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Don't write off Rangers just yet

Krisboyd385_420281a

Graham Spiers

In the stampede to laud Celtic's heroic win at Ibrox last weekend, it appears that many have fallen over themselves in their rush to dismiss Rangers' title chances in Scotland come May. It may be a dangerous assumption, for no other reason than the evidence of last season, where Celtic were deemed to lag too far behind Walter Smith's men in early April before clinching the championship on the final, dramatic night.

With five months and 18 games of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League still to go, is seven points really such a frightening gap between the Old Firm? Rangers next face Celtic at Parkhead on February 15, with one remaining Old Firm clash to follow, and anything can happen in these matches.

Moreover, there appear to be wider pitfalls this season in the SPL for Rangers and Celtic which will determine their success or failure.

Rangers have been to Motherwell and dropped points. Celtic recently lost to Hibernian at Easter Road. Rangers lost to St Mirren at Love Street in October. For both teams, visits to Tynecastle and Tannadice, in particular, are going to be fraught. In this haphazard excitement Celtic can certainly be caught.

Walter Smith has repeatedly argued that his team is capable of going on one of their unbeaten runs, and the time appears to be ripe for such a venture. Moreover, if Kris Boyd, who looks on target to deliver 35 goals this season, can continue in his recent scoring vein, then Rangers have a weapon which cannot be dismissed. Boyd's form, in fact, will largely determine his team's fate.

One thing Smith should certainly consider doing is playing Kyle Lafferty, a tall, strong, skilful player, as a partner for Boyd through the middle. Lafferty may not yet be worth the £3.5m that Rangers paid for him, but he is a good footballer, and a far better player than many give him credit for. From Lafferty's earliest days at Ibrox, Smith has repeatedly said that his best position is "through the middle", yet too often the striker has been turned into a refugee on the left wing.

It would be fascinating to see the effect it had on Rangers if a Boyd-Lafferty central partnership was struck up. The Northern Ireland striker's height would give added menace to Rangers in attack, quite apart from his poise in front of goal, which has been seen, for instance, at Tannadice on December 13 when Lafferty deftly scored against Dundee United in a 2-2 draw.

It is time, surely, that Smith gave Lafferty a chance in his true position.

The obvious deficiency for Rangers is in central defence, where Kirk Broadfoot can look lumbering and David Weir is in his final Ibrox season, though Smith is actively looking to address this in the coming January window. If Smith can pluck a good defender from somewhere, and finally put an end to Lafferty's on-field obscurity, Rangers will certainly still have a healthy chance of winning the 2008-09 title.

Changing sides

Nacho Novo pulled off a remarkable feat last Saturday. Having played for 15 minutes as a sub for Rangers in the Old Firm derby at lunchtime, he then played for his home region of Galicia on Saturday night back in Spain in a friendly againts Iran, scoring twice in Galicia's 3-2 win. That's not bad going for Novo, who is about to leave Rangers.

While we're on the subject, does this wee chancer still want to play for Scotland? Or is he still hoping for a Spain call-up?

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The Gers can overcome their now 5 point deficit! However, Celtic won't have a fixture pileup like Gers towards the end of last season to slip them up.

It is somewhat strange that Wattie says Lafferty plays his best in the middle but continually plays him out wide. But how can the Gaffer split up Miller and Boyd when they, atlhough they scored after Miller went off today, have formed such a strong and productive partnership!?

Hope we're smiling at the end of May! :)

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The Gers can overcome their now 5 point deficit! However, Celtic won't have a fixture pileup like Gers towards the end of last season to slip them up.

It is somewhat strange that Wattie says Lafferty plays his best in the middle but continually plays him out wide. But how can the Gaffer split up Miller and Boyd when they, atlhough they scored after Miller went off today, have formed such a strong and productive partnership!?

Hope we're smiling at the end of May! :)

Miller's form has shaded a bit in recent weeks and he may have an injury now. Spiers or not, Boyd and Lafferty is worth trying IMO.

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Don't write off Rangers just yet

Krisboyd385_420281a

Graham Spiers

In the stampede to laud Celtic's heroic win at Ibrox last weekend, it appears that many have fallen over themselves in their rush to dismiss Rangers' title chances in Scotland come May. It may be a dangerous assumption, for no other reason than the evidence of last season, where Celtic were deemed to lag too far behind Walter Smith's men in early April before clinching the championship on the final, dramatic night.

With five months and 18 games of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League still to go, is seven points really such a frightening gap between the Old Firm? Rangers next face Celtic at Parkhead on February 15, with one remaining Old Firm clash to follow, and anything can happen in these matches.

Moreover, there appear to be wider pitfalls this season in the SPL for Rangers and Celtic which will determine their success or failure.

Rangers have been to Motherwell and dropped points. Celtic recently lost to Hibernian at Easter Road. Rangers lost to St Mirren at Love Street in October. For both teams, visits to Tynecastle and Tannadice, in particular, are going to be fraught. In this haphazard excitement Celtic can certainly be caught.

Walter Smith has repeatedly argued that his team is capable of going on one of their unbeaten runs, and the time appears to be ripe for such a venture. Moreover, if Kris Boyd, who looks on target to deliver 35 goals this season, can continue in his recent scoring vein, then Rangers have a weapon which cannot be dismissed. Boyd's form, in fact, will largely determine his team's fate.

One thing Smith should certainly consider doing is playing Kyle Lafferty, a tall, strong, skilful player, as a partner for Boyd through the middle. Lafferty may not yet be worth the £3.5m that Rangers paid for him, but he is a good footballer, and a far better player than many give him credit for. From Lafferty's earliest days at Ibrox, Smith has repeatedly said that his best position is "through the middle", yet too often the striker has been turned into a refugee on the left wing.

