Who knew my second article of the day would be another piece slagging an article in The Daily Record? Well, not so much slagging it as taking it apart one brick at a time.
Barry Ferguson, writing in that rag today – if you can call it writing that is – has made one of the stupidest arguments since a Toblerone spokesman tried to justify the bar shrinking by boasting that nobody ever eats a full one anyway. (I made that up because if The Record can do this stuff so can i! It’s easier than they make it look.)
The Ferguson piece is special, with even greater levels of nonsense than Gannon’s earlier effort.
It deserves special treatment. It deserves a forensic analysis. For Barry not to recognise Brendan’s talent is hardly surprising; he possesses not one iota of his own, as his “managerial career” thus far can certainly be used as testimony to.
Let’s take it from the top then. Barry’s writing will appear first, in black italics. My own comments will appear under them in Deep Sarcasm.
“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
And some chairmen will just settle for you being good, right Bazza?
Better, anyway, than your 13% win ratio at Blackpool or your 39% win ratio at Clyde. Quite why we should pay any further attention to your thoughts on Brendan’s management ability beyond those stats I don’t know. We’ll call it my amusement and that of the readers here. That’s why.
“Take last Sunday. A day when Celtic’s manager should have walked straight out of Ibrox along Paisley Road West and into the casino at Springfield Quay to stick a year’s wages on black.”
Yeah because if Brendan wants advice about how to spend a year’s salary Barry the Bankrupt, the tax dodger, will be the first person he asks. And anyway, the guy was manager of Liverpool; I think he’s more a “bet on the red” guy myself.
“Because absolutely everything was coming up for Brendan Rodgers.”
By that Ferguson means that Celtic won.
I assume he means “everything” except being a goal down twice, and then a man short.
Everything except that.
“So please, leave me out of this theory that Graeme Murty was being schooled by some sort of managerial mastermind as Rangers lost to 10 men.”
Ignore the grammatical car-crash. Barry is suggesting that Graeme Murty was not schooled. And to be fair, we can’t make that claim. He was only schooled if he actually paid attention in class, if he actually learned something. That’s unclear at this time.
“That has been the talk amongst a lot of fans who are using this latest derby defeat as proof that Murty is in way over his head his against Rodgers and not up to the job of taking my old club back to the top.”
First, it’s not a “fan theory.”
A lot of media people have said the same, and the idea extends past all of us to the only folk who actually matter in this; the Sevco board.
Some of them are most definitely convinced that Brendan owned him and that he can’t get the job full-time. I mean, it’s not really a stretch is it? Brendan has experience. Murty has none. Brendan has a record of turning games around with one substitution. Murty doesn’t. If you’re going to overhaul the kind of advantage Celtic has you need someone very good indeed. Is he really saying Murty ticks the boxes?
“Excuse me, but what have these people been watching? If they can’t see the strides Rangers have made in a very short space of time under Murty then they don’t have a clue what they are talking about.”
Let me see if I’ve got this right; as of that game, Sevco has dropped as many points under Murty, in just this campaign, as Celtic has the whole season. These strides amount to a lot of wins over teams in the bottom six and lower league sides in the cup. Throw in three wins against the hapless, conflicted, Derek McInnes.
In the “short space of time” he’s talking about, those “giant strides” have seen them drop 20 points. If Celtic weren’t having a relatively poor year we’d have a lead the length of Argyle Street and nobody would be talking like this.
“And to use last Sunday as a stick to hit him over the head with is just a massive over-reaction to another painful result. I sympathise because I’m hurting too. I’ve been a Rangers man long enough to know winning means everything, especially on derby day.”
The key word in there, which Ferguson has used without even fully being aware of it, is “another.” Another painful result. There have been a lot of them. That, I believe, is the point Murty’s critics are making. The point Ferguson is trying hard to ignore.
“But I’ve watched the game again and keep coming back to the same conclusion – the only real difference between Celtic and Rangers on the day was a massive slice of good fortune.”
