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Obviously this bitter bastard is praying we dont make the last 16.

August 28 2009 HUGH MacDONALD, Chief Sportswriter

The bi-polarity of the football bear is a wonder to behold. There was an outbreak of optimism among the breed last night as Rangers were handed what many believed was a kind draw in the group stages of the Champions League. This response was mystifying to those who have watched the first weeks of the Scottish football season.

To recap, the national team was cuffed by Norway, and Aberdeen, Motherwell and Hearts have not so much been beaten by foreign teams but forced to follow on after a declaration.

Celtic contrived to keep the margin of defeat to Arsenal to 1-5. The grim reality of Tony Mowbray's side being outplayed by a team of greater financial and technical resources has been obscured by the manufactured furore over Eduardo's triple salchow with pike.

Scottish clubs can, then, hardly afford to be sunnily optimistic when faced with a European challenge. It is true that the draw for Rangers could have been worse, but it is still a massive task for the Ibrox club. The last venture by Rangers in European competition was in Lithuania where FBK Kaunas defeated them in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League more than a year ago.

Rangers, crucially, have added Madjid Bougherra, Pedro Mendes and Steven Davis to the side who failed then. But it is surely too much to ask of them to transform a side who could not get into the Champions League into one worthy of the last 16 of the top club competition in the world. Or is it?

The focus for Rangers must be profiting from the teams seeded below them. VfB Stuttgart were faced in the Champions League campaign of 2007/08 with the sides claiming home victories. But Stuttgart have added Aleksandr Hleb and Pavel Pogrebynak to a squad that prospered in the Bundesliga last season. This represents an investment in class. Stuttgart have aspirations to be in the Champions League after Christmas.

Unirea Urziceni, managed by Dan Petrescu, will be awkward and potentially difficult opponents. Petrescu's team are technically astute. They will have designs on the Europa Cup place and on upsetting their more prestigious opponents by dint of a swift counter-attacking game.

Sevilla, simply, will be expected to top the group. They were viewed by some as unworthy seeds. But they finished behind only Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga and have won the UEFA Cup twice in recent years.

They are particularly sharp in attack with Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano their leading threats. Didier Zokora, the signing from Tottenham Hotspur, will offer midfield insurance to a defence that has been known to creak.

The ambitions of Rangers will be realistic under Walter Smith. Strangely, Smith faced a very similar challenge in his last Champions League. Rangers had in their group a La Liga side (Barcelona), Stuttgart and Lyon, who certainly outrank Unirea Urziceni. Smith's side chiselled seven points from that group but a promising opening was fatally undermined by grim reality as defeats were suffered in Barcelona andStuttgart before Lyon exacted revenge at Ibrox.

There was a huge sense of under-achievement then as Rangers had thrown away what seemed to be a greatopportunity to progress to the knockout stages.

Smith, though, will be pleased to escape this campaign with honour intact and with a spot in the Europa League. He will set his team up in such a way that the "Euro doing" virus that has infected Aberdeen, Hearts, Motherwell, and Celtic is avoided. This means that Kenny Miller will be condemned to chase hopeful balls in Seville, Stuttgart and the Steaua Stadium.

Indeed, the Scotland striker may be on lone point duty in games at Ibrox. Smith's 4-1-4-1 formation in Europe drew criticism from some sections of the Ibrox support. It also brought the unlikely reward of a UEFA Cup final.

Smith knows that Europe has the ability to fill the coffers. Rangers will make £10m from the Champions League campaign and will have their eyes on squeezing out a post-Christmas present in the shape of a Europa League place or, more unlikely, a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Both are possible outcomes. Smith has shown before that he can extract the gems of Champions League points with evenings of hard digging. But he also knows that his squad has limitations.

Rangers lack cover in central defence where David Weir, in his 40th year, continues to be a stalwart. The midfield looks up to European duty with Davis and Pedro Mendes both capable of performing at such a level. Kevin Thomson, who must curb his reckless instincts, is probably the prime candidate to protect the back four. But it is difficult to see Rangers scoring the necessary goals to disturb Stuttgart orSevilla.

Smith, then, has the resources to survive the storm but not to find a passage to the knockout stages.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines...e_misplaced.php

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High MacDonald CHIEF Sportswriter.

How the f*ck do you become CHIEF Sportswriter with shite like this? Amazing. ok, we know we're not Barca... but how about playing up the fact that it's down to the Famous Glasgow Rangers to once again, defend Scotland's football honour.

That we will fight in every match,

That we are as well organized as any team in the competition?

That Walter has in fact learned how to manage in Europe.

That our support at IBROX will be a factor.

That our support away will be a factor.

That in fact, we're a pretty good footballing side this season.

Naw.. don't write about that. Just write about how we barely deserve to be there.

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He promootes failure as it is easier than being optomistic.

He also forgets MY view point - cometh the hour - cometh the man, step forward Kris Boyd - our secret weapon (Greatly improved and unused in Europe)!

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talks about our past endevours when it was the scum who finished bottom of there group in the champons league, copenhagen anyone ?

scottish teams are diar this year in europe but we are at the lucrative stages of the tournament and i can feel a wee tad of jealousy in the story, is it the fact that celtic were ripped appart at arsenal over 2 legs but they feel cheated, they had no chance anyway and this story is a laugh as it shows how envious people actually are of the mighty gers

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It is a sad reality of how the press in our own city have only one way to look at a Rangers story.

