The name itself is supposed to make defenders wet themselves with fear.
If it was the father, even at his age, they might be justified.
But this is the son we’re talking about, a player who no amount of hype can turn into a genuine superstar.
Let me be honest here; if this guy wasn’t at Sevco I might feel sorry for him.
Sons of great father’s struggle. It is a documented, historical fact. It’s as if the weight of the name, and the accomplishments, grinds them down and the greater the name and the greater the accomplishments the heavier a weight they carry, of course.
I know of a handful of historical figures who stepped out from the shadow of paternal greatness to match or rise above their fathers, and the greatest of them all was an adopted son and not an actual one; Octavian, nephew of Gaius Julius Caesar, made his son by will. Octavian not only avenged his father, but he won the second Roman civil war, defeating Antony at Actium to become the first of the Emperors. He is the exception above them all.
But most sons of great father’s wilt, and especially those who chose to walk in the same shoes, going into the same business.
I mean, what was Frank Sinatra Junior even thinking about, for God’s sake? He had a good career, as Hagi will have, but could never hope to touch the stars. Worse, he found that there was a general presumption in people he met that all he had was a famous name. He once lamented the difficulties attendant with that. “A famous father means that in order to prove yourself, you have to work three times harder than the guy off the street,” he said.
So it might be easy to feel sorry for Hagi except for two things; the first is that he’s at the kind of club that makes sympathy impossible to sustain, one which pumps up everything with steroids if it makes their decision making look more than the random mess it is.
The second is that Hagi himself allows his old man to go around talking him up … and that’s to his detriment.
The first story about him that tickled my fancy this week was the one about how he had made the Belgian League’s “top of the flops” list.
Well, I mean, of course he did.
He went there for good money – on the back of his dad’s recommendations – and flopped like a fish on a line. The Scottish press went out of its way not to focus on it, but he was not exactly a roaring success, lasting six months before they were ready to cut their losses.
We pointed that out at the time of course, but no-one in La La Land wanted to hear it. Neither did anyone in the media; they went out of their way to talk up his “potential” whilst ignoring that his time in Belgium was the double failure after his disastrous spell in Italy.
The headlines got crazier by the day until he was suddenly a £100 million asset … who Sevco could take for a mere £4 million. What a bargain, eah?
Except for two things.
First, he doesn’t look worth the £4 million far less that greater, staggering, sum. He has a good left foot, but seems pretty ordinary. He drifts in and out of games, and when you are in a real battle you need war horses, not show ponies.
Secondly, and it brings us full circle to the week’s second hilarious story, Sevco does not have a prayer of raising £4 million to buy a footballer, not now or by the time this deal has to be done. The writing on that particular wall is so big you could probably read it from space.
Yet today Sevco’s party political broadcast paper, The Daily Record, has an article in where it quotes Doran Goian – remember him? – saying that the club will be able to purchase him because of their financial strength. It gave me my first real, proper, laugh in a while.
First, Goian reveals an amazing ignorance of the world if he thinks Sevco has that kind of muscle.
Or indeed that any club in Scotland could contemplate a deal like that at the moment.
But he doesn’t live here, he’s not from here, he’s a footballer, not a finance guy and clearly doesn’t know the first thing about that stuff, and so we can excuse him this.
But there’s no excuse for the rag which printed this garbage. Is it anything other than a little pro-Sevco PR, intended to present them as financially robust whilst they are searching for a shirt manufacturer and trying to sell season tickets?
Yet as brutal as it reveals our media to be – yet again – let’s not kid on that that there’s not something hilarious about both of these tales. In their own way they reveal some truths about the ay everything around Ibrox is spun and twisted … and boosted.
None of it helps them. It never has.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.