Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm a Rangers Fan Get Me out of Here

Imagine the scene Rangers have just beaten a top European team at home and they come back to SPL business against a Dundee United team how have conceded 16 goals in their last four games. There has to be an easy win in there surely. Well this is Paul Le Guin's Rangers and they do not seem to be up for the SPL.

Some serious questions must now be asked of a manager who does not seemed to have grasped the basics of the SPL. Maybe Rangers should have a manager for the SPL, Billy Davies, and one for Europe, Paul Le Guen.

Only one change from the European sucess, Papac in for the error prone Svensson. No arguements from me here.

Again Rangers started well when Novo ran onto a Barry Ferguson free kick, but his chip was over the bar. That was it for the next half an hour. Again Novo it was through on goal but he could only shoot wide.

To be fair Ranger had all the ball but could not find a way through to goal. Then on 39 minutes United almost were given the lead when Papac's mis-kick of a Colin Samuel cross went just wide.

Ranger did have a chance with Adam's low drive from a Prso pass but no goal and than was the end of a poor first half.

Ranger took the lead in the second half when Adam shot home from a Novo cutback on 49 minutes.

Both teams went close, McCracken clearing off the line from an Adam chip.

United seemed to want to impress their new manager a kept banging away at Rangers. Craig Conway’s had a close effort following a mistake by Jeremy Clement.

Both Novo and Adam had good efforts but still no second goal.

By this time Buffel had been taken off and yes the inevitable happened, United equalised.

A Robson corner was picked up by Garry Kenneth at the back post and he headed home. Poor defending from a team deviod of creativity.

Then on 81 minutes a free-kick from Conway was headed in by Lee Mair.

That was it, no way back, and there was jeers around the ground at full time with le Guen looking lost in thought.

After the game Le Guen said:

“Results suggest the players are not good enough.”

Not so sure mate, wins in Europe do not come cheap and it is time he learned what it takes to win in the SPL.

European Hopes

If Rangers played in a European league then they would win it with games to spare. This is proof if it was needed that Paul Le Guen is an excellent manager for Europe and clueless in Scotland. Maybe he is still learning.

An impressive 2-0 win against Maccabi Haifa was the perfect tonic after a less than satisfactory draw in the SPL.

This win leaves Rangers three points clear of the Israelis in the group and with Partizan Belgrade and Livorno drawing 1-1 this was a good night for Scottish football and for Rangers.

Rangers made the perfect start with a goal in four minutes. Alan Hutton played the ball to Boyd who flicked it to Nacho Novo. The Spaniard to outpace Alon Harazi and shot the ball home.

It was almost 2-0 three minutes later when Boyd had a header touched over from a Prso pass.

Maccabi are a good team and Gustavo Boccoli tested McGregor in nineteen minutes after an error by Svensson.

After 30 minutes Adam's shot was just wide but another error by Rangers, this time it was Hutton, gave Boccoli a chance on goal, but his low drive went across the goal.

1-0 at half time, with both sides having chances. Immediately after the restart Rangers had a penalty when Xavier was judged to have fowled Prso. Byod took the spot kick but it was saved by the goalie, Davidovich.

This gave Maccabi some heart and if Novo did not make a last gasp tackle then it woul have been all square when Colautti broke through.

Barry Ferguson had a shot pushed with by Davidovich in 55 minutes.

At last Le Guen brough on Buffel, allong with Sebo, they replaced Prso and Boyd.

Adam then had a header that almost made it 2-0, but he did manage this from the penalty spot after Ferguson was fouled by Xavir.

After the game Paul Le Guen confirmed everyones belief:

"Our style is more suited to Europe."

SPL Nightmare

After two good wins it is back to square one again. Can Rangers play in Europe rather than Scotland as the SPL seems to be too hard.

The poor SPL campaign continued with a draw against a fairly mediocre Motherwell team.

Rangers actually took the lead in this game through a header, what else, from Kris Boyd, only to lose it in the second half.

Both teams also had strong penalty claims turned down, incompetant refereeing rather than biased.

Novo started well for Rangers with a good run and shot that went just wide. Then wee Barry Ferguson had a shot blocked by Jamie Paterson andCharlie Adam's free-kick was saved by the Motherwell keeper.