Then I suggest you watch the game whilst you are sober and capable of rational analysis because if you believe that you watched a different one to the game I did.
“Yes, Rodgers has taken all the plaudits because of the decisions he made in the second half. And who am I to disagree?”
Wait … I thought that was the whole point of your article?
Are you not disagreeing then?
I could have sworn you said Brendan was just lucky?
“I take my hat off to the guy because, as a manager, he is different class.”
You ever watched one of those Hollywood movies which had like six different writers on the script?
It’s sometimes fun to try and guess when one left the room and the other took over.
Entire TV shows have taken markedly different tones between seasons because one writing team left and another took over; Millennium is a case in point, and probably the best one.
Chris Carter, of X-Files fame, who started the show, took a hiatus for the second season and left two of his colleagues in charge.
They took the show in dazzling, often bizarre, new directions … to astounding effect.
Season 2 is almost universally magnificent.
But the change in tone is so stark it really is like watching a different program; for a start, nestled in amongst its gems are two comedy episodes … in a show about serial killers and the guy who hunts them. That’s what this line is like, like putting on Millennium and expecting to find an episode like The Beginning And The End and getting Somehow Satan Got Behind Me instead.
Talk about the whiplash effect!
“When he made the call to take off James Forrest and replace him with a striker, with his side down to 10 men and the game balanced at 2-2, it was incredibly brave and bold management.”
You’re feeling it too, right? As if the article is turning out differently than you had initially thought it would.
It’s spooky, isn’t it? Not to worry though …
“But what happened next was also incredibly lucky and he’s fortunate it all went his way because had Rangers won 3-2 it would have been him and not Murty who has spent the last week under fire.”
A total contradiction of what he just got finished saying; he doesn’t disagree that Brendan deserved the plaudits, Brendan is different class, his decision was incredibly brave and bold … but actually it was, instead, just plain lucky. This guy is all over the place here. Who allowed this stuff to go to publication containing this many contradictions? And the central thrust of the entire piece appears to be a Great Big If. Not a good basis for an argument.
“Why did he start with Dedryck Boyata and a back three when this was always going to be the most vulnerable part of his team?”
But since the tactical genius Murty entirely failed to take proper advantage of the decision by putting Boyata under pressure for the full 90 minutes – or more importantly, because one of Brendan’s early, unheralded, changes was a decision to have both Brown and Ntcham drop further back to cover him – the point is moot anyway.
“Why then change a midfielder for a striker with the game in the balance?”
Is he actually asking that? Is he really?
How about this for an answer; to win the game?
Which, of course, is exactly what it did. I’ve written a lengthy piece on exactly why Brendan made the decisions he did … although I described it as “sophomoric” it’s clearly a level higher than the so-called professional football boss is capable of.
Which is amazing.
No wonder he’s stuck behind a desk at The Record with scissors, Bostick and a colouring set.
“Rodgers would have had to find answers to some seriously difficult questions but he was spared from that because the gods were smiling on him. Had Sean Goss showed Odsonne Edouard down the outside – as he should have done – then the Celtic sub would have been unlikely to score the winning goal two minutes after coming on to the pitch.”
If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit then “woulda shoulda coulda” is the lowest form of debate. Utterly stone stupid and pointless beyond belief. There is zero merit in a single word Ferguson has just written. There is no underlying logic to any of it. Brendan’s tactics were judged superbly. They worked brilliantly. Celtic responded swiftly to them, Sevco did not … and the rest is history and all Ferguson is doing is making himself sound like a whiny bitter wee runt.
“That wasn’t down to Rodgers being a genius, that was down to sheer luck.”
“Yep. It was luck,” Mitch McDermott tells his sneering opponent, after cleaning Teddy KGB’s clock at poker in Rounders.
Or to put it another way, Gary Player’s famous quote – which he attributed to Jerry Barber – about whether that was an element in how many great shots he managed to hit out of bunkers. “Yeah, the harder I practice the luckier I get.”
