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  1. Thanks to all who put their name forward... Please remember Match Preview Writers need to: - Write around 500 words on their allocated match. - Provide probable team and formation within this. - Ensure it is posted the day before the match (e.g. Friday am for Saturday games). - Please check all articles for spelling/grammatical errors before posting (e.g. use Word to type the article). - If you want to accompany the preview with a review (or ratings/poll etc) please feel free to do so. May Sat 30 - 15.00 Rangers v St Mirren (Scottish Cup Final) Gazza_8 Please check this thread regularly and pm me if you're unable to make the deadline.
  2. Alexander - 10 Whittaker - 10 Papac - 10 Boogie - 10 Weir - 10 Davis - 10 Mendes - 10 Edu - 10 Lafferty - 10 Miller - 10 Boyd - 9. I felt Boyd could've done more yesterday.
  3. Firstly, let me apologies in advance. I am just this minute home from the game (via a succession of watering holes) so this match report and ratings, may include spurious information, fanciful ratings and dream-like conclusions. However, it serve as warning to any youngsters reading this that drink is indeed, bad for you. As we approached Ibrox today, the weather was dreadful and it swamped Ibrox in a carpet of greyness. We just had to hope that the players wouldnââ?¬â?¢t be engulfed in the greyness nor that our mood would match the conditions come full-time. There were little surprises in the team line-ups, with both teams matching up in a 4-4-2 formation. We all thought that WS would go 4-5-1, but we have been playing 4-4-2 for most of the season. Velicka can count himself unlucky to have been dropped as he has been on a terrific run lately, but Kenny Miller proved that WS was correct in picking him putting in a sterling performance. The game kicked-off with torrential rain falling around Ibrox and it took just over 60 seconds for the first MOPE to be booked. Hartley showed their intentions with a terrible tackle on Miller. This set the tone for the game, but once again the referee let them away with diving, pushing, fouling and cheating. Vinegar of Castlemilk committed 7 fouls in the first 45 minutes but wasnââ?¬â?¢t even spoken to. Scott McDonald dived 4 times in the same period and again wasnââ?¬â?¢t even spoken to. In the stands, the MOPES once again were given free reign to indulge in their vile and repugnant sectarian songs with no interference from the Police. In fact, one officer next to us asked us ââ?¬Ë?what do you want me to do about it?ââ?¬â?¢ how about doing your duty and arresting the vile fookers. Sorry, I am digressing, back to the action on the pitch. We were the only team looking to play football the first half and were unlucky when Whittikar swung a vicious cross into the box which alluded everyone and smacked the post with Borac beaten. Soon after we got the breakthrough and goal that our play deserved. Kris Boyd fed Kenny Miller who spun brilliantly and fired a wonderful ball across the six yard line that Stevie Davis met and slammed home from close range. Ibrox erupted and bedlam ensued in the stands. Rangers seen out the remainder of the first half with little trouble. The Mopes came into the game a bit at the start of the 2nd half, but the Rangers defence were awesome and repelled the threat time after time. As well as the defence, there were stand-outs all over the pitch in blue. In fact, all players deserve immense credit for the performance at last showing the determination required playing for this wonderful club ââ?¬â?? institution. The MOPES huffed and puffed but had little cutting edge and Rangers were the team who looked most likely to score. Boyd passed up a wonderful opportunity then was unlucky with a couple of headers. As the final whistle sounded, the reactions of the fans could hardly have been more different. The Rangers support rightly hailed (sic) their heroes whilst The MOPES trudged back to their hovels to claim Masonic conspiracies and indulge in more sectarian singing. So we enter the last 3 games of the season leading the SPL table by two points. We are in the box-seat, the destination is in our own hands. If we show the determination, guts, fight and passion we demonstrated today in the remaining games then there is no reason why the SPL title wonââ?¬â?¢t be coming home. Whilst all the players deserve a pat on the back, step forward Maurice Edu, Boogie and Kenny Miller ââ?¬â?? all three were simply outstanding and led us to a glorious victory. Player Ratings Alexander ââ?¬â?? safe as houses especially at cross balls ââ?¬â?? couple of routine saves to make and did nothing wrong ââ?¬â?? 8/10 Christian Daily ââ?¬â?? had a decent game and the whole defence were outstanding ââ?¬â?? 7/10 David Weir ââ?¬â?? commanding in the air and partnered Boogie superbly ââ?¬â?? not bad for someone who was at The Somme ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Boogie ââ?¬â?? strolled through the game ââ?¬â?? in a word ââ?¬â?? immense -9/10 SW ââ?¬â?? a real talent and once again showed he can perform no matter where he is asked to play ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Stevie Davis ââ?¬â?? scored the winning goal and cleared a header of the line ââ?¬â?? one of his better performances ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Mendes ââ?¬â?? struggled to get a foothold in the game but kept trying and dug in deep in the 2nd half ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Edu ââ?¬â?? simply gets better and better with each passing game ââ?¬â?? once again my MOTM ââ?¬â?? 9.5/10 Smith ââ?¬â?? helped SW on the left but didnââ?¬â?¢t offer much offensively. Like Mendes dug in and tried until replaced by Lafferty ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Boyd ââ?¬â?? led the line well but missed a guilt edged chance to kill of the game. His attitude has improved and he had a decent game ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Miller ââ?¬â?? a constant thorn in the MOPES defence ââ?¬â?? non stop running and his cross for the goal was stunning ââ?¬â?? 8.5/10 Lafferty ââ?¬â?? played very well when introduced ââ?¬â?? 7/10 McCulloch ââ?¬â?? little time to impress ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Cammy F -
