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Defoe inspired by chat with Souness

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Jermain Defoe reveals Rangers move was inspired by chat with Graeme Souness

Jermain Defoe has revealed how he grew up idolising Ally McCoist and dreamed of sampling Scottish football after an Auld Enemy clash for England schoolboys.

But a conversation with Rangers legend Graeme Souness this season helped him to make the move north of the border after hearing the former Ibrox boss describe the Old Firm as the world’s best derby.

On-loan Bournemouth frontman Defoe admitted he always does his homework on the strikers he will be walking in the footsteps of at any new club.

At the Light Blues, however, he knew all about record scorer McCoist and now Defoe has been handed the same No.9 shirt worn by the legendary forward.

 

He grew up watching the likes of Ally McCoist
And Defoe’s affection for Scottish football comes from his early days as a kids playing for the Three Lions long before he terrorised defences for England at senior level.

The 36-year-old also recalled a substitute appearance for West Ham in a 2-1 friendly defeat against celtic in a pre-season friendly in 2000 in a match billed as Paolo Di Canio’s Paradise return.

Defoe’s next trip to Parkhead in March will be a little bit different but he can’t wait to sample the white-hot derby atmosphere after speaking to Souness before the first clash of the bitter rivals this season.

Speaking at the club’s training camp in Tenerife, he said: “I have done a few bits for Sky Sports and was on there the day of the first Old Firm game of the season.

“I was talking about the North London derby and Sunderland v Newcastle but Graeme just said ‘Trust me, Rangers v celtic is the best derby in the world. Without a doubt. You will never experience anything like it.’ I was listening to him like ‘Wow!”

Defoe was sold on the derby atmosphere
Defoe’s face lit up as he talked about that prospect at the team’s five-star base in the Canary Island and his excitement at the move.

And he said: “When I was really young, I remember saying I’d like to at some stage play in Scotland, play in those crazy derbies, the best derbies in the world according to Graeme Souness.

“I played in Scotland for England Under-15s. My mum still talks about it now. That was my first experience.

“I was really young then. I played against celtic for West Ham. It was a game where Paolo Di Canio returned.

“I know about the history of the club. When I sign for any club I always think about the strikers that were there before me.


“Ally McCoist is a legend and there’s Kenny Miller, who I bumped into in Dubai in the summer. But I remember watching Ally McCoist when I was a young kid. You can learn off every goalscorer.

“I know all the goalscorers. As a kid, I never really supported a team. I just used to watch the forwards, all the different strikers.”

Defoe lifted the lid on his hugely frustrating time at the Cherries where he failed to get much first team action this season under Eddie Howe.

That has fuelled his desire to be a Gers success and the diminutive forward says he’s ready for Scottish football’s boot boys.

Defoe - in line for a debut at Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup next week - said: “I know I’m probably going to get kicked about.

“The lads have told me that already but it’s challenge. I don’t think you can ever look at any league and think it’s going to be easy.

“I remember when I went to the MLS with Toronto, a lot of people said I would smash it and score loads of goals.

“But if you don’t go somewhere with the right mentality, and don’t do what you have always done, that’s when it becomes hard.

“But if you do what you have always done, regardless of who you are playing against, then hopefully you will do well.

“My hunger is massive after the past 18 months. I’m just want to play. To be fair, credit to the manager, Eddie Howe, because he knew it was hurting me.

“There were times when I felt I should have played and it wasn’t happening for whatever reason. I had a conversation with him and said I just wanted to play football. That’s what I do.

“Of course, it’s nice to be a sort of mentor to younger players, but at the same time your own happiness is important.

“I’m not a coach. At some point I will do my badges but I’m not there yet. I want to play football and it wasn’t happening.

“It’s been tough for me to be honest. For the last year and a half, it’s been difficult not playing as many games as I would like or was used to.

“Mentally, it was tough. I have had stages in my career where you are in and out of the team, but when I was younger it was different because I wasn’t a senior player.

“Now, there are times where you are a little bit down and you haven’t got any senior players to pick you up. You can go to the captain, but you are the senior player.

“You sort of have to look after the dressing room and make sure everyone else is okay. You have to sacrifice your own happiness a little bit.

