Congratulations to the assembled ranks of Scotland’s sporting press, who finally turned up for the do that many of us have been at for months now; the party for the Ibrox dressing room civil war. And what do you know … it was on almost exactly the fault-lines some of the bloggers have been writing about for all that time; foreign players vs British ones.
To read the press reports this morning was to read open astonishment at the depth of the hatred.
But it will have come as no surprise to any of the readers of this blog, or Phil, or VideoCelts, or CQN or Johnjames … we’ve all been on top of this since the summer.
And what a story it’s been and still is.
Sevco’s dressing room has more divisions than the old Soviet Army.
Even Pedro’s Praetorian Guard of new signings aren’t all on board with his plans.
Dorrans was singled out during the dressing room rant earlier in the week as if he was some kind of traitor because he’s siding with the other UK players and at the weekend gave his armband to the dressing room’s symbolic leader Kenny Miller … this is only a shock to those who weren’t paying attention.
Miller is the fulcrum of the “resistance” to Pedro and his crazy ideas and there’s plenty of evidence for how barmy and counter-productive some of those ideas are.
Take the whole issue of player fitness.
O’Halloran fired a broadside at Caixinha just the other week over his training regimens, which the on-loan winger said weren’t nearly good enough … Sevco fired back (through Miller ironically – although please note he never once backed the manager) and claimed that training there is just fine … but over the weekend you can’t have failed to notice the number of articles which talked about how much fitter our players were than theirs.
So clearly O’Halloran was on the money … and even Miller knows it.
The continuing saga of Carlos Pena ought to be scaring the Sevco fans to death; there was so obviously no due diligence done there, or if there was the manager smugly believed that even a grossly unfit footballer would find Scottish football too easy … this is part arrogance and part utter stupidity.
What it adds up to is a big chunk of money, squandered. There’s no prospect of that guy fulfilling any of his career potential … it’s a matter of time before Sevco cuts its losses as his previous clubs had to. And those were some big losses.
His signing is symptomatic of a larger trend.
Last month I wrote a piece about the dangerous nature of Pedro’s “team building” plan and how he’d bought too many players from the Latin nations, to build his own dressing room clique. It was a move born of utter desperation and symbolic of bad leadership. In playing favourites this way he exacerbated splits that were already there and he’s forced guys like Jack and Dorrans to pick sides, which it’s clear they have now.
It’s difficult to see how he comes back from this. The dressing room can’t be described as lost because to a section of the squad he never had it to begin with … the rest of it is falling away from him fast. Even Alves didn’t stick around for Saturday’s game, and all the excuses about sending him to Madrid for treatment can’t hide the fact he’s not considered a dressing room leader by the other players, or he’d have stayed to lend them support.
Caixinha’s own demand for respect … oh wow, that’s just horrendous. Real leaders don’t need to stamp their feet and issue threats … they have credibility enough that they can command it without all the histrionics that are such a part of Pedro’s psychology.
Everyone who’s looking at this dispassionately knows the end is coming …
Caixinha can’t go on with the dressing room as factionalised and riven as this, the players just won’t do it for him.
And in one respect I sympathise with his position because that lets them off the hook somewhat and many of them are just dross anyway and aren’t up to the job.
This lets them hide behind the failings of a man who some of them never liked in the first place and have done their level best to discredit behind the scenes.
And that’s the story the press really doesn’t want to write about, because one of their poster boys is in no small way responsible for that situation.