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  1. RANGERS ace Madjid Bougherra plans to wear a black armband at today's game in protest at the bloodshed in Gaza. The SFA say he won't be let on the pitch wearing anything political but the devout Muslim insisted that he doesn't care if he is fined for trying to make his point make in the Rangers v Falkirk game at Ibrox. He added that he'd refuse to play against an Israeli team in Europe. The Algerian defender explained: "As a Muslim, I am deeply touched by the barbarity that has been suffered by our Palestinian brothers and sisters. "I hope we will soon find a lasting solution to enable the Palestinian people to live like everyone else. Everyone must make a gesture about this. "I will wear a black armband as a sign of mourning and protest. I want people to know I do not agree with what is happening in Gaza and throughout Palestine. All Muslim players must make a gesture." He praised Seville striker Freddy Kanoute who was fined for revealing a T-shirt with a message of support to Palestine after scoring against Deportivo La Coruna this week. But an SFA spokesman stressed that FIFA rules must be obeyed and said: "Players are not allowed to wear anything - out with their kit - with a personal or political slogan. "If any player does wear anything which is deemed inappropriate, he won't be allowed on to the field of play." A spokesman from Rangers FC refused to comment. But Mick Napier, chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomed the move. He said: "We, like the majority of the Scottish people, support the Scottish Government who have expressed disgust at the situation in Gaza. We praise players like Bougherra." Philip Mendelsohn, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: "We would not seek to stop anyone expressing their personal views. "But we'd look to those with influence, such as Mr Bougherra, to ensure his actions can't be misconstrued and damage local inter-communal relations." Andy Kerr, president of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, said: "He is an employee of Rangers Football Club and would have to adhere to club policies." The Ranger Supports Trust refused to comment last night. So why are the RST refusing to comment? Don't like the hard questions or just run out of jaffa cakes? Pathetic.
  2. The alarm went off and i made my way downstairs She was standing in the kitchen Preparing to boil eggs for breakfast, wearing only the 'T' shirt that she normally slept in. As I walked in almost awake, She turned and said softly, 'You've got to make love to me this very moment.' My eyes lit up and I thought, 'I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day.' Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all; right there on the kitchen table. Afterwards she said, 'Thanks,' and returned to the stove, her 'T' shirt still around her neck. A little puzzled, I asked, 'What was that all about?' She explained . . . 'The egg timer is broken'
  3. I have heard a few rumours that we have signed a deal with canterbury to replace umbro when our current deal runs out. dont know if there is any truth in this story so i thought i would through it out to see if anybody had heard anything. The only club i know they are associated with are portsmouth.
  4. Jan 2 2009 By Keith Jackson RANGERS were given the perfect New Year's Day pick-me-up last night when Kevin Thomson revealed his career-saving operation has been a complete success. Thomson went under the knife in London on Hogmanay to finally have his shattered left knee rebuilt - two months after it was mangled during an SPL clash at Rugby Park. Record Sport can reveal the surgery had to be delayed after doctors spotted a life-threatening blood clot which had formed on Thomson's left calf. The stricken 24-year-old was finally given the all clear to go under the knife last week and jetted down south on Tuesday to put his career in the hands of Dr Andrew Williams, Britain's top knee injury specialist. And yesterday, in an exclusive interview with Record Sport from his hospital bed, Thomson revealed the surgery went so well he was back walking within a couple of hours of leaving the theatre. He said: "I know it might not sound like the ideal way to spend Hogmanay - lying in a hospital bed on my own in London pumped to the eyeballs with morphine - but I could not have wished for better news. "After everything I've been through in the last couple of months I'm just delighted to be here. "It's gone better than any of us had expected. The surgeon thought when he opened me up he would have to repair both my medial ligaments and maybe my cartilage. "But because of complications we had to delay the operation and that gave me time to do a lot of physiotherapy. "I worked hard and it seems the medial ligaments have repaired themselves as a result. "That meant all the doc had to do was concentrate on building a new interior ligament, which was obviously always going to be the most important part. "It seems to have gone well because I already have movement back in the joint and I've been up walking already. I can't tell you how good that felt." Thomson now hopes to be back in full training at Murray Park before the rest of his Ibrox team-mates report back for a not her punishing pre-season. He said: "That's the plan. The surgeon is extremely happy with the way it's gone and says there is no reason why I can't be back in six months. "I've been through this once before and I'm not naive enough to think there won't be a hiccup or two along the way but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be back as soon as possible. "July is seven months away so with a bit of luck I should have a good four or five weeks of training under my belt by the time the rest of the lads come back in from their holidays. "I've not been the luckiest of boys so far with injuries but I'm due a bit of luck and touch wood I'll get it in the New Year. "There's a long way to go but all I can think about is pulling on that shirt again and getting on with my Rangers career." Meanwhile, Ibrox boss Walter Smith will assess whether Andy Webster and Alan Gow have a place in his plans when they return this month after loan spells at English Championship sides. Webster has spent the first half of the season at Bristol City, where it was hoped he would be able to build on his fitness after suffering a series of injuries. But he picked up several minor knocks and made just six appearances during his spell at Ashton Gate. Gow had a reasonably successful stint at Blackpool, scoring five goals in 17 games. Smith said: "We'll see what happens when they come back and review the situation." http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/2009/01/02/exclusive-new-year-all-clear-for-kevin-thomson-after-career-saving-operation-86908-21009845/
  5. I was never behind the decision to bring him back but gave him the chance to come good. he hasnt though and after spending almost 30 million we have a team with very little imagination or substance. Our squad is filled with run of the mill players that smith has backed his shirt on and they are failing us big time. Charlie adams selection today alone speaks volumes about smiths ability as Rangers manager. A serial underacheiver who brings nothing to the first eleven yet seen by our manager as a... well only smith knows the answer to that one. Whittaker and broadfoot, nothing more than squad players to us all but to smith...god only knows that one too. But the Icing on the cake has to be lafferty. At 3 million you would expect the guy to have at least the basic ball skills required to play football, but with every passing game you can see that the poor lad is well out of his depth. I almost cried when one of my worst nightmares cam to fruition today, Adam getting subbed for lafferty! But there lies the problem. Walter smith cannot see what everyman and his dog can see from the stands at Ibrox. There are far too many players at Ibrox that are simply not good enough to play for Rangers. Too make matters worse walter cannot see past these imposters who have us tearing out our hair. He constantly picks them though they have little impact on any game, more often than not dragging us down with them. The alarm bells for me started ringing for smith when we mugged Dundee utd for the league cup when boyd came on and saved his arse. from then on in the team slowly imploded in instalments failing to impress as the weeks went by. Unfortunately for those of us who could see what was happening there was an incredibly lucky run in the Uefa cup which papered over the cacks at home. All eyes where on Europe as far as the men upstairs where concerned. But Walter stuck by individuals who were constanly underacheiving in the side. Whittaker, Broadfoot, Cousin, Darcheville, Adam, McCulloch and Dailly never worried about their places but anyone with half a brain could see that they just werent good enough and that the writing was on the wall. But then we reached the Uefa cup final. You really thought smith would have a real go at winning it but no. He tries to win it on penalties instead. we all know what happened next. Yet again he left out guys Like Boyd and Novo for some of the above, which was smiths main problem. He tried every option other than these two and he failed miserably. So With the league and The Uefa cup up the swanny it was time to rebuild for next year, or so you would have thought. But no, Smith thought he could pull the same stunt in Europe again with his anti football tactics but was caught out at the first hurdle by a pub team manager from the back of beyond (again!). Enter the chairman and his cheque book and cue a panic buying spending spree. Yeah we bought decent players (whist yet again selling our biggest asset) but to be honest we have yet to see half of them. Where the hell are Aaron, Vilichka, edu and our very own wonder boy Fleck? bugger..im going on the piss now ill finish this later.