  4. I guess I wasn’t the only fan who felt slightly inconvenienced by the later kick-off time today. Well, I day inconvenienced, all it really meant was an extra 30 minutes to partake in some liquid refreshments in the pub pre-match! It was strange kicking off at 3:30PM and the late kick-off appeared to have a negative effect on the players. In recent game, Rangers have flown out the traps and snared an early goal. Toady, they looked cumbersome, lethargic and disjointed. Walter Smith decided on a defensive reshuffle to accommodate the gap left by the suspension to Boogie. Lee McCulloch replaced the classy Algerian with Christian Daily filling in at right-back and Stevie Whittikar moving to left back. Not ideal having 3 out of your back four playing out of position (a right back at left back, a midfield player at centre-half and a centre-half at right back – welcome to the confusing world of team selection – copyright Walter Smith). Pedro Mendes recovered from a serious looking knock to regain his position alongside the ever improving Maurice Edu. Stevie Davis was jettisoned to wide right and Stevie Smith continued wide left. Like the defence, that is two of the four midfield players playing out of position (a centre midfield player playing wide right and a left back playing wide left – that’s, if my arithmetic is correct, 5 players, or 50% of our outfield players playing out of position and no natural width on the bench). At least the front pairing is easy to explain, Boyd and Velicka rightly regaining their starting places. Given the amount of players playing out of position, maybe we are expecting too much from the players to easily adapt to playing out of positions and to excel in strange positions. For the fist 30 minutes, we played like a team who had not only just been introduced to each other, but just introduced to a football. The only chance of note was a Kris Boyd lob that hit the crossbar. Maybe I am being to critical of the ‘goal-machine’, but I thought he was guilty of a glaring miss on this occasion. Just we had resigned ourselves to going into the break on level terms, and we had started to prepare to welcome the brave soldiers of 45 Commando onto the pitch at halftime, we gained an unexpected but welcome lead. A leftwing corner was delivered to the back post where Kris Boyd done brilliantly to direct the ball back into the danger-area. Velicka showed his goal-scorers instinct and lightening reactions to fire the ball into the net. So we took a 1-0 lead into the interval but the first half performance wasn’t anything to write home about. The events and reception of half-time were wonderfully fitting for the brave soldiers of 45 Commando who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to ensure our continued liberty and safety, often fighting far away from home. These brave men and woman are the real heroes and watching the conditions there people work in puts a game of football into perspective. The great Bill Shankly was wrong, football isn’t more important than life or death. These people face death on a daily basis and for that, they have my (and hopefully all our) enternal thanks. As the teams were welcomed back onto the pitch for the 2nd half, a vast improvement was expected, but in truth wasn’t delivered. Our midfield was fragmented, whilst Pedro Mendes once again showed flashes of sheer genius, overall he was disappointing. The wide men once again came to narrow and allowed our fullbacks to be exposed to the Hearts wide players. I sincerely hope I am incorrect in this statement and I’ll happily eat my words, but in my humble opinion, playing Smith and Davis out wide for the remainder of the season could cost us the title. They offer very little either defensively or offensively and continually leave their wings and come inside. This situation has to addressed urgently and solved before the remaining four SPL games. Hearts controlled most of the possession in the 2nd period without looking too dangerous. We improved slightly when Miller, then Lafferty were introduced (for Velicka and Smith respectively) as they offered some directness and pace. Just as our nerves were stretched to the limit, we finally put the game to bed with our first free-flowing move of the game. Mendes, Davis and Miller combined in midfield with Mendes freeing Davis in the inside left channel. Davis’ pass across the 18 yard line managed to squeeze its way through to Miller who advanced, steadied himself and drove the ball across the six yard line where Boyd had made up ground to divert the ball into the net. A collective sigh of relief was audible around Ibrox as the