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  1. The jury is always out, that's the nature of football management, particularly if you're the Rangers manager. You're only a run of bad results away from criticism and questions, they know this when they take the job. GvB inherited a squad that had hit some wonderful heights last season but was stuttering this season. Our recruitment in the summer hasn't really strengthened us. Sakala reminds me of Lovenkrands, great when he's got space to run into, but he won't contribute a lot against 10 men defences sitting deep. Lundstrom has looked better recently but has taken 6 months to find his form and position. Scott Wright is a bit part player at best and Jack Simpson doesn't seem to have won the confidence of Gerrard or GvB, I expect he'll be back in The Championship in the summer. The least said about the signing of Ofoborh the better. Added to Goldson, Arfield, Balogun, Davis and McGregor all in the final months of their contracts, all senior pros at the club and I expect the guys who 'run' the dressing room and you could see a less that ideal atmosphere to inherit. In January our squad was weakened. Patterson, despite not making any impact at Everton, was an exceptional talent. Ramsay is clearly struggling with injury and is using us as an attempt to get fit, Dialo is a young player who has tricks but little heart or desire from what i've seen. The young Polish lad might prove an astute buy, time will tell. Add that to Aribo having to go to Africa and come back half the player who left. None of this is GvB's doing. GvB got our tactics so wrong against Celtic it's still painful to speak about it. But he got them so right against Prague and Dortmund. The lack of rotation and subs in recent games has puzzled. I feel that's connected to fitness or illness, I mean it's not like the Dutch don't understand how subs work. I can't help but feel there's more to this than we know. Likewise not starting Balogun, I assume he's not fit enough for two games a week and the management team thought we'd be able to beat St Johnstone without him but not Red Star. I'm guessing, but nothing else makes sense to me. Some players have improved under GvB, some have done the opposite. Barasic looks like a shadow of himself, Kamara has lost his spark, Roofe isn't trusted, McGregor is suddenly a weakness. Yet Morelos looks reborn, Sakala started to show something and Bassey is now a first choice starter and Tav looks like he's risen to the challenge. Gerrard was always going to be a hard man to replace. Gerrard brought exciting, entertaining football back after a period of ineptitude and ridicule. His presence and charisma, his media savvy and his instinctive understanding of the club and the support were enormous assets for him and the club. Whoever we replaced him with was going to struggle to match that. GvB isn't charismatic, he's not got the profile of Gerrard despite a stellar playing career, he's a different type of manager as well. This league isn't won or lost yet. I've been bewildered by some of our performances and angered by some of our decisions recently. But, I still don't buy that our city rivals are the world beaters their support think they are, everything is still to play for, fine margins will tell in the end. I'm backing GvB. For now.
    13 points
  2. Kent's tracking back with McGregor and generally being around him and preventing him getting on the ball was hugely important for us yesterday. Tactically Callum McGregor is their link between defence and attack and Kent had a job to do today in helping prevent that, he did it well in my opinion. We really should step back for a moment and consider our side yesterday. I think it's now clear we've had Covid problems at the club for a while and it's affecting a number of players and senior staff in different ways. Barasic is not fit, I don't know why, but he's not and that's been clear every time he's played this season. He was rightly replaced by Bassey a few weeks ago. Yet he was called upon to perform yesterday and he did. Their young winger is a decent enough player and they were overlapping a lot on that side, Barasic had a lot to do yesterday. It also seems like Helander is a player who struggles to play two matches a week. There seem to be fitness issues with him, he may have historical injuries that need managed, he might simply not yet be over his summer exertions. Yesterday was his second game in 4 days, with nearly 7,000 miles flying too. Balogun is no right back. He might have played there before but compared to Tav or Paterson he's defensively sound but offers a lot less going forward. So much of our attacking play is dependent on our full backs linking with midfielders and forwards and delivering crosses. An unfit Barasic and a centre half at right back makes a big difference to our style of play. Add in a rookie keeper making his league debut for us rather than a commanding seasoned international and you have to say to go through that match without conceding a goal is remarkable. As has been said Kent and Roofe aren't fully fit. Both did important jobs yesterday. Kamara, Davis, Morelos and Aribo played in the heat of Thursday too. Morelos ability to draw a foul is a thing of beauty, he should have a wing dedicated to him in Kelvingrove Art Gallery where future generations can marvel at his dedication to getting his body between their centre halves and the ball before taking the inevitable dunt from behind. He helped break up the play, slow the game down at times and allow us to regroup. Plus we realised they were suspect from set-pieces as indeed it turned out. We'd no defenders on our bench yesterday. No manager in the dug out, no captain on the park. That was an important win yesterday, that was a show character above all else. Loved it.
    13 points
  3. We’re all heartbroken at the news but hopefully you’ll indulge me in paying a personal tribute to The Goalie. Andy joined Rangers in the summer of 1991 and had some well publicised 2 or 3 dodgy games at the start of his Rangers career but then went on a run of games for years and seemed never seemed to make a mistake. I went to most matches home and away while he was at the club and I’d come home from another fabulous performance from the Goalie, switch on Match of the Day and see Peter Schmeichel, who many claimed was the best in the world, often make a mistake. At his peak, for a period of 3-4 years, I genuinely believe that Goram was best in the world. I wouldn’t have swapped him for any other keeper and he was, without doubt, world class. I got to know the Goalie slightly as he stayed with my friend Jim Fox down in Largs for a while when he was playing with us. I’ve a couple of stories about him that I may have told on this forum already but I’ll tell again. There was one Sunday when the front page of the Sunday Mail has his then wife, Miriam, slagging him off and highlighting all the bad things he was doing. I had lunch with him around a month later and asked him what that was about as I had thought him and Miriam had been getting on well. He said that they were and it was all made up. They had wanted to go on holiday together so they made up a story to get money from the Sunday Mail to pay for it! There was one Saturday night that me and a few friends were going out drinking with Andy. I told my wife that I was going out with the Goalie and she asked me to get his autograph. Midway through the night I remembered to ask him and he scribbled something on a bit of paper, folded I up and gave it back to me. I stuck it my pocket and forgot about it. When my wife asked me for it the next day I gave it to her. She unfolded it and it said “to Mrs BD, sorry he’s drunk, Andy Goram”. Andy had the deepest respect for all other footballers, even Celtic players. He would always defend players that were being slagged off in his company. There were a number of players that I felt he’d dislike but he would never say a bad word against them and would stick up for them. There are some who like to think of him as a bigot but that’s far from the Andy that I knew. I didn’t know the Goalie that well but he took the time to send me a facebook friend request even though I hadn’t seen him for a few years and also took the trouble to wish me a happy birthday, which meant the world to me. The Goalie was quite simply the best keeper I’ve ever seen. He is a true legend and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, my friend.
