Back To Basics
They say you should never go back and it is a view I've tended to share. However, with our club in such a perilous state at this particular moment in time, a safe pair of hands is needed and, as a stop-gap measure, the appointment of Walter Smith, with the McCoist-Durrant duo in the background, is fine with me.
We have lost our way lately, of that there can be no doubt. Slowing the whole thing down, taking a step back to look at ourselves, establishing where we are and where we want to go, might be no bad thing. Above all else, now is as good a time as any to re-establish who we are and who we want to be and, knowing the new management team as we do, the club has a glorious opportunity to return to its roots.
Efforts to rebrand Rangers as some multi-cultural identity have failed miserably. Since the start of the Advocaat era, we have tried to be something else, no doubt giving Mr Chairman some smug sense of satisfaction as he tried to rid the club of its traditions and create a new cuddly identity. But all he has done is cause division in our ranks, the club has been neither one thing or another, drifting rudderless, with many fans beginning to question the wisdom of their continued support.
For example, with the exception of Baz, since the break-up of the nine-in-a-row squad, our major players have been non-Scots and that has tended to distance the team from the fans. Rangers' interest in men like Andy Webster, David Weir and Alan Gow will help restore a Scottish backbone to the side and will enable punters to identify more with the men on the pitch. Youngsters playing the game can again aspire to play for Rangers and this can only be good for our image.
It is time to re-establish the ethos of the club. The days of eleven Scottish Prods trotting out to do the business might be gone for ever but, with Walter in charge, we are likely to see a return of the time when the bulk of the squad were Rangers minded and they would go about their work in a manner which reflected their outlook. Three or four ‘outsiders', educated in what playing for Rangers is all about, could add that little extra something and take us back to the ‘good old days' of the early nineties.
There is a very special something about the Rangers. We are not just a run-of-the-mill football club, we are the pacesetters, the flagship for the our community and we should be proud of this identity. For too long now we have found ourselves apologizing for what we are when we should be shouting it out from the rooftops. In bringing Walter Smith and Ally McCoist back to Ibrox, the Minted One has acknowledged this, perhaps subconsciously, but he is sharp enough to see how their return has lifted everyone.
It is all very well for Sir David to harp on about traditional values when it suits him, while at the same time his lackeys are up to all sorts of dirty tricks to wrong-foot Bears who are similarly keen on maintaining the ethos which sets our great club apart from the rest.
When it suits him, the Minted One has talked of being at the head of 'the Rangers family'. Well, his mis-management of our great club over the bulk of the past decade has thrown the family into turmoil, turning Bear against Bear, and if he seriously wants us to believe he has the best interests of Rangers at heart, now is the time to pull us all together.
As we prepare for the future, it is hard to look too far ahead until Mr Chairman lets us know what his plans are. One moment he says he is contemplating selling up, the next he says he has no plans to go anywhere soon. I suspect he will be around for a few years yet, certainly until the end of Walter's reign as manager, and it will be interesting to monitor developments as the new Rangers team takes shape.
So the drive back to basics gets my vote for now - just so long as it extends beyond the confines of the dressing-room
LITTLE BOY BLUE