
He better hope he never needs it.
But the fact this has been so readily telegraphed to us gives Brendan all the information he needs about how they intend to play.
I don’t think it’ll keep him awake at night, to be honest.
Unless it’s with laughing.