GLF 68: Ricky's Rant
Article by GLF
Updated Saturday, 24th May 2008
Ricky looked forward to the of the last few games of the season.
The season is in boil-over mode, and it's great to be part of it. Despite all the nail-biting stuff going on, sure we'd rather be there or thereabouts rather than throwing away a two-goal lead over St Mirren and hanging on to our SPL status?
As the season draws to a close, we are going to have such a major say in not only the ultimate destiny of the title, but also who gets the UEFA Cup place. After today's game against Dundee United we are still in third place and ultimately still in charge of our own future. Simply, match both Hibs and United for points, and we'll finish third. It's an easy comparison to make with last year, and to realise just what kind of progress we have made. Over the season, we deserve to be where we are, and when you consider what this club has had to cope with over the past eight months or so, it's testament to the resolve of the people involved that we are anywhere near third, never mind there at present. We could have easily collapsed back in January, losing our Captain, the pitch problems, but nope, refusing to give in and keeping going got us there. Take today, the draw, and the immediate response. Initially, you think two points dropped and even some would say it's thrown the UEFA place away. Then, thinking about it, we've prevented our main rivals taking a march on us and indeed have pulled a point away from one of them. United have drawn eight of their last 11 games, whereas Hibs cannot seem to get a result away from home. That gives me confidence that we can make it, we can clinch third place, and before we go to Easter Road, whenever that might be though I suspect Rangers will take their leave of the UEFA Cup and mean we will have them visit
We have still to play the majority of our remaining games at home, a clear advantage surely. I do believe we will get third place, you could see that despite the errors which cost us the win today, the overall picture is one of determination to secure it and ensure the entire season has been one we can take a lot out of. Out of the three managers involved, and I don't include Aberdeen in this as, despite their current run, I feel they'll ultimately drop out at the end, it's between McGhee and Levein. Of the two, our man has been over the course more than the United man, and that'll do the job when it comes down to the crunch. Question after that has to be whether or not McGhee is still at
Reason being that he's only just begun to really turn us into the team he wants; this summer he'll get the chance to build his own team and take us much further forward than he has already. Given what we've achieved in just this season alone, maybe his ambition will see him want to stick around to really take this club places next season before a big, big call comes along. Up here, the likes of
The price of success has seen a furore kicked off by Rangers regarding the scheduling of the remaining SPL games this season. Dunfermline didn't exactly kick up a huge huff a few years ago when they had to play four in-a-week, and whilst I know Rangers have the UEFA Cup to go for, being one of the two biggest clubs (by a stretch) in this country with a huge squad, they should be able to easily play four times a day never mind a week. The simple solution is not to be successful! I had to laugh at the Celtic comments, those of Lawell, who stated that it was against the "integrity" of the SPL to extend the season. Why not simply say what the rest of us know, that he wants Rangers to play those games because it clearly is advantageous to Celtic? I'm all for them playing those games that week as it would be to our advantage as well I think. It makes you think of the really successful teams in years gone by.
There were plenty of examples of one of the biggest gripes amongst fans at today's game, and there have been so many over the season. It's the old offside law. Today there were inconsistencies as usual, one where a visiting forward was flagged only when he touched the ball then, minutes later, by simply moving in the direction of the ball as it was floated forward. Now, why we cannot go back to the simply you are either off or you are not is beyond me. Players want it, fans want it, and you at least would know where you are. However, FIFA in their bizarre, EU-type wisdom, think it's actually helping the game the way things are. It creates so much uncertainty, and you have the crazy sight sometimes of players sprinting yards to gather a through ball before being flagged for off-side when an immediate flag would have prevented this. Time to get this sorted, get back to the way it used to be. Then we'll all know where we stand, and the game will have an unnecessary, complex addition to it removed, thereby instantly improving things massively.
A mixed reaction is perhaps the best description you could attach to our new strip, unveiled to much interest recently. It was funny watching the youth players in the centre circle who couldn't take their eyes off the two models who sported the strip, or perhaps they were so taken by the design? Nah, I didn't think so either! I particularly like the away strip, the colours of the sponsors' logo seem to compliment things. The home top would be ultimately better with a complete hoop. Wish we could get that back, it's a real tradition which we've seen so little of in recent years. And it's going to be two more years before we get a new strip. Or, given recent years, just the one. Whatever, time to get the hoop back on the strip. Saying that, I like it. Then again, all it has to have is a Motherwell badge, backed by the club, and its good enough for me. Be good to have the hoop back - please can we?!?!
And so, the end of what has been a quite incredible season is just about to arrive. We've all been through the mill; there's been the terrible time at New Year when we lost Uncle Phil. The pitch has created so many problems, but as a club, we've gone forward - and will continue to do so, no matter what. Whether or not our manager is still Mark McGhee, whether or not Ross McCormack amongst others is still at
Forever 'Well, Ricky
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