    12 points
  4. https://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/news-category/current-affairs/1528-from-regrets-to-rebuilds This time two weeks ago, I was full of excitement. I was in Spain, had my Europa League final ticket confirmed and Wednesday evening could not come quick enough. A fortnight later and, as much as our Scottish Cup winning efforts should not be downplayed, regret remains an unavoidable daily emotion. Time for some cathartic writing… First and foremost, losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville hurt badly. Yes, the players gave their absolute all in difficult circumstances: the temperature was stifling but, more importantly, no Morelos or Roofe undoubtedly cost us – even if the German side were tactically clever and ultimately deserving of the trophy. Of course, we can be proud of our efforts in reaching the final and being just one kick short of lifting it (be it by the foot of Goldson, Kent or Ramsey) is something I doubt any Rangers supporters would have envisaged last summer. However, losing the reward of winning the competition – both in a prestige and in a financial sense – just made the initial disappointment worse. Beating Hearts at Hampden soothed that Spanish hangover for a few hours but the sore head is still there. Season 2021/22 was an interesting one in many ways. Failing to secure Champions League group stage football was an early blow and, despite some inconsistent form in the first half of the campaign, losing Steven Gerrard was equally painful as we still topped the table. The board acted quickly and Giovanni van Bronckhorst was a popular replacement. Initial results were decent, performances improved and only a rejigged fixture list stopped our momentum at a crucial stage by the end of 2021. Post winter break, the outlook (domestically at least) quickly changed. Celtic strengthened their squad immediately whilst we left it very late in the window and could only bring in loan players. On the face of it Ramsey and Diallo’s reputations suggested quality whilst the potential of James Sands replaced that of the departing Nathan Patterson. Again, most fans were happy but draws with Aberdeen and Ross County before a humbling to a resurgent Celtic meant that by the end of February and further dropped points at Tannadice the league appeared beyond us. Already fans were questioning Gio and their concerns had some merit. To his credit, our efforts in Europe and progress in the Scottish Cup were maintained and, indeed, improvement amongst the squad amidst more tactical flexibility became more obvious. Wins over Dortmund, Red Star, Braga and Leipzig in the Europa League impressed whilst a vital Scottish Cup semi victory over Celtic and a credible draw at Parkhead in the league showed that whilst we could not retain our SPFL title, we still had enough quality to make a renewed future challenge. Nevertheless, with only the Scottish Cup to show for our 65 game endeavours, it is difficult to make the case season 2021/22 was a success. No matter these regrets though, we must move on and this summer has to be a busy one throughout the club. As it stands, a cursory look at the squad still shows a decent one on paper. However, if we delve a wee bit deeper then uncertainty seems to be the prevailing feeling. Various players are (or are soon to be) out of contract whilst several more are moving into their last year. This is the case from the goalkeeper to the attack. First team regulars McGregor, Goldson and Balogun are about to be out of contract. Meanwhile, Helander, Jack, Aribo, Kent and Morelos will be this time next year. Only John Souttar has been confirmed as incoming with Arfield and Davis extending their deals by a year as well. This means the football department has a conundrum on their hands and it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. As seems to have happened with Connor Goldson do they allow shorter contracts to run down and try to get the best out of these players over one final season? Alternatively, do they sell now for reasonable sums to reinvest monies into replacements? Can they persuade them to sign new deals to deliver squad continuity ahead of further CL qualifiers on the horizon? One of the biggest positives in having a Sporting Director such as Ross Wilson is to minimise such headaches. Along with Andy Scoulding, Wilson is tasked with ensuring recruitment remains efficient and contracts an ongoing budgetary juggle. As such, it is an undoubted frustration that so many key players are in the same uncertain contractual situation with minimal clarity on their future. By mid-June, tens of thousands of fans will have renewed their season tickets and most will do so in anticipation of squad improvement. Add in the funds secured via the departure of Gerrard and Patterson as well as the substantial income generated by our run to Seville, it is safe to say supporters won’t be sated by further loan deals. Ramsey and Diallo appeared exciting but both lacked any sort of substance so whilst that need not mean the right loan at the right price can’t work, the emergence of home-grown players like Lowry and King should see less reliance in such gambles. Similarly, the overall contribution of some players has to be examined. For example, the quality of players like Helander, Jack and Roofe per se can be defended but their unfortunate injury records cannot. In addition to that, as much as experience in the dressing room is always welcome, how often should a Davis or Arfield appear ahead of a McCann or Lowry? Where is the line between stifling talent and properly developing it? Overall, the arguable first XI this season was McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Jack, Lundstram, Kamara, Aribo, Kent and Morelos. Add in five preferred deputies in Balogun, Davis, Arfield, Sakala and Roofe then only a few at best of these 16 players are likely still to be here for the season after next. That is a huge (and costly) turnaround over the next 12 months and will need to be carried out over the next three windows to offer some semblance of continuity. With that in mind, Wilson’s remit has never been more vital – both logistically and financially. The likely record-breaking income (though not clear profit!) from season 2021/22 and from any summer sales should offer enough working capital to make several signings up front and perhaps extend the deals of one or two existing players. Guaranteed Europa League group stage football at a minimum should also allow further changes in January with the opportunity for more next summer. I would be pleasantly surprised if we’ll need to book complicated journeys again for European finals in Istanbul, Budapest or even Prague next May but positive runs in at least one of these competitions will help balance the books outwith essential player purchases. In conclusion, I started this editorial with understandable regret from recent events. However, just over 1000 words later, and even with the uncertainty surrounding the squad, the excitement of the inevitable rebuild and the opportunity to see new players at Ibrox next season means I’m now looking ahead to what we can expect in season 2022/23. As always, the league title should take priority and we simply must offer more consistency and quality domestically but the European adventures of recent seasons and the necessary monies gained from such can be considered almost as important. Even so, no matter what we consider success or the context around it, the time for looking back has gone. The next step is now vital and we cannot stand still. In some ways, that was a fair criticism of the club last summer so it cannot be this season. We must move forward and with genuine authority.
    12 points
  5. Presentation Over Content? I have attended a few dozen Club AGMs over the decades. Mostly, I have departed the venue thinking the event was a triumph of presentation over content; particularly during David Murray's tenure. Yesterday, I sat in the Auditorium accompanied by a calmness. The ambient blue light occasionally reflecting the lustre of the SPFL trophy. Pre-event, the lobby whispers were low and the sipped tea served to sharpen appetites for a Presentation confirming our return. The Hall was two thirds full, the empty seats were filled with contentment. The Blazers at the top table are largely the same as us, born and bred Rangers supporters. That's the end of the cheese, Rangers supporters have demands. The AGM began with a 10 minute video presentation of last season's Premiership goals. Next up was the the Company Secretary, James Blair. He introduced the Board and attending Advisors. He then ran through proposals, re-elections and, voting procedure. He handed over to Club Chair, Douglas Park who welcomed all and noted the attendance of the Premiership trophy. Managing Director, Stewart Robertson gave a short summation of the last year and current situation. He introduced Gio van Bronkhurst to loud acclaim. The next twenty-five minutes were taken up by Nick Thomson inviting Stewart Robertson, Ross Wilson and, James Bisgrove to sit beside the Premiership trophy stage left. The settee and lounge chair were filled and a relaxed discussion ensued reference Club finance, marketing and commercial activity, European Coefficient, Pitch, training ground and, contracts. Each were quietly, matter of fact impressive. Robertson emphasised the Club's Euro progress from 216th position to 41st. Further, the Club had contributed considerably in taking the National Euro position to ninth. Bisgrove extrapolated on the kit deal being worth £7-£9 million next year and Commercial activity growing up to £27 million as a new normal. Further, he claimed Rangers TV's revenue had grown 100%. Wilson talked about Gerrard's departure and claimed to be ready for it, van Bronkhurst's appointment within the week would suggest he was on the front foot. Robertson addressed the £7.5 million needed to finish the season, already raised and expects a small end of season profit. Nitty gritty issues ensued, all lifts at the Stadium were being renewed at the cost of £1 million. The kitchens catering for in excess of 2,000 hospitality customers were over 25 years old and along with all Stadium toilets would be replaced next. Academy has been improved, new Coaches appointed. Medical and Sports Science improved too, brought up to English Premiership standard. The women and girls side of operations has been made full time professional, it's important not an exercise in box ticking. Robertson finished with an update on New Edmiston House. The metal framework is currently being raised, and a new Manager, David Pyatt has been appointed to ensure it opens Autumn'22. The space will be big enough to host AGMs, Concerts, Dinners, functions, ..... etc. There will be a Museum and a two tier retail outlet. On match days, it will be the basis for a family match day zone. The current club shop will be converted into a Sports Bar and again be part of the FanZone plan. Bisgrove ended with notes on Club Partnerships, £3 million this year, will be a comfortable £7 million next year and, still room for growth. Wilson expanded upon Contracts, relaxed about reviewing older player contracts at the end of the season, non contributors will be allowed to leave and, there is a set wage structure that will NOT be broken. James Blair then moved the AGM to questions from the floor, there were more than a dozen but I will concentrate on the four most important. George Hoggin on a Club'72 proxy asked about loans secured against the Edmiston Club and rate of interest? John Bennet answered - £13 million in new loans secured at 6%, we were paying Dave King 8% and, others have offered between 9% and 13%(these have not been taken up) because the 6% coupon is now the benchmark. The Board have driven down the cost of funding. Eddie Simpson representing the Blind Party made two points, firstly because of Covid the Party has been moved from behind the dug-outs and has been subsequently separated. Secondly, the Blind Party no longer received Away tickets. Robertson promised a solution would be found for the first but the second was dependent upon away clubs. The Rangers Blind Party emanates from Bill Struth's time as an Officer in the RAMC, his decade of rehabilitation work with veterans after WW1 included introduction of Blind Party Commentators. The Blind Party are a much valued part of the Rangers Family, every accommodation should be made. David Ferguson asked about the Ticket Office, pointed out it was often closed and most queries go unanswered. Robertson accepted it was verging on shambolic and a new Customer Service Manager with improved accompanying software was necessary immediately. Stated it was now a priority. Charlie Murray from Linwood made the most heartfelt plea. He related the experience of being a disabled Rangers fan, the facilities are disgraceful, sight lines appalling, positions open to the elements, if rain is predicted some do not trap due to flooding, ..................... finished by stating, "I made the very same complaint three years ago". Robertson accepted all points, Park intervened stating the issue had been widely discussed ay yesterday's Board meeting. An assurance was given, necessary improvements will be made soonest. The facilities for disabled Rangers supporters should be the best in the world, they are fellow Rangers supporters and most deserving. Time for the fans in the Stands to grasp this nettle, starting Saturday. There was a final question from an anonymous chap grabbing the mike. He made the point Rangers are held to a different standard by the general media and had a pop at Humza, James Dornan and, Susan Aitken. All perpetrators in, 'tell a lie often enough' -this brought a reply from David Graham, "all we want is balance and fairness, we take a long term approach, more scalpel than chainsaw". The AGM concluded.
