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Mark Hateley: The gamble that could win Gers the title


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DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and that's why Walter Smith will put his neck and reputation on the line by selling Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd.

There's no doubt Smith is taking the biggest gamble of his career by trying to offload his captain and top scorer midway through a campaign in which they trail Celtic by five points in the title race.

While large sections of the Ibrox support will be vehemently against the sales during the transfer window, this might just turn out to be the masterstroke which ends three years of Celtic domination.

January has traditionally been atime for strengthening at Ibrox and if certain players need to be sold in order to bring in better reinforcements then so be it.

Of course, Rangers are taking a massive risk but Walter clearly has his reasons for showing Ferguson and Boyd the exit door and he obviously feels his squad will be in stronger shape to challenge Gordon Strachan's men come the end of the month.

Interestingly, the fans appear more opposed to Boyd's imminent departure to Birmingham than Ferguson's possible move to Newcastle, although both players polarise opinion.

Half the Rangers fans love them while the other half would be quite happy to see the back of them. I've no doubt Walter already has replacements lined up for Ferguson and Boyd, although I'm certain they won't be the only players to leave this month.

In fact the club will be willing to listen to offers for the majority of their squad between now and the end of the month.

With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price.

If the squad and the team are going to get stronger then those five players will be pivotal to Rangers in the future.

I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of the players but on the evidence of what we have seen over the past two seasons, they can be replaced - but only if the price is right.

In the current climate I reckon Celtic would also be willing to listen to offers for most of their players.

But it is Rangers who are feeling the pinch a lot more due to the lack of European money following their Champions League qualifying exit at the hands of FB Kaunas.

Understandably, sections of the support feel that getting rid of two prominent players at this time of year sends the wrong signals to their title rivals.

It is a huge call but Walter has made a lot more good calls than bad ones during his spell as a boss.

The pressure is on him to deliver along overdue SPL title and stop Celtic securing a fourth consecutive championship.

He knows the supporters will not settle for anything less this season and that's why the possible sales of Boyd and Ferguson represent a monumental gamble.

Of the two, Barry is more expendable and I think he's still a long way short of the level we have come to expect of him.

Injuries appear to have taken their toll and I can speak from experience on the matter because I was there before him.

There are too many occasions when it looks like his body can no longer carry out the instructions being sent from his brain.

He no longer dominates matches or imposes himself on opponents and it can be extremely frustrating when your limbs are not up to the task after years of being ravaged by numerous injuries.

There is every chance Barry could rediscover his old self in the next dozen or so games but Rangers can't wait that long.

They can't afford to lose two more games this season and that means there is no scope to take a chance on trying to nurse the captain back to full strength.

Boyd's case is different because his all-round game has improved a great deal this season.

To find a striker with the same kind of goal power is not going to be easy as every club in Britain is on the look-out for a penalty box predator like him.

A lot of people point the finger at him and say he does not produce the goods in the big games.

But he has scored a bundle of important goals already this term and if Rangerswin the league, then Boyd will have made a sizeable contribution.

Yet he is not irreplaceable and Rangers can win the championship without him providing they spend his transfer fee wisely and providing peripheral figures like Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo, who have been been operating out of position, step up to the plate.

It is now two years since Walter took over the reins from Paul Le Guen and he's arguably two thirds of the way through a rebuilding programme.

There has been a huge turnover of staff in a relatively short time and I think expectations have risen considerably since January 2007.

Last season Rangers punched way above their weight and that put more pressure on the coaching staff at the start of the new campaign.

Getting knocked out of Europe set them back six months in my opinion and now Walter has reached the pivotal point of his second spell in charge.

This is the time when you need the manager to stand up and prove he is a leader of men.

You need someone who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions if he thinks it will benefit the team.

Walter has shown he is prepared to do that by selling Boyd and Ferguson. Ultimately, the outcome of the SPL race will determine whether his gamble pays off.

http://www.<No links to this website>/comment/colum...86908-21024604/

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DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and that's why Walter Smith will put his neck and reputation on the line by selling Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd.

There's no doubt Smith is taking the biggest gamble of his career by trying to offload his captain and top scorer midway through a campaign in which they trail Celtic by five points in the title race.

While large sections of the Ibrox support will be vehemently against the sales during the transfer window, this might just turn out to be the masterstroke which ends three years of Celtic domination.

