This time last week in the middle of a blizzard of adverts about the magic of finding “The One”, the club at the top of Scottish football’s alphabet were admitting they had palpably failed to do so.
Aberdeen’s decision to sack Stephen Glass might not have been the biggest surprise of the season with the Scottish Cup exit to Motherwell eight days ago looking very much like the end.
Nevertheless, it was still a stark reminder of how a manager who seemed a good fit at the time of his appointment 11 months ago ended up looking like someone trapped in the wrong movie.
The romance of his past – Glass was Man of the Match for the Dons in the Coca-Cola Cup Final triumph of 1995 – proved no shield from the realities of a present that included early exits from both domestic cup competitions and a lowly league position.
Fans howled for his head and the board listened.
To be fair to Glass, all managers go into the job knowing the question is not if they will get sacked, more when they will be sacked?
Of course there are exceptions. Anyone who exceeds expectations is liable to get a better offer, in which case they get the chance to do the binning. Likewise, there is always the option to jump before you are pushed.
A few hours after Glass’s tenure was broken, Barry Ferguson quit his position at Alloa following a miserable sequence that had seen the Wasps win just one of their last 11 games. while Allan Johnston also departed Queen of the South.
Those exits were followed by the strangely timed sacking of James McPake at Dundee, following victories over Hearts in the league and Peterhead in the Scottish Cup.
As all the Valentine advertisers know, though, the fact things can go gloriously right in some match-ups is enough to keep fuelling the dreams.
In a football context that means boards up and down the country will continue to believe the next manager they appoint will be a conjurer capable of transforming their clubs’ fortunes at the wave of their metaphorical wands.
Three out of the four clubs in action today – Celtic, Rangers and Dundee United – have reason to be pleased about their picks with the fourth waiting to see how Mark McGhee turns out.
If Glass was in the wrong movie, Ange Postecoglou and Celtic give every sign of being a pairing who have found each other at precisely the right time.
Hoops supporters have waxed lyrical about the man who has their team unbeaten in domestic action since September.
The run, which will hit the 25-game milestone today if they can avoid defeat at home to Dundee, has been a firecracker with newcomers like Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Jota making an exciting impact on the Scottish game.
The fact the Greek-born Australian has already convinced more than a few of those of Rangers persuasion that he is the real deal speaks volumes for the manner in which he has conducted himself in what is a high-pressure post.
Ally McCoist, a man who knows from personal experience how tough it is to manage one of the Old Firm, is every bit as persuasive an advocate for Ange as he is unlikely.
“I have got to say I am impressed every time I listen to him and hear him. He speaks well, he is very, very honest,” was his public verdict on a 59-year-old who seems totally at ease in his own skin.
While Postecoglou was someone Celtic turned to when their love for Eddie Howe was not going to be reciprocated, Rangers knew straight away they wanted Giovanni van Bronckhorst when Steven Gerrard left for Aston Villa. A former Light Blues star boasting a high-class European coaching experience, he gave the impression of never having been away from Ibrox with his smooth takeover of the reins.
If the loss in the Old Firm derby means he has not won the same volume of praise his Celtic counterpart has had, the response including the startling win away over Borussia Dortmund speaks to the manager’s character and qualities.
Tannadice today is the next stop on that particular chase, at a club whose manager, Tam Courts, has successfully won over the sceptics.
At first glance, the head of the club’s youth academy would not be an obvious candidate to manage the first team but with a bold victory over Rangers in this fixture for his first league victory, he revealed himself an innovative thinker.
And if it is inevitable not all three groups of supporters can end the season feeling the love, it only adds to the fun for those who enjoy their drama best watched from a distance.
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