It would be fascinating to see the effect it had on Rangers if a Boyd-Lafferty central partnership was struck up. The Northern Ireland striker's height would give added menace to Rangers in attack, quite apart from his poise in front of goal, which has been seen, for instance, at Tannadice on December 13 when Lafferty deftly scored against Dundee United in a 2-2 draw.

It is time, surely, that Smith gave Lafferty a chance in his true position.

The obvious deficiency for Rangers is in central defence, where Kirk Broadfoot can look lumbering and David Weir is in his final Ibrox season, though Smith is actively looking to address this in the coming January window. If Smith can pluck a good defender from somewhere, and finally put an end to Lafferty's on-field obscurity, Rangers will certainly still have a healthy chance of winning the 2008-09 title.

Changing sides

Nacho Novo pulled off a remarkable feat last Saturday. Having played for 15 minutes as a sub for Rangers in the Old Firm derby at lunchtime, he then played for his home region of Galicia on Saturday night back in Spain in a friendly againts Iran, scoring twice in Galicia's 3-2 win. That's not bad going for Novo, who is about to leave Rangers.

While we're on the subject, does this wee chancer still want to play for Scotland? Or is he still hoping for a Spain call-up?

As my bestest pal Britney wrote this, it must be going to come true then.

:mutley:

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Don't write off Rangers just yet

Krisboyd385_420281a

Graham Spiers

In the stampede to laud Celtic's heroic win at Ibrox last weekend, it appears that many have fallen over themselves in their rush to dismiss Rangers' title chances in Scotland come May. It may be a dangerous assumption, for no other reason than the evidence of last season, where Celtic were deemed to lag too far behind Walter Smith's men in early April before clinching the championship on the final, dramatic night.

With five months and 18 games of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League still to go, is seven points really such a frightening gap between the Old Firm? Rangers next face Celtic at Parkhead on February 15, with one remaining Old Firm clash to follow, and anything can happen in these matches.

Moreover, there appear to be wider pitfalls this season in the SPL for Rangers and Celtic which will determine their success or failure.

Rangers have been to Motherwell and dropped points. Celtic recently lost to Hibernian at Easter Road. Rangers lost to St Mirren at Love Street in October. For both teams, visits to Tynecastle and Tannadice, in particular, are going to be fraught. In this haphazard excitement Celtic can certainly be caught.

Walter Smith has repeatedly argued that his team is capable of going on one of their unbeaten runs, and the time appears to be ripe for such a venture. Moreover, if Kris Boyd, who looks on target to deliver 35 goals this season, can continue in his recent scoring vein, then Rangers have a weapon which cannot be dismissed. Boyd's form, in fact, will largely determine his team's fate.

One thing Smith should certainly consider doing is playing Kyle Lafferty, a tall, strong, skilful player, as a partner for Boyd through the middle. Lafferty may not yet be worth the £3.5m that Rangers paid for him, but he is a good footballer, and a far better player than many give him credit for. From Lafferty's earliest days at Ibrox, Smith has repeatedly said that his best position is "through the middle", yet too often the striker has been turned into a refugee on the left wing.

It would be fascinating to see the effect it had on Rangers if a Boyd-Lafferty central partnership was struck up. The Northern Ireland striker's height would give added menace to Rangers in attack, quite apart from his poise in front of goal, which has been seen, for instance, at Tannadice on December 13 when Lafferty deftly scored against Dundee United in a 2-2 draw.

It is time, surely, that Smith gave Lafferty a chance in his true position.

The obvious deficiency for Rangers is in central defence, where Kirk Broadfoot can look lumbering and David Weir is in his final Ibrox season, though Smith is actively looking to address this in the coming January window. If Smith can pluck a good defender from somewhere, and finally put an end to Lafferty's on-field obscurity, Rangers will certainly still have a healthy chance of winning the 2008-09 title.

Changing sides

Nacho Novo pulled off a remarkable feat last Saturday. Having played for 15 minutes as a sub for Rangers in the Old Firm derby at lunchtime, he then played for his home region of Galicia on Saturday night back in Spain in a friendly againts Iran, scoring twice in Galicia's 3-2 win. That's not bad going for Novo, who is about to leave Rangers.

While we're on the subject, does this wee chancer still want to play for Scotland? Or is he still hoping for a Spain call-up?

As my bestest pal Britney wrote this, it must be going to come true then.

:mutley:

No it is you BB who should be slated! Ooooooooooohhh I am so angry that you even contribute to an article with his name in it !! I think you should be slaughtered for knowing this man and having the audacity to comment on this thread! Where are all the official bodies - surely they should be slating spiers for writing positive about us - but then again to write in this thread just give credibility to this man - why do you do it BB - WHY!!! I hope that this doesnt get edited like everything else that involves spiers and shows the club in a bad light - or we will have to have a go at you again BB!

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Heres Britneys take on the Hokey Cokey

Rare whiff of light humour from the Rangers support

My Highland moles tell me that the Rangers fans, following their glum silence at Ibrox last week, were fulfilling my wishes yesterday by offering rather rousing renditions of the Hokey-Cokey at the Caledonian Stadium. Good on them, I say.

The recent, political palaver over the Hokey-Cokey was the ultimate absurdity. You have to be a specialist in medieval theology, and even then have a bit of a screw loose, to believe that this chant is sectarian.

If some Rangers fans actually believe that it IS an offensive chant, and draw their motivation from this, well, no matter, just let them get on with it. The song provides the Ibrox support with a rare whiff of light humour.

May we have much more of the Hokey-Cokey from the travelling Rangers fans – anything, in fact, which steers them away from the bigoted or racist stuff. On more upbeat days I might even join in myself.

Whats the difference between that and The Famine Song?

I sense a man running out of allies.

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