A rant in q minor.

Last updated : 24 January 2012 By The Govanhill Gub

Things are gonna change so fast
All the wild horses have gone ahead.

I know it will come as a shock to some, but I’m probably the most broad-minded cove on this website. However, the guff that fills up our main rags these days could drive you to distraction. And I’ll give you a wee example

The revelations at the end of last year that the Krankies were swingers and wee Jimmy was getting fan-dabby-dozied from here to eternity caused not a ripple chez Gub. Mind you, it does put a whole new emphasis on the phrase ‘He’s behind you’ at Panto time.

Live and let live is my motto.

However, which is just a fancy way of saying but, the Krankies notwithstanding, I don’t do defeats when it comes to Rangers. I’m not interested in glorious failure and don’t get me started on losing to the filth.

So, the events at the cesspit on 28th Dec 2011 (and at Love St. the Saturday previous) surely have to be a watershed for this particular management team. I could say a line in the sand but there have been so many lines in the sand drawn even in the shelf life of this magazine, I should be writing this from Australia.

Let’s start with saying Rangers were garbage on Wednesday 28th Dec, and only looked interested in the last quarter. It was the same tired garbage we have been treated to for what seems all of my lifetime.

We go to the east end and allow the yahoos to take the game to us. You may not like what I am saying, but it is true nonetheless. It is gutless, it is spineless: it is fear. And it is all pervading from the top of the house down. Well, it isn’t in my football DNA.

What we got on that Wednesday night was the same turgid drivel we were treated to from Walter Smith. Defend in deep and then let’s hope we can hit on the break? Only, where once we had Brian Laudrup we now have Greg Wylde.

There’s a cottage industry grown, based on Walter’s results in away derbies in his first spell in charge: that the success was down to his tactics. It is pure illusion, and based only on some out there fancifully wanting to believe the game was all about sucking them in and then afterwards leaving them hanging out to dry.

The bottom line is there was never a Barcelona going one down at the Bernabeu (like recently) and then passing their hosts to death and giving them a subsequent doing. Anyone else getting the bigger picture?

In his first time in charge, Walter Smith had better players in EVERY department of the team and still went defensive at Parkhead, just about every time. It was garbage tactics then, and will always be garbage tactics.

It goes without saying a team’s success will always be based on a sound defence, but we should have been treating that shower like Stenhousemuir back then. Oh, and I am not taking away from the success rate: No one is happier than me when we beat Timbo.

What is frightening is that there is definitely, or seems to be, a climate of fear when we approach an away derby game at their hoose. It is not the result on its own that gets to me, it is what is going on in our lots’ collective psyche that matters. And how did we get to this place?

But let’s go back to the 28th and then we get to THAT goal, you know the goal that was a goal but never was? Was it a major decision? Of course it was. But hey, these things happen in football. Always have, probably always will do.  However, where I have a problem is that THAT goal that was, but dissed, came about because one club and their cheerleaders and apologists in the press have created a climate of fear for the game’s officials up here. And by our club’s silence, which to me is negligence, we are complicit in the times we now live in.

This website does not do us any favours either. Time after time last year some said Regan was being used by Lawwell. Some offered various theories, plus of course his past business relations with John Reid’s son. All shouted down of course. Anyone out there still want to argue the case now that Regan isn’t Lawwell’s pawn?

On here, we were told Rangers should not have got involved in the spat between the yahoos and the SFA. Excuse me? Rangers FC as a founding member club of the SFA should not have got involved in an issue that resulted in the SFA flying in foreign referees to keep one club happy? What part of reality am I missing here?

We were also told: ‘Just wait, the refs will also have it in for them because of the way they’ve been treated.’ Oh really? Well the fact that the yahoos, on average, seem to be allowed to foul twice as much as anyone else before getting a yellow card tells me different.

Now again, I’m not heavily into these sorts of stats, but when will the penny finally drop: Whatever affects them, especially in a positive way, affects us negatively?

It is hard to get away from the notion that our ‘dignified silence’ has all but done us in. We should have been shouting from the rooftops at Regan’s appointment and asking about his business links to the Reid family. We should have been doing a Bar-L rooftop protest at foreign referees and we should have been asking pointed questions of Lawwell’s appointment, which as our only pal in the media (David Leggatt) told us was without precedent.

The bottom line is, one club is running Scottish football in all but name. Dignified silence? We are where we are media wise and elsewhere because of it! And to quote Mr Zimmerman in his majestic ‘Idiot Wind; ‘We’re on the bottom.’

There’s the McGregor stuff last season. There is the Naismith stuff this season. I truly thought bringing back Gordon Smith was an inspired move. Because Mr Smith, knows how football works from the highest echelons of Scottish fitba’ and a’ that.

What I am seeing just now is my club being comprehensively shafted high, wide and handsome by Peter and his aforementioned stooge and  it is not as if he and his pals in the press are being subtle about it. The message is, and it ain’t subliminal, we WILL do what we want and say what we want and print anti Rangers stuff at every turn and we know you won’t do anything about it.

Oh, and it doesn’t help matters when the chief executive who is now running Celtic and the SFA (and I’d like to think everyone has now smelt the coffee) has a pop at our club and the manager laughs it off as a wee joke!

