Good Evening. [And please vote ‘Clumpany’!]
Just when you start to think that there are no more sharks left to jump, along comes Derek Johnstone with his water skis and an absolute determination to break all previous records.
As I have indicated on numerous occasions, his column defies all conventional description. It is not really ‘opinion’ or ‘commentary’ in the widely-understood sense of those words. It is just… words… thrown on to a page. Who knows whether they are even actually his words. Coherent thoughts and structured argument are things which only happen to other pundits (and usually not those based in Scotland!). You are more likely to learn something about Scottish football by reading bar codes on the side of cereal boxes in the supermarket… And yet DJ still manages to keep his regular gig in the Evening Shark-Jump…
Today’s offering was a cracker. DJ argued that Joey Barton’s recent dressing room confrontation with his team mates was (yes, you’ve guessed it!) a good thing for Rangers*.
In DJ-land EVERYTHING is good for Rangers* and always has parallels with his playing days. In fact there are so many parallels between DJ and any Ibrox-based event you have to wonder whether his footballing career actually lasted for 100 years. If DJ accidentally lost a mega millions-winning lottery ticket on account of a gust of wind blowing it out of his hand and a passing meteorite atomising it, you can be sure he would view it as good for Rangers*. And no doubt it would remind him of the time when a meteorite caused no end of damage in Barcelona in 1972.
In today’s article, DJ explains how it is good for players to let off steam with each other after a bad defeat such as that suffered by Sevco at the hands of Celtic last week. Rangers players did it in his day, and it is an effective way of clearing the air. Now, this point is all well and good, as is DJ’s suggestion that Joey Barton needs to improve his own on-pitch performances. However, the point is rendered feeble by DJ pretty much ignoring
- the fact that the story wasn’t kept in the dressing room. It is all over the news (at someone’s hand…);
- that Barton was sent home for the best part of a week (which suggests that something is seriously amiss); and
- that Barton has commented on the matter so publicly, to the extent of talking about it on national radio and indicating that he has nothing to apologise for!
DJ also ignores the context in which this issue has blown up: that of a growing crisis at Sevco where points are being dropped left, right and centre, the manager is seemingly losing the plot, and a number of expensive ageing duds have been brought in with hilarious consequences.
In short, DJ has (once again) simply plucked the one positive angle he could find on an issue and seemingly ignored all the pesky negative things. Quite what service this does Sevco or its fans is anyone’s guess. Still, at least DJ tried to send the fans away fortified with one of his other regular trademarks: an account of someone displaying staunch ‘Rangersness’. On this occasion the staunchee in question was Andy Halliday, who was involved in the midweek row with Barton.
“I wasn’t at all shocked in the slightest when I read in the Evening Shark-Jump that it was Andy Halliday who had become embroiled with Barton.
Because here is a guy who knows what it is to be born and bred a Rangers fan, belonging to a family who are all Rangers fans, and who would have been hurting after the fashion and magnitude of that defeat last week.
To then turn up for training, and to hear Joey Barton sounding off about what everyone else did wrong, would have been enough to tip anyone over the edge”.
You cant help but feel inspired by such rousing rhetoric. Inspired, that is, to go and throw up.
DJ ended his column by giving his adoring readers something to look forward to. Which was probably a sensible idea. After all, who wants to finish reading one of print journalism’s finest columns on a sour note? And so it was that DJ looked ahead to today’s Sevco fixture against Ross County.
“Mark Warburton now has to get the loss to Celtic and the aftermath of what happened at Murray Park out of everyone’s system ahead of the game against Ross County at Ibrox today.
A home game, a big crowd; the ideal way to get back on track and get the team performing somewhere like it should be.
Anything else other than a win and a decent display will put the pressure on the manager and players alike – and this time there will be no Joey Barton to point the finger at …”
I don’t think a 0-0 draw, fourth place in the league and the manager walking out of his press conference is quite what DJ had in mind! However, I suspect he will be along again shortly to tell us why these things are actually “good for Rangers*”….
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