Giovanni’s first comments since being relieved of his job at Rangers last week have been intriguingly received, with general sympathy for the former boss and a lot more support for him now he’s gone.
If we go back a couple of weeks, there wasn’t a man or woman in Rangers’ support who wasn’t seriously questioning the former Feyenoord manager’s merits in staying in position, criticising his tactics, the passion of the players under him, and the general malaise at Ibrox which a lot of supporters put at his door.
Fast-forward to present, where a dignified statement from the now former Govan boss has seen a lot more support and sympathy for him than he got while in the job.
It’s kind of like the outpouring of kindness and sympathy when someone passes away, sympathy and support they might have appreciated during their life, but hey ho, that’s people for you.
However, away from the philosophy, it was a fair and decent statement, 99% showing his appreciation of being at Rangers and extolling Sevilla, the Scottish cup and getting in the UCL. But that little snipe at the ‘difficult circumstances’ could cover the board, the players themselves and the injuries – these being obstacles few Rangers managers have ever had to deal with. Not to this extent anyway.
We feel a real sense of sadness over the whole GVB era – it promised history and the earth, and one clumsy swing of Aaron Ramsey’s pathetic boot was all the difference between glory and ignominy. The sliding door hinged on that kick, and history could have been very different had Rangers brought home the Europa League, especially when we look at the strength to strength effect on Eintracht Frankfurt it had.
Gio’s reign doesn’t read badly at all – three pieces of astonishing history in 6 months (Sevilla, Cup, and UCL) and yet he got fired? History will look kindly on him, he achieved incredible things, and while it was probably right to go in a new direction, he wasn’t helped by the ridiculous barriers he had in front of him.
This is probably why so many fans are now appreciating him in a way they didn’t before he was fired.
Had Gio been given real support this season, who knows what the club would have achieved.
But as it is, we parted company, and any Rangers fan with ugly words about him really is barking up the wrong tree.
Our only remaining gripe is Gio never admitted any mistakes he made, never held his hands up to making errors and didn’t really take responsibility for much – even his parting comment today more or less put full blame on ‘circumstances’ and none on himself.
He’s not wrong to point his finger at external factors, but even in his goodbye he was incapable of admitting he may have made one or two gaffes.
Stubborn to the last – and it in part have cost him his job.
But we move on now, and we await to see if Mick Beale really is to be the 18th manager, or if Jim White was bang on the money after all.