Last night, Ibrox rocked to the sound of silent tribute.
Odd that, isn’t it?
Just when you thought silence meant what it said on the tin, Ibrox redefined it as a rousing chorus of the world’s most boring song. Did they sing of the King or did some of them forget that his mother was dead?
Or was it just that they were still unfamiliar with new words?
It’s a stretch for them, we have to be understanding.
This morning, their forums buzz was optimism. Keith Jackson wrote a gushing (that’s the word, isn’t it? When piss comes out in a flood?) piece on how brilliant they were.
They have mistaken their 3-0 defeat for the one we suffered at home against Madrid.
It is wonderful how easily, and readily, they dance between madness and euphoria. For ages after the February beating we handed them they convinced themselves that because they looked better in the second half that a corner had been turned.
Cue the scudding we handed them a fortnight ago, and suddenly they understand that it was a brief taste of what we were becoming, and of how poor they actually were.
The hammering at the hands of Ajax further demonstrated their weakness.
Yet last night they were brilliant?
They got tanked last night. Napoli cruised past them.
Yes, the opener was a penalty but a goal was coming anyway. Jackson and others are screaming “controversy” but the referee got every major call right except when he let Morelos off with a second yellow.
The penalties were justified, so too was the red to Sands.
They kid themselves that it was the red card that changed the game; the game was already getting away from them at that point. Napoli had weathered an early storm and had steadied the ship. They were growing into the game. The goal was in the post. That’s why the Ibrox defence got itself into such a mess that Sands got his second yellow.
Their club is falling to pieces. No wonder they regard getting beaten by one less goal to be some kind of triumph. No wonder with idiots like Jackson writing the raving nonsense he did today. I usually love to work on the Keith Jackass pieces; today he wrote an article so ridiculous I simply wrote the headline and slapped his own work underneath it.
But none of that changes a single fact about what actually happened last night.
Three games, eleven goals conceded, none scored. Van Bronckhorst sat in front of the media before the game and said he wouldn’t change a thing about his approach.
He sat in front of them afterwards and grumped and groaned and moaned about having to answer questions.
He defended his signings, and his decision to leave the bulk of their expensive purchases sitting on the bench yet again. There are people in their director’s box who must wince listening to this.
That’s where the main part of the loathing emanates from; towards the manager, from those who hired him, spent money on the team and then watched as he wasted if.
If you are going to be a stroppy boss ignoring the signings made in your name, you had damned well better be a successful one and he hasn’t twigged how to do that, and so the noose continues to tighten around his neck and the pressure continues to grow.
Now they turn their attention to the weekend, where anything other than a convincing win will drive the Ibrox fans into apoplexy and raise serious doubts over his survival in the hot-seat, especially with Hearts and Liverpool away the next games up.
The fortnight between the weekend’s fixture and those games will seem long even for a manager with no doubts or concerns on his mind. For a man nearly paralysed by fear … I would be amazed if he made it to the end of it without chucking in the towel.
What a state that club of theirs is in.