Novo again showed good skill down the wing that lead to the corner that lead to Rangers taking the lead.

My man Buffel played it short to Ferguson before crossing to the back post where Boyd scored from a header, as ever. That was it for the first half, good play and a lead

Then came the second half and it was back the business as usual for this season. Foran had a header that went close before Motherwell equalised.

McDonald ran into the box and his crossed, it was cleared properly and it fell to Kerr on the edge of the box. He smashed a shot at goal that was deflected in.

Rangers did attempt a comeback when Novo's shot from a Boyd flick was saved by Meldrum.

Then both Sebofor Rangers and Motherwell's McDonald where both denied penalties.

Mr Perfect Thomas Buffel brought out a brilliant save from the Motherwell goal. But even he could to keep Rangers in the title hunt.

SPL Dreaming

Well at least the three points keeps Rangers in the title hunt, even if they are ten points behind Celtic.

It took a late goal from Novo to give secure a victory over St. Mirren. Even thought They had looked down and out at half-time, they fought back well.

Rangers started well with lots of good movement and passing, but nothing to show for it. Then in their first atteck the Saints scored. Simon Lappin sent in a cross cross that reached John Sutton who headed past Lionel Letizi.

Charlie Adm was still on fire and his thunderous shot from a free-kick went in past Tony Bullock.

Rangers took the lead when Thomas Buffel slipped the ball past Bullock after slicing through the St Mirren defence. I love this guy, class in a glass.

Rangers where well on top and the Saint's goalie Bullock made a stop from Boyd. All the good Rangers work was from Thomase Buffel, Barry Ferguson and Brahim Hemdani.

On the hour, Bullock again saved from Boyd, who then had a penalty claim waved away getting in a tangle with David van Zanten.

Saints started to gain some confidence and Sutton had a header then tested Letizi. But then the referee awarded St Mirren a penalty when Rodriguez was adjudged to have pushed Mark Corcoran. Sutton took the penalty and score down low

Rangers came back and Ferguson had a header straight at Bullock. Then Novo netted the winner with five minutes to go. He smacked the ball into the net after Bullock had blocked an Adam shot.

European Dreams

As poor as Rangers are is Scotland they seem to be as good in Europe. This was the first ever Scottish club side to win in Italy and it was all wrapped up in the first half.

Paul Le Guen's as yet unseen tactical genius came to the fore and goals from Charlie Adam, Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo had Rangers weel on their way to victoryl.

It didn't start very well and in the heavy rain Lionel Letizi did not look the part in goal.

But my favourite guy, Buffel, worked the ball well to reach Boyd who headed wide. Then Adam's shot was blocked.

The goal came after 27 minutes when Boyd's headed to Adam from a Steven Smith cross. Adam smacked it past Amelia, 1-0. But before you could say 'Up to your knees' it was 2-0 from the penalty spot. Novo was pulled down in the box and Boyd made no mistake.

The referee must have felt sorry for the Italians when three minutes later he awared a very soft penalty against Rodriguez on Cristiano Lucarelli. Lucarelli took the resulting penalty and put the ball past

Amazingly Rangers scored again moments later. Boyd played another brilliant header to Novo who shot in from the edge of the area.

Rangers' confidence was still high in the second half and Adam had a left-foot shot just over.

Letizi was on the ball to get his hand to a header from Tomas Danilevicius keeping Rangers two-goals up.

The every brilliant Buffel was unlucky not to score in 64 minutes with a ten-yard shot that Amelia managed to block.

Livorno brought on substitute Stefano Morrone who tested Letizi again with a good shot that was pushed away for a corner.

The Italian side go desperate and threw everyone forward as the came came to an end. It worked when Lucarelli pulled a goal back with a shot in the last minute.

Rangers' substitute Sebo hit the crossbar in injury-time as the Gers looked for another goal.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Game Is a Bogie

All joking aside now let's stop this nonesense, the game is a bogie, the manager is cheating. How can this guy justify replacing Ranger's best player with his own man, only to see him throw the game?

Rangers are now ten points behind Champions Celtic and it is hard to see any way back. Second place is looking like it might be a bridge too far. The team was dreadful and the manager, well the jury is back in and he is guilty. If this was the Wild West a posse would be hunting him down and when he was found he would be hung from the nearest tree. Le Guin must be happy he lives in more sophisticated times.