  6. was in the pub last sunday talking to a celtic supporting mate of mine when a guy we didnt know came up to us ranting and raving about celtic and generally running down rangers. My mate (who is quite religous and a dye in the wool celtic fan) pointed out that i was in fact one of the "huns he was insulting" but our chum took little heed of his words and continued his rant, pulled up his jumper and revealed a three in a row t shirt and a crucifix. I leant over to him and told him that if he was half the christian he made himself out to be then he wouldnt be making such statements to which he replied: "IM NOT A CHRISTIAN, IM A CATHOLIC!" I was actually in the company of three celtic supporters at the time this guy said this and the look on thier faces was a real picture but they left him in no doubt of what they thought of him. He left the pub very suddenly.:fish:
  7. The Boyd Done Good As many long-term readers of my rants and posts on GersNet will testify, I have never been Boydââ?¬â?¢s number one fan. However, I have always stated that if Boyd could improve on his all-round game, add this to his undoubted goal-scoring talent, then heââ?¬â?¢s be an asset to our team. Saturdayââ?¬â?¢s game against Hibernian was in my opinion one of the best ââ?¬Ë?all-roundââ?¬â?¢ games Boyd has had in a Rangers jersey. He tracked back, he linked up play, his movement was decent and after missing a guilt-edged chance in the opening five minutes, scored a goal that only Boyd could score. It wasnââ?¬â?¢t a typical overhead kick, it was just the art of somehow getting the ball to nestle in the back of the net. Saturday was also saw us witness one of the most one-sided 1-0 victories in a long time. Hibernian came with a plan to frustrate us, get everyone behind the ball and not allow our midfield the time or space to utilise Millers clever runs. Credit to the players, they stuck to the task well, even when those in the stands were displaying signs of impatience and were reduced to cat-calling. Ferguson and Mendes showed further signs of a growing understanding and Mendes had his best game since the 4-2 mauling of the MOPES at Parkhead. His intelligent passing and audacious shooting was a joy to behold and certainly livened up the proceedings. I also thought that Papac and SW had very decent games in the full-back areas. With Hibs sitting deep, both took the opportunity to break forward and help to try to unlock the defence. I was disappointed in Hibsââ?¬â?¢ approach, as on their day, they are one of the better SPL teams and tend to play a very decent level of football. I know they had a few key players out injured, but expected them to put more into the game. It seemed that they had resigned themselves to a defeat even before a ball was kicked. You're Just Our Feeder Club This wee ditty is often sung when we play Hibs as we have over the years, signed various players from the Edinburgh club. In recent history players like Kenny Miller, Ian Murray, Steven Whittaker and Kevin Thomson have made the short journey along the M8 and joined Rangers from Hibernian. Others like Craig Patterson who went on to captain The Rangers and in my opinion, the best two players weââ?¬â?¢ve signed from Hibs are Andy Goram and Colin Stein. Both these players went on to make outstanding contributions to The Rangers and both are rightly remembered with great fondness within our support. However, whilst Colin Stein took no time to settle into the groove at Ibrox netting a total of eight goals in his first three games, whilst Andy Goram leaked uncharacteristic goals in his opening spell between the sticks. Stein with the subject of the first Ã?£100,000 pounds transfer between Scottish Clubs and went on to become a firm favourite and a permanent fixture in the Rangers line-up. His bustling style and fantastic heading ability saw Stein score hugely important goals for Rangers including a strike in the Cup Winners Cup Final in Barcalona and the goal that won the 1975 championship. If I remember correctly, he is also the last player to have scored a hat-trick for Scotland. Colin lives local to me and some may find it surprising that he is now a joiner with a local firm and was a very decent at bowls! Andy Goram recovered after a shaky start and established himself into Rangers folk-lore as one of the finest keepers we have had. The list of astonish saves is endless, but the one to deny Hugedonkey at Ibrox was one of the best saves I have ever seen. Both players have actually attended various dances at our RSC and both were a credit to themselves and Rangers Football Club. Worrying Rumours Following on from Super Allyââ?¬â?¢s thread regarding worrying and shocking rumours - http://www.gersnetonline.net/vb/showthread.php?t=9290 here are a few that I heard (from various sources over the weekend) that are as worrying : We have contacted and opened negotiations with Bobo Baldesââ?¬â?¢s representatives with a view to taking the Celtc stopper once his contract expires at Parkhead. This deal is said to be at an advanced stage and could be completed soon. Balde will see out the remainder of his contract at Celtc and move to Rangers in the summer under freedom of contract. West Brom had a Ã?£5M bid for Kevin Thomson accepted by Rangers and the deal was to be concluded in January. However, after Thomsonââ?¬â?¢s injury and West Brom losing sponsorship (with T-Mobile) this deal has been scrapped. West Brom are actually in some financial difficulty as they have lost and failed to replace T-Mobile as shirt sponsors and have gone public locally asking for local investors to invest in the club. However, I am led to believe that Birmingham City are also keen on Thomson and will test Rangersââ?¬â?¢ resolve with a Ã?£5M bid in the summer. If we get a bid from Birmingham, Thomson will be sold. Our finances appear to be a lot worse than any of us thought. Martin Bain has been tasked to make further reductions to the spiralling wage bill, hence the reason as many as 10 players will leave Ibrox in January. Kirk Broadfootââ?¬â?¢s agent was sent packing from Murray Park with a flee in his ear after inquiring about a pay rise for Broadfoot now he is an international player. It is believed that Kirk is on Ã?£2K per week and his agent asked for ~Ã?£4K and was politely told to ââ?¬Ë?beat itââ?¬â?¢. Wonder if this is why young Kirk was demoted to the bench recently. All of the above is unsubstantiated but heard this from a few people, not just one source. Get Into Them Once the turkey and the roast potatoes (am I still allowed to refer to potatoes in this sensitive Old Firm week ââ?¬â?? donââ?¬â?¢t want to offended anyone especially at this time of year) has been digested, weââ?¬â?¢ll welcome our bitter neighbours to our home for the 2nd Old Firm game of the season. The damning statistics regarding our inconsistent form says that even a Rangers win (our 2nd of the season) will still see us trailing the MOPES by a point. That is as hard to swallow as the turkey ââ?