Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wattie You On About?

A plaintiff cry from the manager's office at Ibrox: "Trust me and shut up."

Walter Smith has been hurt by the critics as they've lashed out at both Kenny Miller and Smith himself.

"If their reason for not liking him is because he played for Celtic, personally I thought those days were past. They are for me, so if that's not acceptable to everyone else there's not a great deal I can do about it, except do what we are paid to do and hopefully win football matches.

"If the player has been here before and people's reasons for not liking him are because they don't think he is good enough, then that's fine. But my opinion matters and I think he will be good for the team. That's how I look upon him. Everyone is entitled to their opinion."

Couple of things in there. "I thought those days were past" - really? And does Uncle Watty also think that the morning before Old Firm games the fans of both sides go to multi faith church services and pray for peace?

"Don't think he's good enough" - well, as I've written before, they don't.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion" - yes, they are. But by rising to the fans the manager looks a bit small. The old "but my opinion matters" line is not really becoming in a man of Wattie's experience.

The final quote that really matters though: "I just see that Kenny is a player who can help the team in the manner we play at the moment." Which can be translated, again I've written this before, as "same old, same old."

Rangers are going to be playing the same way this season and if the fans don't like that it might be a long year. The risk for Smith is that the team played to their limits to achieve what they did last year and still missed out on the big rewards. Can they hope to repeat even those heroics this year? I don't think they can.

And if that is the case then the signing of Miller might go from being a cause of some disgruntlement to a focus for a whole lot of ire and the pressure on Smith will start to build. Might not happen that way. But it just might.