“Long before that Rangers could have had the game wrapped up when they were by far the superior side.”
Desperate nonsense. Absurd. Wishful thinking to the Nth degree.
“Had they taken one of their chances to make it 3-1 in the first half then I’m pretty sure Celtic would not have come back from it.”
More “woulda shoulda coulda.”
And if Moussa had scored that penalty in Barcelona how different the Champions Cup might have looked with Celtic’s name on it twice. You see where that argument can take you? Anywhere you like. Which is why it’s garbage.
“They got another break early in the game when Goss was too inexperienced to realise he had to take one for the team when the ball broke to Tom Rogic seconds before the Australian curled home Celtic’s first goal. Goss should have cleaned him out before he had a chance to line up his shot.”
A lucky goal.
Which some will say is a candidate for goal of the season.
And it’s those people who will be right.
Goss is not as good a player as Rogic; who would have guessed that?
“Celtic got lucky again when David Bates had to be carried off right after the Rogic equaliser because the youngster has been Rangers best defender for some time now.”
Oh Jesus. What arrant nonsense that is. Sevco fans don’t refer to him as Master Bates for nothing.
And if he’s so good why did they bother bringing in Russell Martin, who most of them regard as a colossal waste of money?
“I am absolutely certain Bates would not have got on the wrong side of Moussa Dembele seconds before half time the way his replacement Fabio Cardoso did – allowing Celtic to end the half on a huge high.”
What an eejit this guy is. Honestly.
He’s absolutely certain?
Because Dembele’s really not that good is he?
I mean honestly … and anyway … has he ever played snooker?
Does he know that if you hit the first shot into a cushion that the entire game will play out differently than if you’d slammed it straight down the middle and into the reds? I am absolutely certain that there would have been no one on one in the first place had Bates stayed on … but all this plays Ferguson’s game which I won’t do.
Imagine writing something as nonsensical as that and handing it in for publication.
Imagine a serious newspaper publishing it.
“There was another massive moment at the end of the second half when Alfredo Morelos missed an open goal from two yards out. On any other day he scores to level it up.”
And on another day the ball never makes it to him.
Or a Celtic defender gets in there first.
On another day a stray crisp packet might have blown into his eyes and stopped him even getting the shot off.
More “woulda coulda shoulda” and none of it with the remotest connection to the general point, that Brendan’s substitutions are not what changed the game.
“I would even go as far as to say Rodgers got lucky again when Jozo Simunovic was sent off because, for as long as the game was 11 v 11, Rangers were the better side.”
Read that again.
For openers, it’s nonsense.
We were on top at that point in the match; that’s why so many people assumed it was a “turning point.” But it is the first time I’ve ever heard of a manager “getting lucky” when his own player was sent off. In fact, managers who turn games around from that position generally get credit for it … but of course, Barry has remembered that the point of this piece is to give Brendan none. So he writes stuff like this. Absolutely stinking reeking guff like this.
“It was only after that moment Celtic really got to grips with the game and I know from experience how a match can change when one side goes down to 10 men. The decision gave Celtic a shot in the arm and created a siege mentality.”
A siege mentality is when you shut up shop. Not when you go on the offensive.
Yes, games do generally change when a team goes down to ten men. In favour of the team who still have eleven on the park.
Red cards do not give the sides that get them a “shot in the arm.” If they did there would be no need for managers to make changes after them, would there?
You complete clown.
“Rangers didn’t react well to it at all.”
Which presumably is his way of saying Murty didn’t react well to it. Which is true. And invalidates everything he said about the Sevco boss at the start of the piece.
“So Barry contradicts his own pish James? Tell us something we didn’t already know.”
“That was frustrating to watch because they should have been moving the ball quicker and using the whole of the pitch to tire their opponents and open Celtic up. That they failed to do that was another sign of inexperience and, yes, Murty has to take his share of the blame.”