Well want had changed since Aberdeen? Not a lot really when you consider the opposition, Letizi and Sebo in for McGregor and Sionko. Shouldn't have mattered but it did. McGregor was the only reason Rangers are still in Europe and, before today, in touch at the top.

The game was a dead bore until Letizi saved from Dargo after thirty minues. Yup thirty minues and Rangers had created nothing. Maybe that woke the Rangers up because five minutes later the Manchester United player, Bardsley, had a shot at Caley's goal. Yawn!!!!!!

The usually reliable Buffel had another shot saved after 42 minutes and that was it for the first half. What a bore, what a joke.

The second half continued in the same vain and it wasn't until 58 minutes when again it was Buffel with the shot that produced a fine save from the Caley goalkeeper. Buffel again was unlucky when his brilliant volley flew just over.

Buffel, again, was in the thick of it, his flick to Adam looked like it had gievn Rangers a penalty, but the referee was having none of it.

Boyd came on for Prso who had given a poor show today. Boyd was not must better missing from a Sebo rebound.

Then it happened, Caley scored when Letizi failed to hold onto Dargo's shot, Baynes stuck the rebound home. 1-0 to Caley Thistle.

The fans seemed upset and booed and jeered Letizi. But the guy was only doing his job, it was the manager who made the decision to play him and it is he who should be booed.

Novo came on as a sub and was close after 78 minutes and also crossed to Boyd who missed again. It was Novo again in the last minute with a close effort, but the game finished and Rangers had been beaten by Caley Thistle for the first time at Ibrox.

Le Guen thinks he is going to have a hard job turning things around a Ibrox this season. Insightful? Non? It's his team and he built it, trained it and picked it. Rubbish. He is a very luck man, last year McLiesh got hounded out of his job, and even Strachan at Celtic got a harder time than this guy.

It is time for the Chairman to live up to his billing and make some difficult decisions.

To paraphase the Ibrox Faithful, Boo!!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Vive la Revolution

Well with no SPL football it is time to reflect upon Le Guen's performance. No one expected Rangers to get such a high profile figure from world football, but they did. The question now is, was it worth it.

So far you have to say that his school report card would read 'could do better'. Many people are now wondering if he can build a team from scratch or is the sort of manager who can only build upon other peoples success. He led Lyon to three titles in a row, but the team he took over had already proven itself and as not of his own design. The man who took over from him has continued with that success, so he hasn't been missed. That has to be food for thought.

Already this season Rangers are seven points behind Celtic and four behind Hearts, after only nine games. Maybe this season will revolve around the UEFA cup, but the draw was not exactly favourable.

Rangers had felt that the previous manager was not going to lead them into a new ea of European success and chose to take a man how had spent the last year as a TV pundit and running marathons in the desert.

The announcment of Le Guen was met with universal media praise and fans euphoria. This was the man to take Rangers forward. Now the fans waited to see a production line of French talent coming through, ala Arsenal. Well the season has started and there are no French startlets and the team seems no better off than last year.

Le Guen signed twelve players during the summer, but only one of them was deemed good enough to play against Celtic in the 2-0 defeat at Celtic Park. This is hardly showing Le Guen as a good judge of up and coming talent. In fact the best players in the team are those he inherited from the previous manager.

Having said this his start at Lyon was equally poor, only three wins in nine matches. But does he have the backing of the board to pull Rangers out of their current hole? Only time will tell.

Wins in the SPL against Aberdeen and UEFA aginst Molde have given him some breathing space, but for how long? Rangers fans will need more than this to satify their desire for success. They want to win the SPL title back from Celtic, but Le Guen does not seem to want to discuss this. After the Abredeen game he said, 'I don't want to speak about that. I want to speak about the victory and the way we played.'

Maybe the extra training sessions and the more disciplined apporach will eventually pay dividends at Ibrox, but will Le Guen be given enough time? If not then the fans will reject the revolution for something a bit more immediate.

