There’s a phrase used in Philosophical arguments surrounding the existence of a higher power which is termed “God of the gaps”. It’s use is two-fold – some use it to back up the existence of a God, saying that anything science can’t answer is a proof of said power. Others use it as a criticism of theological arguments, pointing out that as scientific knowledge has increased, the belief in a higher power is made all the more implausible. Essentially, there were more gaps, they’ve been filled, and the argument seems weak.
And as tenuous as it may seem at first, that phrase is pretty apt when it comes to the journalism and punditry in Scottish football.
This week, Rangers had to ask for apologies from two national newspapers for a false report surrounding Bruno Alves. Despite Murty telling the fans that he had a back injury before the Hamilton game, the report by publications we really should know to ignore by now was given a huge amount of credence. There was a gap, a doubt, and the hacks looked to fill it. In a desperate attempt to stay relevant, they came up with something that sounded almost plausible at first.
Despite being shown up as liars, and certainly not for the first time, they’ll absolutely do it again. Unfortunately, what should be considered the ramblings of the inconsequential will be given a megaphone as we, the fans, react in anger and incredulity.
This is where the problem with the gap really kicks in. Stevie’s article on our manager chase is one of many, because that’s now been four weeks and we’ve heard very little from the club. The excellent Heart and Hand Podcast this week discussed the vacuum that exists when the club don’t get in front of a story. Despite the board being under no obligation to do so, the fans are rightly craving information on who the next manager will be. Absolutely any story or link will be given consideration because nothing official has been heard. The gap is being filled, and with some absolute sh**e if we’re honest.
It’s difficult to say if the club should be doing more about this. The search for the manager is obviously not as straightforward as we’d have liked. I’m guessing there’s a bit of game-playing going on, an attempt to keep names out of the spotlight or to not suggest any approaches have happened before the club has been given permission. We all know that’s how it goes, but clubs can never be brazen about it. A lot of the silence is understandable. And yet, because of this, they face going into an AGM which will have a strained atmosphere at best. When you consider everything this board has done for the club, that should never be happening. We have fans, ex-players, pundits and the likes all happy to be rather negative about the process, when ultimately the final decision is what will be judged. If Rangers find the right man three weeks from now, the length of time it took will largely be forgotten.
The club and the fans have a share of the blame for some of the noise that’s been generated this last month. For the latter, it’s more understandable. We live in an age of information being easily available, and somehow the club has kept everything under wraps when it comes to the biggest concern the fans currently have. If anyone expected patience or understanding, they were very mistaken. Despite that, the fans (myself included) are far too quick to attribute importance to stories that should be ignored. That craving is just too strong!
In an absence of real news, though, there’s been far too much noise. It’s a vacuum being filled by the vacuous. The club certainly deserve some criticism for how they’ve handled all of this, but let’s not forget just how much better we could be at filtering out the nonsense!