points were finally secured. Another crucial three points but the performance one of the worst since defeating Falkirk 1-0 at Falkirk Stadium some weeks ago. We go into next weeks OF game with the destination of the SPL title still firmly in our own hands. However, we will require to improve significantly on today’s performance if we are to put the MOPES to the sword. Walter Smith and his management team have some tough choices ahead and some very tricky tactical and formation dilemmas to discuss and agree on. I don’t believe we can approach this game with caution and we can’t go with Boyd and Velicka upfront as both are far to immobile. It has to be one of those two in a 4-4-2 alongside Miller or Novo, or Velicka or Lafferty leading the line in a 4-5-1 with Novo and Beasley / Aaron playing wide. If Walter Smith is to play this to type, he’ll revert to 4-5-1 BUT play a defensive 4-5-1 which will mean Smith and SW supplying the width. In every ‘must win’ game this season, Smith has deployed a cautious team, this has to change on Saturday. This could and probably is ‘last chance saloon’ with the winners taking a gigantic step towards the SPL title. Walter will play for a draw and hope that Celtc trip up in one (or more) of their remaining games. For me, we have to go at them, they have weaknesses that we must and can exploit. Playing cautiously plays into their hands and strengths. It’s fair to say that Saturdays showdown is the most meaningful OF game of this century and it’s a game that we MUST win. Players Ratings : Alexander – had a few saves to make and made these comfortably – 6/10 Dailly – terrible game, but offered little support or protection from Davis 4-10 Weir – Solid, commanding but distribution and lack of pace still a concern – 6/10 McCulloch – a very decent game at centre-half – won his fare-share aerially and never shirked a tackle all game – 7/10 SW – not at his best today, but still showed flashes and can be a very decent footballer with decent ability – 6/10 Davis – flirted in and out of the game and is being wasted out wide. Had a hand in the decisive goal but offered little else – 5/10 Edu – Slowly but surely becoming a hugely influential part of this Rangers team – another sterling performance and once again MOTM – 8/10 Mendes – See SW – infuriating watching him as you know that lurking just beneath the surface is one great footballer – has to be more consistent – 6.5/10 Smith – once again struggled in open play wide left. Offered little protection to his fullback and offered little offensively – 5/10 Velicka – seemed to struggle against his old team-mates but showed amazing reactions to score on the stroke of half-time – 5.5/10 Boyd – whilst not his most effective game, he did try very hard to become involved – set up one and scored one – 6.5/10 Miller – his directness and running a fresh approach considering the staticness of Boyd and Velicka – 5/10 Lafferty – like Miller his introduction gave us something different and a welcome return at a crucial time for the big Ulsterman – 5/10 Cammy F
  5. The Rangers juggernaut rolled into a sun drenched national stadium today for the semi-final of the Homecoming Scottish Cup. Walter Smith / Ally McCoist (whoever picks our cup teams) remained loyal to the players who have secured four consecutive SPL victories, with the only change being Christian Daily for the suspended Sasa Papac. Daily slotted into the right back position with the impressive SW moving to left back. Once again, Rangers started fantastically and were 1-0 up within the opening 74 seconds. Possession was gained wide left and the play was switched quickly to the opposite flank where Steve Davis played in Kris Boyd. With Boyd on the hunt for his 100th Rangers goal, the big striker turned and sent a shot goal-ward. His shot lacked conviction but was deflected into the path of Velicka who slammed home his third goal in three starts, his forth for the season. The Rangers support sat back and expected Rangers to use this early goal as a launch-pad, bit once again, after gaining an early initiative, we sat back and allowed St Mirren to settle and to dictate the pace of the game. Our midfield was struggling to cope and bar a decent Pedro Mendes shot, we didnââ?¬â?¢t threaten to extend our advantage. However, to be honest, St Mirren rarely threatened and Alexander was a mere spectator. Once again, in the first half, our play was fragmented, we offered little or no service to a static front pairing and our midfield surrendered possession and territory with ease. In truth, only Mo Edu transcended meritocracy in a dull and uninspiring first half which ended with a seemingly bad injury to Pedro Mendes. Rangers left the field knowing that a vast improvement was required to secure a place in the final. The 2nd half started as the first finished with St Mirren having the lions share of possession but with little end product. With Davis moving into the centre of midfield, Rangers and the Ulsterman started to dominate proceedings and Davis look far more accomplished in the centre (for 45 minutes) than he has looked wide right all season. It was a surging Davis run which set up the landmark 100th Rangers goal for Kris Boyd. Boyd becomes the first Rangers striker since Mark Hateley to reach the golden three figure mark. Boyd finished off the move with a clinical, cool and composed strike. Rangers sniffed blood and pressed for the third goal that would kill the game. With Edu and Davis controlling midfield and with Kenny Miller (who replaced Velicka) offering some pace and directness coupled with intelligent runs it wasnââ?