    12 points
  6. There's no doubt Goldson has his flaws but who doesn't that plays in our league? I'd imagine his new contract will be in the region of £35-40K per week costing us the better part of £7-8m over the next four years. A lot of money! However, for those that wanted better, I'd be interested to see who we could afford at those sort of wages and with a substantial fee on top? By way of comparison, Helander cost us the best part of £4m in 2019 and arrived from Serie A as a fairly established Swedish international player. He's undoubtedly a good defender, but in those three seasons he's played just 59 games for club and country. During the same period, Goldson has played 169 times for Rangers alone - three times as many games! Yes, there are times where Goldson frustrates me - he can be beaten too easily in wider areas and, certainly this season, he's allowed too many balls into the six yard area by failing to clear. His long diagonals are good but can be inconsistent and his 'vertical' passing unreliable as well at times. However, to suggest he's not good enough in general is a serious under-estimation of a player who rarely lets us down, and has effectively led us to 55 and a Europa League Final. Another four years of him - hopefully in his prime - will certainly do me!
    11 points
  7. There have been a number of occasions in my time supporting Rangers when everything changed. I remember sitting in a Naafi outside Belfast watching Rangers play Shelbourne in a Euro Qualifier in one of Advocaats first matches, Smith's 9 in a row team had broken up in the summer and I think I recognised about 2 Rangers players that night, it really felt like the end of one era and the beginning of another. Likewise when we played our first matches in Division 3, McCoist, McDowell and Durrant remained familiar faces but a lot of the team were new and the feeling of complete uncertainty that had enveloped the club for months remained. A few years later I was watching Warburton's first competitive match against Hibs, we were following it on an iPad while travelling to a wedding. Once again most of the players were unfamiliar, so was the manager, it was another changing of the guard so to speak, a break with the past and a new era beginning. Throughout all that one man remained constant, a familiar face in the background, a reassuring presence for supporters who are far from the boardroom or the dressing room. Despite his low profile it was clear Jimmy Bell was someone players, coaches and managers gravitated too. You'd see him in the background of Rangers News photoshoots from some sun-drenched preseason training camp. You'd see him coming off the coach on Sky Sports as the camera searched for a big name player, these days you'd see him in the background as the club posted pictures from the training ground or travelling to a match. Despite what so many people think football clubs aren't businesses in the normal sense. The hint is in the word club. Rangers epitomise this as much as any. We've had turbulence in recent years, some amazing highs and terrible lows, yet we remain. A club greater than the sum of its parts. As supporters we celebrate the ephemeral, the transient player who thrills for a few season, the great performance that brightens us for a few months, the trophies we celebrate until the next one starts. But I think that as supporters it's really the long term recognition we cling too. The things that don't change like the marble staircase, the blue jerseys, the St Etienne bike; things we value way above their actual value. Jimmy Bell was one of those. His presence reassured us that everything would be okay, whilst everything on the surface had changed below the surface everything was the same. We've really needed that reassurance at times. I never met Jimmy Bell, I never spoke to him. Yet he was as familiar to me as any player or manager. He played an important role, far more important than managing the kit or driving the coach, he represented us in the club. Today is a sad day in the history of our club.
    11 points
  8. Last season was a strange one in so many ways and it's worth going back a year before actually looking ahead. Off the back of 55, the beginning of 2021/22 wasn't great by failing to beat Malmo to reach the CL group stage and a stuttering start in the league still seen us develop a reasonable gap to Celtic and try and consolidate the previous year's title win. However, our form wasn't great and it wasn't long until Steven Gerrard moved on at the same time as Hibs hammered us at Hampden. In the new year, we didn't fare much better: a delayed winter break derailed improved form under new manager Gio and, by the end of February, we'd not only allowed Celtic back into the title race but had effectively ended our own chances. Despite that surrender in the league, our efforts in Europe were a different story. An unlikely trouncing of Dortmund and fine wins over Red Star, Braga and Leipzig seen us reach the Europa League Final whilst domestically our form had also improved and we dug deep to reach the Scottish Cup final from a losing position against Celtic. Unfortunately, we couldn't quite go all the way in Seville but, to their immense credit, the players did manage to secure a domestic trophy a few days later versus Hearts. OK, not a vintage year in terms of tangible success but still a season we are allowed to enjoy and remember fondly forever. However, that's now in the past and we need more from season 2022/23. First and foremost, we need to get off to a good start in the league tomorrow against Livingston and hit the ground running when we travel to Belgium to face Union SG next Tuesday. To that end our pre-season form has been acceptable enough - solid wins over Blackpool and West Ham were followed by defeat against Spurs in the Walter Tull Memorial Cup - but the general impression is one of a fairly familiar tactical set-up with some new faces to complement our efforts from last season. Losing the desire of the increasingly impressive Calvin Bassey and the unpredictable brilliance of Joe Aribo isn't good news in anyone's book but the huge sums taken in from selling them on have helped us reshape the squad. In particular, the acquisitions of Colak, Lawrence, Tillman and Matondo should give us more depth in attack - an area where often struggled to convert chances in domestic matches - whilst new defenders Souttar, Davies and Yilmaz will offer an improved and more efficient transition from defence to forward areas. In midfield, the retention of Kamara, Jack and Lundstram will again ensure a strong platform to dominate most matches. In general terms, there's no doubt the squad is bigger and better than before - we simply couldn't rely on the fitness of players like Helander, Jack and Roofe - and that has to be a good thing when we consider we played 65 games last season - not to mention any international obligations on a few individual players. There's also a good balance to the squad in terms of experience and potential. Securing Connor Goldson on a new contract was fantastic news whilst, as much as some fans have doubted the extensions offered to McGregor, Davis and Arfield, the experience these players can offer the likes of Yilmaz, Tillman and Lowry should not be under-estimated. Finally, there's a flexibility about the personnel that should make us less predictable and more able to change tack in challenging situations. All things considered, we can approach the new campaign with a measure of quiet confidence. The squad is better, the management team have had more time to implement their ideas, fans have renewed in incredible numbers and, whilst we're perhaps still short of one or two players, the foundation is there for a successful season at home and abroad. However, whilst things may look good on paper as I write this, the hard work is just about to start and a visit to Livingston represents the unique challenge the SPFL can offer. Dreadful artificial pitches (welcome back Killie), awful officials (we won't see VAR until 2023), often average but very hard-working opposition sides and away supports desperate to see us fail. Quite simply, we're not entitled to win any game so our efforts must be 100% and nothing less. No complaints about this - it's the same for everyone after all - and the vast majority of the squad should know all about this by now. In terms of tomorrow's visit to West Lothian, the starting XI should have a familiar look to it. The artificial surface may mean one or two players are not risked but hopefully a couple of new faces bring a freshness to our outlook at a venue we don't always convince at. As for the opposition, Davie Martindale will be keen to ensure Livi get off to a good start themselves and has made several changes to his squad over the summer as well. Andrew Shinnie and Bruce Anderson will again offer an attacking threat on the counter and Esmaël Gonçalves will be keen to impress on his return to the SPFL. Whilst we beat Livingston at Ibrox in our first game last season, we also lost our first away match at Tannadice the following week so the players should be highly motivated tomorrow. In conclusion there's nothing new about the journey we're about to embark on. It's a well trodden path and we should be well prepared for it. As always our aim should be a title win and European progression via CL group stage qualification. Once more unto the breach, my friends....
    10 points
  9. Rangers only successful European season ranks as one of it's most intriguing and fascinating. There is a puzzle wrapped enigma in the triumph because it was neither expected nor predicted. Typically over the decades, Euro success arrives after a period of domestic dominance. Ajax, Bayern, Liverpool, .............. etc are all examples. It's the crest of the wave epitomised by Nottingham Forest, win the Second Division, win the First Division, win the European Cup, successfully defend it; all in four short years. Rangers were at the end of five years of domestic doldrums. The League Cup had been secured by DJ's famous header at the end of October'70 but the season was completely overshadowed by the Disaster at Ibrox on the 2nd of January'71 in which 66 died and 145 were injured. Rangers finished the League season in fourth, behind champions, Celtic; Aberdeen and St Johnstone finished second and third. We had been knocked out the Fairs Cup at the first attempt by Bayern Munich and, progress in the Scottish Cup came after a semi-final replay single goal victory over Hibs. The old firm final ran to a second game too. Jim Denny made his debut, played well and, we lost 2-1. After the match, I was walking down the Polmadie Road with a couple of schoolmates, one offered a thought we had qualified for the European Cup Winners Cup? Yep, given our separated brethren had won the league, meant as defeated cup finalists we were destined to participate in a trophy for cup winners. The Rangers team that evening was, McCloy, Denny, Mathieson, Greig, McKinnon, Jackson, Henderson, Penman, Stein, MacDonald and, Johnston. Colin Stein finished the season as the club's top scorer on 12 goals. Polmadie Road bottomed out along with the optimism. A new season(71-72) dawned and aspiration levels were sky high, we sang, "bring on the Celtic". The League Cup section draw had awarded our wish, with both Morton and Ayr United providing ballast. We experienced a five Saturdays sequence whereby we played the champions on three occasions, all three at Ibrox. It was home and away League Cup sectional games(due to construction of a new main stand at Parkhead, the game was transferred to Ibrox) and the season's first old firm league match. We lost 0-2, 0-3 and, 2-3. We were out the League Cup on the first day of September and had lost our first two league games, the aforementioned 2-3 defeat to Celtic was replicated at Firhill. We had drawn the French cup winners, Rennes in the first round of the ECWC. The Bretons were due to play their second ever European tie against Rangers, a club that already lost two ECWC finals against Fiorentina and Bayern Munich. We have seen the Rangers debit column, the credit one was paltry, two pre-season victories against Everton(2-1) and Spurs(1-0) and, securing the Glasgow Cup against Clyde(2-0). The French club were lying second in their championship and the most popular local newspaper, 'Ouest France' saw no fear claiming, "Waddell, raised in the Protestant traditions of the club was hurting because his club were declining at the same time as the rise of Catholic Celtic". It was the first but not the last such comparison during our Barca' quest. Tomorrow on the 50th anniversary of our visit to Rennes, we will follow follow Rangers on their first steps to European silverware.
