RangersMedia Club News: Baha and Big Belly Bhoy

RangersMedia .co.ukCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2009

The Games

The Rangers' roller coaster just keeps on running as we were taken from the sublime to the ridiculous this week.

It all started last Wednesday evening when bottom of the table Inverness travelled through to Glasgow and left with all three points. An astounding and frustrating night if ever there had been one.
We looked pretty clueless, no idea whatsoever on how to break down a stubborn defence, and ended up getting pretty much what we deserved, nothing.

Inverness soaked up everything that we mustered and did the ultimate smash and grab by breaking away in the last minute causing an unlikely panic by Big Davey Weir who surrendered the professional foul which saw him sent off and Inverness with a penalty.
The 1-0 defeat was confirmed as the penalty flew past McGregor and a stupefied audience hastily left the building.
(Match Report can be read here)
Now, fast forward four days to the Scottish Cup quarter final, three changes to the squad that took the field previously saw Boyd, Edu and Broadfoot dropped for Mendes, Whittaker and Aaron and all of a sudden we’re world beaters.
Unbelievable eh!!
Some sublime football at times saw us cut through Hamilton time and again and finish up with a 5-1 route. Ok, don’t get me wrong, I know it was only Hamilton but the contrast in the players and the two games, both against similar opposition, was quite frankly, night and day.
Lafferty bagged a brace and looked good in his favoured forward role and is now vying for a place in next week’s CIS Cup final against Celtc.
McCoist said, "I'm thrilled for him after his two goals today and I'm looking forward to working on with him as I feel there's enormous potential in there."

High praise indeed from one of our deadliest ever strikers. The game also saw brilliant individual goals from Whittaker and Davis and a penalty from Aaron. The display was a good one and earned us a Semi Final place at Hampden against St Mirren.
(Match Report can be read here)
If only we could find the formula that delivered on Sunday and put that into our performances on a consistent basis.
A big upset for the under 19’s this weekend saw Billy Kirkwood’s lads succumb to a dogged 2-0 defeat at Tannadice. United scored in the 65 minute and wrapped the game up on the 80 minute mark to leave the title race wide open. Hibs are now just one point behind the Murray Park boys and visit us there next week.

(Match Report can be read here)

The Transfers

African striker Nabil Baha is on the Ibrox radar as Rangers allegedly checked out the Moroccan for his club Malaga against Getafe yesterday. Nabil bagged the winner in the 2-1 away win as his agent told of high interest in the player who has a 4.5 million get out clause in his contract.

Claude Cauvy told of the interest in his client:

"Baha is a striker that would interest any club and this year in La Liga he has shown his level. I have received calls about the player, but there are only contacts and nothing definitive. We need to speak to the president of Malaga and study the situation."

Baha himself spoke of a possible move away:

"I am not preoccupied with my future, if somebody makes an offer for Malaga - then at that point it would be normal to look at the situation. My dream is to play in a European competition and at the moment that is possible with Malaga.
"I have heard about the clubs following me, but I have not spoken with anyone. Personally, I am ambitious and like any footballer want to play as high as I can, but I would prefer not to think about this until the end of the season."

With finances so tight at the club, the notion of spending that kind of money on one player means this story just simply cant have any legs.

The Injury Front

The two biggest pieces of news here were, firstly the return to action of Perdro Mendes seemed to be the catalyst of the good performance which also enabled us to pull him off fairly early in the game to protect him for Sunday.
The other major piece of action from the weekend was the limping off of the Algerian linchpin that is Madjid Bougherra. A kick to the calf saw him replaced late on in the game and a whole lot of fans very worried about his inclusion in next week’s final.
The news that is seeping out is that the injury isn’t as bad as first thought and that the big man should be in the squad come Sunday.
McCoist said. “Madjid is fine and we didn't actually take him off because of the injury. He was away back home for a few days seeing his mum so we took him off for that reason. I'd be lying to you if I said I had been into the physio's room for myself to see how Madjid is doing but it would be a major surprise to me if he wasn't fine."

The news of Nacho Novo isn’t as forthcoming and with his exclusion from the weekend’s squad I’d be very surprised if he made it in time for the final.

The Rest

The big talking point, literally, this week had to be the belly eruption that came from John Hartson. A blatant attempt from the Welshman to unsettle one half of the old firm, to point out the flaws and faults of a side and dent their confidence enough to put them off, take their eye off the ball and allow the other half to gain advantage.
Well, thanks very much Mr Hartson, it worked as St Mirren showed just the lack of quality and fight you were talking about by knocking your beloved Celtic out of the Cup. Maybe next time he’ll think before letting his stomach rumble but maybe I’m giving his brain a bit too much credit...
The postponed St Mirren game that was scheduled for next Sunday will now be played on Wednesday the 8th of April. It will be shown live on Setanta with a KO time of 7.45 PM.