When I wrote my Martindale article earlier, and followed it up with my Ibrox one, I didn’t think for one moment that there might be some connection between the two, but the more one thinks about it the less crazy it sounds.
There are good reasons for believing that there might be a weird connection. Can he actually be considered a candidate for Van Bronckhorst’s job?
There are two things to consider; the way the press views him and the way he views himself. The media one is interesting first because, as I’ve said, he’s suddenly the go-to-guy amongst the hacks, who seem to love hearing the sound of his voice.
It appears not to matter to his bosses at Livingston that this joker actually has a job, but has chosen to moonlight on various media platforms. He’s been interviewed by blogs. He’s become a feature on Radio Scotland. He even popped up on Clyde recently.
So he has profile, for reasons beyond understanding, and has recently been the subject of a number of those sycophantic pieces from Keevins. He’s not the only one who views Martindale as a coming man, and somebody whose career is worth watching.
Martindale clearly views himself the same way. He’s climbed the ladder into management, and now obviously thinks that there is further up the ladder to go. He fancies his chances of landing a better job than Livingston, and all these media appearances and all this laudatory coverage won’t have done his ego any harm at all.
He would want the job if it came up. Clearly. Obviously.
But in a sane world, at a sane club – if they were in fact a sane club – it would stand virtually no chance of happening. Yet desperate people do desperate things, and some of their social media guys actually like this idea, and a growing number of their fans are very openly discussing it, and as a serious option. It reminds me a lot of the way some of us were talking, seriously, about the question as to whether Steve Clarke fitted the bill when Rodgers left.
I’ll be honest though, that was simply in comparison to Lennon. I would have taken Clarke before a Lennon coronation all day, every day and I think we’d have secured ten in a row had we taken that road. But the football would have been turgid and dire … we certainly would not have been anywhere near as far forward as a club as we are right now.
And maybe it’s just a simple as that. Martindale is seen as a safe choice because he’s allegedly gotten results with a limited budget and might, therefore, surprise people with better resources and a larger pot of money to spend. He also wouldn’t ask for terribly big amounts of it. He knows Scottish football. He knows how to get results against Celtic.
You can see how this might be attractive. You can see that it might be seen as a good short term option which may or may not be good for something more. The media clearly smells something in the air. That this isn’t a joke prospect tells you that.
They are helping to feed his ego and polish his rep. Are they doing that for nothing, or is it because to sell this to the fans it has to be done beforehand, because otherwise it would be impossible to do? Martindale himself, who smells it in the air, is playing them like a fiddle and that too is perfectly clear. I thought he simply raising his rep for a job in England.
But maybe not. We’re speculating, yes, but maybe there’s something more than just vapours. The prospect intrigues me. The prospect frankly excites me. Ibrox is a basket case club as it is; appointing a manager who has spent time in prison for drug dealing is such a perfect statement of what they are about. It also speaks volumes to their footballing outlook.
He is an absolute dinosaur. A public park football boss without an ounce of imagination. We’ve seen his Plan A and his Plan B and of late neither has come close to stopping us for a second far less in our tracks. Him as Ibrox manager, their club finally ditching even the pretence of being progressive looking or forward thinking … God, if wishing made it so.
I would be overjoyed. It is almost too much to hope for.