    10 points
  10. We'll just close this thread. We can all agree that Bassey is a beast!
    10 points
  11. Strange take on it!. NP signing for Everton is exactly the reason the academy is there! like Gilmour before him. To get into the 1st team they have to be better than the current player in his position, right now Tav is a better player and that is why he can't get more game time. I would rather see Patterson stay, however totally understand why he will sign for Everton, it's the best thing for him and the club at this time. NP is a cracking player and I wish him all the best, I'm certain he will have a great career, a player Rangers produced.
    10 points
  12. Cavaliers and Roundheads. We have to regress ten days or so, to Thursday evening 26th November. It is match day 5 in the Europa Cup group stages. The Jolly Craicsters toting bags of swagger are abroad in Germany, playing Bayern Leverkusen. North Rhine-Westphalia was braced for an invasion of rainbow themed balaclavas atop olive drab puffer jackets. Reinforcing the Green Brigade bridgehead was the Pacific Quay spearhead of Liam McLeod and Pat Bonner. The Clydeside HQ was manned by Big Dick and Tom Anguish of Angst. No Celtic lament is complete without the Blarney Bhoys singing descant. Amid the pyro' smoke, the Irish and Palestinian flags waved, announcing the presence of a Scots club about to strut the very epitome of AngeBall. The arrogant parade was relentless in a stadium barely a third full. Liam and Pat chorused the irresistible nature of Sellik's play. At half time it was 1-1 and Big Dick began with, "wow, just wow". Juranovic had dinked the cheekiest of Panenka penalties to equalise and Big Dick overflowed, "they have never won in Germany, with such confidence that could change tonight". It got better just before the hour mark, the sublime Jota struck to put the Cavaliers 1-2 up. Confidence was coursing both on the field and on microphone. Teutonic efficiency was being effortlessly brushed aside, "it's the movement, it's the movement" hollered Pat. A Waffen SS armoured Division had been stopped in it's tracks by uni-cycling, plate spinning horde of green'n'grey sword-swallowing, ball jugglers. We were told ra Sellik support demanded such an approach to the game and, "Celtic are easy on the eye". The Ride of the Valkyries is a refrain, a constant menace intent upon spoiling the party; and the screaming reached a pitch twice in the last seven minutes. All agreed, it was exasperating, so unfair and, undeserved. The match finished 3-2 to Leverkusen and ra Sellik were out of the Europa Cup with a game left to play. Big Dick checked other Group G results and announced, "Celtic have secured European football in the New Year, they will now play in the Euro-Conference competition". Pat is a lovely man, he is only required by BBC Scotland to talk about ra Sellik, a unique designation. He does not cover other games and sometimes comes across as unworldly, "ah hope the Celtic supporters get a big, attractive name in the draw". Here's hoping Dagenham and Redbridge will suffice? Big Dick then hosted a three way discussion on the rarity of away wins in Europe for Scots teams and the inevitability of endings such as that evening's. The show must go on because another Scots club was participating in the same tournament that evening, the Rangers - Sparta Prague game kicked-off at 8 O'Clock. We were told Rangers could qualify on the evening if, and it was a big IF; Rangers won by two clear goals and Lyon defeated Bronby. As usual, there was NO live commentary, NO updates and, no real discussion. Half-time at Ibrox was 1-0 Rangers and Big Dick announced the score and scorer, then spent the entire 15 minute break discussing Scotland's possible opponents in the next day's World Cup qualifiers draw. The match ended 2-0 Rangers and Lyon scored 3 in the last 20 minutes to defeat the Danes. Big Dick dolefully announced, "Rangers have qualified for the next round of the Europa League". There was no mention of the improved national coefficient, no mention of Rangers position in Europe rising from 216th to 41st in three years, no mention of Rangers Youths already managing two of those Hens teeth away wins in Europe this season, no mention ........................... Ah, life as a Roundhead?
    10 points
  13. Absolutely, but wouldn't we prefer to have our manager move on because he's in demand, that he's been successful, that he deserves to move on to further his career? You cannot expect SG to turn down a job in a bigger league for 5x the salary, even when that may not be the best timing. Life dictates that you look after no1 - we'd all do the same in our careers, why should it be any different in football. Good luck to SG and the rest of the coaching staff. We should feel lucky he was with us on our journey back to the top and let's not forget what he did. The crap you read in the media about one trophy in nine is from haters. Simple. Gerrard and the team turned us from being a laughing stock, noobs in the Premier League with no direction or character. He transformed the club on and off the pitch, he put us back on the map in Europe, he figured out how to win consistently against Separate FC and won the title by the biggest margin, undefeated and crushed their tainted 10 dream. So we didn't win a cup, but Jesus H, we'd all have taken that. I'll only have good memories and I think in time all Gers fans will, but I respect the raw feelings right now. Let's hope Gio, or whoever is lucky enough to lead our great club is able to build on what SG and his team have done with the same passion, drive and success. On to 56!!!
    10 points
  14. To say once a Ranger always a Ranger just after he's left us at a very important time in the season and what it means to the league winner was not the best line IMO. He's done a runner in the night with the whole backroom staff that could hamper our season big style. Like most Rangers fans I saw him as a hero after winning the title and how the club has changed in his time here and after what he said only a few weeks ago I thought he'd stay to at least the end of the season or a shot at the CL if we won the league. I've just lost a bit of respect for him leaving the way he did and just hope now we get in a manager and backroom staff that can take us forward even more and get off to a good start!
    10 points
  15. Sitting here looking at some of the comments of our former manager onsocial media and these mugs should be ashamed to call themselves Rangers fans in my opinion they are no better than the mob across the city . I wonder if any of these guys got offered a job at a much bigger salary would they knock it back .