“It’s never easy but you have to do it because it’s the right thing to to. You are helping the team and you are helping the club.

“It’s been hurting me a lot. that’s why having this opportunity now to hopefully play football and do well is something I’m excited about.

“There comes a point when you have to decide what you want to do. I love playing football and I love scoring goals. When I got the phone call, it wasn’t a hard decision.”

 

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Glad he signed for us.

In his prime he has been a great player - coming to the SPL he should still be at the top or near the top of the goals per game, especially with the amount of chances we create.

 

Anyway, after reading one or two of the above comments, fuck sake, these longer winter nights must fucking drag on.

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“But if you don’t go somewhere with the right mentality...that’s when it becomes hard."

I know words are cheap but I like the fact he recognises the importance of having the right attitude. He isn't disrespecting the SPL like maybe the likes of Barton did. He seems to realise that it's a different kind of challenge and he's clearly hungry to finish his career with success up here.

I feel confident this one's gonna work out well! :tu:

 

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7 hours ago, Vision said:

Jermain Defoe reveals Rangers move was inspired by chat with Graeme Souness

Jermain Defoe has revealed how he grew up idolising Ally McCoist and dreamed of sampling Scottish football after an Auld Enemy clash for England schoolboys.

But a conversation with Rangers legend Graeme Souness this season helped him to make the move north of the border after hearing the former Ibrox boss describe the Old Firm as the world’s best derby.

On-loan Bournemouth frontman Defoe admitted he always does his homework on the strikers he will be walking in the footsteps of at any new club.

At the Light Blues, however, he knew all about record scorer McCoist and now Defoe has been handed the same No.9 shirt worn by the legendary forward.

 

He grew up watching the likes of Ally McCoist
And Defoe’s affection for Scottish football comes from his early days as a kids playing for the Three Lions long before he terrorised defences for England at senior level.

The 36-year-old also recalled a substitute appearance for West Ham in a 2-1 friendly defeat against celtic in a pre-season friendly in 2000 in a match billed as Paolo Di Canio’s Paradise return.

Defoe’s next trip to Parkhead in March will be a little bit different but he can’t wait to sample the white-hot derby atmosphere after speaking to Souness before the first clash of the bitter rivals this season.

Speaking at the club’s training camp in Tenerife, he said: “I have done a few bits for Sky Sports and was on there the day of the first Old Firm game of the season.

“I was talking about the North London derby and Sunderland v Newcastle but Graeme just said ‘Trust me, Rangers v celtic is the best derby in the world. Without a doubt. You will never experience anything like it.’ I was listening to him like ‘Wow!”

Defoe was sold on the derby atmosphere
Defoe’s face lit up as he talked about that prospect at the team’s five-star base in the Canary Island and his excitement at the move.

And he said: “When I was really young, I remember saying I’d like to at some stage play in Scotland, play in those crazy derbies, the best derbies in the world according to Graeme Souness.

“I played in Scotland for England Under-15s. My mum still talks about it now. That was my first experience.

“I was really young then. I played against celtic for West Ham. It was a game where Paolo Di Canio returned.

“I know about the history of the club. When I sign for any club I always think about the strikers that were there before me.


“Ally McCoist is a legend and there’s Kenny Miller, who I bumped into in Dubai in the summer. But I remember watching Ally McCoist when I was a young kid. You can learn off every goalscorer.

“I know all the goalscorers. As a kid, I never really supported a team. I just used to watch the forwards, all the different strikers.”

Defoe lifted the lid on his hugely frustrating time at the Cherries where he failed to get much first team action this season under Eddie Howe.

That has fuelled his desire to be a Gers success and the diminutive forward says he’s ready for Scottish football’s boot boys.

Defoe - in line for a debut at Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup next week - said: “I know I’m probably going to get kicked about.

“The lads have told me that already but it’s challenge. I don’t think you can ever look at any league and think it’s going to be easy.

“I remember when I went to the MLS with Toronto, a lot of people said I would smash it and score loads of goals.

“But if you don’t go somewhere with the right mentality, and don’t do what you have always done, that’s when it becomes hard.

