Can Eck deliver?

Last updated : 20 January 2005 By

As such, although it’s not the miracle we were looking for; he’s given himself a bit longer to keep his job.

After the Boumsong debacle and the, I’ll go with interesting, share issue, he’s finally got some money to spend from our ‘esteemed’ chairman. Eck’s general record in the transfer market isn’t brilliant, but this season at least, he has done better than the awful dealings of last term. Prso, Novo, Rae, Vignal and Andrews have all done reasonably well and it’s only Dragan Mladenovic who seems to be of the calibre of Capucho and Emerson.

With Buffel, Djordic and Santala signed; Kyrgiakos and Ferguson likely to do so this week; and Ian Murray already signed on a pre-contract with one or two others set to follow, McLeish finally looks like he’s getting the cash to build his own team. What is now the interesting part for us bears is how long will he get to do well and what can we expect from them?

For me, nothing less than the 2004/05 league title will suffice. Ergo, Eck has 4 more months to show us he’s the man for the job. He’s already had 6 months this season to turn things around and to an extent he has.

Or has he?

Although we have brought a better calibre of player to the club, we still only have the same points at this stage as we did during last season. Furthermore, despite these new signings, we’ve not scored any more goals than last year. Essentially, we may only be 3 points behind Celtic, but we’re not really going forward at all. Some people point to the fact that SPL opposition has improved rather than us standing still. Not so I say.

We’ve dropped points in 6 games this year including one loss against Celtic. The rest of them were against Hearts (going backwards), Dundee Utd (going backwards) and a very average Inverness Caley team. Only Aberdeen can say they have improved. Last season we had only dropped points in 5 games and 2 of those were away to Celtic.

As well as that, we’ve again out of Europe before Xmas, struggling against mediocre opposition and failing for the third year on the trot to win at home to progress. All in all, I can’t see where we’ve improved to the extent where we can be genuinely happy.

I don’t want this to appear as a witch-hunt for Alex McLeish. As I’ve said previously, he is a fine, admirable man who is doing the job whilst being shafted financially by his superiors. However, I’m still not sure he’s the man for the job even now he has some money to spend.

It’s not just the pitch that Ibrox that looks worn and torn nowadays. Watching the boring, uninspiring and predictable football on offer has made a lot of our fans just as boring, uninspiring and predictable. The apathy surrounding our club is quite incredible just now but maybe, just maybe with the recent (and future) signings, we’re back on the road to recovery.

Can Alex McLeish bring back the league title to Ibrox? I’m not so sure but I think it’s the very least we could and should expect. As such, let’s all get behind Eck and the team. Let’s put our misgivings aside for the moment and back our manager and his players. Our support could and can be the difference. All we need is some belief which has been missing for a while.

We can do this!