    10 points
  16. Sacked in the Morning? Craig Levein was the guest on Off the Ball yesterday, he was intent on promoting the new Blog he co-presents with Amy Irons, 'Sacked in the Morning'. A great title and made an even better start last week when Craig referred to Michael Stewart, "as a bellend". An increasingly frustrated Michael took to social media last midweek rueing a missed opportunity to sink another boot into the H-u-ns, "I don't know when I'll appear on Sportscene, I have not been invited". I suspect Michael is a victim of the escalating war between Staffers and Freelancers at PQ? As Michael looks forward to a Jum Spence type future, he will become increasingly reliant on Stuart Cosgrove evoking his memory. The Fir Park scoreline of Motherwell 1 Rangers 6 was described by Cosgrove as, "shocking and frightening" before he grabbed his Jum Spence comfort blanket. Does Jum remain relevant? Did you know Jum has stepped down from his role as Rector of Dundee Uni'? He resigned with a whimper last March claiming he could not effectively support the undergraduates. In other words Jum's conservative catholicism does not allow him to fully engage plus, the unpaid role was a penurious road. Anyways, RAB(rancid auld bigot) Cosgrove liked the 'Well Bois banner, 'Happy Halloween ya Zombie Bastards' and had no hesitation in replying to a Craig Levein story of Souness and Smith attempting to sign him at the Forth Bridge Motel in late 1987 with, "did they offer you an EBT"? Murray did not even own the club at that point, but it is Spence-esque. You know demanding Rangers should be prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime Act and Jum assured BBC Radio Scotland listeners this was the case because he lectured in Law. Of course, it fell apart when he was asked what was the crime and who has been found guilty? The Staffer - Freelancer conflict is interesting. BBC Scotland regularly employs over a dozen Freelancers for it's coverage of football. PQ can legitimately claim they have no control over the comments of Freelancers and these last thirty years they have used Freelancers to articulate comfortable preferred prejudices. Jum was let go twice because he was a Staffer. RAB Cosgrove and Richard Gordon have been Freelancing for 30 years. Big Dick's prejudices are well documented on this thread, the nearest he came to being relieved was 2007 when he casually abused Rangers player, Filip Sebo. It was the last hours of the Transfer month and Big Dick was hosting, 'Through the Window' on BBC Radio Scotland. He told the listeners he had an e0mail announcing the transfer of Filip Sebo but he would have to clear it with his Producer. This went on for nearly an hour and finally at the end of the show he broadcast, "Edinburgh Zoo have accepted the transfer of Rangers player, Filip Sebo, they plan to exhibit him". The PQ Gang Hut laughed like drains. Rangers supporters took Big Dick the whole way and BBC Scotland reprimanded him. Now, Richard Gordon occasionally refers to this as the worst thing he has ever experienced in broadcasting. Why is it always Rangers and Rangers supporters Rheinhardt? You were raised to hate Rangers and continually, you flash those credentials. Only last week you went off on one from the PQ studio. Apparently, you had a better view from the studio of Sakala being dragged by his jersey to the Ibrox turf, than I and tens of thousands of others had, attending Ibrox. You attempted to involve Pat Bonner in your accusation that a Referee, John Beaton had cheated your beloved Dandy Dons. You did not receive satisfaction thus took to your Aberdeen Press and Journal column to pen the following poison : "The Don's resurgence would have looked even stronger had they not been cheated. The game swung on an embarrassing, but hardly unexpected decision by Referee, John Beaton to award Rangers another controversial penalty and hand them the opportunity to snatch a point. Only the official and inexplicably the Sportscene pundits, thought it was a spot kick and the frustration of Stephen Glass and his players was entirely understandable". Big Dick accuses the Ref' of cheating, it was another controversial penalty and, berated his BBC Scotland colleagues on Sportscene for not being on message. You see the freedom enjoyed by a Freelancer? Yesterday, Dick was sick and vented his frustration again at Sakala, "a hat trick hero but nothing he did in the first forty minutes of the match would lead you to believe he was capable of such an achievement". I guess it's inexplicable. Another inexplicably arrived yesterday, the day before at Celtic Park where Big Dick was present; a visiting American Journo, White House Correspondent Philip Crowther over here for COP26 took in the Sellik-Livi' game and was disappointed at the racism aimed at Ayo Obileye by the home support. He heard 'monkey' being screamed and this was reported in a number of USA newspapers. Similarly, last Wednesday at Easter Road where BBC Scotland had live commentary. Former Sellik View cub Reporter, Andrew Smith took to the Hootsmon to complain long and hard at the constant songs of sectarianism emanating from the Green Brigade. Again, Big Dick ignored something he would have raised if Rangers supporters had been accused. I suggest RAB Cosgrove, Richard Gordon, JumSpence and, Michael Stewart form a self help group.
    10 points
  17. We could get rangers_syntax to ask them some obtuse, confusing questions while buster prepares a lengthy dossier on their misbehaviour. Failing that, we could get Rousseau to bore them to death with stats. After that, if they're still standing, I'm sure no one would be mad enough to take on Bill in a debate.
    10 points
  18. I think we need to keep playing just now to help the team gel and to get some players minutes.
    9 points
  19. That strategy didn't work last season and could be argued is the reason we lost SG and his management team. It's a huge gamble and costly if it doesn't work. We need to get better quality and need to sign "starters" rather than squad fillers.
    9 points
  20. Not good news and we'll receive some sort of fine but I do see this is a convenient squirrel to take the attention of a bigger, more disgraceful court case.
    9 points
  21. Or it could help us win it? Player-trading is the model we have to follow outwith guaranteed long runs in Europe so identifying the best time to sell (and buy) players is crucial. For example, it's not ideal we allowed Goldson's contract to run down but we felt it was worth it to get what seemed like one good final year out of him. Do we do the same with Aribo and Kent to name just two? I'd argue that occasionally it's worth it but not every time. With regard to Bassey it could be argued his stock will never be higher. MotM performances in the EL final and the Scottish Cup final at the culmination of a fine breakthrough season has everyone talking about him. So, do we sell now at the peak of such discussion or take the risk he can improve further and any fee with that? For example, let's say Chelsea offer £25m tomorrow. That's a lot of money for a lad we basically got for peanuts. Let's say half of it can go to the budget for more new players and half towards allowing us to break even next summer and take the pressure of our Euro campaign. I'd say that's good business and whilst replacing him wouldn't be easy, well we can't have the same players forever. I'd guess that depending on our targets we may spend around £10m this summer on new players. We could double that budget in a stroke by the sale of Bassey which could put us in a stronger position. No-one knows the future of course but we have to realise selling players is just as vital as buying them more than ever.
    9 points
  22. Win together, lose together. We play as a team, continuing to blame the EL final on one player is so disappointing.
    9 points
  23. A BIG FOKKER. This thread is now running into for a fifth year and it's time to remember as Rangers supporters we pay our license fees to receive a service from BBC Scotland. A Europa League tie between Borussia Dortmund and Rangers is big news for Scottish football. Two games home and away and BBC Scotland's Sports News Correspondent, Chris McLaughlin and BBC Scotland's Chief Football Writer, Tom English have collectively written not a word. Comparatively little has been broadcast either. Both games coincided with Sellik's entry into the European Conference League, two games home and away against Norwegians, Bodo Glimp received live commentary from Liam McLeod with Pat Bonner and James McFadden adding colour. BBC Radio Scotland was, "right across events at the Rangers games' ie Richard Gordon and Richard Foster view a monitor in a studio and make occasional comments. Borussia Dortmund were favourites for the Europa League, they sit second in the Bundesliga and, they travel everywhere in their own liveried Airbus aeroplane. From memory, Rangers have faced Borussia in European competition on four previous occasions and only lost the one tie. Sellik were bullish on the Conference tie, they were in it to win it, going all the way. Bodo were from inside the Arctic Circle, a town's population ten thousand less than the Stade de Gadd's capacity. The first games were played, Rangers kicked-off early in Germany and the 2-4 victory was quickly dismissed in favour of live commentary under the disco lights at Sellik Park. After a 1-3 defeat, BBC Radio Scotland was off air at ten O'Clock. The next day and the day after was radio silence, no mention on BBC Scotland TV either. Saturday had a full list of fixtures but again no mention. Sunday saw Rangers visit Tannadice and PQ spirits picked up. A 1-1 draw had United's centre back, Ross Graham eulogised and his partner, Charlie Mulgrew lionised for telling BBC Scotland's interviewer that Rangers penalty claims were, "made up". Sellik defeated bottom of the table, Dundee 3-2 at Parkhead and the Dee's penalty claim in the last minute was not discussed. Monday's TV news carried footage of both games with the strap line, "Celtic move further ahead". Thursday saw a reversal, ra Sellik live commentary up first. PQ's favourites fielded a weakened team and McLeod, Bonner and, McFadden lauded Ange's expediency for prioritising the league over Europe. Whatever happened to in it to win it? Sellik were out of Europe for the third time in one season having been vanquished 5-1 on aggregate. Across events at Ibrox was up next and Richard Gordon groaned at the penalty award. Half-time was quite perky, Dortmund were leading 1-2. BIG Dick was happier when McFadden said, "Dortmund have got the second, it will be whatever they want it to be". It took thirty seconds for Big Dick to announce the equaliser, stuttering whilst viewing, hoping for an offside. The game finished 6-4 on aggregate to Rangers at 21.53hrs, BBC Radio Scotland's football coverage was finished at one minute to ten. BBC Scotland's news the next day(Friday) did show the Rangers goals and told the result but no discussion. The draw against Red Star was reported but no discussion. It is Saturday and BBC Radio Scotland have Off the Ball with RAB and Cowan opining the money spent by traveling Yahoos to visit the Arctic Circle, only to be confronted by a reserve team. Cowan praised the atmosphere at Ibrox and congratulated Rangers on the result. RAB Cosgrove stated, "Yep" and they moved on. There is another BBC Scotland production on football, 'A View from the Terrace'. It is a one hour show with an eclectic take. I like it, the Host, Craig Telfer is a Stenhousemuir fan, the panelists are taken from a grouping including Craig Fowler(Jambo), Joel Sked(Jambo), Robert Borthwick(Jambo), Shaughan McGuigan(Raith Rovers), Robert Thewliss(Well), ....... The Producer is David Harron(Jambo). Promoting Scottish football is the show's raison d'etre, at all levels. Two shows straddling the tie and they don not mention the games, we would not know the tie took place. They did mention Bodo Glimt and they spent several minutes continuing the lionisation of Charlie Mulgrew and Dundee United's, "Dee-lightful defending against Rangers". As stated, the tie was a BIG FOKKER for Scottish football and for PQ to arrive eventually at a passive state at best will be remembered. A View from the Terrace to entirely ignore the tie is as a result of pressure from Production. These several paragraphs are a record proving posterity will not be kind to BBC Scotland.
