The choice open to Ibrox in the last week was, on the surface of it, an easy one to make.
Do you stick with a loser or do you jettison him and go for someone else?
They decided today to get rid of Van Bronckhorst and start afresh. It’s understandable.
But it’s also a little bit crazy.
Because Van Bronckhorst already wears the mantle of the beaten man. He lost the title last season, and he will be blamed by many for losing this one. Except that now he can’t be. Because that responsibility is about to be foisted onto someone else.
One of the best advantages a newly minted manager has available to him is being able to say that he represents a new beginning and a fresh start. That advantage is taken away from you when you are thrown into a club in turmoil, mid-season, with the same failed players and expected to turn things around.
Anyone they ask would be perfectly entitled to say that they would take the job, but only in the summer.
Which writes this season off, and leaves them with a caretaker in charge.
The alternative is to come in now, hamstrung, nine behind, against a rampaging Celtic with the near certainty that your best efforts will not be good enough.
You could be possessed of iron self-confidence, of course, but that would be staggeringly misplaced in the context of their club and where it finds itself. Their squad isn’t nearly good enough. There will be a massive job to rebuild it. And funds will be limited.
Say you take it on and you fail?
Which seems likely considering the size of the task.
And that’s you right out of the gate; a loser. A beaten manager. The guy who came in mid-season and failed to change things. Anyone who believes that these Ibrox fans will be in any mood to forgive that hasn’t paid attention in class.
They have no appetite for “signs of progress”; they wanted Gerrard out in every season but one.
They were calling for Van Bronckhorst’s head for the better part of the year he held the job with only the “European run” stopping the calls from being louder before very recently.
These guys aren’t in the mood to let someone “settle in” or take his time.
If you can’t close the gap, or it gets wider, people will naturally ask, come the end of the season, “do we want to give this guy more funds? Do we trust him with a colossal rebuild and the fortunes of the club for the next three, four, five years?”
It’s true that they can’t keep sacking managers.
But they can’t keep throwing money at failed ones either, especially when that’s in short supply. So what do they do if this guy comes up short in the time that is left to him? Stick or twist?
Either way, he’s very likely to start next season having already watched Ange Postecoglou parade the league trophy around Celtic Park. That’s a bad way to begin.
They believe finding someone to take on that ritual beating will be easy?
It may be harder than they think.