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DEREK JOHNSTONE: Centurion Davie Weir fights with honour but 2010 is end game


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DAVIE WEIR wouldn't have imagined for one second he would make 100 league appearances for Rangers when he initially joined the club on a short-term contract to help Walter Smith out.

And the defender deserves all the credit going for managing to put himself into a position where he will reach that landmark on Saturday afternoon when he takes to the field against Falkirk.

But looking at the longer term, I honestly believe the end of the current season should mark the end of his Ibrox career. I don't think it would be fair to expect him to go on any longer than that.

At the age of 39, it probably amazes a lot of people that Weir is still strutting his stuff at the heart of the Rangers defence.

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Some players manage to keep playing until that age but how many of them are still operating at the highest level? And I'm not just talking about the top end of the SPL, but big Davie has been playing Champions League football this season as well.

I don't think he was ever blessed with great pace but there is no doubt he has slowed down in the last year or so. However, he has a fantastic football brain and uses that to make up for maybe not having the legs.

How many times do you see him read an attacking move perfectly and make sure he is in the right place at the right time to cut out the danger? And he has been a consistent performer throughout his two- and-a-half years at Rangers.

I don't recall him making too many mistakes throughout that period and that is one of the reasons why he is in the team every week - because Walter Smith knows he can trust him to do a job.

And it's not only about what Weir does on the park himself. I think it goes without saying he is a calming influence on those around about him and has helped make them better players.

Carlos Cuellar was the first defender Weir played next to in the Rangers defence and they enjoyed a fantastic partnership. Weir used to talk him through games and helped the Spaniard improve. Indeed, I'm sure Cuellar said as much when he left to join Aston Villa.

I reckon if you were to ask Madjid Bougherra how big an influence Weir has been on him since he joined Rangers that the Algerian would tell you he has had a massive impact on him, too.

But Rangers have got to look to the future. Davie, in my opinion, will already know what he plans to do next season.

His family have remained in England as they are settled down there and I know he travels up and down as often as possible. But there is only so long you can do that for.

There has been a suggestion there might be a coaching job for him at Everton, where he played. He has a great relationship with Davie Moyes and if that is indeed the case then it would be an excellent opportunity for him.

At Ibrox, it's up to the likes of young Danny Wilson to come in and take the club forward. Andy Webster is also expected to return from his loan spell at Dundee United so he'll have another chance to show what he can do.

However, Weir deserves much praise going for getting to the stage where he will make a century of appearances for Rangers.

The biggest compliment I can pay the man is that I don't recall too many bad performances from him.

Question time at AGM is right place for answers

RANGERS' AGM takes place on Monday and it could be the most important one ever.

The supporters have so many questions they want answered and this is their only opportunity to find out what is going on and in which direction the club is heading.

Who has the final say on whether a player is sold in January? What is being done to make cash available to improve the product on the park? What is the latest with possible buy-out parties?

It's time for answers. I'd imagine it could prove quite stormy as there are a lot of fans out there bitterly disappointed at the events of the last six months or so.

Everyone is interested in finding out what the people from the bank are saying and what they are doing to try to help matters.

What I would say to the fans is I still think a new owner will be found in the coming months. I expect things to gather pace on that front at the start of next year as it appears several serious players are interested in investing in the club.

Fans can be in the dock too

YOU have to say it is double standards. Supporters want to shout all kinds of abuse at players but the second a player gives them something back, they go running to the police and want action taken.

I'll state right away that Nacho Novo was wrong to react to the stick he was receiving from Aberdeen supporters at Pittodrie at the weekend.

Players, whether they like it or not, should know better. They have to ignore it and make sure they don't react.

But what about the fans? What will happen to them? Are the police going to deal with the ones who are shouting vile abuse?

Put it this way, if someone was shouting the same things in the street at someone, they would be arrested and charged with breach of the peace. So why should they be allowed to get away with it in a football stadium?

If fans want to go running to the police and make complaints any time a player responds to their taunts, perhaps it is time to turn the focus back on to them.

Happy return for Kirk

IT'S good to see Kirk Broadfoot edging close to full fitness again after being out injured for eight-and-a-half months.

And I'm sure Walter Smith will be pleased to welcome him back as he offers him cover in a number of positions at the back. Big Kirk can basically play anywhere in defence.

With Steven Whittaker struggling to find form, Smith could be tempted to bring Broadfoot in at right-back.

You need players who can play in a variety of positions in your squad and Broadfoot can certainly do that.

But it might be a few weeks before he is ready to come into the first-team after being out for such a long time.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/displa...2536319.0.0.php

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