    9 points
  24. Says it all itself really..... but.... Before Ross Wilson came in we had Mark Allen who did a decent job - but only since Gerrard, and then Ross Wilson came in have we looked completely organized in the transfer market and the direction we are heading as a club with a particular philosophy. We have gone from transfer windows where we have asked, as fans "why are we signing him, we dont need that position strengthened" to, in this window, saying "we could do with a proper right winger, a creative midfielder and a centre half"...... and Ross Wilson has "listened" in that the positions we have strengthened are those exact positions, albeit Souttar isnt till July. Looking at this window in particular though - what a window, in all seriousness. 1. We sign someone who, IMO, is a world class midfielder in Aaron Ramsey - who was on a 6 figure per week salary at Juventus, and it is costing us a wage "still within the budget". A creative midfielder who scores plenty of goals from that position 2. We get in a right winger, Amad Diallo, a kid of 19 who Man Utd paid 37 million Euros for. No doubt he has other offers but it is quite remarkable that we managed to get Man Utd to trust us with their young talent. From one game already looks like he strengthens our first XI 3. We bring in a centre half, John Souttar, who knows the league well, albeit in the summer. Been one of the league's 3rd placed team's best players, knows the league, strong player - a fine addition to the squad and will give that position depth next season. 4. We "lose" a fine young talent in Nathan Patterson - but Ross Wilson plays hardball and manages to get Everton to double their original offer and we secure £16 million for his services. Good player, a loss, but a back up to our Captain...... but this one gets even better..... we then go and get in a replacement who is only a year older than Patterson, at a fraction of the cost - and a player who knows he will have to wait his turn to get a chance in front of the captain. Masterpiece again as he brings in a player who is hungry, whilst losing a player who deserved to be playing first team football but we simply couldnt guarantee him it 5. Squad fillers such as Bacuna and Brandon Barker have been moved on - wasnt going to get a chance because they weren't good enough sadly - so moving them on keeps the harmony of the club positive and intact 6. Last, for this window, but certainly not least..... Ross Wilson has managed to keep our key players such as Aribo, Morelos, Kamara, Kent and even Goldson. Retaining those players should not go unnoticed. And, slightly earlier than this transfer window.... we lost our manager, the man who secured 55 in an invincible season.... and replaced him with a manager whose name is, continentally, every bit as big as the previous manager but who comes with a better managerial pedigree having won the league title with Feyenoord. Has Ross Wilson had some failings as Director of Football ? Sure, nobody gets these things right all the time. Has he, largely, been a resounding success ? Undoubtedly IMHO. Ross Wilson may very well turn out to be the singular best signing our currect custodians have made to date. Ross Wilson..... thank you
    9 points
  25. The term legend is overused, but JD is an utter legend and not just for his playing career, his friendship with Bradley Lawery showed the type of person JD is. A pleasure having him representing our club, a model professional and I'm sure every Rangers fan will wish him well in whatever he does next. Thanks for the service JD and you have a place cemented in the history of Rangers FC.
    9 points
  26. 9 points
  27. I actually much prefer the way we have been dealing with our business! the Scottish gutter press have no idea what is happening with Rangers!
    9 points
  28. We're being naive if we think Aston Villa aren't an attractive club for anyone raised in England. They genuinely are the proverbial sleeping giant. They've a big support, based in the second largest city in the country, and a decent history to match. They might have been a yo-yo side in recent times but I'm old enough to remember when Man City and Chelsea were too. Aston Villa have ambitious billionaire owners, a decent squad and money in the bank from the sale of Grealish. On top of that Birmingham is only a couple of hours drive from Liverpool, Gerrard could be home with his family every night. I suspect Gerrard knows that unless he can turn Rangers into perennial Champion's League participants his managerial pedigree isn't good enough for the Liverpool job currently. But, take a side like Aston Villa back into Europe, have them playing exciting football, maybe win a cup, and he's very much in the frame. Remember Klopp had won the Bundesliga and reached the Champion's League final before he was considered for Liverpool. We've not spoken a lot about our recent financial report and what that might mean for the club. Gerrard and his coaching staff are ambitious and our failure to beat Malmo was a huge blow to the club. If we don't win the league this season we might have a problem, we can't keep losing those kind of sums. Having crowds back is a huge help, but we can only balance the books by qualifying for the Champion's League or by selling someone for decent money. Gerrard and his coaching team might feel they've taken us as far as they can with the players we have. Hopefully that's not the case and he does fancy a crack at winning the SPFL and then straight into the Champion's League next season.
    9 points
  29. When Rangers were beating all and sundry in Scotland (and occasionally further beyond) in the 1990s on our run to 9IAR, life couldn't have been better for many Rangers fans. In those days, I felt invincible. I was in my mid-teens, playing at a decent level myself and, even though that meant I didn't get to many Rangers games in person, my club's almost constant success gave me a life confidence that only football fans might understand: a swagger, a gallusness and a self-belief that took me from being a child into adult-hood. As such, when people talked about the death of Walter Smith as being like the loss of their second father, I can identify with that. Of course he wasn't by my side on a day-to-day basis but his management of Rangers was an example of how I could lead my life. And the success he brought our club, seemed to transfer itself to my own outlook. I was lucky enough to meet him once during that period. Ahead of a Victory Shield decider with England at Ibrox in 1992, Walter and Archie Knox were invited into the dressing room to give us an extra team-talk whilst Brian McAlinden (later made a CBE himself) stood aside. Archie did most of the talking but I remember Walter looking us all directly in the eye as we walked out. My football career ultimately fizzled out some time later but that moment will live with me forever. After I stopped playing, I bought my first season ticket in 1999/00 so by the time Walter returned in 2007, life was somewhat different for us all. I was now married, my first daughter was on the way and, despite not having the same success as in the 1990s, Rangers were arguably a bigger part of my life than it had ever been before. As well as being an RST board member, this website was increasingly popular meaning Walter Smith was again a key presence in my life. Again, not standing by me day-to-day but someone I listened to and again admired. On the field at that time, the Rangers team perhaps lacked the individual brilliance of players like Laudrup, Gascoigne and McCoist from his first spell but Walter was quickly able to put his usual pragmatic stamp on the squad in terms of building a successful team. That led us to the UEFA Cup final of 2007/08 in his first full season back and onto three league titles in the following three seasons which, in many ways, were just as impressive as the run he gave us in the previous decade. In that second spell, he proved 9IAR was no fluke, wasn't bought as some critics claimed and that he could stand toe-to-toe with anyone in any dugout. His legendary status was confirmed. As such, when Walter retired in 2011, the loss was immediately felt. Ally McCoist is an incredible man - one I admire more with every time he commentates on football - but he was unable to transfer his quality as a player into management. Events off the park would also take their hold and none of us need reminded of the disappointments of the last decade. In that vein both Ally and Walter would try to help but the frauds associated with the club by then would defeat even their efforts. I contributed to and edited a book on these difficult times and Walter provided the foreword - he didn't know myself or the other editors but he gave his time for nothing because he was a concerned fan like us. It took ten long years before the club would win the top league championship again and in Steven Gerrard we have another winner like Walter. Gerrard also played at the highest level in a very different era - a modern game of money, agents and glamour. Yet, Gerrard is clearly a family man too, equally admired by his peers and, whilst it is too early to say if he'll have the same long and successful association with Rangers as Walter did, delivering our club's 55th title was as important as any of Walter's successes. With that in mind, Gerrard's interview discussing Walter's passing was an emotional one. Steven Gerrard is an indomitable icon of modern football but was brought publicly to tears by the loss of a humble man from Carmyle in Glasgow. Indeed, the tributes from all over the world - sport, politics, TV and film - show just how much of a colossus Walter was. A true giant of world football. That's how I'll remember him. I also believe that his guiding hand will be there for Rangers forever. And for all of us, too.