January has traditionally been atime for strengthening at Ibrox and if certain players need to be sold in order to bring in better reinforcements then so be it.

Of course, Rangers are taking a massive risk but Walter clearly has his reasons for showing Ferguson and Boyd the exit door and he obviously feels his squad will be in stronger shape to challenge Gordon Strachan's men come the end of the month.

Interestingly, the fans appear more opposed to Boyd's imminent departure to Birmingham than Ferguson's possible move to Newcastle, although both players polarise opinion.

Half the Rangers fans love them while the other half would be quite happy to see the back of them. I've no doubt Walter already has replacements lined up for Ferguson and Boyd, although I'm certain they won't be the only players to leave this month.

In fact the club will be willing to listen to offers for the majority of their squad between now and the end of the month.

With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price.

If the squad and the team are going to get stronger then those five players will be pivotal to Rangers in the future.

I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of the players but on the evidence of what we have seen over the past two seasons, they can be replaced - but only if the price is right.

In the current climate I reckon Celtic would also be willing to listen to offers for most of their players.

But it is Rangers who are feeling the pinch a lot more due to the lack of European money following their Champions League qualifying exit at the hands of FB Kaunas.

Understandably, sections of the support feel that getting rid of two prominent players at this time of year sends the wrong signals to their title rivals.

It is a huge call but Walter has made a lot more good calls than bad ones during his spell as a boss.

The pressure is on him to deliver along overdue SPL title and stop Celtic securing a fourth consecutive championship.

He knows the supporters will not settle for anything less this season and that's why the possible sales of Boyd and Ferguson represent a monumental gamble.

Of the two, Barry is more expendable and I think he's still a long way short of the level we have come to expect of him.

Injuries appear to have taken their toll and I can speak from experience on the matter because I was there before him.

There are too many occasions when it looks like his body can no longer carry out the instructions being sent from his brain.

He no longer dominates matches or imposes himself on opponents and it can be extremely frustrating when your limbs are not up to the task after years of being ravaged by numerous injuries.

There is every chance Barry could rediscover his old self in the next dozen or so games but Rangers can't wait that long.

They can't afford to lose two more games this season and that means there is no scope to take a chance on trying to nurse the captain back to full strength.

Boyd's case is different because his all-round game has improved a great deal this season.

To find a striker with the same kind of goal power is not going to be easy as every club in Britain is on the look-out for a penalty box predator like him.

A lot of people point the finger at him and say he does not produce the goods in the big games.

But he has scored a bundle of important goals already this term and if Rangerswin the league, then Boyd will have made a sizeable contribution.

Yet he is not irreplaceable and Rangers can win the championship without him providing they spend his transfer fee wisely and providing peripheral figures like Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo, who have been been operating out of position, step up to the plate.

It is now two years since Walter took over the reins from Paul Le Guen and he's arguably two thirds of the way through a rebuilding programme.

There has been a huge turnover of staff in a relatively short time and I think expectations have risen considerably since January 2007.

Last season Rangers punched way above their weight and that put more pressure on the coaching staff at the start of the new campaign.

Getting knocked out of Europe set them back six months in my opinion and now Walter has reached the pivotal point of his second spell in charge.

This is the time when you need the manager to stand up and prove he is a leader of men.

You need someone who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions if he thinks it will benefit the team.

Walter has shown he is prepared to do that by selling Boyd and Ferguson. Ultimately, the outcome of the SPL race will determine whether his gamble pays off.

http://www.<No links to this website>/comment/colum...86908-21024604/

we didnt punch above our weight , we played anti football

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don't get this line.......

"With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price."

I think he was saying they are the players who Rangers shouldn't sell at any price mate?

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don't get this line.......

"With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price."

He's basically saying they are the players we should build a team round, everybody else can go.

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DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and that's why Walter Smith will put his neck and reputation on the line by selling Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd.

There's no doubt Smith is taking the biggest gamble of his career by trying to offload his captain and top scorer midway through a campaign in which they trail Celtic by five points in the title race.

While large sections of the Ibrox support will be vehemently against the sales during the transfer window, this might just turn out to be the masterstroke which ends three years of Celtic domination.

January has traditionally been atime for strengthening at Ibrox and if certain players need to be sold in order to bring in better reinforcements then so be it.

Of course, Rangers are taking a massive risk but Walter clearly has his reasons for showing Ferguson and Boyd the exit door and he obviously feels his squad will be in stronger shape to challenge Gordon Strachan's men come the end of the month.