Maybe Rangers should look at the national team for inspiration. Scotland chose a European manager to take them to the next level with a new brand of football. After years of indifferent results they hanged to a traditional Scottish manager and the success followed.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Buffy does it again

Only one change from Thursday's game with Sasa Papac replacing Kris Boyd which meant the 'Buffy' Buffel started again.

With Rangers in full control of the game the 'Dandy Don' Smith gets a handful of the brilliant Buffel and what happens nothing. I don't know what the ref is looking at when Buffel is on the ball but it's not the game, more likely his muscular physique.

The Dandies had free kick and from it a header that hit the bar, so the Gers had to be on their toes. No lying back and letting the Dons big boys make hay with the ball.

Buffel's brilliant skill, movement and running was amazing. I could watch him dance to dip all day. He had a cross that let Sionko and Ferguson both have a shot at goal.

Aberdeen had some of the ball but it was still all Rangers and it was that man again Buffel. He broke through and then with a twist and a turn he chipped for goal, only to see the keeper block the certain goal.

More attacking for Rangers and a penalty denied in the run up to half-time but still the deadlock could not be broken.

Again the man of the moment Buffel was at the heart of everything.

His corner found Sionko who fired over. Then his lay-off found Adam who shot wide. The man is amazing and you can see that the other Rangers players are wide-eyed with awe when he is on the park.

Rangers nearly got the breakthough that Buffel so richly deserved when Richard Foster sliced a clearance just over his own crossbar with that man Buffel giving him a hard time.

The game settled down with both teams have chances but neither team could score.

But the goal came and it was from a Buffel shot that broke to Sebo who shot into the net.

Once again Buffel was the daddy. You can see in the eyes of his team mates that when Buffel is probing away they are kept on their toes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Aberdeen Game Preview

Well Buffel took us through on Thursday against crack Norwegian team Molde. We are still in the UEFA Cup and it is all thanks to the Buffel man.

So what can we expect from the Dandy Dons on Sunday? More of the same if you ask me. With Buffel on from the start the game is in the bag. He keeps banging away from the front and from behind and you can see that the other Rangers players want it that way. I am so excited about this match as it should cement Buffels place in the team.

Away from the game Rangers fans will continue to be watched to see if they still sings those songs that nobody wants to hear. I can't believe that people sing those odious songs anymore. I certainly don't so why would other Rangers fans sing them. The press need to get another bee under their bonnet.

Back to the match I see it as 1-0 to the Rangers with Buffel on target again with some great stroke play.

Buffel Buffel Buffel

At long last the manager started a game with Buffel on the pitch. This game was too important and Buffel was bent on getting behind the Rangers team. This victory means that Rangers get into the group stages of the UEFA Cup.

The man of the match was officially Allan McGregor but my man of the match was Mr Buffel. Fair enough the keeper had to make four point-blank saves but Buffel was brilliant, just brilliant. In fact he was the boy to give Rangers joy with some great ball play and he stroked home an early goal to release some Rangers player's pressure.

Rangers central defenders are still getting to know each other, with Julien Rodriguez and Brahim Hemdani looking like they need someone to take them in hand, maybe Mr Buffel.

The Buffel goal came from some goal ball play between Dado Prso 's and Steven Smith. They got the ball to Buffel whose brilliant touch slipped the ball in at the near post.

Molde then toook control and hd some great chances, somehow an unmarked Baldvinsson managed to head wide from six yards and McGregor had a finger-tip save from a Magne Hoseth header.

But not to worry as Mr Buffel was on his game. Libor Sionko controlled a pass from young Smith and he passed to Kris Boyd who backheeled the ball to Ferguson, who shot into the net.

Molde still kept coming but when Hoseth outpaced Hemdani McGregor came to Rangers' rescue. He then had another great save from Baldvinsson as Buffel was controlling the game in the middle of the park.

At the final whistle you could see the relief on the faces of the Rangers players. Glad to see Buffel still on the park and off they trotted with a smile on their face for a well deserved bath together.

Just like the old days

LeGuin once again left the brilliant Buffel out of the side against a Celtic team who could open up a seven-point lead over Rangers with a victory and that is exactly what they did. If the manager continues to lave out the best players then the gap will be too large for Rangers.

What about the game then? Thomas Gravesen put Celtic ahead and it unbelievably a former Rangers player, Kenny Miller, scored his first goal as he added the second, against the run of play, that basically killed then game.