Oh bravo for coming to the self-evident conclusion that loads of us had arrived at in front of you, oh wise one, oh person who somehow got management jobs at two clubs in spite of possessing not one iota of managerial talent and who ended up working for national newspaper without a scintilla of journalistic skill either.
“But he will learn from it and so will his players.”
They better learn fast, that’s all I can say.
Before Kilmarnock visit tomorrow, and certainly before the cup semi final which is only a few weeks away.
“I agreed with every word he said after the game and I’m a bit surprised that he has retracted some of it. He wasn’t too harsh at all.”
He retracted it because his bosses kicked his backside from one end of Ibrox to the other.
He did it because he is weak and indecisive.
Not great traits for an aspiring Mourinho.
“Yes, all three of Celtic’s goals could have been avoided. Yes, Rangers could and should have played better after Celtic went down to 10 men.”
All three of our goals could have been avoided in the way every goal ever scored could have been avoided.
The ultimate in “coulda shoulda woulda.”
And yes, Sevco might have played better.
Except we didn’t allow them to.
“And yes, these players might just have missed the best ever chance to get one over on their old rivals.”
Hyperbolic nonsense. But grounded in a little truth. If they can’t do it at home, on the back of a media campaign to put the pressure on us, in a game where they had the lead twice and we went down to ten men … it makes you wonder what optimal conditions they are counting on.
“Murty was right on all points but that doesn’t mean that Rangers won’t recover and become stronger for it.”
He was right on all points?
Before or after he retracted his comments?
And if he was right on all points then why do they need to recover and become stronger for it?
All they need, if you accept the Hypothesis of Pish presented here, is that Brendan runs out of luck.
“What I see is a work in progress both on the pitch and in the technical area. These are inexperienced players working for an inexperienced manager.”
A dire and dangerous combination as anyone who knows anything can attest. And this thing about experience is pish anyway. Odsonne Edouard was playing for PSG reserves this time last year, and he had the class and composure to score a sublime goal in this one.
“But where Rangers are now compared to where they were under Pedro Caixinha is night and day.”
They were third in the league and being challenged for fourth spot.
Now they are second in the league, five points behind Aberdeen who have a game in hand, and seven points behind Hibs who also have a game in hand.
So still being challenged for fourth spot then, and nine points behind us … and we’ve got a game in hand.
“The manager and his players now need to regroup and bounce back quickly. By the time they head to Hampden to face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final on April 15 their tails should be up again.”
Provided, you mean, they actually win all their games between now and then … presumptuous, arrogant, so Sevco-like you just knew it was coming.
“They should look back on Sunday and learn their lessons.”
Yeah maybe like the one about keeping their collective gobs shut before massive games. Like the one about not broadcasting their arrogance and giving the other team all the additional incentive they required. Those would be a start, but there’s no sign of it.
“But most of all, they should realise how far they have come together and how far the gap has been closed.”
The gap is nine points and a game in hand.
It didn’t close. It widened by three.
“What I saw was a Rangers side which no longer lives in fear of Celtic. I described the fixture as a boxing match and Sunday showed me Rangers are now confident enough to go toe-to-toe with their old rivals for the first time in a long time.”
Confidence is great. It really is.
But the fight ended with Scott Brown dancing around the ring like Ali, and Alfredo Morelos lying on his back, out for the count, like a pretender who thought he was a contender and who got the whipping such hubris deserves.
“The fact they were so disappointed on Sunday tells me this is a group of players who will be bursting a gut to put it right at Hampden.”
Wait … disappointed? Why would they be?
I thought they were absolutely brilliant on the day and only beaten by freak luck?
That, after all, was the point of the whole piece … wasn’t it?
“Murty is no longer setting his players up just to survive against Celtic. He’s setting them up to beat them. Next time, with a bit of luck on his side, that’s exactly what might happen.”
In your dreams Bazza.
In your dreams.
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