Do you remember those scenes of Pedro Caixinha, his players, and the Sevco fans, celebrating a late winner against Thistle as if it was the goal that had won them the Champions League? Today, at St Mirren, the club currently propping up the rest of the SPFL, there were celebrations just like that as Candelas scored with ten minutes to go.
Before that, Sevco had huffed and puffed and got nowhere.
Had that speculative effort not found the net, the supporters at Ibrox would have been preparing the noose for the manager’s neck. It is inevitable. They are not a good side, and even the most blinkered, most devoutly optimistic fools in their support, are starting to realise it.
Gerrard and his team rode their luck. It’s not the first time this season, and it won’t be the last. But on a day just like today, at a venue where they are expected to win, they are going to drop points and the anger that is already bubbling away in the Sevco support is going to boil over. Especially as the Unseen Hand has been slapping their flab recently and reminding them that we are still the best club in this country by a long, long way.
They look at us and see the club they once thought they would be; impregnable. Powerful. Wealthy. Successful. A club without a real challenger, with all the time and the opportunity in the world to keep growing. Respected. Respectable.
They are none of those things, and especially not the last two.
Today, David Low, the former advisor to Fergus McCann, delivered a scathing verdict on their so-called business plan, and on King’s assertion that the club is moving from strength to strength. On the park against St Mirren they produced such an inept display that you cannot believe they got themselves into ruinous debt building these teams.
Gerrard looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights. He made a like-for-like swap today and his sub scored a goal. That is not the mark of a tactical genius. It’s third-rate stuff for a third-rate boss with a third-rate team. They got the fright of their lives today.
And that was St Mirren, the bottom club in the league. Sevco fans have twigged to what surely must be apparent; managers who face them more than once come back having their full measure. Clarke and McInnes have proved it. It’s down to the other managers now to do the same.
At the end of the game, Candelas was sent off.
Gerrard is moaning over that. He deserved his first booking – at least according to the rulebook which makes leaving the pitch and jumping in the crowd a bookable offence – and his stupidity got him a second. Morelos also got booked. I’ll be writing more about him shortly as he was at the centre of another wee event today which the media tried to drag us into and which I reckon will have a few stories written about it over the next day or two.
And of course, the Sevco boss is playing the victim card to the fullest. Well, it suits him and it suits his club. It’s one of the strongest they hold in the deck right now, but it will not be enough to catch up to a rampant Celtic leaving all else trailing in its wake.
Sevco is one bad result away from crisis. Today was almost it, but they got out of jail late in the game.
There’s always next time. It’s coming.
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