On a day when there’s good football on every channel, I made the decision to find some site that was showing the game from Ibrox whilst I was waiting on the Newcastle game to start. I ended up watching the last half hour, because although the football on display could easily have caused retinal bleeding it was grimly fascinating watching as they clung on for dear life.
With ten minutes left their ground was three quarters empty. By the end of the five minutes injury time almost all the rest of the supporters had cleared out. If there was booing, I don’t know as the volume was down, but their forums are enraged at the way the whole afternoon went. They got the 1-0 win. They remain, as I said last week, in a locked room with no exit. As long as The Mooch is getting results they have to leave him in place … but the pain never stops.
The camera cut several times to The Mooch, standing on the touchline like those images of Captain Edward Smith, standing on the bridge of the Titanic. A man who knows what is happening but has run out of ways to fix it. Now all that remains is to hope for rescue. But where’s that going to come from for him? January? He’ll be lucky to make it until then.
You remember that scene from Titanic where Rose is planning to jump off the ship and Jack says he’d have to jump in and save her, but that what he thinks would happen instead is that they’d both wind up dead? When the ship went down on 15 April 1912 the water temperature was -2. That’s what The Mooch is looking at right now.
That ship is going down. He’s going to be in that deep cold water, and he’ll be done for long before January comes around based on that performance today. There is no lifeboat for him; it doesn’t matter where they are in their European group. Poor domestic form will be lethal. Had they dropped points today he might not have got through the week.
Remember; the longer it goes on the worse the consequences. This is like dry rot; if you don’t get rid of it quick it’s going to spread, and when that comes to a football club the fans will turn on players leaving them no way back, they’ll turn on the board, sowing distrust about the next appointment, they will turn on the signing policy.
It doesn’t stop with the manager if you don’t get him shipped out of the club quick smart. The scars of the Lennon sacking remain in part because no-one amongst those who hired him followed him out of door. Even Lawwell came back like something raised from the dead.
We’ve followed that up with two seasons of success though.
Everything the club across the city does is done in our shadow.
Their next manager will have to live in it just as the current one does.
And if someone out there has already been approached and is giving it some thought he should take a look at the actual football, the quality football, being played elsewhere right now. Because it’s got a story all of its own.
The former Celtic manager is making a right good go of it at Spurs.
The guy we almost got before hiring him has masterminded a hammering today which confirms his standing as one of the best managers in the league.
The guy at Parkhead right now is a top boss who is up there in that bracket.
We may question the transfer policy, but we have hired some exceptional managers over the years, and when this club shows ambition, it goes big.
And that’s what their next manager has to realise.
Even if you believe that our club’s policy is to keep us ahead of the Ibrox club, watch what we’ve done in recent times when that status has appeared to be under threat. We are capable of moving into another gear any time we choose to … and so whoever gets the job next will live in that shadow, with that knowledge.
Standing there on that touchline today The Mooch looked like a beaten man because, in the ways that matter, he is a beaten man.
Outgunned and outclassed by Rodgers, he is facing up to the harsh reality of having to appease an unappeasable fan-base which cannot tolerate the realisation that they could spend years beyond counting in this state they’re in.