The games was all Rangers at the start, but Celtic looked more of a goal threat. Their new boy Lee Naylor sent a in long ball that found Miller. Miller can run faster that anyone else and he ran faster than Sasa Papac but Allan McGregor put him off and his lob was just off target. Then the Japanese player Shunsuke Nakamura had a right hard shot that must have stung McGregor's hands.

Then Rangers took a quick free-kick, it was from Charlie Adam, and Artur Boruc was nearly caught out, brilliant stuff from Rangers. Again Ranger handle anything that Celtic throw at them and McGregor made a brilliant save to stop Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's shot from going in.

Alan Hutton was the best player on the park but he gave away possession and eventually it fell to Neil Lennon who had time to get a cross in.

Celtic were still not doing much and Aiden McGeady should have scored with an easy header but the brilliant McGregor saved it from point-blank range. The trouble was that Tommy Gravesen was there to head into a empty net. That was the only way they were going to score.

The very lucky McGeady hit the top of the bar with a miss hit shot and then Celtic came close again at the start of the second half with a Nakamura shot.

Rangers really started to control the game now and Dado Prso's played a brilliant pass to find Barry Ferguson but he couldn't get to the ball before Boruc ran to clear it. Then Adam had a brilliant ball to the back post that had Boruc all over the place as Rangers piled on the pressure. Celtic could only hit back on the break and McGeady's lucky pass released Miller scuffed a shot passed McGregor.

But Rangers continued the better team with Prso's header cleared off the line by Naylor and Kris Boyd's shot crashed against the bar.

Even at 2-0 down the manager still did not think to bring on the best Rangers player, the brilliant Buffel. I blame this for the defeat, the players tried their best but they need Buffel's special touch to bring them to life.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Beaten and well strirred

Our wee legionaire has turned into a tinkerman, like that guy who was manager at Chelsea. He tried to swap the team around and blew it, big time. It was only his first defeat so he is still a great manager but Hibs humped Rangers.

Hibs' New Zealand striker scored two goals and there where nine bookings and two red cards. Luckily the ref missed Rodriguez attacking Killen out it could have been worse. In fact it was Killen that got sent off for a foul on Rodriguez. Hopefully we can get that referee every week.

Having said that he set off Phil Bardsley for talking back to the referee. Maybe the Manchester United boy is getting big for his boots. He will be missing against Celtic though.

Rangers didn't have a shot at goal for the whole of the first half and could have been 5 upat half time. But Filip Sebo equalised in the second half and it looked like a lucky draw. But Killen got a goal nine minutes from time to give Hibs the win.

Luckly Rangers have Allan McGregor because he saved well to deny Ivan Sproule in the first half.

Killen then was just inches away from scoring at the far post from a Michael Stewart free-kick. Although he did score after eight minutes when he got to another Stewart free-kick and headed over McGregor.

The first half was all Hibs and McGregor did well to stop another Killen header and Karl Svensson blocked the Rob Jones' follow-up shot. Rangers did not seem to be able to deal with Hibs' pace, especially Sproule who ran the show.

Hibs had a stonewall penalty claim turned down by referee Underhill after Rodriguez attacked Killen in the box.

The second hlaf started the same as the first finished with Hibs on top. But Rangers eventually had a decent effort with a 30-yard free-kick which whistled a couple of yards wide.

Then finally Rangers got something from open play after David Murphy gave the ball away . Chris Burke got it and crossed to Sebo who head the undeserved equaliser.

Hibs got all three points when Killen headed the winner from in a great cross from Steven Whittaker with just nine minutes to go.

Then the referee sent off two players. What a muppet.

LeGuin? Starting to lose faith in this guy. What a muppet.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hibs preview

The next Rangers match is away to Hibs at Easter Road, never an easy place to go and get a win and with the current form this will no different.

All three points are needed from this game or Celtic will be off and running and we have to play them away as well. In fact Rangers have three away matches in a row and haven't won away in ages.

For this game we need a stable team, with Buffel at the heart of everything. Plus those guys from Manchester United are brilliant and we need them to bring some class to the team.

Winning this match will give us the confidence to go into the next few weeks and if we beat Celtic we will be the best team in Scotland.