written by Robert Gray
There’s been a lot to take in over the last few days. Ally McCoist has gone. Kenny McDowall has taken the reigns. The AGM gave shareholders a good chance to hurl abuse at the board & allowed Somers, Easdale and Llambias to treat them in return with utter contempt.
We also have the news today that Ian Durrant has been demoted to the youth team with Gordon Durie and, gulp, Lee McCulloch likely to be given coaching roles under McDowall. Where to start with all this?
So Long, Super Ally
I didn’t know how to feel when the news broke on Sunday that McCoist had been put on gardening leave. Like a lot of fans, I had wanted him to leave for some time. My tipping point had probably been the Raith Rovers Ramsdens Cup final. Although, alarm bells had been ringing long before then.
I had expected to feel excitement when he finally left, or maybe relief. A rebirth for our team with new ideas and a fresh approach helping us chase down Hearts and secure promotion.
I didn’t feel excitement though. Just a kind of weird sadness at seeing a club legend leave the club under these circumstances.
McCoist, the player had been a hero to so many fans and, growing up during the ’90s, I was no different. Seeing him play out his final chapter at the club as a ‘lame duck’ manager with a squad of has-been journeymen working under a board of crooks was just depressing.
Sure, he didn’t have what it takes to be a successful manager. As soon as we had come up against some real competition he had been quickly found out. But for sticking by the club during such an horrendous period he deserved a better finale.
What to make of McDowall?
It was a surprise when McDowall was announced as the interim manager until the end of the season. I had kind of assumed that he might be caretaker for one or two games & maybe he still will.
We have no idea if he’ll be in charge until May, January or 2018. But assuming the club actually means what it says for a change and McDowall does stay in charge until May, I suppose it makes sense.
With us paying McCoist until next December and needing urgent funds just to survive, adding another wage to our already ludicrous bill would be suicidal. McDowall knows the players. He… well, who knows?
We don’t know what kind of input he had under McCoist. I’d like to think it was minimal and we’re going to see huge changes to the starting eleven and the tactics.
Realistically though I’m expecting more of the same.
We have to give him the benefit of the doubt though. Prove me wrong, Kenny. Try something new. Play 4-2-3-1. Give us an attacking, short passing game to watch. No more long balls. No more Bilel Mohsni. No more players out of position. Play Lewis Macleod as a centre midfielder.
Just shake things up, please…
It’s hard to write something about people saying nothing for two hours.
Did we learn anything from what the board had to say? No.
Did they give a straight answer to any of the shareholders’ questions? No.
This is one move that does seem to make quite a bit of sense. With McDowall taking charge, shaking up the coaching team gives him a good chance to put his own stamp on the team. Gordon Durie seems like a smart move to promote to the first team. He’s been working with the youth setup since 2012 and deserves a chance to prove himself at a higher level.
The rumours of Lee McCulloch being the other coach in the team though is a bit worrying. McCulloch has benefitted more than any other player from our demise. He’s gone from a useful to have squad player to a first name on the teamsheet captain and now, possibly, a first team coach.
I would love us to get away from this ‘jobs for the boys’ mentality. Giving McCulloch a coaching role under the new team is a concern.
Hopefully like McDowall though he will prove me wrong.
You can follow Robert Gray on Twitter @RGray279