The panic procurement of a managerial ingenue smacks of desperation. Notwithstanding the boost to season ticket sales that would have indubitably flagged had King not pulled this rabbit from his hat, there is nothing to suggest this will end well. In a discussion of Gerrard’s education as a coach on the English FA’s Pathway Programme Gerrard asserts that their Four Corners Model which looks at the four key areas of player development viz: technical/tactical; physical; psychological and social – as key to his coaching education so far.
“I’ve learned an awful lot about the individual player and the four corners. I’ve also gained valuable coaching experience.”
What Gerrard failed to mention is that he’s so thick that he needed the support of a PFA tutor to gain his badges.
No matter how efficacious these courses are they cannot imbue any former player with man management skills. Alex Ferguson (what a relief that he received medical treatment so promptly) became a legend as a manager at Aberdeen and Manchester United, winning every club honour in world football despite the conspicuous absence of coaching badges. Late in his career Sir Alex participated in a coaching programme when UEFA made their pro licence a prerequisite. Mourinho gained his pro licence under the tutelage of Andy Roxburgh at Largs.
What both men have in spades is man management experience. They know when to put an arm around a player and when to throw hot tea at them as was the case in the Aberdeen dressing room when Strachan questioned Ferguson’s tactics. Both know when to sell a player and how to build teams around a core of players with a winning mentality.
One can teach the basics of man management in the classroom but it’s the hands-on experience that counts. Gerrard has been dealing with kids to date. Kids who adore him. When he arrives at The Auchenhowie Safari Park he will be faced with a different kind of animal. Senior pros who know that he does not have the first clue on how to get a tune out of them. Caixinha and Murty did not impress the ‘WhatsApp‘ group. The former was dismissed and denigrated with the pejorative epithet of ‘fuck off‘. Gerrard will impress even less, particularly when they twig that his ‘bottle’ nickname is well earned.
Alex Ferguson would not let any player win an argument, even if he was in the wrong. Players smarter than him were quickly put in their place. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Prepotency may be all the rage with the FA but this won’t cut the mustard at Auchenhowie. Ferguson and Walter Smith put the fear of god into their players and fourth officials, for good measure, with tonsillar invective. Bottle’s soft Scouse tones will be lost in translation.
My Auchenhowie mole has been in touch to confirm my exclusive that someone in the Lite supply chain is paying for the Gerrard experiment. It’s the kind of kickback that harks back to the days of Sir Bribe & Lie, where every supplier either had to co-opt him on their board or pay him a handsome tribute.
It was racketeering in the raw, deftly overlooked by Murray’s placemen at the SFA.
The news that Lite, which as King asserted is running at a loss by design, gained a UEFA licence was inordinately surprising. The beleaguered board have no intention or the wherewithal to break even so how can they possibly be FFP compliant? Was Andrew Dickson on the SFA’s licence committee again? One gets the distinct impression that the odious corrupt cabal at Hampden will do anything in their power to create a strong, competitive ‘The Rangers.’
We are still awaiting Tony McGlennan’s report on the high jinks in 2011 from a club where cheating had become the norm. As Hugh Adam asserted in 2002 they knew that they were cheating but carried on regardless. The SFA were in their pocket and the senior officers at Strathclyde police were jockeying for the security gig when they retired. Is McGlennan going to throw the book at King, Johnston and Dickson or toss a loafer into the team bath so that they can lather up their next lies?
It would appear that even when the cheating is established, the Establishment club is immune from punishment. Scottish football governance is akin to South Africa during apartheid. Those of the ruling classes were never brought to book.
Gerrard’s much needed excision of the dross at The Auchenhowie Safari Park will make Hercules’ travails at The Augean Stables seem routine. I venture that every player on Lite’s books would not be good enough to earn a place in any Liverpool Academy team at any age group. I wonder what Bottle will think of Pena and Morelos, the coke snorting Beavis and Butthead of the Lite team? One would like to think that cocaine, which can be delivered faster than a pizza in Glasgow, is not undermining their performance. Gascoigne swore by it as a pick me up after a night on the tiles. Then as now the SFA’s drug testing is as effective as a three-legged greyhound at Catford. I chose Catford Stadium as it closed down in 2003, as did all Scottish football governance when EBT’s were being mass produced.
The SFA’s collusion with Ibrox is the most unedifying aspect of Scottish football. As Rangers broke every rule in the book the SPL set up the LNS commission to exonerate them. A £250,000 fine for fifteen bent titles. At £16,666 per trophy it was money well spent. The stench of Apartheid lingers to this day.
Any way you slice and dice it Lite should not be participating in Europe. The only saving grace is that the dross’ Progres will be limited.
Note to Gerrard: Should it all go Pete Tong on your first foray into Europe as a manager don’t remonstrate with supporters from the shrubbery. Just remember that your appointment is predicated on the crushing imminence of ten-in-a-row. Europe is a sideshow. Ten-in-a-row will see the house of cards collapse, should the Sevco project last this long. Note the use of house Bottle, not deck as per your intellectually challenged leader.