Does exactly what it says on the tin
I honestly thought the questions surrounding the manager were answered in the main, but yesterday threw a complete spanner in the works.
Yesterday, we looked like a Neil Lennon team which is the worst possible ‘compliment’ Ange could ever receive.
I never thought I would write that, but it happened on his watch, that one’s on him.
One team got to every second ball first,,
One team worked their socks off and became more than the sum of their parts,,
Played the ref to the maximum,,
Played the surface to the maximum,,
Displayed ample game intelligence by going down or running down clock,,
Took their few chances well,,
Drew great saves from the opposition keeper,,
Got their tactics spot on,,
Of course we expected the above from the famous Glasgow Celtic, two good performances (Spain was and it needed one to win yesterday) in a week was just a step too far, changes made or not.
The buck must stop with the manager, how can it not?
We must all admit Martindale has made the best of the hand he’s been dealt at Livi, he gets the lion’s share of the credit for making that destination very undesirable these days.
On that basis our Greek Australian must shoulder the blame for yesterdays general coming off second best.
Perhaps he’s shocked, perhaps he really needed that lesson. The simple lesson that some flopped when made uncomfortable, when questions were asked.
We can and should expect he learns on the job,,else how would he improve?
And it did seem as though some lessons had been heeded.
In came the defensive midfielder for a league game, not just Europe.
In came perhaps our most attack minded left back.
In came a new central defender to help shore up the sieve.
Young Abada had a full week off.
Then came McCarthy having a mare.
Then came Boli being ineffective against two compact, solid lines with little passing space between.
Then Welsh didn’t impress upon return, the opposite actually.
Young Abada had a(nother) day off.
Our record is admittedly hard to swallow.
6 games played, 6th in the table.
Lost six away games under Ange now if I’m correct.
Hand on heart, I understand where the manager’s critics are coming from.
But equally I understand where his defenders are coming from, I’m one of them I admit.
I haven’t seen us play that bad under Ange, and I don’t expect us to again.
His job depends upon it. We already know an empty top tier moves on the current incumbent. So will Ange, his ex boss would have pointed it out.
Yet an empty top tier?
Couple months ago when our tails were high, when we had our Japanese whirlwind, playing with a bit of pomp, we win that game. Probably romp it.
Since then the footballing Gods have been cruel.
But I ask you, did you expect a smooth transition? With soo many arriving surely some leeway is called for?
After all, we were all warned with repeated interviews and articles that Ange-ball really materialized in the second season, once the players had truly gotten to grips with the system.
His resume screams ‘this man needs time to deliver silverware, or he’s not your man’.
Normally that’s a big No-No, until his style of football comes into the equation.
And normally that style is ever present,,,
we invested in players for it such as Jota, Abada, Furuhashi, and still to call GMac.
Some were naturally well suited to it.
And it suits the support, forward and attack being so refreshing from Lenny’s backwards and sideways with the always deep Scott Brown the eternal easy option.
That attacking style of play has sometimes delivered, but sometimes been found wanting.
Classic first season Ange syndrome.
This is what we hired.
As a support, he’s our biggest test in a long, long time.
Ronnie got two years in reality one and a bit, yet there’s ‘sack him’ posts after three months for Ange.
Bit quick, no?
It’s not as if we weren’t warned.
A month ago I dreamed of the title.
I still do.
Four points is nothing, those dropped by the current title holders yesterday allied with the midweek tanking only help to boost my thoughts they are there for the taking, an aging unit that peaked last season having attained it’s ultimate goal.
Yesterday, we collectively dropped the ball.
Defeat against Livingston is not good enough for our club of choice, as we are the finest in the land.
Not to mention packed full of better paid Internationals who on paper should have romped it.
Yesterday we saw our manager out-thought and our team out-fought,, unacceptable domestically.
There’s plenty of room to respond.
That performance could be analyzed to death, the players drilled how to properly respond. The rest of the month offers a great chance to rack up some points on the table, start making a charge towards the top before going to Pittodrie early October.
You don’t need me to explain how big a clash that has now become.
Welcome to the first season of the Ange rollercoaster everybody. Strap in and get used to it.