    9 points
  30. Another fine article by @Rick Roberts:
    9 points
  31. This is fairly niche and perhaps not of interest to everyone. It's also fairly long. I stumbled across it online and found aspects of it quite interesting. I'd always wondered about Callander FC, our first recorded opponents, I'd no idea the strong connection between the town and football. I know a couple of Airdrie fans who might be surprised at the origins of their club! https://scottishfootballorigins.org/2021/08/26/glasgow-before-the-explosion-the-role-of-migration-and-immigration-in-the-development-of-football-cultures-in-the-city-prior-to-1873/comment-page-1/?unapproved=129&moderation-hash=2b5d585235928cae397edb2cf6fe4e96#comment-129
    9 points
  32. Thin Skinned RAB? Back in the mists of this thread, I did an article on the symbiosis between PQ's litany of ra Sellik and Aberdeen supporters. I used the Hippo and the Oxpecker to highlight the relationship(page 124). An acquaintance working in PQ at the time suggested 'Hippo' was a good nickname for Stuart Cosgrove - increasingly thick skinned. I thought the acronym RAB(Rancid Auld Bigot) was more appropriate because of RAB's long association with and usage of the 'H' term. RAB has never missed an opportunity to explain the derivation of the nickname for Jim Traynor preferred by PQ and Pie and Bovril - 'Jabba'. There is another symbiotic relationship, PQ and Pie and Bovril. Or is it? Just like RAB's thinning skin in his seventieth year, Pie and Bovril has been running threads for a few years on Sportsound, Off the Ball and, recently, 'BBC Scotland's Grovelling Apology'. The last one is already 13 pages and growing. Of course, the apology to Rangers and Rangers supporters being grovelling or otherwise has come about because Big Dick stepped down from Saturdays to the appointment of Kenny(the H-u-n)Macintyre as successor; nothing about providing the same service to Rangers and Rangers supporters that PQ has provided to every other License fee payer. On Saturday, RAB mocked P and B for labelling the apology as grovelling. Saturday's guest was someone with no interest in football, Alan Cumming. I remember Alan when he was a budding talent, attended the Kings Theatre in the late 80s to witness a wonderful performance with Forbes Mason as, 'Victor and Barry'. These days, Alan has joined Irvine Welsh, Martin Compston, Brian Cox, .... etc who live the millionaires life in the States but regularly continue to tell those of us remaining in Scotland how to vote. You feel for them, enduring four years as Trumptonians as opposed to experiencing the joy of existence here in the realm of Queen Nicola. I suppose it is the freedom of expression question? Make a satirical joke reference the First Minister and you will be cancelled whereas if you want to sing the praises of the IRA, do as Martin did, climb upon the Las Vegas stage. So, a guest with no interest in football appearing on a football show, there has to be a reason and a script. Drama graduate RAB obliged, when Cumming asked for the name of the guy doing those historical documentaries, RAB is cued to say, "Neil Oliver". Cumming delivers the punch line, "Aye, he's a fascist". Neil Oliver continues to live in Scotland and his advice on voting differs from RAB and Cumming, thus depicted as totalitarian with no tolerance. The next scripted act demanded Cumming play the 'straight' man. He picked a Yahoo's contribution mocking Rangers as winner of the week's competition and RAB provided the punchline, "ah don't think we're allowed to laugh at Rangers on the BBC anymore". The reason is Cumming's has a new production to sell, 'Burn' - a new take on the life of Rabbie Burns. RAB told of having already purchased his briefs for the Theatre Royal. He added, "looking forward to it immensely" because RAB prefers his politics to be totalitarian and non tolerant of opposing views. Tomorrow belongs to Alan and RAB. Like Neil Oliver, RAB has enjoyed a long term dislike of three Michelin star Chef, Gordon Ramsay. The successful Scot was visiting Auchenhowie last week and RAB hated the coverage. He wondered aloud, "has any newspaper dredged through his historic social media"? Clearly, a reference to RAB's latest protege, Susie McCabe who was revealed a fortnight past as an intolerant bigot in two national blats. It is Angela Haggerty all over again, but do not worry; Susie can pin that wee badge upon her lapel and, Police Scotland will say, "nothing to see here". Why does RAB hate such an internationally successful fellow Scot? I hear his lobster ravioli is quite wonderful. Sincerely, I hope those persistent, avarice sh1t chewing oxpeckers do not visit the sweating, farting Hippo that is RAB. He is becoming too thin skinned. PS I hope Neil Oliver takes BBC Scotland and Cumming all the way.
    8 points
  33. Just cannot understand how anyone can think this is anything but a great deal. (Providing we get the £10m by whatever method.) Aribo has been a great player for us. Despite Bowyer's protestations when he signed, we developed him into a better player, he's won two medals and played in a major European final (in which he scored). However, he now wants to move on. It could be argued that those 70 games last season was just too many as he has looked a shadow of the player he was. Regardless of where in England he goes, he will play considerably less games given the superior squads and lack of Euro football. That and the huge increase in wages will compensate I'm sure. We will miss him but I think the time is right for him to move on.
    8 points
  34. I would like to confirm the worst thoughts of ra Yahoo conspiracists. Rangers two latest friendly announcements are what you think. Blackpool play in an all orange kit and Davie Moyes sports orange hair. Rangers, July and, Orange - it's enough to get Martin Compston on a Las Vegas stage punching the air whilst punching out the naughty lyrics.
    8 points
  35. Agreed. We have to sell high value players who are not going to sign a new contract. Goldson was different as his resale value wasn't as high but Aribo shouldn't be allowed to run down his contract.
    8 points
  36. Sometimes you just lose. There are always things to point a finger at when Rangers lose a game but “we blew it” suggests a degree of either intent or avoidable negligence. I doubt anyone who took the field in blue last Wednesday was aware of doing anything to contribute to our defeat. Sure the performance was less than it could have been but imo it’s wrong to say we blew it.
    8 points
  37. I met Jimmy once. It was December 2004, we were in the Netherlands to play AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Cup. My wife and I traveled to Amsterdam, booked in for 4 days with intent to do our Christmas shopping and, take in the game. Alkmaar is an old cheese town and most pretty. I journeyed through to Alkmaar the day before the game, hoping to pick up a pair of tickets, no joy at either Club shop or ticket office. The wife suggested I concentrate on securing a brief for myself. The game day, I took the train from Amsterdam central and began asking everyone for a spare? Two and a half hours before kick-off, I was outside the ground continuing to plead? A large mini-bus pitched up and Jimmy Bell jumped out. He went to the back and began to unload half-a-dozen hampers. There was a barbed wire adorned gate between jimmy/kit and the allocated changing room. He was handed a set of keys by a police officer who then joined three colleagues at the gate. I do not wear colours to the game, in fact I was wearing a Barbour jacket. I moved forward and grabbed an end of a hamper. Jimmy locked the bus and seamlessly returned to pick up the other hamper end. We went through the gate, repeating the process another several times. Whilst putting the hampers into the changing room he asked, "do you have a ticket"? He took fifteen minutes to empty the cases then took me to a small adjoined Port-a-Kabin, we put the empties inside and instructed me to sit on the floor and, he would return to let me out in a couple of hours. I offered a thanks. I saw us lose 1-0. I suspect Jimmy helped out a fair number of Bears over the decades?
    8 points
  38. Wee word for our keeper Jon McLaughlin yesterday. thought he did very well except one wee stumble first half when he conceded a corner. Good to see a keeper coming out for crosses & commanding his box too
    8 points
  39. Good news but VAR has to be accompanied by well trained, full-time officials right across the decision-making community.
    8 points
  40. Forgot to give big Balogun a special mention. Thought he was good last night defensively and holding a good offside line and the goal just topped off a good performance. Its hard for players who have been injured to give everything sometimes. Mentally they might hold back slightly. None of that last night from Leon. Felt he put it all on the line last night.
    8 points
  41. I'm all for pragmatic game management and Gio can't legislate for brain farts from McGregor, Bassey and Kamara but the mindset of the team is too passive after we go in front. We're not playing PSG, Bayern or Man City in this league. We have to be more positive in games.
    8 points
  42. Nonces get what nonces want. Why am I unsurprised by this? Why am I no longer disappointed by the catamites of the SPFL?
    8 points
  43. Rangers first priority should be the health of our supporters, players and staff, everything else should be secondary. Based on the available public health advice the game on Boxing Day shouldn't have a crowd at it. As has been pointed out by others the likelihood of these crowd reduction measures being reversed by mid-January seem slim, so for me whether we go into a winter break now or in early January as planned is fairly moot, we'll all be playing behind closed doors at some point I think. The argument that a delay to mid-January will benefit Celtic as it allows them more time to get players fit is fair, but with Balugun, Barasic, Davis and Roofe, all potential starters if fit, also in danger of missing out perhaps a delay might not be that bad for us either. The African Cup of Nations taking possibly 3 of our players away for nearly a month is a problem. Losing 3 players does mean we can legitimately ask for postponements of matches but that would really cause fixture chaos, particularly if our next 3 matches are postponed as well. The club is well within its rights to point that out. I suspect Rangers, and every other club in Scotland, will be looking to minimise the number of matches played with few or no spectators allowed in. A look at last year's accounts shows just how important having a full Ibrox is for the club's finances, and that applies to every club up here. There's no fat for us to fall back on, losing our biggest revenue stream, again, provides some significant challenges for our board. I can understand why bringing the winter break forward is appealing to many boardrooms, if it means there's a chance of fewer matches being played behind closed doors. Of course no one actually knows the answer to that. Politically these recent measures have been unpopular, and with populist governments in place in Edinburgh and Westminster, it maybe that opinion polls rather than health advice carry more weight around cabinet tables this time round. So maybe restrictions won't last as long as they did last year. Or maybe they will, no one knows for sure. (I'm not trying to make a political point or agree or disagree with Government and public health advice. So don't @ me, I don't care.) All we can expect of anyone in our boardroom, or any other club's, is to deal with what they know, not what they suspect. For now that means a loss of crowds and revenue for 3 matches. That being the case bringing the winter break forward and so moving those 3 matches to later in the season is the sensible thing to do, even for Rangers. As an aside, as none of us really know what will happen, it's worth remembering that Celtic are in the Vauxhall Conference Euro Cup. Despite everything that's a tournament they could reasonably expect to progress quite far in. It's not inconceivable that come March and April Celtic are still playing European matches while trying to fit in 5 postponed SPFL matches around a diminishing fixture calendar. I think our board should be looking to book a tour of Japan for this summer, just in case.