¬â?¢t long until Rangers put the game to bed. The ball broke to Miller in the penalty area and he dispatched the ball into the net and secure Rangersââ?¬â?¢ place in the cup final. The remainder of the game was played out in the St Mirren half with Rangers looking for a forth goal to add some gloss to the score-line. Boyd, Miller, Novo and Edu all had chances, but we had to settle for a comfortable 3-0 scoreline. One thing Iââ?¬â?¢d like to highlight is the state of the Hampden pitch. Players sliding all over the place, the ball sticking in the surface (three times I watched Novo then Miller try to run with the ball at their feet, only for the ball to get stuck in the pitch ââ?¬â?? not conducive to fast, free-flowing football). Weââ?¬â?¢ll have to wait to hear the extent of Mendesââ?¬â?¢ injury, but with Davis looking more composed in the centre, we have the Ulsterman to rely on if Mendes is to miss any games. Boogie is suspended for the visit of Hearts, so either Daily, McCulloch or Broadfoot will partner Weir in the centre of defence. All in all, a comfortable victory gained without really hitting top form, but it was fantastic to see three different scorers and the overall man of the match performance from Mo Edu is further evidence that the American can have a huge impact on Rangersââ?¬â?¢ run-in. The destination of both the SPL title and the Homecoming Scottish Cup is firmly in our own hands. Players Ratings Alexander ââ?¬â?? a mere spectator for large periods of the game ââ?¬â?? had one shot to deal with which he touched over the bar ââ?¬â?? 6/10 Daily ââ?¬â?? not the greatest performance from the utility man ââ?¬â?? booked for a rash tackle and didnââ?¬â?¢t offer much going forward ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Weir ââ?¬â?? Solid performance but his distribution is shocking ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Boogie ââ?¬â?? Has taken over the King Carlos (who?) mantle ââ?¬â?? great defensively and composed on the ball ââ?¬â?? 7/10 SW ââ?¬â?? not as effective as when he plays right back but was always willing to surge forward and had a decent game defensively ââ?¬â?? 6/10 Davis ââ?¬â?? struggled for the entire first half wide right ââ?¬â?? looked a completely different player through the middle in the 2nd half ââ?¬â?? had a hand in all three goals ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Mendes ââ?¬â?? was struggling to get a foot in the game before being carted off injured ââ?¬â?? not his best game ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Edu ââ?¬â?? only player to gain pass marks in the first half and hats off to him for raising his game even further in the 2nd half ââ?¬â?? MOTM by a long way ââ?¬â?? 9/10 Smith ââ?¬â?? once again struggled out left and left his wing to easily making us too narrow on occasions ââ?¬â?? tried hard tho ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Velicka ââ?¬â?? another game and another goal ââ?¬â?? do we have another Kris Boyd on our hands here ââ?¬â?? strong and harried all day ââ?¬â?? 6/10 Boyd ââ?¬â?? capped off a decent performance with his 100th goal for Rangers ââ?¬â?? another cool and composed finish from Boyd ââ?¬â?? 7/10 Novo ââ?¬â?? replaced the injured Mendes and struggled with the pitch ââ?¬â?? 5/10 Miller ââ?¬â?? once again, his pace, directness and intelligent runs opened up a few chances for Rangers ââ?¬â?? turning into a great impact player and got on the score-sheet ââ?¬â?? 6/10 Little ââ?¬â?? not really enough time to contribute ââ?¬â?? 4/10
  6. In the continued absence or 'Faither Frankie', I thought that I'd grasp the mantle and post a match report and players ratings..... Rangers rolled into Easter Road on the back of three consecutive SPL wins and the confidence that this feat would have undoubtedly given the players was evident as we raced into an early lead thanks to a wonderful strike from Whittiker. The former Hibee defender controlled a loose ball, steadied himself and fired a swerving and dipping volley into the net via the cross-bar. Instead of using this fantastic start as a platform, Rangers reverted to type and allowed the home side to grow in confidence and dictate the game. Neil Alexander ensured that our lead continued to be in tact as he pulled of a couple of saves, but couldn't stop the inevitable equaliser. A simple cross into our box wasn't defended properly and Fletcher lost Weir and planted a header into our net. Hibs tried to crank up the pressure but thankfully Rangers held out without conceding further until half-time. The weaknesses in our play were evident in the first half again. Failing to use a fantastic start as a springboard, sitting back on a lead and allowing the opposition back into the game. Our midfield was fragmented so our strikers were starved of decent service. The massed Rangers fans, who were once again a credit to their club were demanding an improved 2nd half performance and were hoping for some changes after the break. This looked a distinct possibility as Kenny Miller went through a lengthy warm-up during the break. The 2nd half started quite evenly with neither Rangers nor host Hiberian creating any notable chances. Rangers regained the lead with another well taken goal. Whittiker found Velicka with a wonderful pass into the channel. The former Hearts striker latched onto this pass and blasted the ball into the net. This happened just as it looked like Velicka was about to be subbed. This goal was well received by the travelling blue and white army, but sickened the Hibees. 