GLF79 - Ricky's in cheerful mood.
What a fabulous time it is to be a Motherwell fan, really has been a terrific season so far and there’s so much still to come.
The Wednesday night match at Fir Park against Hibs just about summed up Motherwell for me this season. Unlike many another time, we stepped up when we needed to and destroyed Hibs. Some of the football we’ve played has been an absolute joy to watch, and the goals simply outstanding. And it’s all down to self belief which is pulsing through that team.
Again, Stuart McCall has made a quite excellent signing in Henrik Ojamaa, and he’s fitted in so well to our side you’d have thought he’d been part of the squad for years. This is the type of player we’ve lacked for so many years, quick feet, not afraid to shoot, and runs non stop the entire time he’s on the pitch. It’s a real find, and to get him on an extended contract is a real credit to the folk behind the scenes at the club. Another sublime finish at East End Park shows just how good a player we’ve really got on our hands. It made all the difference in what was a sticky spell post-Christmas, Ojamaa’s spark really lifted the whole club and we’ve simply never looked back.
When you think of how this season has gone, the amount of times folk have written us off (including, sadly, some of our own) when we have had a bad result or two, the desire within the team has been the key to putting us back on track. Away from home, few teams can cope with our countering style. There was a lot of doubt placed on Stuart McCall when he first took over, not many thought he’d do the job, but in such a short time he’s taken us to a cup final, and now on the verge of (whisper it) Champions League qualification. To be even mentioned in such talk for a club such as ours is quite amazing. People will say it’s only because of the demise of a certain club from Glasgow, and perhaps so, but I feel that’d also be taking away a lot from just how magnificently we’ve done to be currently eleven points clear of fourth place. From back to front, there have been some outstanding performances. Randolph is a class keeper, the back four has become settled with Clancy making quite a few eat their words, Hateley and Hammel consistent, big Hutchy keeping Craggs out. It's in the middle I think where the key lies, Jennings and Lasley combine so well with a combination of Murphy and Humphrey/Daley providing the speed and trickery. And, up front, Higdon with fourteen goals (that’s terrific by anyone’s standards) and our key find, Ojamma. There’s plenty of support on the bench, but such a relatively settled line-up has Motherwell well clear in third and well on course. All this has been built on a budget dwarfed by other teams who sit well behind us in the league. It’s been very well spent indeed, giving us an edge that only a couple of other teams can better – well, soon only to be one to be honest. Still a lot of work to do of course, but this could turn out to be even more memorable a season than it already has. Magic, magic time to be a Motherwell fan.
There’s been a bit of chat about a situation happening in the west end of Glasgow, so I guess I shouldn’t really talk much about it … .but I can’t resist it! Much has been said about how we should all fear the disappearance of Rangers from the Scottish game and yes, their financial pull is big. However, no matter how hard this becomes should they fold, the fact they lied, cheated and conned their way to so many league titles and cups is completely and utterly distasteful, and should not go without maximum punishment. And if that means liquidation, then so be it. Remember the way Motherwell were torn apart right, left and centre by large sections of the media, by other teams and their fans, when we went into administration. Yet, for the most part, all you hear about is how sad it is for the Scottish game, and how much a shame it is that so many players (some on wages a year our guys could only dream about) will be made redundant. Yes, I couldn’t agree more it’s sad to hear of those people behind the scenes who are going to lose their jobs because of the actions of others, that is sad indeed. Where did the Rangers fans think all the millions and millions which bought the likes of Flo (£12 Million, oh dear oh dear) to their club come from? Motherwell have paid their tax, their NI contributions, and that’s hindered their progress forward by having to live within their means – same as most other clubs. The Ibrox club, however, have this mentality which suggests they feel they can do what they like and be untouchable for it. No longer, and I for one won’t feel any sympathy towards those who have cheated their way to success. Had they done it above board then there would be no complaints, but not this way. They shouldn’t be made a special case just because of who they are or what it might mean for the Scottish game. What kind of precedent would that set? The only effective way to prevent this ever occurring again is to punish this club with the maximum available. You sadly get the feeling though that they’ll somehow get away with it, whereas if Motherwell performed their business in such a way, we’d be playing junior football next season and been slated right, left and centre. I seem to recall Fraser Wishart ripping Motherwell apart when we made players redundant during the administration era. What a different Mr Wishart we saw recently seemingly reluctant to criticise Rangers in any way when interviewed several times. It’s not paranoia, it’s simple fact. Sympathy for Rangers, criticism for Motherwell, yet the two cases of administration could not be more different if you tried.
We now enter the real business end of the season, and by the time this GLF comes out the Cup quarter-final will be over. However that turns out there’s no denying what a great time this is. We have the players to do more than just finish third, we can with the right belief go that one bit further. The support off the park has, on the most part, been absolutely fantastic, and that could be key. Keep supporting the lads with such high levels, and just watch how they react.
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