Back when I was growing up, I marvelled at the tales in the tabloids about televisions getting kicked in and radios being smashed to pieces by irate Ibrox fans who had seen their teams concede a late goal. That was in an era before we were accustomed to watching football on the big screen and before Sevco’s eight years of tribulation.
It’s no longer unusual for Ibrox fans to watch games which inflict emotional trauma on them.
They’ve kind of gotten used to it now.
Nevertheless, it’s not terribly difficult to picture broken telly’s and mobile phones as a consequence of Thursday night’s late winner for the Swiss champions Young Boys of Berne. The Ibrox club has been locked up in a wee world of self-regard since we turned them over.
It was easy to put that game and the result down as a bad day at the office and get past it.
It helps when an entire media industry is filling your head with supremacist junk too, of course.
When the roof comes down on Ibrox they will have a lot to answer for.
They’ve spent so long telling the Ibrox club that there’s nothing to worry about that it’s no wonder a lot of those muppets over there believe that, even when there’s evidence to the contrary all around them.
On Thursday night a lot of assumptions died on the vine.
Assumptions that this Europa League group was one they could qualify from without much difficulty. The truth is, they’ve had a couple of decent results in that competition since Gerrard took over, but nowhere near as decent as their fans seem to think and the hacks have tried to tell them.
This is a club that has yet to take on a serious side of top drawer European calibre, playing at the peak of their powers.
Imagine them in a Champions League group?
The results would be hilarious enough to release DVD’s of it.
Comedy Central would play them on an endless loop and Scottish viewing figures would go through the roof.
The Feynoord result was a good one, on paper at least, until you consider they’re having an Aberdeen level season at the moment, sitting in 6th with only three wins in eight games. They followed up their Ibrox defeat by drawing 3-3 against ten men against FC Emmen and then promptly lost 3-0 at home against AZ.
They were in a tailspin at the time of that match.
But they followed those results up well; they thrashed Twente 5-1 and then beat Porto on Thursday night.
Are they getting their act together?
Sevco better hope not.
Because they have to go to Holland later on in the group, and if the Dutch are even close to their best I expect that to be a pretty humiliating night for the Ibrox club.
They have Porto to come, twice in a row, the first game away.
From thinking they might top the group, they could end that night rock bottom of it.
Porto are no longer a major force in the game, but I expect them to be technically superior to Gerrard’s long ball merchants in every department.
The sides the Ibrox club has played in Europe in the last few years have been strict second-raters and many have been mired in crisis going into the matches. The results against Legia Warsaw were actually amongst the only impressive ones, and to be blunt I’d have expected us to beat that incarnation of the Polish team fairly comfortably.
Based on those results, against those teams, they’ve convinced themselves that they are a massive club and capable of wrestling the SPL crown away from us.
Thursday night’s result was the latest in a long line of reality checks … but still they won’t get it.
Nevertheless, behind the scenes fear and loathing stalk the halls.
Gerrard already feels the pressure, knowing that this side still isn’t nearly good enough. He bangs the drum for more money, knowing that it’s not going to be forthcoming, and every day he has to read the fluff from the PR department about clubs sniffing around his dreck.
Right now it’s Aston Villa, willing to pay £15 million plus for Mad Dog.
They would be mad if they spent that kind of money on the Colombian Kris Boyd.
In the meantime, the ugliness in the stands only gets worse as time goes by.
The handful of them in the Swiss ground on Thursday night made sure the team knew their feelings at full-time and yesterday they poured out the loathing in full, onto their captain and the manager’s decision making.
His team selection was being attacked before the game even kicked off … at full time they were wondering whether or not they have a pure fool in charge.
Do they really want an honest answer to that?
In the meantime, the lunatic bloggers at Ibrox Noise chose yesterday, after that result, to put up another of their blackly hilarious pieces speculating on whether they can get £50 million for Morelos and Barasic, and they appear to believe every single word of it.
Do they really want an honest answer to that?
Gerrard blamed VAR for the defeat.
The latest in a long line of excuses from this geezer, a manager who never once in 16 months in that job has ever accepted an iota of personal responsibility. He did back Tavernier, but that’s another refusal to accept that he could have gotten something wrong.
He made him captain after all.
Sevco fans know better, and the reason for the growing fear in their ranks is that they understand that Gerrard has players in that squad he just isn’t prepared to drop, and there’s at least one – in Ojo – who has done virtually nothing and who they can’t drop because of the loan agreement with Liverpool which commits them to playing him almost every week.
Their fans poured scorn onto him yesterday on their forums, having completely exhausted their patience.
Not bad, considering how some of them praised him after his winner against Feynoord.
It was about all he did that night though.
Desperation is in the air over there as they try to keep alive the illusion that they are a huge club.
The latest smoke and mirrors effort involves trying to lure Southampton’s Ross Wilson north of the border as Director of Football. He’s believed to want guarantees that the club is not on the verge of collapse; how amusing if he receives those assurances and signs.
Another case of “see you in court” somewhere not too far down the line.
That club has had more rude awakenings than a guy in a locker room hammock experiencing rough seas.
They never seem to learn a single thing from them.
This one will be no different, and the smarter elements of their support, who watched as Livingston almost knocked them out of the cup, who know a free kick goal against a dreadful Kilmarnock side saved the manager from hard questions and who have watched Celtic and Young Boys beat them already can sense the trouble on the wind.
Fear is creeping up on them.
In the meantime, the loathing level rises.
Many, even those still confident, can sense that this is going to be a long, long campaign.
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