I blame Hollywood for this, you know.
That we are where we are right now is at least partly the fault of the movies. They have encouraged a nearly mystical belief in the old “call to arms” and in the power of sentimental thinking. Pinning your hopes on blind faith doesn’t work in real life. All you get from it is pain and suffering. In business, you’d be ruined or fired. It’s a bust.
But we’ve seen the film so many times, and in the movies the Great Leader gathers together his flock and tells them how brilliant they are, how special the ideals they fight for are, how the enemy isn’t what he seems and how if they just believe they’ll be victorious.
And then comes the blind charge into the danger zone … and because the Great Leader has so fired up the troops they somehow manage to overcome their foe. The film closes on the Hero Shot, the Great Leader himself, standing in the midst of the battle, bloodied but unbowed, as the swell of the dramatic music swells to the triumphant crescendo.
There are real life examples. None of them end like that.
I’m certain General Custer gave a good speech at the Little Big Horn and that James Brudenell had the troops well fired up before the Light Brigade charged the guns at the Battle Of Balaclava. Pompey Magnus was a great leader and a tremendous general.
There is no way his final words to his legions prior to his catastrophe at Pharsalus were not awesome.
I’ve actually only seen one movie which “kept it real”; in Kingdom Of Heaven, Guy D’Lusignan is the King of Jerusalem and he provokes a war with the Muslim’s. The culmination of his own stirring speech to his troops is the massacre at Hattin, where the army of Saladin surrounded and then slaughtered the Christian army who, in a stunning example of how bravado cannot hold a candle to tactics, had ridden to fight in the middle of a desert without a water supply.
Saladin’s army surrounded them so tightly that, in the words of one general, “a cat could not have escaped.” Then, they annihilated them.
Tactics over bravado. Real world variables versus fantasies.
Only one winner is ever produced from such a showdown. There are no deus ex machinas in actual combat.
We’re in trouble right now after last night, real trouble.
Not only did Neil Lennon not inspire confidence in his after match statements but he made things worse and that was without hearing the statements made by Callum McGregor where he confirmed our worst fears, that Celtic’s tactical setup was shambolic and uncoordinated.
You could see that in the display.
We have a management team which for too long has relied on and gotten by on our players being better than those they face every week in the SPL. Come up against a canny manager who can organise his team and who has players of a slightly better standard than those we face on a regular basis and we fold.
We fold because we do not have a tactician in the dugout … and that’s because, as I’ve said before, we have lousy strategists above him at the club.
Do not listen to anybody who tells you that this “faithful through and through” stuff is the answer here, because it isn’t.
If we’re going to prevail here we need to take firm action, dramatic action, and stop relying on a Hollywood ending.
It is not going to work out like that, because this is real life.
We cannot rely on our rivals screwing up.
We cannot rely on the old “stirring speech” from the man in the dugout overcoming all his other flaws.
This is the ten in a row season, and he’s talking about changing a “dressing room culture” in a couple of days as the way out of this mess … that’s shooting the moon.
This club badly needs to be led right now by people of the utmost ruthlessness, who understand that sentimentality has failed here, that the risk of doing something is now vastly outweighed by the risk inherent in doing nothing at all.
Last night was shameful.
This is now untenable.
Speeches and rhetoric and appeals to the heart are not going to fix it.
We have to start dealing with the reality of this, rather than indulging in fantasies of happy endings.
In the real world resolute action, considered, disciplined, planned and executed is the only thing that produces victory.