¬â?? potentially 2 Old Firm victories and still behind them in the race for the SPL. These encounters are never ââ?¬Ë?tameââ?¬â?¢, but itââ?¬â?¢s time that we crank this game up a notch or two. They have been allowed to swagger around in this fixture recently and itââ?¬â?¢s time that we reverted back to the days of Jock Wallace and got the battle fever on. Lets barrack them from start to finish, lets get on the backs of the officials, lets drown out their bile with Rangers songs (and the odd verse of the hockey cokey), lets get right fookin into them (in a non-sectarian manner you understand). The Rolly-Polly Goalie should be our prime target. This ââ?¬Ë?manââ?¬â?¢ is unstable ââ?¬â?? lets hound him. The players should also be getting into his ear at every opportunity. We should be shooting on site (praying for squigglers), barging him at cross-balls and generally making his life uncomfortable. He isnââ?¬â?¢t in the best frame of minds, so lets try and capitalize on that. Whilst doing all of the above, lets not get on the backs of our players, they need and deserve our full support. Itââ?¬â?¢s worth remembering that anything other than a victory isnââ?¬â?¢t really good enough for us. I would expect Walter Smith to now stick with the 4-4-2 formation and he could stick with Saturdays starting 11. Donââ?¬â?¢t be fooled by the MOPES claims of injury, suspensions etc, theyââ?¬â?¢ll have their strongest 11 on the pitch on Saturday, make no mistake about that. Please Santa, 3 points for The Rangers. Merry Xmas & A Happy New Year Just like to take this opportunity in wishing all fellow GersNet contributors and all Rangers fans a very merry xmas and a happy new year. Cammy F
  8. ROD Wallace was a hero of Old Firm meetings in his time in Glasgow and believes victory for the light blues in this month's derby clash will see the title momentum swing to the city's south side. Rod WallaceWallace picked up five medals in a successful three year spell at Ibrox and now feels the current crop of Rangers stars can add a title success to their CVs after the disappointment of missing out last term. The diminutive Englishman took the Scottish game by storm when he switched to Rangers from Leeds in the summer of 1998. Dick Advocaat brought the striker north of the border on a free transfer and he rewarded the Dutchman with a flying start to his Ibrox career. His debut season in a light blue shirt saw him bag 27 goals as Advocaat led his side to the domestic treble in his first season at the helm. And Wallace forever endeared himself to the Ibrox faithful in the final game of that first season when he hit the only goal of the 1999 Scottish Cup final against Celtic. His 49th minute strike was the goal that secured the treble for Advocaat's team just weeks after they had landed the title at Celtic Park It also ensured that Wallace ended his incredible debut season on a high note with three medals in his first year in Scotland. He went contribute another 20 goal haul the following season to help his side to the domestic double and take his silverware tally as a Rangers player to five trophies in two seasons. Now, having watched Walter Smith's current side narrow the gap to Celtic to just four points over the weekend he feels the title might just be heading back to Ibrox after a three season absence. He said: "I always keep an eye out for the results to see how the club are getting on. Of course they lost last week but it's good to see them get a result this weekend. "Hopefully they can pick up a few results and go on a bit of a run now and kick on from there. If they can do that I don't see any reason why the title won't come back to Ibrox this season." With an Old Firm game to come at the end of December, Wallace knows Gers will have a chance to further decrease the gap at the top of the table.Rod Wallace And he admits he will be keeping a keen eye on events when the two rivals lock horns again after Christmas. Walter Smith will be looking for one of his stars to deliver a belated Christmas gift on the 27th of the month and Wallace knows all about being the man who makes a difference against Rangers' rivals. As well as that Scottish Cup winner in '99, Wallace grabbed the only goal of the game in March 2000 as Rangers left Parkhead with full points on their way to a second successive title success. He was also part of the famous team that clinched the '99 title on their neighbours' patch just weeks before his Hampden triumph. Although he was on the receiving end of a late red card in that title winning visit to Parkhead he remembers his appearances in derby matches throughout his Gers career fondly. He added: "I had a few good times here and it's hard to pick out one that stands out over the rest. "The Cup final was a great experience, without doubt one of the best. It was a great occasion and one of the first finals at the new Hampden which just added to the experience. "Scoring the winner at Parkhead was another great occasion but there were so many in my time up here that it's hard to really pick one as the real highlight. "That would certainly be one of them though and I'll be looking out for the boys to see how they got on at the end of the month." Wallace was back at Ibrox as a half time hero against Hamilton at the weekend and he admits it was great to bring back some happy memories from his time in Glasgow. Rod WallaceAfter reuniting and reminiscing with some familiar faces around Ibrox he said: "It's been great being back here. "I've really enjoyed seeing some old friends and having the chance to catch up with what they've been doing. "I had a great three years up here and have got some great memories from being part of this great club. "Of course I won a few things but I also met some really good people and that helped make for a really enjoyable time up here for me." It is little wonder that Wallace enjoyed his three seasons north of the border as he built up an impressive record in his time as a light blue, scoring 54 goals in 120 games over the three years. After leaving Glasgow Rod returned south where he had a further three seasons in England with Bolton and Gillingham before injury forced him to quit his playing career at the age of 34. Since then he has maintained a keen interest in remaining in football and is now working towards his coaching badges whilst gaining hands on experience with Kingstonian FC's youth teams. And at just 39 he is hoping to continue his involvement in the game with more senior coaching roles to come once his professional coaching courses have finished. He added: "I finished in 2004 because of the toll the injuries took on me. Since then I've been looking in to the coaching side of things. "I'm working on level three at the moment and I've been concentrating on that for the last couple of years now. "I'm keen to stay involved in the game if I get a chance. It's all about luck really, but once I get the qualification I'll see how things go from there."