2-1 down and goals scored by one of their ex heroes and ex Jambo! Rangers started to control the game at this point and this control was cemented when Kenny Miller replaced Velicka. Miller's pace and directness was what had been missing and he caused the home defence problems. They were happy with the physical battle against Boyd and Velicka, but Miller's pace certainly worried them. This was borne out with the third goal when Miller latched onto a Mendes pass, turned two defenders and drew a great save from the keeper. From the resulting corner, Boggie nodded the ball goal-wards and the ball rebounded back to the defender. Instead of settling for another corner, Boogie hooked the ball back across the six yard line. Miller met the cutback in acrobatic style and his volley was somehow cleared off the line. However, it was met by the lurking Edu who prodded the ball high into the net. The game should have been over, and we continued to create opportunities. Once again, Miller's pace and directness almost brought a forth goal when he managed to get between two defenders and surprised the keeper with a shot which was smothered round the post. Hibs throw themselves a lifeline when Rankin scored a thundering volley in the closing minutes, but Rangers held out without any problems to secure another vital away win and ensure that the destination of the title is still in out own hands. We should be helped with the news that most of our injured players are on the mend and they could contribute to the title run-in. Miller should today the benefit of having players with pace and directness, especially away from home against immobile defences like Hibs. Player Ratings Alexander - two or three notable saves and little chance with either goal - 6/10 SW - once again the best player on the pitch. Scored an early goal and set up the 2nd goal - one of only two players who starts who can beat an opponent with the ball - 8/10 Weir - apart from losing Fletcher at the goal did well - 6/10- Boogie - like SW, the only one of two players who has the ability to take a player on - 7/10 Papac - struggled badly through-out and finally replaced due to injury - 4/10 Davis - MIA again - 3/10 Edu - growing in stature and still has a lot to learn - HOWEVER, doesn't hide (take note Davis) and tries his hardest - chipped in with a goal - 6/10 Mendes - frustrating again - when he's good, he's very good, when he's bad he is very bad. Flashes of genius aren't good enough - needs a consistent level of performance during a game - 6.5/10 Smith - rightly praised for his performance last week and rightly kept his place. However, like Papac struggled through-out - 5/10 Boyd - starved of service so we know that he'll not flourish in those situations. Change in attitude though as he didn't hide and seemed up for the challenge - still, not his greatest game - 6/10 Velicka - once chance, one glorious goal - 6.10 Miller - did more in his short time on the pitch than either Velicka and Boyd, pace and directness was exactly what we have been missing - 7/10 Dailly - replaced Papac and did well - not shy in getting forward and one brilliant cross that Boyd should have gotten on the end off - 6/10 Novo - not enough time to contribute. Cammy F
  7. Going into today’s game against Motherwell with 9 first team regulars missing through injury or suspension, the first test of the day was going to be trying to 2nd guess Walter Smith whilst deliberating our starting 11. Some of us were predicting and hoping for a return for Stevie Smith, but I don’t think any of us would have guessed at his return being at left midfield! There was the surprise inclusion of Andreas Velicka who partnered Kris Boyd in the Rangers attack. The inclusion of the Lithuanian suggests that Walter Smith will use him to spearhead our attack in the coming weeks given that we visit Easter Road next week, then entertain Celtc after the split. I can see Walter Smith revert to a 4-5-1 for those games. We were given a huge incentive prior to kick-off with Hearts holding The Mopes at Tynecastle in what was a very entertaining game. Given our record of failing to capitalise on their slip-ups, I was expecting a nervous start to the game. However, once again, Rangers came flying out the traps and were 1-0 up inside 2 minutes. A superb Stevie Smith cross caused havoc in the visitors area and a slack back-pass allowed Valicka to prob home from close range. If this goal was scrappy, Kris Boyd’s was straight out the top drawer as he rifled an unstoppable shot high into the Motherwell net. So, 10 minutes gone and we are on easy street, playing some wonderful football and looking like giving Motherwell a going over. John Sutton had something to say about that, and got Motherwell back into the game with a goal to rival Boyd’s. A sense of dÃ?