That Was the Week That Was

Last updated : 04 October 2002 By Grandmaster Suck

Much as I despise the Evening Tims, I am indebted to this publication for a couple of wee curios last week. First off, last Thursday saw them reprint that famous photograph from 1978 of Jock Stein playing the stooge in between Billy McNeill, who was taking over the managerial reigns from him at CP and Desmond White who brokered the deal. When I say White brokered the deal, what I meant was that he told Stein he was standing down. That he could see a big future for him as a pools agent.

All those years of service as player and manager and all he got at the end was - 'It's the dole or peddling pools coupons for you ba' face.' Never witnessed a clearer example of what the phrase ³Celtic class² means. Just look at the faces of the three 'Celts' captured for posterity. White doesn't even acknowledge Stein. Is in fact treating him with the utmost contempt. (And what is it with that left handed handclasp?) All the while, big Jock, who you can clearly see looking down (and most definitely out) is obviously thinking to himself 'Bang goes the Directorship.'

As for the totally bemused McNeill? He's thinking, 'I've just asked this guy for a loan'. Talk about an innocent being led to the slaughter. And smiling down serenely on the splendour of it all is old Mr Septic himself, Bobby Kelly. Stick it in yer family album, indeed!

The Big Man didn't realise it at the time, but Kelly did him a favour in the late 50s by allowing him to leave CP because he was a Protestant instead of promoting him to the senior management team, Kelly told him that reserve coach was as far as he would go. More fool him for coming back for more.

Next up we had Charlie Nicholas on the Friday talking about the state of the park, as opposed to the state of the art, training facilities, the  yahoos have at Barrowfield. Charlie mentioned that things really have not changed since his early days at the club. He then went onto say that in his day there was talk of the club buying the land from the Proviecity Council for a small fee.

It's obvious Charlie hasn't lived in the cheap, green place for a while. Because if he had, he'd know that the yahoos really don't need to buy land from our slum landlords nowadays. In fact, if they asked nicely, I'm sure our provolovin bigots would actually give them money for the dump that is Barrowfield out of the public coffers.

Saturday saw us visit the City of Discovery and find out that the Arabs really are guff. It is no exaggeration to say we should have scored at least another couple of goals and really, this slackness in front of goal just won't do.

I know that the next statement will go down like a lead balloon in some quarters but even though the statistics tell us that everything in our defensive garden looks rosy at the moment, I am still not totally convinced as to the collective abilities of our rearguard. Amoruso had a shocker on Saturday, especially in the first half, and I would like to be able say the mix-up when Klos for no reason whatsoever booted the ball off of a totally bemused and blameless Barry Ferguson, and which resulted in Utd's first corner left me speechless. Unfortunately I can't though and the air Chez gub turned a rather vivid shade of blue. It is altogether unacceptable and if we continue to be the bearer of gifts to garbage like Dundee Utd, then goodness only knows what a quality side will do to us by way of punishment.

I will always take the views of someone who was actually at a game over the armchair viewer. But to me, Ronald de Boer was back to his lazy, indulgent self. Without doubt his selflessness contributed greatly to the second goal, but other than that I couldn't see that he contributed anything else of note. But to offset that however we did have another faultless display from Arteta.

The kid looks something special and his effort from the free kick in the first half was right out of the top drawer. It is to be hoped he will be afforded protection from our spineless whistlers in the coming months. I won't be holding my breath though.

So another AGM has came and went. The fact that the owner of the club and the outgoing Dick Advocaat, who are the authors of so much of our financial misfortune were not there to face the music was indicative of the contempt that the support are held in. It would also have been interesting to find out just what the shareholders thought of Advocaat after his 'kick n tell' exclusives for the rebel?

Perhaps the most nauseating performance however came from 'scuttlebutt' himself, Martin Bain, who did not have the courage or the integrity to stand by his statement from a while back that Rangers FC pursues an active policy of not employing Rangers-minded folk.

I see also that the hoary old chestnut of FF being banned from the press box, while allowing journalists who hate our club raised its ugly head.  And once again Bain reacted to type by saying FF was banned because of its sectarian content. What a pathetic little man Ban really is. Perhaps he could tell us why he chose not to see the sectarian content of Leckie referring to us as Orange Scum last April, or Ewing Grahame accusing

Rangers management of the murder of a Belfast Catholic in August? Anyway, Bain is a liar pure and simple. He wasn't really all that bothered by FF's supposedly 'sectarian content' when he made overtures to GS last season telling him he would be allowed into the Press box if he gave up editorial control of the mag, both on the streets and on the Internet.

Is Mr Bain really that thick that he thinks we will forget all about these meetings and Rangers duplicity on this matter? The bottom line to all of this is again quite simple. The Rangers support is simply not interested anymore in what excuses Murray or his lickspittles come up with especially with regards to our dealings with the press. They are an embarrassment to us, and they shame the founders of the club when it comes to defending our good name. This is one bear that will not be content till every last incompetent (and Bain, Jardine and Greig will do for starters) are booted out.