They would probably prefer not to talk about us at all, but then that only leaves them with trying to be positive about their beloved hoops, which seems to be creativity too far for them.

In Glasgow's only broadsheet newspaper, you would think that a story about a fairly ordinary CL group for the city's only participants in Europe's premier competition would bring such anticipation and positivity, with a few paragraphs perhaps discussing that if Rangers were oh so close to making the last 16 in a group with Barcelona, Lyon and Stuttgart, then surely the easy argument to make is that this group is many times easier to negotiate, and put some pressure on Rangers to live up to their seeding.

Yet again, I and many other bears dispair at the way we are discussed amongst our bitter hacks in the media, and call for total non-co-operation with newspapers who so continually fail to see anything positive in anything we do.

It has been a few years since the Herald was brought to its knees with the boycott by ebars due to them employing the scumbag Spiers, it seems they are incapable of even hiding their impartiality.

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Obviously this bitter bastard is praying we dont make the last 16.

August 28 2009 HUGH MacDONALD, Chief Sportswriter

The bi-polarity of the football bear is a wonder to behold. There was an outbreak of optimism among the breed last night as Rangers were handed what many believed was a kind draw in the group stages of the Champions League. This response was mystifying to those who have watched the first weeks of the Scottish football season.

To recap, the national team was cuffed by Norway, and Aberdeen, Motherwell and Hearts have not so much been beaten by foreign teams but forced to follow on after a declaration.

Celtic contrived to keep the margin of defeat to Arsenal to 1-5. The grim reality of Tony Mowbray's side being outplayed by a team of greater financial and technical resources has been obscured by the manufactured furore over Eduardo's triple salchow with pike.

Scottish clubs can, then, hardly afford to be sunnily optimistic when faced with a European challenge. It is true that the draw for Rangers could have been worse, but it is still a massive task for the Ibrox club. The last venture by Rangers in European competition was in Lithuania where FBK Kaunas defeated them in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League more than a year ago.

Rangers, crucially, have added Madjid Bougherra, Pedro Mendes and Steven Davis to the side who failed then. But it is surely too much to ask of them to transform a side who could not get into the Champions League into one worthy of the last 16 of the top club competition in the world. Or is it?

The focus for Rangers must be profiting from the teams seeded below them. VfB Stuttgart were faced in the Champions League campaign of 2007/08 with the sides claiming home victories. But Stuttgart have added Aleksandr Hleb and Pavel Pogrebynak to a squad that prospered in the Bundesliga last season. This represents an investment in class. Stuttgart have aspirations to be in the Champions League after Christmas.

Unirea Urziceni, managed by Dan Petrescu, will be awkward and potentially difficult opponents. Petrescu's team are technically astute. They will have designs on the Europa Cup place and on upsetting their more prestigious opponents by dint of a swift counter-attacking game.

Sevilla, simply, will be expected to top the group. They were viewed by some as unworthy seeds. But they finished behind only Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga and have won the UEFA Cup twice in recent years.

They are particularly sharp in attack with Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano their leading threats. Didier Zokora, the signing from Tottenham Hotspur, will offer midfield insurance to a defence that has been known to creak.

The ambitions of Rangers will be realistic under Walter Smith. Strangely, Smith faced a very similar challenge in his last Champions League. Rangers had in their group a La Liga side (Barcelona), Stuttgart and Lyon, who certainly outrank Unirea Urziceni. Smith's side chiselled seven points from that group but a promising opening was fatally undermined by grim reality as defeats were suffered in Barcelona andStuttgart before Lyon exacted revenge at Ibrox.

There was a huge sense of under-achievement then as Rangers had thrown away what seemed to be a greatopportunity to progress to the knockout stages.

Smith, though, will be pleased to escape this campaign with honour intact and with a spot in the Europa League. He will set his team up in such a way that the "Euro doing" virus that has infected Aberdeen, Hearts, Motherwell, and Celtic is avoided. This means that Kenny Miller will be condemned to chase hopeful balls in Seville, Stuttgart and the Steaua Stadium.

Indeed, the Scotland striker may be on lone point duty in games at Ibrox. Smith's 4-1-4-1 formation in Europe drew criticism from some sections of the Ibrox support. It also brought the unlikely reward of a UEFA Cup final.

Smith knows that Europe has the ability to fill the coffers. Rangers will make £10m from the Champions League campaign and will have their eyes on squeezing out a post-Christmas present in the shape of a Europa League place or, more unlikely, a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Both are possible outcomes. Smith has shown before that he can extract the gems of Champions League points with evenings of hard digging. But he also knows that his squad has limitations.

Rangers lack cover in central defence where David Weir, in his 40th year, continues to be a stalwart. The midfield looks up to European duty with Davis and Pedro Mendes both capable of performing at such a level. Kevin Thomson, who must curb his reckless instincts, is probably the prime candidate to protect the back four. But it is difficult to see Rangers scoring the necessary goals to disturb Stuttgart orSevilla.

Smith, then, has the resources to survive the storm but not to find a passage to the knockout stages.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines...e_misplaced.php

I actually just read this article online and was about to post about it, seems the mhedia are writing us off, again.

Hmm, What did they say about our UEFA Run hopes?

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