©jÃ? vu spread around the stands at Ibrox and as Motherwell grew in confidence gotten from Sutton’s strike and a nervousness crept into Rangers play. Thankfully we held out to half-time without losing another goal. We started the 2nd half with a renewed purpose and regained control and began creating chances again. We were able to impose of passing game and were awarded a penalty when Mendes was upended in the area. Kris Boyd stepped forward to kill of Motherwell’s challenge with his 98th (or is it 99th?) Rangers goal. Once the penalty was converted, we never looked back and could and should have added to our tally. In the best move of the match, Smith and the very impressive Whittakar combined brilliantly down the left with the later cutting into the box and firing an angled drive of the bar. All in all, a very crucial victory and a decent overall performance given the injury problems we currently face, but we did appear to lose our way for a period of time after going 2-0 up, not for the first time this week. Thankfully, we were able to readdress this and ran out comfortable winners. Whilst questions will be asked regarding team selection, formation and tactics, there were very few negative performances with worryingly, only Steven Davis (once again) displaying a substandard performance. Valicka and Smith did well considering they have had very few opportunities and little playing time. Both tired and were rightly substituted. The back four were again impressive and there was little they could have done to stop Sutton’s wonder strike. The midfield performed well with Edu once again showing that he can make an impact for us this season. When we are playing our free-flowing football, Pedro Mendes looks a class player. He links brilliantly when we are flowing, using intelligent flicks and first time passes to ensure that possession is kept and that the moves continue to move forward. However, when we drop of the pace, he looks ordinary as the flicks inevitably fail to find a Rangers player. Up front, Kris Boyd had one of his best games in a Rangers jersey and when we get players in and around Boyd, he is a completely different player and we are able to utilise his strengths. When he gets isolated, the opposite happens. So we go into the last game pre-split trailing Celtc by a solitary point and the destination of the SPL title is in our own hands. Ratings Alexander – little to do and had no chance with Suttons shot – 6/10 Dailly – a fine game at right back both defensively and offensively – 7/10 Weir – solid game from the veteran Captain – 7/10 Boogie – as above – 7/10 SW – MOTM for me, had a brilliant game both defensively and offensively and linked up well with Smith– 8.5/10 Davis – another substandard performance from Davis, not as anonymous as previous games, but still not good enough – 4/10 Edu – built on his recent performances and is grasping his opportunity with both hands – 7/10 Mendes – everything that was good in our performance came through Mendes – 7/10 Smith – surprise inclusion in left-midfield and put in a decent shift considering lack of chances – 6/10 Valicka – another surprise inclusion and IMO his recent inclusions point to him leading the attack in a 4-5-1 in coming games – on the score-sheet but little else – 5/10 Boyd – as I said above, one of Boyds best all round performances in a Rangers jersey. Took his first goal brilliantly and stuck away the crucial penalty superbly and closing in on 100 Rangers goals – 8/10 Nacho Novo – a replacement for Valicka and did well when introduced – 5/10 Naismith – replaced the tiring Smith and had little opportunity to impress in the 15 minutes offered to him – 5/10 Cammy F -
  8. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=784&Itemid=1 Steven Whittaker for me...
  9. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=781&Itemid=1 David Weir for me.
  10. The fat lady may not be singing as yet, but she is certainly warming up her vocal chords as Rangersââ?¬â?¢ title dreams lie in tatters after another frustrating performance at Ibrox today. This dire result should signify the end or Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s second spell in the hot seat as his troops failed to capitalise on a two goal advantage and a decent first half performance. Nobody inside Ibrox could have predicted such a turnaround after witnessing an invigorated Rangers team in the opening 45 minutes. However, this start can not be allowed to mask the inadequacies that were so cruelly exposed in the 2nd half. Rangers started the game well given the fact we were forced to field an emergency defence given the injuries to Boogie and Broadfoot and pressed, harried and hemmed Hearts into their own half and this pressure was rewarded in the 9th minute when pressing the ball, Rangers forced Hearts to relinquish position in midfield. Beasley pounced on the mistake, fed the impressive Lafferty who dispatched the ball passed the despairing dive of McDonald with aplomb. We continued to press and pressure Hearts and can count ourselves unfortunate not to have added to our total. Just as it looked like Rangers would have to settle for a slender 1-0 half-time advantage, Pedro Mendes fed Captain Barry Ferguson on the stroke of half-time and Ferguson fired in a tremendous 2nd goal which was merited on the balance of play. The only down sided to the first half was the injury sustained by Kyle Lafferty as the big Ulsterman was having a wonderful game and his pace, vision and running was certainly troubling the Hearts defence. Just like in last weeks Co-op Cup Final, the loss of Lafferty signalled the end of any movement in our forward players and this would come back to haunt us in the 2nd half. To say that Rangers were a different team in the second period is an understatement. Instead of continuing with the pressing, crisp passing and pressurising that was evident in the 1st half, we dropped of the pace, resorted to firing long, high balls it the hugely ineffective Boyd and entirely lost our way in the game. Hearts to their credit noticed this and seized on our lacklustre play and forced their way back into the game. However, they shouldnââ?