Monday afternoon also saw GS, Brock Stoker, Big Mac, The Major, Johnny, one of FFs sellers and yours truly take in a day at the races at Hamilton for the last meeting of the season. A splendid time was had by all, although I have to say that my five shillings each-way on each race did not get me very far at all. In fact I declined to back 6-1 shot 'Cryfield', which duly romped home just to put the tin lid on proceedings. Pantomime villain (or should that be back end of the horse) was undoubtedly Mr Stoker who gave us the hot tip of the day in 'Don't Forget about Bowie' in the last race. As the nag came limping in, we didn't know whether it was a case of 'Ashes to Ashes', or Brock was 'The Man Who Sold The World'. Brock, a word in your shell like. As much as I enjoy your company, keep your tips to yourself in future. Most productive tipster on the day was Big Mac who went home with a satisfied smile on his face, and a bulging wallet. Here's hoping he has an even bigger smile on him this coming Monday.

Which brings us onto show time at the cesspit on Sunday. Watching Arsenal's second goal last week at Elland Rd, when Wiltord's momentum took him off the park, as he cut the ball back for Toure to score. Took me back some 24 years to the quite disgraceful decision by referee David Syme to chalk off a perfectly legitimate Rangers goal in the 1977/78 League Cup final, under the exact same circumstances.

Not that we need to go back any significant amount of years to see how inTIMidation works. The last league outing at the toilet when referee Kenny Clark, refused to red card Lambert for a scandalous and premeditated off the ball assault on Peter Lovenkrands, is a perfect example of the cheating which goes on by our top whistlers. This reluctance by Clark to implement the laws of the game was subsequently followed up by him blowing for the end of the match a good three minutes early, because Celtic were at a numerical disadvantage. Celtic are the victims of Masonic referees?

Don't make me laugh.

Sunday will follow a depressingly familiar script. That is, both

Lovenkrands and Arteta will be kicked up and down the park. If this results in any of them being carried off, just like Cannigia in the Cup final, then so much the better. Bobo the animal will be allowed to go through as many Rangers players as he wants early doors, and the first Rangers player to be involved in any skirmishes will be booked.

What we didn't need however was Amoruso being involved in a wee war of words in the build up to the match. Now we all know that the press can twist words. But was there any need for Amoruso to say anything, which could be seized upon as being remotely derogatory about Larsson? Is five years in the footballing goldfish bowl that is Glasgow, not enough time for this man to learn to keep his trap firmly shut? To my mind it's just another nail in the coffin for the guy's reputation as a natural Rangers captain.

I cannot however let this week's rags go and their take on balance, neutrality and the OF without mentioning the Evenin Tims (who else?) on Wednesday. Let's see now, we had Rab Christie, who whatever else he may be is definitely not sitting in the Rangers corner. He said of Larsson that he spent the 'recent cup final concentrating on what sort of hotel room he'd have in the World Cup.' He also managed to fit in a wee crack about Maurice Ross coming from a third world footballing country.

Personally speaking, I thought Larsson spent that cup final cheating and doing his normal dying swan act, and it was only the usual leniency from Hugh Dallas that saw him not get his just rewards in terms of an early yellow card. Isn't it funny to note that all these would be comedians in the Scottish Press just don't have the 'bottle' to crack a funny, because they're scared it will offend the septic minded?

Next up, we had an Andrew McCartney, a student of journalism at Cardonald College. Speaking about Amoruso's ill-judged comments about the diving Swede, he says that 'he's sure Amo will be eating plenty of humble pie after the match'. So we can take it as read that young Andy doesn't think Rangers will win. No surprises there then.

On the opposite side of the middle pages from Mr McCartney we had a self confessed yahoo by the name of Martin McCardie. He hopes and expects the yahoos to win on Sunday. If they do win it will have nothing to do with

the referee, he droned. No doubt he never saw anything wrong with Kenny Clark's handling of the last OF league game at the sty either, but we'll let that pass.

Now quite frankly I don't have a problem with the Evenin Tims or any other rag for that matter, publishing a McCardie/yahoo point of view in the run up to an OF fixture. But would it be too much to ask of them that Rangers fans get a look-in also?

Unfortunately, (and you do not know how much it pains me to say it) there is nothing of a positive nature I can say about the 'Teddies' (other than I will love them till my dying day) on the eve of this forthcoming OF fixture. I have to confess that the aggregate UEFA Cup defeat against the non and never will be entities of Zizthinngy, is the final straw for this Bear.

As for Alex McLeish? Well he can take it as read that the honeymoon is over. To be quite frank, Davie White lost his job for less and Mr McLeish can consider himself grateful that we live in a different era with less demanding standards.

I realise full well that he inherited a mess from his predecessor, but that mess still amounts to a squad full of experience and Internationals.  If he didn't know it beforehand, he must certainly realise now that there are people at Ibrox should not be wearing the blue jersey ever again. He must also now look at his defence and get ruthless. If he doesn't, then he can expect the chop also.

So there we go, as per usual at Ibrox we never have up, up, ups. Always there are downs to go with it. The only consolation I can take from how I feel right now (and I am really clutching at straws here) is that the last time we went into an Old Firm match on the back of such a humiliating defeat (Chesterfield) we went on to have a convincing victory. Do those over paid chancers of ours have the backbone to bounce back though. And whats'more, do they care enough to do it for us? We'll soon find out.

Enjoy your weekend folks,

The Govanhill Gub