Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ten for 2010

Well, if you don’t ask you don’t get. So here is my January wish list for the year ahead.

1. The weather to improve: seems obvious but this is getting intolerable. The calls for a winter break will get ever louder. Hard to see how that can work without a massive restructuring of our game to reduce the number of games played. Why? Because the break would need to last for weeks to cover the potential months when bad weather could hit.

2. Craig Levein to impress: We’re not looking for miracles but tangible improvements are necessary by the start of qualifying next September-ish. Speaking to Kris Boyd, Alan McGreggor and Barry Ferguson shows a willingness to explore all options. Telling them thanks but no thanks after that discussion would endear the new boss to me. I suspect I’m not alone.

3. The third placed team to finish within 10 points of the Old Firm. Not a massive achievement but a measure of a narrowing gap. Also it would serve as a reminder to Kevin Thomson that he’s really best advised to keep his mouth shut until he’s grown up enough to open it without offending most of the people listening.

4. Two cups, two different teams. Don’t really care who does it but two teams outside the Old Firm getting their hands on some silverware this season would be a perfect start to the decade.

5. Common sense in the middle. The Jim Gannon led furore over refereeing went over the top. That said, there must be an improvement. Not sending Kyle Lafferty off on Sunday suggests that Steve Conroy was either scared of the occasion or has no feeling for the game. For once our refereeing standards were exposed as shoddy for not showing a red card.

6. One nation, one governing body. Gordon Smith surprised us all when he gave Craig Levein the manager’s job. For his next trick he needs to broker the agreement that sees the game in Scotland governed by only one organisation. Three tin-pot dictatorships is a harmful waste of resources.

7. Stability. With Craig Levein and Jim Gannon both gone we’ve lost a sixth of our top flight managers already this season. Others might be wondering if their jackets are on shoogly pegs, not least Csaba Lazlo after Hearts unveiled a sporting director – a move traditionally seen as ominous. Don’t stick with bad managers. But unless you’re damn sure you’re getting something better in exchange then there’s a lot to be said for stability.

8. Excitement. Rangers scoring 20 goals in four games against the teams in 3rd, 4th and 5th is not exciting. The season promised much. Don’t let it fizzle out.

9. If it’s a two horse race make it competitive. I honestly don’t care which of the gruesome twosome wins the SPL. But the drama of a last day finale with one side of the great divide in tears always amuses.

10. Some European progress. This season we’ve not been good enough on our travels. We need, at the very least, to go out next season an regain some pride. We’re not a top European nation. That’s fine. But surely we can aim for something a little better than Lichtenstein.