At the centre of his latest dire article, Hugh Keevins asks a question so stupid and so left-field that it should be held up forevermore as the classic example of why this joker should never be allowed near a word processer.
Did Darvel knocking Aberdeen out of the Scottish Cup do Celtic a favour, in that it dissuaded Everton from coming after Ange Postecoglou?
I wrote that in plain English, but if you’re reading that and then re-reading it and then reading it again to make sure you’ve properly understood it because the plain text version appears to be utterly nonsensical, like random words thrown together which does make a complete sentence but one that reads like “the chocolate purple rambled into the prison bedroom”, then I would suggest your response is appropriate and understandable.
Keevins bizarre thesis is that the embarrassment that result heaped on the game is such that no club down south which was looking for a manager would ever come this way.
It’s almost funny for how bad it is.
It’s as if he failed to notice the number of shocks in the FA Cup and which happen more or less every year. Do they put people off wanting to move to England?
Did Sheffield Wednesday, from England’s third tier, beating the billionaires club at Newcastle make Guardiola re-think his position at Manchester City? What kind of football environment does something like that happen? Surely the whole game down there is a shambles?
It’s as if he hasn’t put together the order of events. Lampard was sacked last Monday morning.
The Darvel game wasn’t until that night.
But still, the moment Lampard went I wrote a piece saying that we had nothing to worry about, that Everton was not where Ange was going to end up.
Why do I mention that?
Because I said in the article that Everton’s top two targets were Mario Bielsa and Sean Dyche.
Because that’s what the drumbeat down south was banging out very loudly indeed. Everton had their two-man short-list before they fired the gun, that’s how it’s done. They approached Bielsa before the Aberdeen game kicked off. When he displayed some reticence – very understandable reticence – they moved to Dyche.
Nobody at Everton was sitting waiting on the result of the Darvel match – which of course has no bearing whatsoever on how good a manager Ange Postecoglou is – before they made their minds up one way or another on whether to give Celtic a bell.
Equally important is that Everton itself is every bit as big a mess as Aberdeen is, so as I said in the same piece Ange was not exactly sitting, desperate, waiting for their call either. As some in the English press have pointed out, the disconnect between the two managers they approached sums up the schizophrenic nature of their decision making.
Bielsa is a classic all-out attacking manager, in the mould of Ange himself. Dyche is more of a plodder, emphasising caution. That the Everton board went for two men at such different ends of the scale tells you even they don’t know what the philosophy of the club should be, or the type of person they ultimately want in the dugout.
Here’s another thing I said in the article; Ange’s high octane style would not work at Everton right now and would only lead to their relegation. He has spent 18 months moulding this Celtic team into one that plays that type of football and his early results prove that as good a manager as he is, he was not going to be able to do it with the squad we had when he took over.
Everton’s squad is in no way equipped for that type of style. And who better to judge that than Mario Bielsa himself, who turned down the job for precisely that reason. His football style is not designed for clubs in the relegation zone trying to get out. The players he would have at his disposal simply could not make that type of football work.
So even if the call had come, Ange would not have entertained it and that should be obvious to even the stupidest person.
But Keevins is one of a number of Scottish journalists fatally affected by “the cringe”, an inbuilt embarrassment about the game they cover which best manifests itself in a drooling over-estimation of the draw of England.
But not every club down there is an attractive prospect just because they have money to spend.
The simple truth is that two thirds of the sides in that league are massively outgunned and competing for nothing and because of the enormous financial implications of being relegated live in constant fear of that outcome.
That’s why Everton are on their eighth boss in seven years.
Keevins is an embarrassment to his profession.
He neither understands the sport he covers nor bothers to do even the most basic research before he pours his idiotic opinion forth in his columns. If Scottish football is a mess it’s partly down to people like him, people who once could have influenced it in a positive direction but instead chose to fence-sit or wage personal feuds instead of promoting our national game.
Now they don’t know how to promote it.
All that’s left is the cowardice and the petty settling of ancient scores.
That and sucking up to Ibrox. They are all very good at that.