  9. From Amir Rashid at Kilwinning Sports Club RANGERS kept the pressure on league leaders Hibs after a hard fought 1-0 win away to Kilmarnock when Kane Hemmings grabbed the only goal of the game. With Hibs beating Inverness Caley Thistle 4-1 on Friday, it was imperative Rangers went away with all three points - Billy Kirkwood will no doubt be pleased his side were able to do just that. In what was a fairly balanced first half, the young Swede Isa Bagci could have opened the scoring for Rangers after just seven minutes when his shot just outside the box went wide past the right of the Kilmarnock goal. Stephen StirlingOn the 25 minute mark Kilmarnock created an opening when a flowing passing move led to a shot from Scott Walker on the left who failed to test Arturs Vaiculis - his shot going harmlessly past the Latvian stoppers' post. Five minutes later Rangers were denied a penalty when Kyle Hutton's shot appeared to the hit the hand of the on-rushing Kilmarnock defender from close range. Bagci tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck, when on 32 minutes he collected the ball wide on the right before cutting in on his left before releasing a shot just outside the box that sailed over the bar. Stephen Stirling then attempted to get Rangers moving on 35 minutes but his shot from distance - low to the keeper's right - was easy enough to deal with for the diving Kilmarnock goalkeeper. Following Kirkwood's inspiring half-time team talk Rangers came out all guns blazing in an effort to take the lead. After just a minute into the second half a well flighted corner from Gregg Wylde found the head of Ross Perry in the 6 yard box who saw his header cleared of the line by the Kilmarnock defence. Rangers came out the hungrier of the two sides and a Jamie Ness cross from the left found Bagci who was unable to turn the ball home with his head from inside the box, after only three minutes of the second half. But it was the returning John Fleck who proved the inspiration for the Light Blues on 53 minutes, his clever assist on the halfway line found Hemmings 40 yards out from goal. The powerful striker picked it up and ran at the Kilmarnock defence, who were unable to stop him, as he unleashed a beautiful curling shot low into the left of the Kilmarnock goal from the edge of box. Rangers were keen to ensure there were no slip ups and chased the second goal. Minutes later it was Bagci again who tested Kilmarnock when his rifled shot from an acute angle in the box was parried out for a corner by the goalkeeper.John Fleck, Rangers Rangers' dominance was showing in the second period and Kilmarnock created very little. An ambitious effort from 45 yards by Daniel McKay on 57 minutes caused little trouble to Vaiculis who ignored any attempt to embarrass him by plucking the ball out from the air as it arrived at his goal. McKay came back at Rangers 10 minutes later when his run past the idle Rangers defence culminated in a shot from 30 yards that went over the bar. Hemmings and Bagci linked up well with 20 minutes left as Rangers searched for the goal that would guarantee all three points. Hemmings' header found Bagci in the box who skipped past the Kilmarnock defence, doing the hard work before squandering a goal scoring chance as his close range shot went wide. On the 80th minute Kilmarnock were reduced to 10 men. Mick Doyle saw red following a slip that was quickly seized upon by Hemmings who outpaced the last man Doyle before having his shirt pulled by the young Kilmarnock defender. From the resulting freekick, 25 yards out from goal, Stephen Stirling saw his excellent effort brilliantly saved, one handed to his top left hand corner by the diving Kilmarnock goalkeeper. Rangers continued to create chances up until the final whistle but they will no doubt be pleased that they managed to secure a win away against a battling Kilmarnock side.
  10. From John McGarry in Aalborg, 22/11/2008 ALLAN KUHN has sensationally branded Celtic LUCKY and off-form. The stand-in Aalborg boss cranked up the heat ahead of Tuesdayââ?¬â?¢s make-or-break Champions League clash with the Hoops in Denmark with his blast. The stakes could hardly be higher with the winner almost certainly guaranteed UEFA Cup football. But despite Celtic racking up 11 straight SPL wins since losing to Rangers in August, the man who stepped up from No2 when Bruce Rioch was sacked feels his side are facing Celtic at just the right time. He said: ââ?¬Å?I know people are saying this is the game Celtic will end their bad away run in the Champions League but thinking like that could be their main problem. ââ?¬Å?We have a much better team than we did when we drew 0-0 at Celtic Park. ââ?¬Å?They will still be favourites coming here because they have the experience in Europe. But so far they havenââ?¬â?¢t used that to get a win away from home. I think against Celtic itââ?¬â?¢s 50-50. They are a bigger name than us but thatââ?¬â?¢s all. ââ?¬Å?I saw they beat the team who are bottom of the Scottish League just 2-1 last week. ââ?¬Å?I think they were very lucky with the penalty and scored with just four minutes to go. So I think theyââ?¬â?¢re struggling a bit at the moment.ââ?¬Â Despite a lack of superstars in his side, Kuhn believes his players can achieve the result that guarantees them European football in the New Year and will perhaps earn him an extended stay in the dug-out. He added: ââ?¬Å?The club have told me Iââ?¬â?¢ll be in charge for six weeks then Iââ?¬â?¢ll probably be back as No2. But you never know what can happen in football. ââ?¬Å?Of course, it would help my case if we could beat Celtic or Manchester United but itââ?¬â?¢s not all about those two games. ââ?¬Å?We donââ?¬â?¢t fear anything. Our guys played in Europe last year against the likes of Spurs and Sampdoria so they have learned how to play. Thatââ?¬â?¢s why it didnââ?¬â?¢t surprise me when we got the draw in Glasgow. ââ?¬Å?Weââ?¬â?¢re not afraid of Celtic because we have a lot of international players who have been involved in big games. ââ?¬Å?If we make third in the group and the UEFA Cup it would be a massive achievement. At the start, we knew if we had the scenario of Celtic at home with everything still at stake, it would be a great opportunity. ââ?¬Å?Now weââ?¬â?¢re there and we want to take it. We know if we beat Celtic weââ?¬â?¢re through and weââ?¬â?¢ll do everything we can to do it. ââ?¬Å?It would be great to go into the winter training, in the cold and snow, knowing weââ?¬â?¢re in the next stage of the UEFA Cup. Itââ?¬â?¢s a massive match for us.ââ?¬Â Kuhn only hopes his next experience of European football against a Scottish side is better than his first. He said: ââ?¬Å?I played for Lyngby against Rangers in 1992, trying to qualify for the Champions League. I didnââ?¬â?¢t play in the first leg at Ibrox because I was sick. ââ?¬Å?I was back for the return but we lost 1-0 in Copenhagen. I managed to get Ally McCoistââ?¬â?¢s shirt that night. ââ?¬Å?It was a great tie to play in and great experience for me as a youngster, going up against players like McCoist and Mark Hateley. ââ?¬Å?Rangers were even bigger favourites to beat us then than Celtic are now so it wasnââ?¬â?¢t too much of a disappointment to lose. ââ?¬Å?Thatââ?¬â?¢s the only time Iââ?¬â?¢ve played against a Scottish team, as a player or coach. But we know Scottish football well in Denmark, we always get the Old Firm games on TV. ââ?¬Å?Iââ?¬â?¢ve seen a few of Celticââ?¬â?¢s games recently and our scout was at the St Mirren match, so we know how theyââ?¬â?¢ll play. Even with a few injuries they still have a strong team. Theyââ?¬â?¢ve never won away from home in the Champions League and this could be our chance.ââ?¬Â Aalborg have steadily climbed away from the foot of the Danish league since Kuhn took charge and the 40-year-old said: ââ?¬Å?It is incredible how quickly you learn in this game. ââ?¬Å?In the first week you feel the adrenalin and youââ?¬â?¢re stressed, but after that you cope, you have to. We were second from bottom in the league when I took over, so it was important to move up. Weââ?¬â?¢re doing that now and weââ?¬â?¢re in the semi-final of the cup. ââ?¬Å?Weââ?¬â?¢ve not lost yet since I took over and I can feel the confidence coming back into the squad.ââ?¬Â http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/scottish_sport/82146/Aalborg-brand-Celts-weak-and-lucky.html
  11. My brother jst sent me an email with a link from Rangers "official" shirt seller. Their homepage for the football section has a badge of man utd, arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and the tims and nothing about us. Why are we persisting with this sh*t? This is a f*ckin embaressment http://www.jjbsports.com/football-shop
