Scottish football is like a family.

A horrendously dysfunctional family full of hate, contempt, malice and even a sizeable dose of bigotry, but a family nonetheless. And like a family, when someone who we perceive to be an outsider has the audacity to insult it... well, we don't take too kindly to that. Even if it's something we'd agree with ourselves in our private moments.

As a member of this family, it was heartening to see it come together over these past few weeks to collectively wish the worst of someone who committed such a folly: Mr Derek Adams.

Now, Adams isn't exactly an outsider, seeing as he's from Scotland, played almost his entire career here and enjoyed some previous success as a manager, but he'd spent over eight years in English football and arrived back with some unwelcome opinions, like a distant uncle back for Christmas who unironically uses the word "woke".

He'd barely got himself settled and his feet under the table when Adams vehemently criticised both the entertainment on show in the SPFL and the standard as a whole, saying that his previous club, Morecambe, were 100 times better than the one he'd inherited at Ross County.

His first point wasn't a bad one. As I wrote two days after the 1-0 defeat to Dundee which saw Adams launch into his rant, there has been a lack of entertainment in the Scottish top-flight compared with  previous seasons, mainly due to 3-5-2 being a little too en vogue and too many sides prioritising pragmatism over pretty play. (Although, it has to be said, things have improved these last couple of months, as they were always likely to do.)

But Adams was in the midst of a post-match meltdown and he wasn't going to let a silly thing like rationality get in the way of what he had to say next. "I’ve left a team in League Two that’s miles better than this team. Miles. That’s saying something. We had the bottom team budget in League Two and were 100 times better than this – one hundred times!" he exclaimed.

'Haud the bloody bus', we responded in kind. Nothing is guaranteed to get a confrontational reaction out of Scottish football supporters than comparing it unfavourably to anything in England below the top end of the Championship. We've heard it enough from ignorant English supporters throughout the years, so we simply cannot abide it from someone actually working in the game, especially someone who knows football in this country very well. So to say that a team in League Two was streets ahead of a side that isn't even the weakest in our top flight? That simply wasn't going to stand.

From that point forward, any time Ross County lost a game - hell, any time they lost a goal - there were comments from not only supporters but the wider mainstream media which were aimed as a dig at Adams. Seriously, you'd be lucky to see an episode of Sportscene, or hear any of the country's top radio shows or podcasts, which didn't take a swipe at the 48-year-old when the opportunity presented itself. Even commentators, those who tend to leave opinions to the side and just focus on the play-by-play, relished getting in on the act. And once it was announced he had tendered his resignation and it was accepted by the Ross County board, you could almost feel the smugness emanating up and down the country.

Everybody wanted him to fail and fail he certainly did. My colleague Graeme McGarry covered the impact of throwing his players under the bus and the general weird vibes he brought to every interview in his column last week. But what the long-suffering Motherwell fan didn't mention was that Adams didn't just run his mouth to get a reaction, he actually believed his assessment. We know that because he backed it up with his actions in the January transfer window.

In a season where Rangers won in Betis, Celtic beat Feyenoord, Aberdeen bettered Eintracht Frankfurt and Hearts and Hibs eliminated Rosenborg and Luzern, respectively, he seemed to think the best way to save Ross County from a relegation battle was to recruit a bunch of January signings from England's lower leagues, most of whom were barely tested youngsters who arrived on loan.
It feels a little harsh to single out anyone individually. After all, there have been several Ross County players underperforming for months, very few of the January additions look up to it in the slightest, and it was hardly the best situation to walk into. But it has to be said, the addition of Teddy Jenks summed up a lot of what was wrong with the recruitment spree and how Adams seemed to have taken leave of his senses.

This was a player who had one previous spell in Scotland with Aberdeen, in which despite some initial promise he didn't really perform at all for a manager who ultimately wouldn't see out the season in Stephen Glass. Since then his career trajectory has slumped even further. Released by Brighton where he was once thought of as a rising star, he signed with Forest Green Rovers.

Morecambe may have the lowest budget according to Adams, but that is a club who are quite literally at the bottom of League Two, and they weren't loaning out Jenks because they thought he deserved the chance to succeed at a higher level. All you needed to do was read the reaction of Rovers fans on X/Twitter to know that County weren't getting a player who was going to give them the immediate boost they required.

It may be the last we've heard of Adams for quite a while. His background in English football should dictate that this County spell is looked upon as something of a blip; a lesson against going back to recreate former glories, and going into a situation where it just wasn't a good fit. It's certainly hard to imagine any full-time Scottish club giving him a gig any time soon.

As for the rest of us, we'll now direct our schadenfreude elsewhere in the country, continue our incessant, internal squabbling, and wait for the next time someone decides to demean the quality of Scottish football so we can become one big family again.