But I digress, there is a basic issue at stake here when it comes to the press and the SFA and the treatment of our players in this poxy hole we live in. Are the Rangers management prepared to acknowledge that there is a clear anti Rangers agenda driven by apologists in the media? You know like any misdemeanour made by a Rangers player grossly highlighted/sensationalised etc, etc. And that’s just for starters.

It really is a simple question. Now if the people running the club don’t think so then Houston we have a real problem. If however deep down inside they do acknowledge there is a problem and are prepared to sit back and do nothing then we have an even bigger one.

Again, you look at this website and the complacency is truly shocking, and you have to ask what it was based on? Malmo, Maribor and Falkirk should have been our markers at the start of the season, not beating the yahoos.

I came on here after the defeat at Kilmarnock thoroughly unchuffed at another disgraceful performance and was accused of ‘revelling’ in our defeat.  Now I‘ll admit I ain’t quite in my granda’s league when Rangers lose. According to my old man, when Rangers lost when he was a boy, and we are talking about him living in a ‘single end’ in Bridgeton with five other siblings, my granny had the one hoose up the close whose living room had mince n tottie wallpaper. Revelling in a Rangers defeat?

Oh, and getting back up to date, let’s remember this was a Kilmarnock side who shipped in SIX goals to Inverness at home prior to playing us.

Then we get to the money situation. The manager needs money to bolster the squad blah, blah, blah. How much money does he need for his charges to see out the very last minute of a game when we have a corner?

If you remember, that goal conceded against St Mirren at Ibrox came about because Lafferty couldn’t trap a bag of cement and Broadfoot was so far out of position a pensioner in her zimmer could have made a run up the wing to put a cross in.

That is not about money that is about the basics of playing the game. And to think said chap, who can’t even boil a bloody egg, thought he could hold Rangers to ransom last summer?

That the manager does need dosh is a given. But I’m not prepared to use that as a viable excuse when you think of the dross, even more strapped for cash than us, we have lost to this season. The bottom line is that the St Mirren game at Ibrox gave our rivals hope when there should have been none.

On the plus side, the manager seems prepared to play the system. Mind you, I had reservations about the recent appeal against the McCulloch red card. Talk about every silver lining has a cloud? Yes, it was good to know we ain’t going to take the crap lying down anymore, but it did tell you that McCulloch was the first name down for the trip to Parkhead.

Getting back to matters on the park. The manager’s selections worry me. The lethargic Edu alongside the even lesser paced Papac in midfield? All that does is give you an engine room slower than a Romanov pay cheque. Tis a worry that. The bigger picture however, the more worrying picture, is that the manager doesn't have confidence in any youths in the reserves to come in and make their mark: Tis an even bigger worry.

It’s not my job to tell the manager, any manager, what to do and who to deploy but I was genuinely perplexed with the offloading of John Fleck to Blackpool. Now it could well be that Fleck is misbehaving and the manager is giving him a shake in the last chance saloon.

You hear stories/rumours etc, but Fleck (and I’ll agree that he hasn’t lived up to the hype) has this pesky wee habit of actually passing the ball to a team mate. There are not very many at Ibrox actually capable of doing that consistently.

I didn’t believe the loss of Naismith would lead to a total collapse throughout the team but that would appear to be the case. It means if Davis is not firing on all cylinders, and he hasn’t for a long time, then it is hard to see where the craft and guile is going to come from. Although it has to be said, Aluko has been a breath of fresh air.

I think it was always inevitable that we would hit a rocky patch, all teams do. However, it is hard to get away from the notion we have handed away the initiative in the meantime. Rocky patches I can just about cope with, I just hope it hasn’t been down to over confidence.

What is also hampering the manager is that there doesn’t appear to be a natural leader on the park. Davis on form is a terrific player but he is not a leader of men. I wouldn’t even class that as a criticism of the guy, just stating a basic fact. However, we do need someone to step up to the plate, and fast.

So can the manager turn it around? Well, it goes without saying he needs to steady the ship just now and grab a few wins. He also needs to take a chance on attack. The fact is that we haven’t been easy on the eye this season. But it doesn’t need a non-entity like me to tell a goal machine to go on the offensive.

So that’s my first rant of the year done and dusted. So what’s with the Tori Amos reference at the top of the page I hear you not asking? Well, I heard a certain song of hers the other day for the first time in yonks. A very talented lassie, although I’m not sure I’d want her to suckle me, I know where her nips have been.

Anyway, I digress. On Tuesday March 31st 1992, I was early shift and on that rain sodden day I bought possibly my last 7’’ vinyl single: ‘Winter’ by the aforementioned Ms Amos. It remains to this day one of the most beautiful and haunting songs I have ever heard.

Anyway that night I went to Hampden to watch the OF Scottish Cup semi final and Rangers were the victims of another diabolical refereeing performance, and guess who popped up on the cusp of half time to give ten man Rangers the lead? You guessed it, a certain Alistair McCoist.

Now the manager was tagged as lucky all his playing career. Golden Bollocks etc. The fact is, you don’t achieve what he did by luck alone. I’m sure however he’ll accept any luck going from here till May. I’ll accept it too. The thought of that charm-school graduate from across the city earning the bragging rights come the end of the season is too much to bear.