Already, in some quarters, it’s being interpreted as fear. It was nothing of the sort. Brendan genuinely feels for the guy, and he’s spoken in defence of managers before now, and the way clubs have a tendency to act precipitously.
Sevco didn’t act too quickly here. They did what they had to do. Caixinha’s tenure was a disaster. The real crime is that others weren’t made to walk the plank with him. The board did nothing to inspire confidence in their own abilities here, they were clearly part of the problem. Brendan knows that too; those in the directors box never pay for their own mistakes.
Neil Lennon was right today when he, too, lamented the number of sackings we’ve had in the SPL in recent months. I was not in the least bit surprised to see that McCulloch was dispatched by Kilmarnock; that was a matter of time from the minute he was hired but that so many of the league’s bosses has fallen in just a few months is alarming.
Brendan got to the heart of it when he talked about “short-termism in football.” He suffered from it himself when Liverpool sacked him a season after he’d almost won them the title. It is an unforgiving environment, one which is more and more about “what have you done for me lately?” Gratitude has a short shelf life. It’s easier to sack someone than stick by them.
When Ian Cathro was sacked, Brendan said much the same things as he is saying today.
Not one person accused him of fearing a revived Hearts. The idea that he should be afraid of whoever takes over next at Ibrox is daft if we’re being generous. In the space of just over a year he has sent two Sevco managers packing; I expect that number to grow.
When one looks around at the uninspiring choices being touted for the job, why should Brendan lie awake at night even bothering with them?
The favourites are a Who’s Who of “Who Cares?”
He’s already proved that he can soundly beat McInnes even leaving top players on the bench. He doesn’t spend much of his day pondering the managerial genius of Ally McCoist (who does, except maybe Ally McCoist?) and if the papers didn’t keep mentioning the likes of Alex McLeish and Billy Davies the rest of us would forget they even existed.
Brendan is doing such a fine job at Celtic that it’s hard to know who would give him pause. Nobody, probably. If a Scottish club was bought by oil barons and funded ridiculously they would still need to match us win for win and I defy anyone to say that’s not beyond any of the bosses who are being mentioned as a successor to Pedro. No top class manager will go there with all the chaos swirling around the club, and they wouldn’t be able to afford one anyway.
Brendan was being cute today when he said that a manager who understands the club is probably what’s required; he knows full well that would ensure further hilarity. For openers, not one person with a connection to Rangers or Sevco is from the managerial upper crust. All will put themselves and their players under intolerable pressure with all this “must win every game” foolishness. Almost all will be from the Walter Smith School Of Tactics.
If Real Rangers Men were the answer, how come Kilmarnock didn’t benefit from hiring one? How come McCoist is still out of a job? Where’s Stuart McCall at the moment? Terry Butcher? Neil McCann is at Dundee; that will end in tears. Even the De Boers – by no means cut from the old cloth – are not doing terribly well. Some talk of Van Bronckhorst crept into one fantasy hack’s dreams today; that is about as likely as me ending up there.
I am sure there are things in life which Brendan is afraid of. Maybe he dislikes spiders or heights or dogs (or caravans and dogs) but I very much doubt he is overly concerned by the bluff and bluster which is, again, coming out of Ibrox.
By this time next year their new boss – whoever it is – will be fearing for his job.
And I suspect Brendan, and Celtic, will be exactly where they are now; on top, looking down.