There is are few things worse than an injury crisis which hits a club like a sledgehammer. For all my anger at this board of directors today I cannot blame them for this. This is nobody’s fault. This is one of those things. It could happen to any club. It is depressing and it is awful, but it’s the reality with which we now have to deal. There is nothing else for it.
Yesterday The Daily Record “jury” suggested that we need to go out and sign another defender. They would love that, I have no doubt of it. For us to spend money in an area where we do not need to.
There is a time for taking the long-term vision and this is one of them. We don’t need to have six centre backs on the books. Five would be more than enough at any other time, and you could put Iwata in there to make six and Scales too to make seven. Alastair Johnson can play there which makes eight. We simply cannot spend more money there.
What do people want us to spend that money for? Ibrox? A Kilmarnock central defensive back four costing a fraction of what we paid for just one member of our defence kept out the club from Ibrox and ourselves since this season began. A manager with the right organisation skill-set can navigate past that club simply by playing the right system.
All we’re doing is giving ourselves an excuse to get beat and I’m not hearing any of that, I’m not listening to it.
Use your central midfield to protect your defence. Do not let their players within shooting distance of your penalty area. Crowd them out every time they have the ball. Make them bleed for every inch they advance up the pitch.
If that game is so important, we need to start preparing for it now, and that means making sure the officials don’t decide it, which means a major PR media offensive about some of the decisions. If it’s going to be Lagerbiekle and Scales then they have to start working on their communication today, right now, this minute.
We need at least one major signing this week on top of that, and preferably the midfield iron man which every one of us acknowledges that we require. Why this week? Because he should get at least one game under his belt before going to Ibrox. Or we’re throwing newly minted players into a team which is already going to be reeling from too many changes.
We’re also going to Livingston and Motherwell before September ends. So this isn’t just one game, and I think it’s shocking the way the media wants to focus our attention on that match. We have much bigger problems here than one match, those two sides will give us big away tests. In October we’re going to Easter Road and Tynecastle.
There are no free rides here. There are no easy games. Any notion of that has already gone out the window with our early League Cup exit.
This season is going to be a slog. It’s going to be a battle.
The end of season euphoria which started to dissipate the moment it was clear that the manager was moving on has been replaced by a grim realism that this one is going to be a war, and you know what?
That’s fine, that’s winnable, but everyone has to start acclimating to that fact right now.
The only thing that will make it even slightly more bearable is if the Ibrox club drops more points at the weekend, and that could happen but I won’t count on it.
What we do in the next 10 days will decide what kind of state we go into that game.
I am resigned to the defence being a mess, and for many weeks to come, but if the rest of this team was a functioning whole, we wouldn’t even be troubling ourselves with that.
This season has just started, it’s got a long way to go.
In two weeks, we might have answers on transfers and be six points clear. Maybe. Or we could be in a really bad place, with people feeling as if the club is coming apart … that’s up to those inside the walls.
But this is going to be a long, hard campaign.
For a while at least any notion of beautiful football is probably going by the boards.
We need to re-learn the art of fighting for everything, on and off the field, because no-one is going to just give it to us.