    8 points
  44. Beating Hearts on Sunday is paramount. Playing Lyon is an opportunity to experiment and test players.
    8 points
  45. Huge missed opportunity. We should have appointed a SG type manager back then who'd have taken us through the league's whilst building a squad. Instead we signed players who'd struggle to get a game in the juniors. Ally was and still is a hero but we were too loyal to him back then. He was never management material. Let's not forget and this is no exaggeration, our enemies tried to kill us off back then. They failed, but we took a hell of a kicking. We have one team who had free access to a decades worth of CL money, sponsorship etc, yet somehow we have managed to overtake them and won 55. A miracle really, stuff of folklore but still not good enough for some fans.
    8 points
  46. I don't see why Gio hasn't sold the entire team yet. I mean that's what Barry Ferguson would have done. Gio has had 10 days in post and not a single player sold yet!
    8 points
  47. Enough of the “this team won the league last season” patter. Last season is long gone.
    8 points
  48. I schooled with Lulu's sister, Edwina and the family are solid. I watched a two hour documentary 20 years past, Jools Holland was hosting a take on early British Blues. We are talking early sixties, on the cusp of the Beatles. Contributors were Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Chris Farlowe, Mick Fleetwood, Al Green .... etc. They talked about the the best interpreters and players. It was agreed the Female contribution was on the light side, obvious exceptions being Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee, Elkie Brooks, ..... Anyways, the Toms, Vans, Als ..... all agreed the one that could do it live was Lulu, check out her interpretation of , 'To Sir with Love'. Lulu opened the Edmiston Club, the Club should invite her back to open the new Edmiston when opened. A night of Blues with Lulu -sounds good and most appropriate.
    8 points
  49. Mick and Chick were Sick. Yesterday was a high day and a holiday for the PQ Gang Hut, Aberdeen hosting ra Sellik is cause for party hats, streamers and, balloons. It was just the regular old bags filled with hot air championing their preferred prejudices. Big Dick, Liam McLeod, Wullie Miller and, Billy Dodds all stood free whereas Pat Bonner furiously pumped air into Angeball. It was the full BBC Scotland production for a ninth v sixth game attracting an attendance at Pittodrie, ten thousand below capacity. The Dons match programme featured Wullie Miller's goals against Sellik, the Gang Hut wallow wallowed in the warm nostalgia. First against second occurred at Ibrox an hour after the nostalgia had dissipated in Aberdeen, Sportsound closed down. Cosgrove and Cowan came on air and announced Chick Young would be, "across all happenings at Ibrox". The reality was Chick watching Rangers TV in a PQ studio and as expected from a Journo in his eighth decade, he began enthusiastically and slowly but surely deflated. Cosgrove enters his eighth decade next month and as the afternoon progressed, he sounded burst. Before the puff escaped, enthusiasm greeted Kevin Nisbet's header back across McGregor and so it should, a well crafted goal for the Hibs. Chick's next intervention belies his time as a Cub Reporter at the Rangers News. Remember Chico, those tenets of accuracy and objectivity? Cosgrove interrupted Cowan, "Tam, there's been a red card at Ibrox. Over to Chick". We heard a hesitant wheeze then, "err um ah Porteous has been red carded for a challenge on Aribo". Obviously, Rangers TV was not sufficiently efficient at putting up necessary replays because Cosgrove and Cowan returned to discussing Third Lanark's last scorer. Chick rediscovered his positivity at half-time, "it's the Alamo at Ibrox but Rangers have not created a clear cut opportunity". The national broadcaster played Elgar's Nimrod for the duration of the second half. Chick made a further three interventions, his announcements on the Alamo casualty figures were not welcome. Jack Ross might be the next Sellik manager but that is at least a few months away. His immediate aspirations as a title winning boss is just another PQ burst balloon. However another Beeb bite at the cherry remained, Sportscene was to air at 19.15 hours. How would Producer, Eamonn Donohoe interpret events at Ibrox? Increasingly, Eamonn has come to realise that Michael Stewart's presence on a PQ settee is as sound as Ryan Porteous being named in a Hibs' back four whilst facing Rangers. It's the rush of blood to the head that sees Michael and Cosgrove supporting Irvine Welch's right to free speech. Calling Morelos, "a sticky bun" and stating his existence is best served by exercising a machete epitomises new, modern Scotland. Blame the H-u-ns for everything. Last night's sofa riders were James McFadden and Richard Foster and they agreed, Porteous was a deserved recipient of his marching orders. Michael had to resort to Twitter to broadcast his view, "Understandably Rangers will say it's dangerous from Porteous and they may have a point, but for me he doesn't make catch Aribo and I don't think it deserves a red card". Alfredo is both nefarious and pernicious and I suspect Michael contacted Eamonn prior to broadcast and reasoned Ryan was provoked? We saw a 10 second clip of Morelos pushing Porteous to the ground at the Broomloan corner flag a minute before Ryan got rash. Steven Thompson asked the panel, "has Morelos angered Ryan"? I loved Richard Foster's reply, "if he has it's good game smarts from Morelos". You pays your License Fee and if Chick and Mick are sick, I'll take it.
    8 points
  50. The Tippy-Top of the Toppermost. Yesterday, at two O'Clock the Referee at Tynecastle blew the final whistle, bringing an abatement to the blood and thunder/huffing and puffing by the competing Capital crews. The sharp shrill confirmed Rangers climb back to the top of the SPFL Premiership table. Simultaneously, a collective sigh lifted from the PQ Gang Hut. Big Dick announced Rangers summit position and, Michael Stewart and Tom Anguish furiously launched into a joint exercise in turd polishing, "the best nil-nil game ever". Craig Gordon is the best Keeper in the country, both Hearts and Hibs are defensively sound and, can go to Ibrox and Parkhead to challenge. After thirty minutes, Michael took a breath whilst viewing his social media and opined, "you can't please everybody, the view on Twitter is the game was not that exciting". Well we know, when Michael has a taste for something you cannot stop him, that ever present sh1t-eating grin is clear evidence. Tom thought those not in thrall with the Edinburgh Derby were probably Rangers supporters. It continued into the next programme, the consensus of Cosgrove, Cowan and, special guest, Susie McCabe on Off the Ball was, "a pulsating fire cracker of a game". It's only last week Cosgrove was reminding the listenership of the copious amounts of Brasso required these days at McDiarmid Park, his elbow was intent upon putting a shine on the keech. "Rangers fans never forget", stated DrStu' and, he invited Tam and Susie to provide personal examples. Cowan lamented not having a pound for every Gers fan that had reminded him of a 'Well supporter hitting Lee McCulloch with a flagged stick. Susie was hesitant thus Cosgrove offered, "they've never forgiven Michael O'Halloran for being their player, he got it hard after scoring on Saturday". Susie chimed in twice with agreement, "yes, yes, absolutely". What I have never forgotten or forgiven reference dearest Michael, is that as a Rangers player he attended a Scottish Cup semi-final against ra Sellik at Hampden and, sat with his old man in ra Sellik end. What I have not forgotten or forgiven about Susie McCabe is her gig at the FanZone in Glasgow Green during the recent Euros. The disparaging crowd found Susie not to their taste as a Comedian and booed her efforts. Susie left the stage to sound of her tackety bits, returned home and, engaged with Twitter; where she blamed. "the H-u-ns in the crowd". Imagine Off the Ball's Producer bringing Susie on to the show in light of what's been going on these last two weeks? He/She couldn't help himself/herself, just like Cosgrove roaring, "with what's happening to Janey Godley, there's a lot of comedy work up for grabs". A silence was followed by Cosgrove and McCabe laughing and chorusing, "ah'm saying nothing". Is this an example of Ann Frank's drum kit? Answers on a postcard to Paul Sweeney MSP. It's where the Gang Hut is these days, whatever goes on, whoever appears, they are protected as long as they keep sinking the boot into the H-u-ns. Two weeks past it was former Scottish Government Minister, Aileen Campbell. Ten years at Holyrood, a couple of junior minister appointments and, an unfailing Nicola cheerleader earned Aileen a near six figure pay off on stepping down earlier this year and guaranteed her the position of Chief Executive of SWFL. Cosgrove and Aileen could swap notes on Quango remuneration and love for the Perth Saints. Four Euro games, two defeats and, two draws makes for a hard luck tale or as Aileen offered, "if only we had the fortunate draw awarded another club"? In between, the guests have been Jackie McNamara, Sellik Park tour guide, Mathew Joseph Campbell and the afore mentioned, Susie McCabe. Seriously, you would think someone would know why Dominic McKay resigned? How about why Gordon Strachan is allowed two different jobs with two different SPFL clubs? Even better, is Dundee's John Nelms necessary? It's not just Gordon Strachan or the conveniently provided spam folder when a cast vote had to be delayed. No, it's what do we do with a 31 year old player who sex pests 14 and 15 year old girls? Favours done at Dundee for a peppercorn fee. If only ra Sellik had defended that corner, if only the Jambos or Hibs had notched a winner and, if only Janey Godley had kept her Tweets to H-u-n skelping.
    8 points
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