  12. Not a Rangers topic per se but relevant to current affairs: Only two weeks past Peter Lawwell and John Reid prevaricated to their shareholders (and anyone else made aware of their comments) that they only had a ‘tiny, tiny minority’ of fans who sung ‘political’ songs that are only offensive to ‘some’ people. Chairman John Reid also preferred to strangely concentrate on supporters of other clubs instead of addressing the very real issue of sectarianism within large sections of his own fan-base. His prevarication and ignorance has now been highlighted in the strongest terms by Strathclyde Police, the Procurator Fiscal and Scottish judicial system as a Celtic fan is convicted of religiously aggravated crimes. What now for the sectarian song-book of Celtic fans? For those unaware of the latest happenings, Celtic supporter Michael Devlin was convicted after wearing a t-shirt with ‘dirty horrible huns’ scrawled over the back of the clothing while being present near Ibrox on the night of the UEFA Cup Final (more info via ‘The Herald’ report here). Considering that at last count Celtic sing at least four different songs about ‘huns’ – both home and away – it will be fascinating to see how , not only the Celtic administration handle this situation, but the SPL Disciplinary Committee, UEFA and Scottish police forces as the country’s courts system finally join Northern Ireland in declaring the term to be unlawful. Scarves featuring the ‘No Huns in Europe’ slogan have already been banned from stadiums this season so it is clear that behind the scenes work is being done to ensure parity is finally being bestowed upon the Celtic supporters who hypocritically complained about the use of the literally identical word ‘fen!an’. These complaints eventually resulted in similar censures for Rangers FC and their fans. While it is obvious to any sane person that such terms may only be a result of local tribal rivalry as opposed to genuine sectarian hatred, Celtic supporters – led by Graham Spiers and other public figures – have set the temperature in this political climate so it will be interesting to view their reaction to one of their own being subject to the rules they asked for. Going by comments in other articles, it seems as usual, deflect and deny is their usual tactic. Excuses are made about the origins of the term while they forget that it’s not just Rangers fans they sing it to but teams (and people) with perceived religious affiliations. A direct breach of the SPL Rules – not to mention the Criminal Justice Act – hence the earlier conviction. One only needs attend any run of the mill SPL football match and you’ll hear the term being used again and again (“Artur Boruc Hates the Huns”, “Go Home Ya Huns”, ‘No Huns in Europe”, “Mike McCurry is a Hun” are just some songs with this vile word in them) . A cursory visit to any of their internet forums or fanzines also sees the term used frequently. Add in the continuing disgusting and unacceptable ‘political’ songs glorifying the past sectarian activities of the IRA, then at last the offensive songbook of the Celtic bigots may at last be removed from football stadia. Is there really being progress made on this front? Will Celtic fans and Celtic FC be as progressive and as forward thinking as Rangers in their attack on the people who sing these songs of hate? Unfortunately, the denial from Lawwell and the deflection from Reid – as well as the faux defence of this discriminatory word from the less forward thinking of their fans - means there are still obviously more questions than answers at this stage. But, I won’t apologise for saying, we told you so.
  13. Why does he wear No.01 on the back?
  14. IBROX No.2 Ally McCoist insists Barry Ferguson is so desperate to get back playing that the coaching staff have to hold him back in training. The Rangers captain hasn't played this season after undergoing ankle surgery in the summer. But the midfielder is nearing a return to first-team action and will step up his rehabilitation when he turns out for the reserves against St Mirren on Tuesday. McCoist said: "Barry is looking great but he wants to run before he can walk so we have to monitor him. "He's desperate to play and hopefully will get an hour in the reserve game." Ferguson (right) also wants to pull on a Scotland shirt again and help our push for a World Cup place. McCoist said: "I'd love Barry to play at a major championship because he deserves it. He can't wait to get back."
  15. IMO it should be....Mendes should only get dropped if he loses form...so the central midfield slot should be between Ferguson and Thomson. Ive never been a big fan of Thomson but he holds the shirt at the moment so Ferguson should have to oust him first. Ive also been a critic of Ferguson due to his inconsistancy...but i still know if he is on his game then he is top notch! But WS will play 4 central defenders, with 4 central midfielders and 2 strikers. As soon as Aaron signed i said throw the kid in...but i bet he wont be touched - i was shot down saying negative Gribz - Yet its october and ive seen more halloween partys than Aaron. - PLAY THE BOY - id love to see him on the left...If we have Mendes and Ferguson pulling the strings with Davis/Novo on the right then we could be awesome
  16. Guest

    JJB Sports Shop Online

    i want to have a winge about JJB Sports Shop Online aka rangers megastore i am after a top for my lads birthday Rangers Home Goalkeeper L/S Shirt 08/09 M Boys 146/152cm looked in the shop in my town nothing there your lucky to get a home top let alone anything else but i found it on the megastore site so made the oder and now i got an email 5 days later saying We have had to cancel the Rangers Home Goalkeeper L/S Shirt 08/09 M Boys 146/152cm as we have sold out unfortunately we have refunded the money back to your card it will appear back in your account in 1-5 working days. The reason being we cannot despatch part orders so cancelling has enabled us to despatch the remaining goods to you. part order being RFC Metalic Football 08/09 1 �£7.99 but now i am paying about �£13 for a football i could have got from the shop in the town for �£7.99 thats one item to did have they should have canceled the whole order i think they should contact people before they send incomplete orders on whether you wish to cancel the whole order or not JJB Sports Stinks
  17. By Andrew Dickson CHRIS BURKE insists he can't even think about the day he pulls on a Scotland shirt again until he re-establishes himself at Rangers. The winger has been out of action for six months because of an ankle problem but is edging closer to a comeback after a string of reserve outings. Chris BurkeTwo years ago, Burke won two caps as the Scots won the Kirin Cup and he scored twice on his debut against Bulgaria. As such, he'll look on with envy as the national team takes on Norway this weekend in a crucial World Cup qualifier at Hampden. But as he waits to make his first Gers appearance since April, the 24-year-old admits he can't afford to look any further ahead than that. Burke said: "Things are going well for me in the reserves and I'm very happy with the progress I'm making. "My injury feels a lot better and it is good that my ankle is more stable now and close to 100% again. "It can only improve with more games and the most important thing at the moment is for me to continue building up my fitness and getting that back. "The more I play, the more that will happen. A few of my team-mates are away with Scotland this week and it is a great honour to play for your country. "But my aim first and foremost is to get back into the Rangers team and that's what I need to be thinking about. "Competition here is immense just now. Our squad is very big and there is a lot of talent throughout. "It will be very difficult for me to get involved again because it's not just one or two players battling for places. "There are three or four all going for the same spots all over the park and that means that if you're playing, you have to make the most of it.Chris Burke "I'm happy with the way things are going for me just now and hopefully that continues to be the case when I'm fully fit and if I get my chance." Burke is by no means the only person homing in on a first-team return, with captain Barry Ferguson also close to being available for selection again. The winger has welcomed news that the skipper could come back as soon as next weekend against Dundee United after next Tuesday's reserve game with Hibs. Burke added: "Getting Barry back will be a massive boost, both for him and for the club. He is our captain and has showed what he can do in the past. "I'm sure when he comes back, he'll be determined to prove to everybody that he's back to his best again. "From what I've seen of him in training, he looks as though he is back to normal again and I'm sure he'll be a great asset once more."
