There will of course be some concern regarding the performance from the Rangers management team ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League home tie against Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni.
No doubt many of you saw Ally McCoist’s touchline rant in the live ESPN clash on Saturday as Rangers failed to put in a commanding performance. Frustration felt by the fans too but lip reading Ally’s rant no doubt provided a wee smile or two! Great to see such passion in the Rangers dugout once again (PLG…lets not go there!).
Rangers had been a goal down as Saints striker Conllin Samuel put the home side ahead on the 17th minute. Rangers got back into the game through the goal machine that is Kris Boyd, the Rangers number 9 equalised five minutes before half time when a Kevin Thomson shot inadvertently blocked by Sasa Papac broke for Boyd who fired home his fourth goal of the season.
The winner came from Sasa Papac as substitute Stevie Naismith headed the ball down for the unmarked Papac, who was in plenty of space outside the box for the defender to switch from his right onto his favoured left peg before drilling the ball into the back on the net.
All in all this game wont be picking up any Oscar’s at the end of the season for best performance but with Old Firm rivals Celtic drawing a blank at home to Motherwell and football being a results driven business it was job done as opposed to ‘jobs a good’un’ in this case.
The battle of teacher versus pupil was won by Walter Smith who came out on top despite Derek McInnes’s St Johnstone side having some excellent periods of play.
Derek McIness may just be a rookie manager compared to the years of experience held by Walter Smith, but he is rightly regarded as one of Scotland’s top up and coming managers. Rated by both his seniors and peers I won’t be surprised at all if we see McIness back at Ibrox as manager one day.
Whether that’s in the SPL, English Premiership or the proposed Atlantic League (one of many!) only time will tell if my hunch about McIness is right and if we ever see Scotland’s big two leave the pond and jump into bigger waters than the Clyde.
This resurfacing debate in Scottish football will rage on and on, but there’s no quick fix or
‘I’m part of the Old Firm - Get Me Out of Here’ League card to play.
If the Old Firm want to leave the SPL it will take years for this to happen but I am in agreement with Walter Smiths comments of late that a lack of investment in the Scottish game is adding to the demise of our national game.
A major rethink, think tank, SFA or Government white paper, anything! (Please God!) Is needed, will this ever happen? Who’s holding their breath?! Yeah I thought so…
There was a time when Old Firm fans and sports hack’s used to argue about who the better side was, sadly these days it’s about who’s the worst. It’s something my good friend Sean Graham (who writes the ESPN Celtic Blog) and I have discussed many times of late alongside the state our national game.
Recent performances both domestically and in Europe from both sides of the Old Firm alongside the national team’s recent failures aren’t providing the best advert for our game.
There have certainly been plenty of anecdotes but what’s the antidote?
Please post your thoughts and comments below as per.
Article dated 19th October 2009.