I’ve enjoyed an excellent day so far listening to some brilliant podcasts and reading some interesting articles and forum posts.
Of everything, I cannot recommend the E-Tims podcast enough; it offers outstanding insights into Ange and offers more than a little food for thought about what The Mooch is up to across the city.
Every fan needs to listen to it, so I’m posting the link to it at the bottom of this piece and I hope you guys all check it out.
It’s really worth your time.
One of the things I’ve just read is an Evening Times piece on how Ten Hag at Manchester United has provided, in a way, the blueprint for Ibrox’s recovery.
It’s largely nonsensical, and amounts to how everything would be alright if they could only sign the likes of Casemiro. I’m joking of course, but only a bit. The writer means winners.
There’s an obvious problem with the article and it’s this; there are only two ways to build a squad full of winners. Either you buy the real thing, ready-made, or your team creates that reputation and earns that status for themselves.
Their problems are twofold then. They cannot afford to buy winners, because those players cost a lot of money which they don’t have. The second problem is us. How can you build a team of winners when you can’t win anything because your rivals already have that?
What the League Cup Final victory at the weekend has done is give some of these players a first taste of trophy success, and that’s good in and of itself. But there’s more of course. What it’s also done is it has made the players who were here last season into two-time cup winners soon to be two times champions as well. Not just winners, serial winners.
And that’s a triumph because when this squad came together last season the bulk of them had never won anything before. The Japanese boys who played under Ange maybe but O’Riley, Jota, Carter Vickers, Juranovic … nothing.
I think out of all of them it was Giakoumakis who had the experience not only of playing in a title winning side but scoring a title winning goal.
That’s why last season’s League Cup win was absolutely massive. This team was still chasing theirs in the league race, so that first taste of silverware was a huge psychological lift. These guys have now won two League Cups and a League title with another championship in our hands unless something very, very big goes wrong, which none of us can see.
Some of their players are title winners and added a Scottish Cup last year. They got to a European final. But we forget in a sense that they did those things in a strange way. First, the COVID campaign was one-off bizarre and it wasn’t just that we failed to win the league but that our collapse in that season was of a more general nature, and across the boards.
That was Gerrard in the hot-seat, a guy with a “winner’s mentality” but no actual league title to go with it. He knew he couldn’t repeat the trick.
But Van Bronckhorst was everything they should have wanted in a boss; he had won titles as a player and as a manager and not only did he win a domestic cup final but got them to a European one as well, although I’ve written at length about that.
The hiring of The Mooch is a dramatic backwards step. You’ve seen and heard this guy enough times now to know what he’s all about; he’s a “kick everything that moves and if it doesn’t move kick it until it does” type boss. His ideas are second rate. His attempts at psychology are a joke. He couldn’t even bluff the team selection. We all knew the “injured players” would start … and what a disadvantage it put him at picking them.
They are going to have a real problem going toe-to-toe with us, and since they can’t buy a team of winners and since they face an obvious difficulty in producing one I think the Evening Times piece is ultimately a bust.