“But if you do what you have always done, regardless of who you are playing against, then hopefully you will do well.

“My hunger is massive after the past 18 months. I’m just want to play. To be fair, credit to the manager, Eddie Howe, because he knew it was hurting me.

“There were times when I felt I should have played and it wasn’t happening for whatever reason. I had a conversation with him and said I just wanted to play football. That’s what I do.

“Of course, it’s nice to be a sort of mentor to younger players, but at the same time your own happiness is important.

“I’m not a coach. At some point I will do my badges but I’m not there yet. I want to play football and it wasn’t happening.

“It’s been tough for me to be honest. For the last year and a half, it’s been difficult not playing as many games as I would like or was used to.

“Mentally, it was tough. I have had stages in my career where you are in and out of the team, but when I was younger it was different because I wasn’t a senior player.

“Now, there are times where you are a little bit down and you haven’t got any senior players to pick you up. You can go to the captain, but you are the senior player.

“You sort of have to look after the dressing room and make sure everyone else is okay. You have to sacrifice your own happiness a little bit.

“It’s never easy but you have to do it because it’s the right thing to to. You are helping the team and you are helping the club.

“It’s been hurting me a lot. that’s why having this opportunity now to hopefully play football and do well is something I’m excited about.

“There comes a point when you have to decide what you want to do. I love playing football and I love scoring goals. When I got the phone call, it wasn’t a hard decision.”

 

Lets hope the shock is not to much for him!! Claudi0 Canniggia  did a great job at the same sort of age for us, lets hope Defoe can as well.

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Would love to have heard Souness's chat with Stevie G when the move to the Brox was first mooted ... I'm sure Souey left him in no doubt that if he didn't take the job on he would always regret it :pipe:

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9 hours ago, Dazzler said:

I could do without all the "always wanted to play in Scotland" and "Ally was my hero" stuff.

You're here that's fine.

“Hero” might be a bit of a jump but is it really that unlikely that he’d have looked at McCoist as one of many role model strikers growing up?

He was one of the best.

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1 hour ago, Essandoh said:

“Hero” might be a bit of a jump but is it really that unlikely that he’d have looked at McCoist as one of many role model strikers growing up?

He was one of the best.

Don't think anyone who plays in England or who is English would pay much attention to the league up here or those who score in it. Especially in the Defoe/Shearer era.

 

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9 minutes ago, Dazzler said:

Don't think anyone who plays in England or who is English would pay much attention to the league up here or those who score in it. Especially in the Defoe/Shearer era.

 

He would have been around 10 years old when we had that European Campaign of 92/93 so I’m sure he would have been taking notice 

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43 minutes ago, ManchestGer said:

He would have been around 10 years old when we had that European Campaign of 92/93 so I’m sure he would have been taking notice 

Everyone took notice of us down south during that era. 

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14 minutes ago, 1690tamRFC said:

Everyone took notice of us down south during that era. 

👍

They certainly did mate .... and who could blame them .... we were something special and it was a great run in the inaugural season of the (genuine) CL.

:UK:

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11 hours ago, Dazzler said:

I could do without all the "always wanted to play in Scotland" and "Ally was my hero" stuff.

You're here that's fine.

I understand where he's coming from though, McCoist in his day was as deadly a penalty box striker as anyone in Europe at the time and sure he missed loads of chances, strikers do, but like the best he was always there to take another try. 

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57 minutes ago, 1690tamRFC said:

Everyone took notice of us down south during that era. 

We beat the champions of England home and away, fucking right they took notice 😆

Hateley and McCoist were arguably the best striker partnership in the Uk at the time.

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2 hours ago, 1690tamRFC said:

Everyone took notice of us down south during that era. 

Too true mate , we broke the British transfer record around then when we signed Big Dunc ! 

I think that a lot of people don't realise how close we were in comparison to the top English sides of the day .

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1 hour ago, Tiger Shaw said:

We beat the champions of England home and away, fucking right they took notice 😆

Hateley and McCoist were arguably the best striker partnership in the Uk at the time.

No arguing that point, they were by far the best in Britian. They were probably the best in Europe and would've been acknowledged as such if it wasn't for them cheating French fucks!

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