Interestingly, the fans appear more opposed to Boyd's imminent departure to Birmingham than Ferguson's possible move to Newcastle, although both players polarise opinion.

Half the Rangers fans love them while the other half would be quite happy to see the back of them. I've no doubt Walter already has replacements lined up for Ferguson and Boyd, although I'm certain they won't be the only players to leave this month.

In fact the club will be willing to listen to offers for the majority of their squad between now and the end of the month.

With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price.

If the squad and the team are going to get stronger then those five players will be pivotal to Rangers in the future.

I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of the players but on the evidence of what we have seen over the past two seasons, they can be replaced - but only if the price is right.

In the current climate I reckon Celtic would also be willing to listen to offers for most of their players.

But it is Rangers who are feeling the pinch a lot more due to the lack of European money following their Champions League qualifying exit at the hands of FB Kaunas.

Understandably, sections of the support feel that getting rid of two prominent players at this time of year sends the wrong signals to their title rivals.

It is a huge call but Walter has made a lot more good calls than bad ones during his spell as a boss.

The pressure is on him to deliver along overdue SPL title and stop Celtic securing a fourth consecutive championship.

He knows the supporters will not settle for anything less this season and that's why the possible sales of Boyd and Ferguson represent a monumental gamble.

Of the two, Barry is more expendable and I think he's still a long way short of the level we have come to expect of him.

Injuries appear to have taken their toll and I can speak from experience on the matter because I was there before him.

There are too many occasions when it looks like his body can no longer carry out the instructions being sent from his brain.

He no longer dominates matches or imposes himself on opponents and it can be extremely frustrating when your limbs are not up to the task after years of being ravaged by numerous injuries.

There is every chance Barry could rediscover his old self in the next dozen or so games but Rangers can't wait that long.

They can't afford to lose two more games this season and that means there is no scope to take a chance on trying to nurse the captain back to full strength.

Boyd's case is different because his all-round game has improved a great deal this season.

To find a striker with the same kind of goal power is not going to be easy as every club in Britain is on the look-out for a penalty box predator like him.

A lot of people point the finger at him and say he does not produce the goods in the big games.

But he has scored a bundle of important goals already this term and if Rangerswin the league, then Boyd will have made a sizeable contribution.

Yet he is not irreplaceable and Rangers can win the championship without him providing they spend his transfer fee wisely and providing peripheral figures like Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo, who have been been operating out of position, step up to the plate.

It is now two years since Walter took over the reins from Paul Le Guen and he's arguably two thirds of the way through a rebuilding programme.

There has been a huge turnover of staff in a relatively short time and I think expectations have risen considerably since January 2007.

Last season Rangers punched way above their weight and that put more pressure on the coaching staff at the start of the new campaign.

Getting knocked out of Europe set them back six months in my opinion and now Walter has reached the pivotal point of his second spell in charge.

This is the time when you need the manager to stand up and prove he is a leader of men.

You need someone who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions if he thinks it will benefit the team.

Walter has shown he is prepared to do that by selling Boyd and Ferguson. Ultimately, the outcome of the SPL race will determine whether his gamble pays off.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/comment/colum...86908-21024604/

we didnt punch above our weight , we played anti football

So you were happier with this year's Euro-expedition?

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So you were happier with this year's Euro-expedition?

We played anti-football this year as well... ;)

to be fair we did play the same in europe this year as we did last year - shows you how diverse football can be

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He's saying its a gamble which may pay off if Walter finds the suitable replacements, I didnt think we would get to put the funds back into the squad if we sold them. Or if we sell Boyd for £3.75m bring in another striker for about £1m, with our scouts I'm finding this more than a gamble

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DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and that's why Walter Smith will put his neck and reputation on the line by selling Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd.

There's no doubt Smith is taking the biggest gamble of his career by trying to offload his captain and top scorer midway through a campaign in which they trail Celtic by five points in the title race.

While large sections of the Ibrox support will be vehemently against the sales during the transfer window, this might just turn out to be the masterstroke which ends three years of Celtic domination.

January has traditionally been atime for strengthening at Ibrox and if certain players need to be sold in order to bring in better reinforcements then so be it.