  18. I know we've had a few debates about finances recently but im hoping this grim picture painted by one of them is more in hope than in fact. While income and expenditure both turned slightly against Celtic last season, it was bonanza time at Ibrox where Rangers published record turnover as a result of the double bounty; Champions League group stage income followed by a run to the Uefa Cup final in Manchester. Celtic turnover (t/o) was �£75.237m compared to Rangers �£64.452m, but Rangers outsource their merchandising operation, including only a licence payment from JJB Sports in the figures, whereas the Celtic figure includes total income from merchandising sales. Celtic earned �£16.092m from merchandising sales, contributing a margin of �£4.8m in a financial year without the release of a new home shirt. When Rangers signed the JJB deal in 2006 they revealed they would earn �£3m each year, plus �£1.45m amortised in the Profit and Loss account (P&L) but paid at the start of the contract in 2006, criteria was in place to provide for bonus payments should unspecified targets be achieved. It was, therefore, with some astonishment that no bonus payments were earned, despite the unprecedented proliferation of Rangers merchandise walking the streets ahead of the Manchester riot. I understand that the bonus is dependent on progress to the latter stages of the Champions League, which ironically would have sold a lot less kit for JJB; it appears Rangers had overlooked a clause for Uefa Cup progress. The big area of interest from a financial statement is the indication of where a company is heading next. Celtic will earn at least �£70m this season but if they finish higher than bottom place in the Champions League group stage they should reach �£75m. By contrast, Rangers are looking at financial Armageddon. In 2004-05 they earned �£34.48m (from continuing operations), a whopping �£30m less than last season, but 2004-05 included four home European games, each with TV rights, compared to only one this season. �£34m will be the upper limit of their income potential this season; it will be less still, unless a good run in the domestic cups includes high-earning home games, a whole �£40m less than what I expect from Celtic and still �£28m less than the Celtic figure adjusted for comparable merchandise income. Celtic salary costs were �£38.981m, a �£2.5m increase on the previous season, compared to �£34.339m at Rangers, up a massive �£10.1m on 2007. The latter figure will in part reflect incentive payments for European progress, although the clutch of new signings who arrived at the club in 2007 will make up the bulk of the increase. In a masterstroke of business acumen, Rangers chief executive, Martin Bain, appears to have included the Uefa Cup in bonuses to be paid, but not on bonuses earned. I was delighted to learn that Rangers pay more for the remarkably unpopular Bain (�£668k) than Celtic pay for 'Self Appointed Football-Integrity Judge and Jury' (W.Smith), Peter Lawwell (�£514k). Although perhaps Bain's remuneration also reflected Uefa Cup progress. You would think that with such big numbers flowing into his own bank account the whole 'What will be get if we do well in the Uefa Cup?' question would be at the front of his mind when he negotiated with JJB. Football club's P&L income figures do not include player sales, with are recorded on the balance sheet, so Rangers sale of Cuellar will bring in �£7.8m more than the income figure, which itself will be offset in cash terms by the �£1.45m banked back in 2006 from JJB. Before they start to spend on extravagances like footballers, clubs have considerable costs to pay. Rates, electricity, property maintenance, policing, to name only a few, cost Celtic �£15.395m. Rangers figure was higher than this, perhaps as a result of exceptional items resulting from the run to the Uefa Cup final, so the previous year's cost of �£16.262m will be a better indicator of costs this year, which is just �£18m less than their anticipated income available for football and other operations. By comparison, Celtic will have in the region of �£45m available for football and other operations when adjusted for the merchandise sales difference. Net bank debt at Celtic was �£3.52m compared to Rangers' �£21.559m but while Celtic are set to come out of debt in May (barring an exceptional expense in January), Rangers net year-end debt is likely to rise beyond �£30m unless significant steps are taken to sell players in January. Celtic are in an exceptionally strong financial position. They can survive the vagaries of football fortune, or economic downturn, without the threat of cutback should income dip. Conversely, Rangers are in dire trouble. This year will not be financially the worst Sir David Murray has bestowed on his club, but it will make for horrendous reading to any prospective buyer of the club and provide further evidence that they are hopelessly adrift of financial security. Winning the league this season and qualifying for next season's Champions League will not provide succour from their structural problems, it would only result in a temporary slowdown in decline. Rangers debt has risen inextricably, and is set to continue to rise, at a time when bank facilities have become more difficult and expensive to acquire. Should new HBOS owners, Lloyds TBS, take fright at the property-to-football conglomerate, Murray International Holdings, which includes Rangers, frankly, the consequences are so dramatic, I don't think we should discuss them, as I have trouble sleeping when I get too excited. We live in a time when things which simply cannot happen, happen. When some of last year's most credit-worthy companies in the world have gone into receivership; when one of the centuries-old pillars of the Scottish business community crumbled in days. No company dependent on a significant increase in its debt is safe. Rangers Football Club, 1873 - 20??
  19. By Andrew Dickson STUART McCALL has revealed he wants to keep Rangers midfielder Dean Furman at Bradford on loan until the end of the season. Dean Furman playing for Bradford CityThe City manager, an integral part of the Light Blues side which won nine league titles in a row, currently has the 20-year-old in his squad until January 5. But he has been so impressed by the South African in his first few weeks at Valley Parade that he wishes to extend the arrangement by another four months. Furman made his first League Two start for the Bantams on Saturday and played the full 90 minutes as they lost 2-0 at Shrewsbury Town. With fellow midfielders Chris Brandon and Lee Bullock out injured, he now has a chance to establish himself in the side. McCall said: "My thinking is that Dean is going to stay with us for the season because he has been a real asset. "In a perfect world, he'll get into our team and do well and Rangers will do fantastically well without him up at Ibrox.Dean Furman "If that happens, I'd love it if Walter (Smith) decided that because he was getting some decent coaching with us, he'd let us keep Dean. "It is early days yet but with the competition for places at Rangers and Barry Ferguson still to come back, it's difficult to break in there. "I know a lot can happen in a week in football, never mind three or four months, so we'll see what happens. "We've not discussed anything like that and it would be no good for Dean to stay with us if he wasn't getting a regular game. "But I'm sure he'll get a place in my side in the foreseeable future. If he performs the way he has been in training, he'll make a starting shirt his."
