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Hateley on Novo and Under-performing Stars

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I know Hateley hasn't made many friends with some of his columns about us in recent times, but I think he's speaking a lot of sense in his latest one. From today's Daily Record:


I love Nacho Novo. There, I've said it. And it may come as no surprise to learn the good people of Pittodrie do not feature high in my affection.


But I must admit to being disappointed in my wee pal the other day when he dropped his shorts and lifted a finger to the locals in the wake of Rangers' defeat at Aberdeen.


Don't get me wrong. It's not that they didn't deserve it.


How can these morons stand spewing their filth at a football player for 90 minutes, in front of their own children and wives, then act like horrified innocents at the sight of a pair of underpants?


What do you think scars a five-year-old kid more?Watching his dad behave like a foul-mouthed lunatic every Saturday or seeing the Spaniard flick out a gesture as he runs the gauntlet in front of the baying mob?


So spare me all this c*** about Novo's actions causing offence. If these people are so worried about the sense and sensibilities of their offspring or their women folk then why were they still inside the stadium at the end of the game? Surely as soon as the first vile chants of "Nacho Novo, f****** homo" started up they would have headed for the exits or, even better, made for the cops to register their complaints on the way out.


Don't make me laugh. No one gives it out the way the punters at Pittodrie do and, speaking as someone who was assaulted by one of their knuckle-draggers as I stood signing autographs for kids in wheelchairs outside the front door, no one knows better than I do just how twisted some of them can be.


But that STILL doesn't excuse the actions of Novo. I'm sorry to say this Nacho, but you really should be better than that. In fact, the way Rangers performed in the Granite City as they blew the only unbeaten record in British football merely summed up what I was saying about these players in these very pages last week.


I'm told some of them did not take too kindly to my appraisal of their shortcomings following the end of the Champions League campaign. A little birdie tells me a few threw the rattle out the pram when they read what I had written about their lack of backbone.


Well they really showed me, didn't they? Another 90 minutes, another perfect example of a team with no guts.


If you know you're heading into a battle you might as well make sure you swing the first punches. But not this lot. In fact, as awful as it is to admit, we are now watching a side that allows itself to become intimidated and I never thought I'd see the day.


This latest capitulation was just another damning indictment of players who are not strong enough to handle the pressure.


And I'm afraid Novo's silly gestures merely proved the point. I'm willing to bet the little fella is every bit as disappointed with himself because he really is one of the few players in the dressing room who can cope with wearing that shirt. But he cracked and that is a sign of weakness. I remember when I played up there and got the same level of abuse he suffered. Maybe even worse. But I'll tell you the truth, I absolutely loved it. I couldn't wait for those games to come round because I fed off all the hatred.It was the same as playing at Parkhead.There was nothing I loved more than scoring then running away with a huge smile. Nothing.


That sickened them more than anything and Nacho should know by now it's the ONLY way to shut these morons up.


But there are times when we can all snap.


It's happened to Beckham, Zidane and Cantona and if it can get to them it can get to anyone. But that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye.


The bottom line is,the bigger the player,the bigger the club,the bigger his responsibilities.


And, for me, too many of this Rangers crop shirk those responsibilities.


Novo, though, is one guy who never, ever goes hiding.That's why he was the last man on the pitch the other day when so many of his team-mates couldn't wait to get into the safety of the dressing room.


The little man has a huge heart and I'd guess it wasn't just the defeat or the abuse that made him lose it - I suspect the frustration at not getting a fair crack of the whip simply, finally boiled over.


Novo has sat there all season watching the likes of Kyle Lafferty, Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd and Steven Naismith being moved around like deck chairs on the Titanic. And no matter how poorly they perform he's the one sitting on the sidelines the next week.


And that's why, if I were Walter Smith, I'd be thinking long and hard about starting Nacho at Falkirk on Saturday.This is a player who WILL stand up and be counted.


He's a man with a point to prove after the furore of the past few days and he'll be more desperate than ever to get back in the good books.

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Side point - Its not fight we lack first and foremost, its organisation and creativity.


A team of passers will always beat a team of hammer throwers. Scottish sides are constantly shown up in Europe when they find that brain beats brawn.


A player like Steven Naismith could easily cause damage against a side like Aberdeen in his proper position but will look inept in the middle of the park in an alien position.

Edited by Totti
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Guest Mister Al

Spot on, Mark. Where's the fight? Where's the bite? The only edge we seem to have these days is the one the team are teetering over.


My first post here. Hope I'm in a better mood by the time a write the second.

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Welcome to Gersnet, Al... :thup:


The Hateley article is a good one so hopefully we can see a combination of more aggression, passion and creative quality in the team tomorrow. That would cheer us all up no end!

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