Of course, Rangers are taking a massive risk but Walter clearly has his reasons for showing Ferguson and Boyd the exit door and he obviously feels his squad will be in stronger shape to challenge Gordon Strachan's men come the end of the month.

Interestingly, the fans appear more opposed to Boyd's imminent departure to Birmingham than Ferguson's possible move to Newcastle, although both players polarise opinion.

Half the Rangers fans love them while the other half would be quite happy to see the back of them. I've no doubt Walter already has replacements lined up for Ferguson and Boyd, although I'm certain they won't be the only players to leave this month.

In fact the club will be willing to listen to offers for the majority of their squad between now and the end of the month.

With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price.

If the squad and the team are going to get stronger then those five players will be pivotal to Rangers in the future.

I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of the players but on the evidence of what we have seen over the past two seasons, they can be replaced - but only if the price is right.

In the current climate I reckon Celtic would also be willing to listen to offers for most of their players.

But it is Rangers who are feeling the pinch a lot more due to the lack of European money following their Champions League qualifying exit at the hands of FB Kaunas.

Understandably, sections of the support feel that getting rid of two prominent players at this time of year sends the wrong signals to their title rivals.

It is a huge call but Walter has made a lot more good calls than bad ones during his spell as a boss.

The pressure is on him to deliver along overdue SPL title and stop Celtic securing a fourth consecutive championship.

He knows the supporters will not settle for anything less this season and that's why the possible sales of Boyd and Ferguson represent a monumental gamble.

Of the two, Barry is more expendable and I think he's still a long way short of the level we have come to expect of him.

Injuries appear to have taken their toll and I can speak from experience on the matter because I was there before him.

There are too many occasions when it looks like his body can no longer carry out the instructions being sent from his brain.

He no longer dominates matches or imposes himself on opponents and it can be extremely frustrating when your limbs are not up to the task after years of being ravaged by numerous injuries.

There is every chance Barry could rediscover his old self in the next dozen or so games but Rangers can't wait that long.

They can't afford to lose two more games this season and that means there is no scope to take a chance on trying to nurse the captain back to full strength.

Boyd's case is different because his all-round game has improved a great deal this season.

To find a striker with the same kind of goal power is not going to be easy as every club in Britain is on the look-out for a penalty box predator like him.

A lot of people point the finger at him and say he does not produce the goods in the big games.

But he has scored a bundle of important goals already this term and if Rangerswin the league, then Boyd will have made a sizeable contribution.

Yet he is not irreplaceable and Rangers can win the championship without him providing they spend his transfer fee wisely and providing peripheral figures like Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo, who have been been operating out of position, step up to the plate.

It is now two years since Walter took over the reins from Paul Le Guen and he's arguably two thirds of the way through a rebuilding programme.

There has been a huge turnover of staff in a relatively short time and I think expectations have risen considerably since January 2007.

Last season Rangers punched way above their weight and that put more pressure on the coaching staff at the start of the new campaign.

Getting knocked out of Europe set them back six months in my opinion and now Walter has reached the pivotal point of his second spell in charge.

This is the time when you need the manager to stand up and prove he is a leader of men.

You need someone who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions if he thinks it will benefit the team.

Walter has shown he is prepared to do that by selling Boyd and Ferguson. Ultimately, the outcome of the SPL race will determine whether his gamble pays off.

http://www.<No links to this website>/comment/colum...86908-21024604/

we didnt punch above our weight , we played

We still went to European final, for a Scottish team that’s punching above our weight. Anti football? Were you saying that when we went to Manchester? I think not <_<

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DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and that's why Walter Smith will put his neck and reputation on the line by selling Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd.

There's no doubt Smith is taking the biggest gamble of his career by trying to offload his captain and top scorer midway through a campaign in which they trail Celtic by five points in the title race.

While large sections of the Ibrox support will be vehemently against the sales during the transfer window, this might just turn out to be the masterstroke which ends three years of Celtic domination.

January has traditionally been atime for strengthening at Ibrox and if certain players need to be sold in order to bring in better reinforcements then so be it.

Of course, Rangers are taking a massive risk but Walter clearly has his reasons for showing Ferguson and Boyd the exit door and he obviously feels his squad will be in stronger shape to challenge Gordon Strachan's men come the end of the month.

Interestingly, the fans appear more opposed to Boyd's imminent departure to Birmingham than Ferguson's possible move to Newcastle, although both players polarise opinion.

