Today Scottish football is like a Transylvanian village which has just heard that the monster living in the crumbling castle on the outskirts of town has been put to the stake. The bloodthirsty ravenous beast has been dealt with. There were casualties, but the job has been done. Darkness is in retreat. Sun will shine on lands which haven’t seen it in too long.
Or something like that anyway.
When I wrote my article yesterday on who we wanted to see in the final I said I didn’t care, but that Motherwell would present the stiffer test. I saw nothing today that convinced me that I was wrong; indeed, it all came together just perfectly.
Two goals from the man Moult, Pena wasting a jersey, Morelos making a mockery of those £10 million headlines … it was all there.
And then there was the Vampire King himself, who was a genuine embarrassment from the first tackle to the moment you saw his depressed wee face when Moult scored the second goal. He has certainly crafted this team in his own image; they are bitchy, snide, arrogant, moaners without an ounce of class. They are thuggish and brutal. They are hopeless.
I said one thing in the earlier article with which I would now take issue; I said he could survive a defeat here more than he would have in the final.
I may be wrong about that; that performance was so abject that I wonder if it’s not the end of the road. I knew Warburton’s countdown clock had started ticking the night Hearts thrashed them at Tynecastle in the only match where Ian Cathro’s ideas about the game were on full display … I think perhaps this has been one of those days.
Certainly, there can be no more illusions about his turning this around.
Sevco fans have spent the last few months alternating between harrowing bursts of reality and retreating into the safe zone of their fantasies. Pedro talked about addiction the other day; let’s deal with it on that basis. Remember Mark Renton, in Trainspotting, standing amidst squalor, wearing cast off clothes and discussing how they feed theirs? At the end of the line is a needle and beyond that something approaching bliss.
Bliss is why they do it. As he points out so eloquently. But bliss never lasts and at the end of it you wake up in a doss house on a piss-stained mattress, with junk strewn all around you and you’ve got to pull yourself up, already ill from withdrawal, and do it all again.
So reality-bliss-comedown-reality again.
That’s the cycle their fans have caught themselves in. Their reality looks like this. A shambles. Misery. Them stumbling around like extras from The Walking Dead, whilst their team plays like the one in My Name Is Joe. The jerseys might be famous but that’s not Brian Laudrup out on the wing, it’s a Portuguese none of them had ever heard of before.
Win one game and the papers, especially the hilarious Chris Jack – “the banter years are over”; oh aye? How come I am still pissing myself laughing? – then builds them up in ludicrous fashion and for a while they can retreat into blissful ignorance of the world around them. Every win has “turned the corner.” Pena was a hero last weekend; today I looked for him out on the park only so I could snigger about how abject he was, how ridiculous it was that they gave him a game.
I laughed uproariously at Sutton’s suggestion that Miller would have been a better bet; you would at least have noticed him out there. He would have been waving his finger in the refs face every chance he got; he, too, is a mouthy moaning git.
But would it have mattered to the outcome? Not a bit. Their team has not a morsel of football in it; the players this guy has signed are strictly second rate.
Morelos … no goals in the last five games. Today was without argument a “big occasion” match; the boy at Motherwell showed him what good players do on those days. The difference between the two of them was night and day. If Morelos is worth £10 million, in somebody’s fantasy, Motherwell can build a new stand on the back of selling Moult in January.
The only thing that could have made this day better was Dave King in the stand, and there he was, the old tax cheat himself, watching the costliest mistake he’s made on this side of the water since he laundered £20 million through Ibrox on the word of David Murray. What must he be thinking except that this shambles is better left to somebody else?
Pedro Caixinha exploded today, and further damaged his already shredded reputation with infantile behaviour on the touchline which had to be seen to be believed; quite what the Motherwell manager did in sixty seconds that necessitated sending him to the stand when the Sevco boss had been unspooling for an hour at that point I do not know.
Caixinha did nothing to change a game plan that never threatened to produce a win. Instead he stood at the side of the pitch like a maniac on speed, ranting and raving and foaming like the most glorious OTT Gary Oldman impersonator.
Oldman famously played the dark lord of the bloodsuckers in Francis Ford Coppolla’s splendid gothic Dracula remake, but that wasn’t the performance Caixinha evoked today; he brought back memories of Oldman’s magnificently deranged turn as DEA bad guy Norman Stansfield in Leon, the Beethoven loving psycho so unpredictable even his own men were terrified of him.
This was not a Bad Day at the Office for the Sevco manager; it was business as usual. He lacks all the basic fundaments of a good manager. He has no self-control. He has no people skills. He has no ability as a man manager. He is arrogant without cause to be. He talks the worst rambling nonsense. He could not pick a player if his life depended on it. I see no improvement whatsoever between this Sevco team and the one he broke up to build it.
If you watched the first goal you know his “blue chip” signing Alves isn’t worth a damn. I hope Rob Maclean was watching Graham Dorrans; does he still want to give him caps over the likes of Chris Cadden, who was excellent? I’ve covered Morelos but it’s worth sniggering again over the utter ineptitude of Josh Windass, a player the media falls in love with, forgets about and then falls in love with all over again for no reason at all that I can see.
This was the day even the most delusional Sevco fan must have woken up to the writing on the wall. The wreckage of the Caixinha era will take years and millions they don’t have to fully clean up. This guy and his team are on a three-year deal … there is no way a guy this full of himself walks, so they will have to pay him up to get him out of the building.
If they’d given him a one year rolling contract – which any sensible club would have done – they’d have terminated it already.
King must have wanted to get on the plane and never set foot in this country again.
Their fans are furious tonight, like old Raging Bullshit was during the game. For all his words about the club being a big happy family after they’d gone two wins in a row tonight he’s back to square one, out of a cup competition and still behind us and Aberdeen in the league.
The bliss of the last week has worn off. The creeping sickness is already seeping into their bones. Reality has dawned. They’ve awoken into it, a rubbish strewn room with a broken window and a bucket of sick by the bed.
What a wonderful weekend it’s been for the rest of us.
Pedro must stay.