I like the idea of competitive training. If you’re not receiving a hard challenge at training you’re not going to be sufficiently prepared for it in competitive action. It’s also fair to acknowledge that Nadir Ciftci’s retaliation on Emilio Izaguirre had the unfortunate coincidence of happening on a press conference day, with the bloody aftermath photographed. I’ve no doubt that such instances happen more often away from the press pack. By that doesn’t make any of it right.
Lose your cool at training and you’re more likely to lose your cool on the pitch, so as well as legal, health and safety, and appropriate workplace behaviour concerns, I don’t even think it’s right from a football perspective. I’d drop and fine both players.
Both Emilio and Nadir are under pressure right now, as is the team in general. We need to use that pressure constructively, starting at Tynecastle tonight, where indiscipline is likely to be costly.
“Sports Direct continues to litigate with the Club in an attempt to enforce its wishes and demands”, Dave King, 27 Oct. 2015. Hmmm. “Continues to litigate” suggests recent action. I wonder where this is heading, and how quickly? The subsequent bluster from King about Defending Ol’ Newco’s Walls and sending strongly worded letters from Rangers Retail Limited is Pythonesque. He may as well have proclaimed he’s farted in the general direction of Shirebrook.
Four months ago King told a receptive media: “On a scale of one to 100, [Ashley] doesn’t get up to one in terms of a threat.” You and I were more skeptical at the time. On a threat scale of one to 100, I reckon Mike’s at least a 67.
As King prepared to win control of the club in March, when he pondered that Sports Direct had possibly give two £5m loans, he dismissed concerns about owing Mike money by saying: “To me, that’s just noise level, because £10m going forward is well within the numbers of understanding we have to invest.”
It’s “just noise”. “Well within the numbers we have to invest.” Again, we were skeptical at the time. I wonder how this one will turn out.
Three months ago all fears were allayed when King proclaimed: “I regarded that meeting as being a good meeting with Sports Direct.
“One of my suggestions was we should look at a restructuring of the relationship and I indicated I would make proposals. They were willing at least to listen to me. They have not given a commitment one way or another, but they did say ‘Dave, you are an important customer of ours. We would like to make the relationship work, please come to us with your proposals.’
As far as good meetings go, that sounds like a pretty bad one. There’s not a sales manager in the country didn’t read that synopsis of King’s meeting and reflect on the rep who had a great pipeline but was clearly unable to differentiate between what he wants to happen, and what’s going to happen. Fantasy and reality. There’s no harm in a bit of fantasy, it’s a part of the human condition, but someone has to ensure that fantasists don’t grab the controls.
Dave, you’re an important inspiration of ours*.
*with added subtext.