  20. Part 1 Overview In a year when Rangers qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and then went on and reached the UEFA Cup final the club made a loss, before the sale of players, of Ã?£1.1 million. The sale of Alan Hutton was required to show a profit for the year. This highlights the financial plight of the club, being as successful as we were in Europe we still need to sell players to make a profit. Why did we not make a higher profit? Income increased by Ã?£23 million over 2007 ââ?¬â?? This including Ã?£11 million from UEFA for the Champions League/UEFA Cup and Ã?£10 million in additional gate receipts due to the number of games played. Net Operating expenses increased by Ã?£13.7 million - This is mainly due to a Ã?£10 million increase in staff costs (see next section). Amortisation (write-off) of playersââ?¬â?¢ values increased by Ã?£3.2 million ââ?¬â?? the cost of players is written off over the period of their contracts and the purchase of players costing over Ã?£10 million at the start of the season resulted in an increase in the write-off over the prior year. With the increase in income being offset by the higher operating costs and higher amortisation of players it resulted in the prior yearââ?¬â?¢s operating loss of Ã?£5.1 million becoming an operating profit of Ã?£641,000. Interest payable of Ã?£1.7 million, an increase of Ã?£454,000 over the prior year due to the increase in debt, is then deducted which results in a loss before the sale of players of Ã?£1.1 million. The sale of players, primarily Hutton, generated a profit of Ã?£7.7 million which meant that we made a profit before tax for the year of Ã?£6.6 million. The bottom line is that profits were lower than everyone predicted due to higher wages paid to the players. Staff costs Staff costs increased by Ã?£10 million, from Ã?£24 million to Ã?£34 million, with Wages and Salaries increasing by a whopping 60%! The reasons for this are that average salaries were increased when the squad was strengthened (the new players must be on relatively higher salaries), and there were huge bonuses allegedly totalling Ã?£7 million paid to the players due to the successful run in Europe. The club apparently made practically no money from one of the rounds in Europe as most of the cash generated from the financially hard-pressed fans had to go in bonus payments. Murray and Bain must take a large degree of criticism for this as it suggests that the bonus levels were allowed to be negotiated at too high a rate, possibly because their own expectations of success were low. The accounts try and justify this by pointing out that wages to turnover ratio fell from 58% to 53%, but with turnover increasing by 54%, I would expect a much larger fall in the ratio, and the relatively poor results have to be partly blamed on the badly negotiated playersââ?¬â?¢ bonuses. Net debt The net debt has increased by Ã?£5 million to Ã?£21.6 million. Why did this happen when we made a profit for the year? There are a number of factors, but the main reason is that we spent more on players than we received. In terms of actual cash incomings and outgoings we spent Ã?£10.6 million on players and only received Ã?£3.9 million. The Hutton deal is spread over a period to June 2010. Part of this is due to timing with a most 2007/8 purchases being included in this yearââ?¬â?¢s accounts, but they also include 2008/9 buys of Lafferty, Miller and Velicka. The sale of players Alan Hutton and Filip Sebo were sold during the year. It was widely reported that Hutton was sold for Ã?£9 million and Sebo was sold for Ã?£1 million. The clubââ?¬â?¢s website states that ââ?¬Å?It is understood that the (Hutton) transfer fee could top Ã?£9millionââ?¬Â. The strange thing is that the proceeds reflected in the accounts only come to Ã?£8.7 million. What has happened to the missing Ã?£1.3 million? Perhaps the widely reported ââ?¬Å?pay-offââ?¬Â to Hutton of around Ã?£1 million was made by Spurs as a ââ?¬Å?golden helloââ?¬Â and they reduced the transfer fee by that amount? Perhaps the actual fees were previously exaggerated, or there were payments to third parties which required to be netted off? There are no further amounts to be added to the Ã?£8.7 million dependent on games etc, as there are no contingent assets disclosed in the accounts. Any payments to anyone in the club, Hutton pay-off bonuses to directors relating to transfers received would be included in Staff Costs and not netted off against income. If there were such payments then it shows the income from transfers in an even worse light. Whatever the reason, it appears that we got less than was expected. Martin Bain Martin Bainââ?¬â?¢s emoluments for the year were Ã?£668,000, an increase of 87% over the previous year! In last yearââ?¬â?¢s review, I commented that his salary was too high based on the size of the company, but this point is obviously being ignored by SDM. It continues to be far too high for the size that Rangers are. Peter Lawwell earned Ã?£393,000 in 2007, which was a big increase on 2006, possibly because of a comparison with Bainââ?¬â?¢s package, with Lawwell arguably having greater responsibilities and autonomy. It is presumed that the large increase in Bainââ?¬â?¢s salary is due to a performance based bonus. It is rumoured that this is based on income (which would appear to make sense as his large bonus in 2006 appears to have been due to the JJB deal), which implies that it is due to the Hutton transfer. If that is the case I fail to see why Bain should get a percentage of it as he is only doing his job, and had nothing to do with the vast majority of the amount received. If Murray is serious about wanting to keep expenditure under control, he should start by reviewing the package of his Chief Executive. Fixed assets Over the last few years the freehold property owned by the club (the Stadium and Murray Park) have been valued based on a ââ?¬Å?depreciated replacement costââ?¬Â basis. While this is allowed under accounting standards, I have been critical of this approach. Imagine you owned a house that you could sell for Ã?£100,000, but it would cost Ã?£150,000 to rebuild it. The cost to rebuild it is fairly irrelevant to you, and you would generally think of the house as being worth Ã?£100,000 but itââ?¬â?¢s this approach that has been used in previous years. There has been a change this year, with the property being valued based on its ââ?¬Å?recoverable amountââ?¬Â (although this value is exactly the same as the amount in last yearââ?¬â?¢s accounts). I do not know much about property, but I would not be confident in the ability to sell the stadium and Murray Park for Ã?£120 million. A valuation was carried out using last yearââ?¬â?¢s method, but this was not used in the accounts. It is not known whether this showed a (likely) increase in value which the directors have decided to hold back for another year or a decrease in value that they did not want to put through as it would weaken the balance sheet. JJB deal It appears that the club only received their standard Ã?£3 million from JJB in respect of the ongoing agreement, which is surprising following the huge amount of shirt sales in the run-up to Manchester. How many more strips need to be sold for the bonus payments to kick in? It looks like it is an impossibly high target, despite the optimism given by the Rangers Board at the time of the initial announcement. Related party transactions This section of the accounts highlights the amount of business that Rangers do with the other parts of the Murray Group. Murray has been criticised in a number of quarters for this over the years, but it should be noted that services provided this year of Ã?£1.2 million are less than the prior year of Ã?£1.9 million, and this has been a steady trend of reduction in services from the peak of Ã?£4.3 million in 2004. The services provided relate to call centre (tickets) and mail order but I am unaware of why there is a reduction in the charge in a busy year, other than the fact that IT services were mentioned last year but not this year. It should also be noted that Rangers would have to pay someone for these services and as long as we are paying what we would be charged by a third party then I do not see an issue with it being done by a company within the Murray Group. Share issue There were Ã?£50,000 of shares issued during the year in respect of the Rangers Supporters Trustââ?¬â?¢s Gersave scheme. Five year summary The average attendance is shown as 46,278, which is a drop of 2,239 from the previous year. This is the lowest average attendance since 1995/96. This is surprising but appears to be due to the low attendance at domestic cup games resulting from financial pressure put on fans following the record number of games that were played last season.
  21. Can't agree more he really is a quality act.
  22. Just seen him on Sky news and didnt recognise him due to how much weight he has lost. His face was thin. He still has a fair gut but is easy half the size he was. He was wearing a Rangers jacket and had a framed Gers shirt from 97-99 in the background.
