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Magic on the influence of Walter & more


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Published: 22 May 2010

Tackling Wayne Rooney at the World Cup Finals.

Dreaming of creating history with Algeria's Desert Foxes.

Counting down to the greatest games of my life.

So much of it is down to just one man. Walter Smith.

With just three weeks until kick off in South Africa, the excitement is really kicking in.

When I step out for Algeria next month, I know I'll owe a big debt to my Rangers gaffer.

He's turned me into a player capable of performing in the biggest show on earth.

I now want to produce performances to make him proud. I could have gone to the Premier League two years ago. Tony Mowbray wanted to take me to West Brom.

I've never had any regrets about coming to Rangers and playing for Walter.

I have always been very happy to be a Rangers player.

Walter has made me a better player. There is a great relationship between him and I.

He has been the perfect gaffer for me and he has given me confidence.

When something has been bad, he has always taken time to speak to me properly.

I know people have complained about my late return from some of Algeria's games but Walter knows that I was robbed and lost my possessions in Paris last year. He also knows about the wild celebrations in Algiers after we'd beaten Egypt to reach the Finals.

He's been one of the greatest influences on my career.

I owe him a debt of gratitude for that - and also for allowing me to play in my own way.

For a centre-half, I do like to charge forward and support the attack. You might have noticed!

This is the way I am. Sometimes I feel that I need to run forward to get into the game.

Some gaffers don't like this and tell me not to do it, but Walter says nothing and just watches me run.

I ask him if I can do it and he says yes. I think he likes it.

He is a great manager. He often speaks with the players when a situation is bad. He spoke to me the last time I came back late.

We'd just qualified for the World Cup and everything was mixed up in my head. Algeria was all I could think about.

We had a good talk and when the gaffer says something, everyone respects him straight away.

He does not need to say too much for you to understand his point!

It was great to join up with the Desert Foxes after Rangers had such a great season. Retaining the SPL championship and winning the Co-operative Insurance Cup were terrific achievements. Unfortunately, I missed both occasions through injury. In the end, I only played two more games after the Old Firm win at Ibrox in February.

All in all, I managed just 23 games in the campaign.

This season was difficult for me. There was a lot of pressure with club and country. There was a lot of travelling. My body was tired and my mind was tired at times, too.

I'd had four years without any real break from football.

There seems to have been one game after another, one tournament after another, for the African countries for the last four or five years.

I've been lucky that I've had no bad injuries.

Even when I missed games this season, it wasn't because of any bad injuries. It was small things and it was frustrating to miss more than 20 games for Gers.

I knew after having so many games, with so many qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations in January, the mental pressure and physical toll on my body were catching up with me.

I was tired because of the pressure of having to win for Rangers and for my country.

I am just human and all the games had left my mind and my body so tired.

Now I am ready again and all the tiredness is out of my head and my body. Now that the domestic season is over, the World Cup finally feels real. It is very close and we are all so excited.

It has been great to hook up with my team-mates at the high altitude training camp in Switzerland.

We have a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next Friday night.

If I'm fit, I could be coming up against Robbie Keane once again!

We then play the United Arab Emirates in our last warm-up game in Germany in the first week in June.

Already everyone is only thinking about the games in South Africa.

I can't wait for the first Group C game against Slovenia in Polokwane on June 13. After that, of course, it's England then the United States. Everywhere I go in Glasgow, people stop me and tell me to beat England in the World Cup.

It is good to know that so many people in Scotland will be supporting Algeria.

To beat England would be fantastic for the whole country and every player, too.

So many of my team-mates have dreams of playing in the Premier League in England.

This game is going to offer them a great chance to show their quality and maybe win a move to England.

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/2982999/I-owe-you-boss.html#ixzz0onR8XC7b

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When I step out for Algeria next month, I know I'll owe a big debt to my Rangers gaffer.

He's turned me into a player capable of performing in the biggest show on earth.

I've never had any regrets about coming to Rangers and playing for Walter.

I have always been very happy to be a Rangers player.

Walter has made me a better player. There is a great relationship between him and I.

He has been the perfect gaffer for me and he has given me confidence.

When something has been bad, he has always taken time to speak to me properly.

I know people have complained about my late return from some of Algeria's games but Walter knows that I was robbed and lost my possessions in Paris last year. He also knows about the wild celebrations in Algiers after we'd beaten Egypt to reach the Finals.

He's been one of the greatest influences on my career.

I owe him a debt of gratitude for that - and also for allowing me to play in my own way

ahhhhhhhh,how nice boughy (tu)

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But he's always injured and doesn't really like Rangers dontchaknow ? ;)

The first part is fact. As for the second part, we will see how much by the end of this summer.

The first part is a fact, no doubt.

Backed up by a massive amount of evidence.

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