¬â?¢t have had the opportunity to get back into the game as Novo slams a shot against the post instead of squaring the ball to the unmarked Boyd. Hearts then break up the park and McGregor is forced to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. A simple corner into the back of our penalty box was headed back across goal Karipidis squeezed the ball home despite Beasleyââ?¬â?¢s efforts to clear of the line. So Hearts had clawed themselves back into the game but Rangers didnââ?¬â?¢t heed this warning and criminally lost another goal minutes later. This time Papac was easily beat on the left wing, the ball was played into Elliot who cushions a header into the path of Palazuelos who fires home. So, in a matter of minutes, all the good work of the first half is undone and we are struggling to reinforce ourselves in the game. In truth, we never really regained any momentum and had to endure another baffling substitution from Walter Smith. Beasley who has continually caused Hearts problems is withdrawn and is replaced by Stevie Naismith. We create a couple of half chances but in truth have thrown away another two points and any chance we have of winning the SPL title. Questions have to be asked regarding the fitness of our players. We were told after the Hamilton game that Boogie was withdrawn as a precaution and that he would feature in the Co-op Cup Final. We were then told that he wouldnââ?¬â?¢t make the Co-op Cup Final but would be back for the Hearts game, yet there is still no sign of him. The exact same thing happened when Novo was injured against DUFC, we were told that heââ?¬â?¢d be back in action the next week, only for him to miss 3 or 4 weeks. Once again, Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s tactics and signings must come under some scrutiny. After playing well for 45 minutes, we retreated into our shells and appeared to be happy to defend the lead rather than continue to press and secure the victory. Steve Davis and Pedro Mendes MUST start offering more in the midfield. I fully understand that Davis is being played out of position, but both flatter to deceive. In every game this season, after 60 minutes, Steve Davis moves inside meaning that we have no wide player on the right hand side of midfield. I donââ?¬â?¢t know if this is a consequence of him playing out of position, or something that the coaching staff are instructing him to do, either way, it negates our threat from the right and stifles the midfield area. Kris Boyd has become a liability, he offers nothing, even his staunchest supporters must be questioning his ability and his recent goal-scoring record. He is the only player I know who shrinks when jumping for the ball. Boyd should have been withdrawn after 50 minutes as it was evident that he was offering nothing. He spends more time on his backside during a game than I do in the stand. All in all, a totally frustrating game and a result that must hasten the end of Walter Smiths tenure as Rangers manager as he appears unable to get the players playing to their capabilities and the time has come for him to be replaced with someone that will bring some fresh ideas to the team. For the 2nd consecutive season, Walter Smith has cost Rangers the SPL title with his negativity, defensive tactics, baffling substitution and inability to kill teams off when we are in the lead. The team were rightly booed of the pitch at the end with the fans that were left at the end showing their frustration and annoyance that another two points were thrown away. Players Ratings ; Alan McGregor ââ?¬â?? a mere spectator in the first half, couple of decent saves in the 2nd and little chance with either goal. However, his distribution is still suspect 6-10 SW ââ?¬â?? another decent shift at right back but was left exposed on the final 30 minutes of the game as Davis went AWOL and deserted his wide right position 6-10 Christian Daily ââ?¬â?? thrown into the game due to growing injury list and didnââ?¬â?¢t play that badly at all. Never troubled in the first half and won his fare share of tackled 5-10 Lee McCulloch ââ?¬â?? same as his defensive partner ââ?¬â?? not his natural position 5-10 Sasa Papac ââ?¬â?? not one of the Bosnians best games, easily beat in the build up to Hearts 2nd goal and his delivery wasnââ?¬â?¢t the best ââ?¬â?? 5-10 Steven Davis ââ?¬â?? continues to frustrate, flirts in and out of games then goes wandering after an hour ââ?¬â?? a major let down this season 5-10 Barry Ferguson ââ?¬â?? along with Lafferty, the best player in the Rangers team and scored a wonderful goal on the stroke of half-time 8-10 Pedro Mendes ââ?¬â?? further proof, if necessary that Mendes and Ferguson arenââ?¬â?¢t suited to each other in the middle of the pitch ââ?¬â?? poor game from one of the most skilful players we have ââ?¬â?? 5-10 Beasley ââ?¬â?? at last, a genuine wide player playing wide left ââ?¬â?? troubled the hearts defence constantly and it was a surprise to see him being subbed ââ?¬â?? 6-10 Lafferty ââ?¬â?? was playing brilliantly before picking up an ankle knock that forced him out and hopefully the injury isnââ?¬â?¢t serious. Great opening goal and deserves an extended run in his favoured position ââ?¬â?? 7-10 Kris Boyd ââ?¬â?? an enigma or just a woeful football player? The debate and argument of his merits (or lack of) will continue to rage on. On this showing, weââ?¬â?¢ll be lucky to get Ã?£300,000 for him never mind Ã?£3M ââ?¬â?? 3-10 Nacho Novo ââ?¬â?? replaced the injured Lafferty but couldnââ?¬â?¢t recapture the Ulstermanââ?¬â?¢s movement ââ?¬â?? tried as always but really should have squared the ball to Boyd to finish the game ââ?¬â?? shot off the post instead ââ?¬â?? 5-10 Naismith ââ?¬â?? continues to struggle in games and I canââ?¬â?¢t understand why we continue to persist with him wide left ââ?¬â?? pulled out of tackles and contributed nothing ââ?¬â?? 1-10 Cammy F