  23. my celtic supporting friend in work sent me a link to a celtic article. he's very fair minded, so i expected some gracious, insightful comments about the game. what i got was far better: keeganisms. the guy's a genius. "In some ways, cramp is worse than having a broken leg." "You get bunches of players like you do bananas...though that is a bad comparison." "Argentina won't be at Euro 2000 because they're from South America." "They're the second best team in the world and there's no higher praise than that." "One of his strengths is not heading." "He's using his strength. And that is his strength, his strength." "My father was a miner and he worked down a mine." "Hungary is very similar to Bulgaria. I know they're different countries..." "England have the best fans in the world and Scotland's fans are second to none." "Against France we'll have to be at our best both technically, tactically and spirit-wise." "You can't do better than go away from home and get a draw." "We deserved to win this game after hammering them 0-0 in the first half." "I don't think there's anyone bigger or smaller than Maradona." "The 33 or 34 year olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they're not careful." "Maine Road was a great football stadium but as time moved on it stayed where it is..." "Chile have three options - they could win or they could lose." "Gary always weighed up his options, especially when he had no choice." "The tide is very much in our court now." "The Germans only have one player under 22, and he's 23." "You don't get two chances at this level, or at any other level for that matter." "He can't speak Turkey, but you can tell he's delighted." "Batistuta is very good at pulling off defenders." "There'll be no siestas in Madrid tonight." "It's understandable that people are keeping one eye on the pot and another up the chimney." "England can end the millennium as it started - as the greatest football nation in the world." "I know what is around the corner - I just don't know where the corner is. But the onus is on us to perform and we must control the bandwagon." "They compare Steve McManaman to Steve Heighway and he's nothing like him, but I can see why - it's because he's a bit different..." "The good news for Nigeria is that they're two-nil down very early in the game..." "Despite his white boots, he has real pace..." "That would have been a goal if it wasn't saved." "Goalkeepers aren't born today until they're in their late 2Os or 3Os." "The substitute is about to come on - he's a player who was left out of the starting line-up today." "The ref was vertically 15 yards away." "Football's always easier when you've got the ball." "It's like a toaster, the ref's shirt pocket. Every time there's a tackle, up pops a yellow card." "I'd love to be a mole on the wall in the Liverpool dressing room at half-time." "The game has gone rather scrappy as both sides realise they could win this match or lose it." "I'm not disappointed - just disappointed." "There's a slight doubt about only one player, and that's Tony Adams, who definitely won't be playing tomorrow." "I came to Nantes two years ago and it's much the same today, except that it's totally different." "We managed to wrong a few rights." "A tremendous strike which hit the defender full on the arm - and it nearly came off." "That decision, for me, was almost certainly definitely wrong." "Danny Tiatto is not going to make a mistake on purpose." "He'll also be very dangerous from set-pieces. That means he'll be a threat from free-kicks and corners in the final third of the field." "Shaun Wright-Phillips has got a heart as big as his size, which isn't big, but his heart's bigger than that."
  24. KEVIN THOMSON is hoping he can play the role of lucky mascot tomorrow when Rangers face their oldest rivals at Parkhead. The midfielder was gutted to miss both meetings between the sides at Celtic Park last season, but sitting out the two defeats has left Thomson with a 100 per cent record from four Old Firm ties. Thomson grabbed the winner in a 1-0 win over Celtic at Ibrox back in March but was helpless as he watched his side slip to defeat twice in the East end of Glasgow in April. But he has tasted victory at Parkhead in a light blue shirt when he played his part in a 1-0 victory there in Walter Smith's first Old Firm game after his return to Rangers. And Thomson now admits he is desperate to continue his record with another victory on Sunday. He said: "I've got a 100 per cent record and I'm quite happy to put that on the line on Sunday and look forward to it and hopefully after the game I'll be able to say I still have the same record. "I got a win there in the first season after I joined when big Ugo scored. I don't know how he did it. Someone suggested it was an overhead kick but I'm not quite sure about that. "The league was dead and buried at that stage, but it opened my eyes to how much it means to the fans and to the players. "The manager said just last week that, no matter how early they come, matches away to Celtic are a big part of the season. They might not be critical to deciding the league but we don't want to give them a lead. "If they were to win it would open a three point gap but we can go there with every confidence and hopefully we'll have an advantage come Sunday night."
  25. THE last time a Scotland team represented their country at a major championship, Rangers front man Kris Boyd was just 14 years old. Like so many youngsters watching the action from France 98, he too dreamed of one day pulling on the dark blue shirt to go in to battle with his national team. But a decade later few who watched helplessly as Scotland slipped out of the World Cup on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Morocco in St Etienne now find themselves in Boyd's position. As he prepares to face off against Northern Ireland in a friendly tonight, the Gers No.9 can realistically target a place in South Africa in 22 months' time. And, if he's handed a shirt by Scotland boss George Burley when his side depart Glasgow next month to face Macedonia and Iceland, he can have a say over whether Scotland will return to the global scene after a dozen years on the outside, looking in. Boyd turned 25 earlier this week and on the back of the most remarkable season of his career he admits that joining Scotland in the World Cup in South Africa would be the highlight of his football life. He said: "As a player they are the best moments in football, both the European Championships and the World Cup. "To be part of that would, I think, be the highlight of your career when you look back on it in years to come. "Every player wants to be there and the likes of Davie Weir and Christian Dailly have already tasted it and they say it's the best thing they've done in their career. "I'm sure we'd all be no different. We want to get there and hopefully we can get off to a good start and then finish the job this time." It's a revealing statement that points to the hurt Boyd felt at coming so close to a place in Austria and Switzerland during the summer, before falling at the final hurdle against Italy. The striker had helped to get his country off to a flying start with two goals in their opening qualifier for Euro 2008 as Walter Smith's side chalked up a 6-0 over the Faroe Islands. But he was a dejected figure as he watched from the Hampden touchline as Christian Panucci's header sealed a 2-1 win for the visiting Italians and ended Scotland's dream. He was stripped to come on as a sub with the scores tied at 1-1, but as he replaced Lee McCulloch he knew qualification had slipped away and that experience still lingers. Boyd said: "It was obviously disappointing the way it ended but if we'd been told at the start of the campaign that we'd take it that far we would have been delighted. "But once you get so close you're obviously disappointed that you don't quite make it but that's life, we have to move on from that and we've got another chance to qualify for a World Cup now." The Gers forward will take the first step on that journey in tonight's friendly at a stadium he enjoyed huge success at last season. Putting aside the disappointment of that meeting with Italy, Boyd went on to score doubles for his club in two triumphant Hampden cup finals. He added: "I enjoy playing there. It's a great surface and a great stadium and to play there with your national team is a bonus. "It's good to meet up with the squad and start preparations for the World Cup campaign with the game against Northern Ireland. "There are a good few of us from Rangers in it and it's always a special occasion to go and play with your country so I'm looking forward to the game."
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