Half the Rangers fans love them while the other half would be quite happy to see the back of them. I've no doubt Walter already has replacements lined up for Ferguson and Boyd, although I'm certain they won't be the only players to leave this month.

In fact the club will be willing to listen to offers for the majority of their squad between now and the end of the month.

With the exception of Allan McGregor, Madjid Bougherra, Steven Davis, Pedro Mendes and Kevin Thomson, everyone has his price.

If the squad and the team are going to get stronger then those five players will be pivotal to Rangers in the future.

I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of the players but on the evidence of what we have seen over the past two seasons, they can be replaced - but only if the price is right.

In the current climate I reckon Celtic would also be willing to listen to offers for most of their players.

But it is Rangers who are feeling the pinch a lot more due to the lack of European money following their Champions League qualifying exit at the hands of FB Kaunas.

Understandably, sections of the support feel that getting rid of two prominent players at this time of year sends the wrong signals to their title rivals.

It is a huge call but Walter has made a lot more good calls than bad ones during his spell as a boss.

The pressure is on him to deliver along overdue SPL title and stop Celtic securing a fourth consecutive championship.

He knows the supporters will not settle for anything less this season and that's why the possible sales of Boyd and Ferguson represent a monumental gamble.

Of the two, Barry is more expendable and I think he's still a long way short of the level we have come to expect of him.

Injuries appear to have taken their toll and I can speak from experience on the matter because I was there before him.

There are too many occasions when it looks like his body can no longer carry out the instructions being sent from his brain.

He no longer dominates matches or imposes himself on opponents and it can be extremely frustrating when your limbs are not up to the task after years of being ravaged by numerous injuries.

There is every chance Barry could rediscover his old self in the next dozen or so games but Rangers can't wait that long.

They can't afford to lose two more games this season and that means there is no scope to take a chance on trying to nurse the captain back to full strength.

Boyd's case is different because his all-round game has improved a great deal this season.

To find a striker with the same kind of goal power is not going to be easy as every club in Britain is on the look-out for a penalty box predator like him.

A lot of people point the finger at him and say he does not produce the goods in the big games.

But he has scored a bundle of important goals already this term and if Rangerswin the league, then Boyd will have made a sizeable contribution.

Yet he is not irreplaceable and Rangers can win the championship without him providing they spend his transfer fee wisely and providing peripheral figures like Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo, who have been been operating out of position, step up to the plate.

It is now two years since Walter took over the reins from Paul Le Guen and he's arguably two thirds of the way through a rebuilding programme.

There has been a huge turnover of staff in a relatively short time and I think expectations have risen considerably since January 2007.

Last season Rangers punched way above their weight and that put more pressure on the coaching staff at the start of the new campaign.

Getting knocked out of Europe set them back six months in my opinion and now Walter has reached the pivotal point of his second spell in charge.

This is the time when you need the manager to stand up and prove he is a leader of men.

You need someone who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions if he thinks it will benefit the team.

Walter has shown he is prepared to do that by selling Boyd and Ferguson. Ultimately, the outcome of the SPL race will determine whether his gamble pays off.

http://www.&lt;No links to this website&gt;/comment/colum...86908-21024604/

we didnt punch above our weight , we played anti football

Dont talk pish for the sake of talking pish

That exactly something a tim would say

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I think the big man has headed too many balls over the years ... I can appreciate the wisdom of selling an ageing Ferguson but to let Boyd go and expect any replacement from the lower end of the transfer market to come in (assuming we do sign someone) and immediately start scoring at the same rate as Boyd just doesn't seem realistic to me ... a bird in the hand is certainly worth several in the bush in this instance

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A load of codswallop! SDM just said Rangers had to balance the books by saving 3m this month. Walter has said one star has to go. Only one. This is a financial exercise.. There are NO new stars coming in. Whoever is left will need to win the league. Punishment for gross mismanagement before and at Kaunas. Walter spending on crap and SDM sanctioning it.

Walter is 2/3rds through reformatting the Rangers team? Again crap.

We need two fullbacks; one CB; right and left midfielders/wingers and a quality targetman/striker. That's 6 players. If Edu, Aaron, Lafferty and Naismith suddenly come good - they are young - and Beasley regains form and Fleck, Furman, Shinnie, Loy, McMillan, Effram, and other youngsters make the grade we will be better off, but that is no certainty.

I would say we are 50% towards a good team.

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