Looking back on Le Gaffer

Last updated : 17 January 2007 By 007
It was the summer of 2006, Paul Le Guen had just been announced as the 12th manager of Rangers. Here we had a young dynamic manager who had helped mould Lyon into a club capable of producing some of the best talent on display in Europe, a team able to compete with the best the Champion's League has to offer. Touted as one of the most exiting managerial prospects in the game and after months of what seemed endless speculation he had chosen The Rangers as his next project.

Like many others, have found myself amongst a generation of fans brought up on success, only now to find ourselves languishing in the fallout of a long abandoned dream. However, with this arrival came a fresh breath of optimism which swept through The Rangers support. A new dawn had arisen and the road to recovery was now visible it seemed.

I have to admit, I was one of the first to jump on the PLG express, I had the French moniker, I posted up the PLG artwork, I was on the forum for hours excitedly reading through the speculation for the season ahead and if truth be known, I was also breathing a sense of relief to see that we had finally made the change in management demanded by an ever increasing majority of our support.

Fast forward seven months. Seven long, arduous months where this support has been put through the ringer. We've been deflated when the Chairman's and media fueled expectations failed to materialise, poor signings have been made, we've suffered vastly inept performances on the field, we've been vilified from all quarters of the media as a support, unjustly dealt with in regard to UEFA sanctions, suffered demonstrations, violent counter demonstrations, the grass hotline and now seems our support is cut right down the middle with today's developments and the loss of our much heralded manager. Emotions are high and tempers short

It is with a heavy heart I have pondered over the developments of the last few days.
We now have those who think Barry Ferguson should never again pull on a Rangers jersey, there are those who think PLG's departure is long overdue and it seems a minority like myself finding it difficult to come to a definitive conclusion either way. Maybe I'll be proven wrong but when the dust settles on this sad chapter perhaps the truth will lie somewhere in the middle. No party will emerge whiter than white and we as the Rangers support may yet suffer the consequences of this decision.

Personally I was hoping we'd pull together and iron out the differences, acknowledge PLG has made mistakes and give him some leeway in terms of being able to rectify this in the January window. I was even hoping Sir Minty would rediscover the ambition he had in the early days of his tenure and actually back the manager with a transfer budget befitting a club of our stature and predicament. Not in the reckless manner of old, but in a calculated strategy to put us back where we as a support demand and indeed deserve. Perhaps I'm guilty of being far too naïve or perhaps it is blind faith that things will improve.

I as a supporter have learned from this experience. Never again will I herald the arrival of a manager or player as I have done with the Le Guen appointment. No matter the reputation they bring, I will judge them solely on their contribution to The Rangers. If we all do the same in this instance then, in truth, Le Guen has offered us nothing. To be honest, now he is gone I see no point in speculating what could have been any longer.

I prefer to look forward. If it turns out the familiar faces of Smith and McCoist will arrive as as looks increasingly likely then I will not condemn them as a step backward nor indeed sour their hard earned reputations as men who have went out and earned the respect of The Rangers support. For me growing up, I idolised McCoist as a player and enjoyed some of the happiest times as a fan with Walter Smiths sides. I'll be right behind them. I don't care what others think of them. I'll make my own mind up in time as to how good they have been in this spell. Why should I now offer them less of a chance than I afforded someone who has done nothing for us?

In their heart of hearts even some of those horrified at the prospect will be too. Why? Because we all care so much about it, The Rangers. That will come first. The same guys will be there week after week as they always are and these hard times will pass.

For me, I now look upon Le Guen's time in charge of Rangers as insignificant. In our proud history he'll scarcely be remembered. For us he is a dead parrot, you know the rest.

Onwards and Upwards.