  11. All Gersnet articles are posted on NewsNow and read by hundreds of football fans across the world. Indeed, our most popular site article has been read by over 6000 people - via the main site link alone! Obviously hundreds more often read when the articles are posted on other sites. These kind of figures often out-perform the daily newspaper contributions on the wires - both tabloid and broadsheet. Why else do we have journalists constantly criticising so-called 'unofficial' websites? To keep the pressure up, Gersnet are always looking for writers to work for the site. It's easy to see the quality of writing from every poster on the site so why not expand on your usual post by writing a proper article? Your imagination and ideas are our bread and butter so why not let as many fans as possible hear you on your soap-box? As a 'reward' for becoming an official site contributor you will gain from the following wee perks: 1. Special graphic 'Writers' button (ala our mod/admin one); 2. Larger pm storage facility; 3. Access to new private 'Writers' sub-forum; 4. Automatic entry into any Gersnet competitions; 5. The chance to win 'Contributor' of the Month Award (medal added to your Postbit) To be clear we're not asking for people to write constantly for the site. We usually publish one or two articles a week on the site, so each 'Writer' would only be featured every so often. Thus, if each 'Writer' could write one/two articles a month, that would be more than enough to keep the main site ticking over. Obviously you can write more often if you wish. Already we have several people writing the match previews and I'm happy for others to write match reviews or submit their player ratings for games. All ideas for content are welcomed and this is why we're opening the sub-form for such contributors to brainstorm. - Fancy your own weekly blog on the main site? - Interested in writing about the history of the club? - How about a regular 'MediaWatch' column? - Want to catalogue interesting pictures/videos of the club? You can do all this and more via our easy to use Joomla software and administration support! If you're interested, please pm me.
  12. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=768&Itemid=1 Steven Whittaker had a fine game at right back so is my MotM... :box:
  13. Rangers drop crucial three points with pathetic performance at home to SPL's bottom side. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=762&Itemid=2 Madjid Bougherra is the only player for me. Ferguson and Papac were reasonable - the rest a joke.
  14. Can those who want to do this on a regular basis please pm me or add their name to this thread. I'll write the Caley Thistle one then get a new schedule up by the end of the week for those interested in writing. Match Preview Writers need to: - Write around 500 words on their allocated match. - Provide probable team and formation within this. - Ensure it is posted the day before the match (e.g. Friday am for Saturday games). - Please check all articles for spelling/grammatical errors before posting. - If you want to accompany the preview with a review (or ratings/poll etc) please feel free to do so.
  15. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=757&Itemid=1 Bougherra for me - just from Kenny Miller... :box:
  16. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=754&Itemid=1 I'll give it to Papac tonight... :box:
  17. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=750&Itemid=1 Bougherra for me.... :box:
  18. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=733&Itemid=1 Novo for me... :box: PS: I've not been unable to keep these as regular this season so if anyone wants to post ratings threads, please feel free if I've not already done so.
  19. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=708&Itemid=1 Probably give it to Ferguson I think. PS: If these aren't online after the game within a few hours, anyone else is welcome to post their ratings. Doesn't have to be me... :box:
  20. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=698&Itemid=1 Thought David Weir had a particularly good game so he gets it for me...
  21. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=695&Itemid=1 Madjestic Madjid Bougherra for me...
  22. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=692&Itemid=1 Davis again last night for me...
  23. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=690&Itemid=1 Think I'll give it to Davis who I though was immense today...
  24. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=686&Itemid=1 Mo Agadoo for me...
  25. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=684&Itemid=1 Kris Boyd for this bear... :box:
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