Ibrox Noise has come under criticism from some who think we’re anti Michael Beale, that we criticise and ‘disrespect’ the Rangers manager and should ‘get behind the team’.
They’re not completely wrong, in the sense that, yes, we do have honest words of criticism for the man and some of the things he does, and we don’t completely throw every inch into backing every thing he does and supporting him blindly.
See, we’ve always believed ‘support’ for a group, company or organisation, such as the Famous, comes with conditions – the condition being that you’re also allowed to criticise things that you don’t like. Support is about being behind them and wanting success for them, but doing so without ever airing any misgivings about how they’re trying to achieve it, especially when they fail to achieve that success, is a bit misguided.
Literally blurting out ‘just support the team ffs’ is about the thinnest way for a fellow fan to tell someone off for their view, because you can guarantee the person saying it has themselves criticised something about this team or manager too. They just don’t agree with the one you’re saying.
And in Michael Beale’s case our misgivings are, and always have been, about his honesty or lack thereof, plus his decision-making when it comes to subs and starters.
We are NOT going to give that a rest until he earns the right to slack; he absolutely will earn slack to lie and fib all he wants, to talk all the nonsense he wants if and when he wins something meaningful. Method in the madness and all that. But till then, we will comment on the things we’re just not keen on, or sure about.
We will, however, continue to support. Until the travesty of the cup final, few Rangers sites and groups had in fact been as pro-Beale as Ibrox Noise. We only saw the record, the wins, the promising performance v Celtic at Ibrox. But since the final, yes, the tone has changed.
We make no apology for that – and the criticism we’d normally take for such harsh views hasn’t been there this time, because this time a cup was resting on it. And Rangers and Beale failed, badly. It matters more when there’s a trophy on it, and the defending of Beale and the squad by fans has been a lot weaker than it could have been.
But we do still like him. We think he has a lot of potential, and is generally a very good football manager. One defeat since arriving remains an excellent record – it’s just a pity where the defeat was and how much it mattered.
He talks a lot, says a lot, does a lot – but he will always be judged, like any Rangers manager, on results. That’s why we’d been so behind him up till Sunday.
But now we see those cracks in his armour, and they affected the cup final itself.
So, we move on. We support the man, but we also call things out. And we hope going forward, that the things to call out reduce to nothing.