Last weekend saw the pleasure and pain theory roll into action once more. Delight and agony on not just one, but both days; welcome to the life of the 2009 Rangers supporter.
Everything started well with Walter fielding an attacking side that saw both Boyd and Lafferty starting up front and Beasley re-introduced on the left wing. The only setbacks came at the back with the omission of Weir through suspension and Bougherra and Broadfoot through injury.
Even with those doubts however, Rangers steamrollered the first half with some excellent football and when first Lafferty and then Ferguson saw us 2-0 up at half time, the game looked done and dusted.
Walter said: "Obviously we are really disappointed at the situation, one that I don't think anyone that watched the first hour of the match would have thought was a possibility. It feels like a defeat and in a few minutes we managed to undo probably one of our better home performances this season.
This meant we had to then chase the game and that’s something we’re just not comfortable doing. We ran out of ideas fairly quickly and never looked like snatching our victory back again. Very disappointing, when we could have went top and piled some pressure on Celtic.
It wasn’t, however, the worst of weekends, as Celtic too showed their lack of real quality and succumbed to a Dundee United side that could have taken all three points but will settle for the draw all the same.
Final summary? We’re back where we started before the weekend had kicked off. Not great but not as bad as it could have been.
You can read a match report of the draw with Hearts from the following link: http://home.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php/a...prove-heartless
The Under 19’s got back to winning ways however as they beat Hearts 2-1 at Murray Park. The game was only a friendly but the winning mentality is a good one to learn.
You can read a report of the match from the following link: http://home.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php/a...9-21-hearts-u19
Another friendly was played yesterday against continental opposition in Viking Stavanger from Norway. The wee blues had the game wrapped up by half time and the score was 3:1.
You can read a report of the match from the following link: http://home.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php/a...iking-stavanger
The young guns were supposed to be playing the Auld enemy but they were running scared! Well maybe not, but the game was postponed nonetheless. Goals from Kane Hemmings and Jamie Ness were enough to see off Hearts and Billy Kirkwood will be hoping this form can be shown in the semi final against Caley to take them into their third consecutive final.
A bit more than usual in this section today. It must be getting closer to the summer!
Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson is at the heart of a lot of rumours this week with former mentor Dick Advocaat once more casting admiring glances his way.
Dick said "I am sure everyone in Scotland knows by now what I think of Barry Ferguson ...he's still a top player. Maybe he needs a fresh challenge elsewhere to give him new motivation. If he has been getting criticism in Scotland, then maybe he has been at Rangers too long. If I think I have a place for him here, then he is the first one I will sign."
Is a deal on the cards to bring Alan Hutton back North? The rumour mill would suggest so with Danny Wilson going the other way. Redknapp revealed. "I've heard about Daniel, The name has been mentioned to me since I've been here."
One player not heading to Spurs, however, is Pedro Mendes. Harry continued "I've a lot of time for Pedro, he's a fantastic player. But I wouldn't be going back in for Pedro. Not now."
Stevie Smith is at Cardiff just now trialling out to try and win a contract with the Championship side.
To finish off, Rangers are allegedly running the rule over two united starlets, Italian hit man Federico Macheda and Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Possebon. Rangers scout Ewan Chester was sent to watch them and see if any loan deals could be in the offing.
Also rumoured this morning was a link to one of the young Da Silva twins at Old Trafford, Fabio.
The Injury Front
Here starts the bad news. Probably the best player on the pitch on Saturday, Kyle Lafferty had to go off midway through the first half with what looked like ankle ligament damage. It is little wonder that the big man is feeling pretty down after his first season at Ibrox.
"It's been a really tough season, in fact I'd say it has been the hardest season for me so far. It's been so frustrating. What happened on Saturday has been hard to take and now, deep down, I'm worried my season's over. That would be the biggest blow yet. But I've not had it said to me, and we'll see how the scan goes.
He added: "It was just a freak moment. I went over on my ankle and knew instantly it was a bad one. The last few days have been really difficult. I've had painkillers, but the worst part of it all is the idea of not being able to play."
Broadfoot and Weir have both been pulled out of the Scotland squad for the weekend. Broadfoot is still suffering from the calf injury that kept him out against Hearts and Weir has a knee injury that hasn’t cleared up either.
Barry is also a doubt after carrying a chest injury over the last couple of weeks.
There is also no clear news on the injury that has been keeping Bougherra on the sidelines. Hopefully the International break gives him the time required to get back to full fitness.
The Scotland squad dominates the headlines this week. With Ferguson, Weir and Broadfoot all doubts it leaves the other Gers to keep up the battle. McGregor has been named ahead of Craig Gordon as a starter for the Scots, which can only boost the Rangers number one's confidence. There is also a call up for Stevie Whittaker, who could easily make the starting line up.
Burley said: "Allan will play because Craig has not been playing first-team football. Allan deserves a chance and he will start in Holland. There has been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation, people talking about the pros and cons of who to play. I had a chat with both goalkeepers yesterday and both were pushing for the No. 1 spot.
Also on international duty is the surprise call up, Andrew Little. The Young gun got the call after Northern Ireland suffered the set back of not having other Ranger, Kyle Lafferty. Little is relishing the chance to get one over Celtc and Polish keeper Artur Boruc.
Little joked: "It hurts my head when I think about the situation. I knew Kyle and Martin were injured but it was a complete shock to get called into the full squad if I'm honest.
I was just preparing myself for under-21's game against Ukraine next week and had been looking forward to that. I didn't even think that I might get my chance and I'm absolutely delighted to have been brought into the group.
A few people have been joking with me about coming on against Poland and scoring against Boruc. That would be great, but I'm trying not to think about that. I'm just aiming to do well in training and if it gets me a shot, then great.”
More Information, Less News?
Written by Andypendek
Is the football news sphere becoming over saturated? When was the last time that a newspaper ran a story that everyone didn't know already? Are these moments of surprise upon seeing a headline gone for good and will it need to be newspapers that make way for Internet culture?
McGregor Made It
Written by Danny
This article by RM writing stalwart Danny is a timely release today, as it appears that George Burley has given the Rangers stopper the number one jersey for the weekend ahead of Sunderland 'keeper Craig Gordon.
It'll be tough for Allan, but there will be no better test and chance for him to show his international credentials and lay stake at making that jersey his own for the coming years.
Scotland have never been short of great goalkeeping talent traditionally (apart from the dire Douglas/Sullivan days) and to be we haven't seen such a wealth of talent in that area since the time when Leighton and Goram were both vying for the number one berth.
At that time I backed the Rangers 'goalie' as the man for the job and for me its the same again. McGregor is Scotland's best goalkeeper. Can he become the 'new goalie'? Time will tell. This weekend will be his first major test.
Within the article, Danny discusses McGregor as the man who stuck to his guns at Ibrox and showed the determination, character and faith in his own ability that many of the fresh faces at Ibrox could learn from.
As Danny says, "It’s quite a turnaround for a stopper who once struggled to even get a loan out to the first division."