What Im expecting this year
Surprise Surprise January is the first issue , and its a biggie . The last window I anticipated this much was the one after Seville ,,, and good Lord what a comedown that window was , so already I approach this window nervous .
So neck on the line time heres how I see it going . 4 players in . Mostly loan and probably a cheap buy in there as it was just too good to resist but I see 4 . Thats a decent number and could be held in defence by board lovers . I also see one , possibly two , out , but thats normal as usually someone feels they need more games and pushes for a switch . Gamboa or whatever .
At the very least I would bet on 3 minimum arriving . That takes a bit of heat of all involved and the fans get a wee buzz . The end of this month / start of the next see’s a run of reasonably easy games to bed any new blood in .
End of February / most of March we approach a mini series of games with the Jam Tarts , der Hun , and the Dandy Dons all lined up in a short space . Big Big games that will decide where silverware ultimately will go . I expect Brendan will have them prepared , the new bhoys bedded , and we will see cream rise . Past experience of defending the title will be invaluable , as will the fans backing as usual . Its probable that we approach this mini series having gone out of Europe ,, which means we should be extra focused on our chance of glory . On the other hand going through in Europe may well give the squad a shot in the arm .
Either way , after these games I expect us to be at the summit looking down at the rest .
The Split ,,, We will go into it on top and stay there . Others will realise they were looking at a team that hadnt hit first gear yet and started dreaming of ultimate glory ,, and it was built on hope. This team likes its destiny in its own hands , has been there done that , and with Brendans pushing and prodding will stay on top .
Aint gonna talk about another Cup final . If it happens it happens and if it doesnt it wont upset me unless we dont show up on the day , or fall for tactics we should be older and wiser to.
The Summer,,, will bring the “ bombshell “ that Brendan feels he has taken this team as far as he can and seeks a new challenge at this stage of his career etc etc .
“ Taken this team “ is diplomatic speak for I couldnt get my own players and dont want these ones anymore . Out on the open market he will be an intriguing proposition for many a club , and is also young enough and confident enough to try his hand abroad if he wishes ( speaking Spanish helps ).
Our club of choice though will be in the hunt for a new gaffer , and with only 2 to go until the fabled 10 , recruiting the perfect candidate holds its own challenge .
Common sense would tell you get the very best you can and back him bigtime to the next 2 leagues ,, but if we were gonna use common sense Brendan was that man and was right there , why not back him big time ? Throw common sense out the window in any discussion regarding Scottish football .
History can and will always be looked to ,, and our history points to the following .
If there is an Ulsterman that shows promise in the dugout and is not affiliated with der Hun , he usually gets offered the job . 3 in the last 15 years shows this .
Michael O Neill has done pretty well with what he has and is young and ambitious . He may well get offered the job BUT will no doubt speak to all or some of his mates that have sat in the hotseat and get the low down . Being from the North will bring its own unique problems should he take the helm and attempt to hit 10 . He wont take it . Too much hassle. Thats the Ulstermen ruled out .
Current possible domestic candidates are clearly WGS and David Moyes .
Either would be controversial , very controversial infact . Not saying they couldnt do the job , its just that opinions about them are soo deep rooted and ingrained , for many many fans either would be the last thing they want .
A rookie / new kid on the block shouldnt be considered . Lenny wont work with Peter so forget him . Stevie Clarke doesnt want the hassle . Thats about it for the domestic scene .
Explayers ,,, Paul Lambert has tried his hand at management , and he read the game soo well , plus had good communication skills through those pearly whites that I can see why he tried his hand , but has hardly set the heather on fire and his name has never yet been seriously in the frame . Although currently employed by Ipswich he would probably jump at the chance ,,, so would I by the way but it doesnt mean I should get it ,, and I believe the majority of fans would not wish our ex Captain back when the time comes . Im gonna rule him out .
Henke would be a crazy move and he would risk his legend status by being the man Stevie G stopped winning the 10 or something ,, plus he hasnt shown much ,,, so nah .
Jackie Mac tried his hand but didnt cut it , nah .
Mick Mc Carthy is a wise old head and has done well with what he had to work with wherever he went , and although I back Keano over Saipan I wont hold it against big Mick . I think he would be much too wise to waltz into the circus at this stage of life , cannae see it .
I cannae see an explayer that fits the bill here , bar Lenny that is who isnt gonna get or accept it.
The Continent ,,, its the obvious place . Der Hun , their fans , the refs will all be gunning for the new man and the players ,, the pressure will ramp big time . We all know this and domestic based managers will , and many will opt to avoid the chaotic goldfish bowl atmosphere that will come with the job , especially now Stevie has them riled and apparently playing .
Foreign managers however may well see it in a different light ,, or even no light at all ,, but when the job of managing the famous historic giants is offered to you along with a pay packet that you didnt think you would ever see , many will not even stop to think about the hostility the press for example will give them . And thats why you see the deer in the headlight looks in December after they cant believe what they just saw in the derby and were in no way prepared for ,, or perhaps the big picture sinks in and you realise you dont have the players to win , its not your fault , but you will forever be the man who blew the 10 !!!
Or perhaps , just like Wim the Tim , you find the right guy .
But the continent looks the likelyplace to recruit a gaffer where I sit ,, theres a mountain of coaches there , they dont seem to mind getting handed players , and they will see the Champions league or the Prem and think this is my big break !
A Foreign manager will arrive.
Next season,,,,a new man will want his own style of play no doubt .
Trying to implement decent footie is good on paper but doesnt match the climate or the pitch not to mention are the players in the squad he will be working with technically good enough ?
He has no idea the refs are bent and will wonder what hes seeing when his players get kicked about and carded while other seem to do what they please with impunity .
And will expect to be backed properly not handed projects and sub par purchases .
And will be in for one hell of a rude awakening and will probably be chewed up and spat out by the Ceo and all involved with the domestic game , a Deila mark2 if you will .
He will be going in against a more settled and confident Hun squad and gaffer , who will smell blood . And looking at a squad that needs rebuilt and a new fella that is raw , why wouldnt he be confident ? If the roles were reversed I would be .
The battle for next season starts this window . Get this window right and we have a huge shot in the arm going into the next campaign . Some of those loans will stay , and the purchases made will have some experience under the belt . This window is more than huge , its crucial we do well in it of we want to continue the dominance . I just hope those making the big calls actually realise this.
Happy New Year friends from myself Mahe and my partner in crime Majoc . Hope this year is a good one !
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