Last weekend, a section of our fans shamefully booed the team at the end of the St Johnstone game when the players went over to acknowledge the support. Players acknowledging the fans should never be booed by them. That’s crazy.
How is the team supposed to respond to that? We always talk about the bond between the players and the support, and of how we help them to raise their game. What does booing do expect make fans look like spoiled brats?
I have spent the last week lacerating the board and I make no apology for it.
They have let this manager down in the most cynical fashion.
He briefed them on what he said he required and they utterly ignored every word of it. They deserve our scorn.
On the pitch this team needs our backing. On the pitch, this team needs for us to unite with one aim; to make sure that in the days and weeks and months to come that we give them exactly that. We cannot influence today, because none of us will be present, but we can certainly influence how we respond whatever the scoreline might be.
The people who matter right now are the players and the management team, who are all going to give everything they have. They are entering a hostile environment where the bile will flow from every stand. They will have to find a way to drown that out and play the game. But they should have gone into it knowing that all of us were behind them.
In the next week or so, it will be important to remember that these guys are the ones who have to get us through until January. Regardless of how we feel about the way this transfer window has gone, what matters at the moment is being the best supporters in the world again, and I genuinely believe that’s exactly what we are.
I know there are frustrations and doubts and even anger, a lot it directed at the man in the dugout. Give him time. What we know about Rodgers, above all else, is that he is a top-class coach.
I think he’s been dealt a bad hand by the board, but whether I’m right or wrong, this is what he has to work with now and since there is zero chance of his falling on his sword or being sacked between now and January, when we go again in the transfer window, a lot of people are going to have to put aside whatever bitterness they are feeling and get behind the man.
Today we’re right up against it.
A team playing with uncertainty, new signings not integrated into the squad correctly, an injury crisis at the back … these are conditions under which you’d rather not be going to Ibrox with no fans. Let’s cut them a little slack, let’s try to keep these things in mind, let’s not go overboard, let’s remember who we are.
This will be the last time we see the team until after the international break.
That’s two weeks where the players and the coach can get a little work done behind the scenes, where we can start to knit together the various strands of the squad, where the injured players have a little more time to get their fitness … this title race hasn’t even started yet.
Win, lose or draw today this has a long way to go and so I intend to remain calm and confident and to believe that Brendan Rodgers is the right choice and that now we’ve got the transfer window out of the way and he no longer carries the weight of that perfect record, now that he knows what he has to work with we will see the quality start to emerge.
I do not fear the Ibrox club.
I don’t think we have much to be scared of there.
I am more concerned that we aren’t where we expected to be.
The question then becomes how much faith to do you have in the players and the manager to get it together and turn it around? And my answer is that, domestically at least, I believe in them utterly.
Rodgers has proved not to be the architect of the summer window. But this is his team now, and he is the top boss we all wanted to see when Ange Postecoglou left. It is time for him to step up, and you know what? I don’t have the least doubt that he will.
I don’t expect to enjoy today. I think the game will be awful to watch, in an ugly atmosphere, and whether we win or not, there won’t be much great football to write about. It will be stressful, and tense, and it will seem to last longer than the 90 minutes alloted to it.
It’s a game to be endured rather than enjoyed.
It is one that frankly I just want to get over with, past, and to see this team regroup after the break.
Do I think we can win? Hell yes, of course we can win. Do I think that we will win? If we show up on anything like the form we’re capable of then yes, we’ll take the three points and leave The Mooch in a very dark place.
We haven’t shown up yet this season though.
But boy, oh boy, this would be one Hell of a good place to start.
I’ll see you all on the other side of it.