It's that time again in Scottish Football. The Old Firm derby has come around for the third time this season with this clash coming in the 5th Round of the Scottish Cup.
It could be the third of potentially SEVEN meetings between the two this season.
But it does not make it less important.
This time round, the confidence is coming from the green-quarter of Glasgow with Celtic fans believing that they will leave Ibrox with another victory. That opinion tends to be shared by the majority of Scotland's pathetic "pundits" and "experts" who have hardly offered any insight into how Celtic are their choice for this game except for the usual tag of playing such 'wonderful, expansive, Barcelona-style football'. We've heard it all before.
The other three-quarters of Glasgow are quietly looking forward to this game and snatching the bragging rights following the debacle of January 2nd. Something which has been pretty much ignored is that the best striker in Scotland by an absolute country mile is back in for Rangers this weekend to make his Old Firm debut.
If Jelavic had been fit on the 2nd, it would have been an entirely different story.
We are in stronger position to the start of the month despite losing three players and bringing in three during the window. Senegalese International El-Hadji Diouf joined the club on loan from Blackburn and all eyes will be on the new signing come Sunday.
You better believe it, Brown, Kayal, Ledley and Stokes will be doing their best to make Diouf lose his temper.
It would appear after Sunday's rank rotten performance that Allan McGregor is now appearing as some sort of scapegoat amongst certain sections of the Rangers supporters.
Fair enough, criticism should head McGregor's way following the dreadful error but the over-reactions to cash-in on him are just over the top.
For the past 3 or 4 years, McGregor has been a valuable part of the Rangers squad. This season, in particular, he was pulled off some fantastic saves and, to an extent, has kept us competing for the League Championship. So many crucial saves at crucial times when far too many of his team-mates have been under-performing.
January 2, 2011
I'm still finding it difficult to stomach Sunday's defeat to Celtic so there probably won't be a direct match report for a few days. However, one shining light from a dismal day at Ibrox was the performance of midfielder Jamie Ness.
Tossed into the deep-end by Walter Smith, the youngster put in a very polished performance and showed huge potential that up-staged our more experienced players. Ness made magnificent passes into the channels early in the game and also showed that he was prepared to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. At times in the second-half, he was chasing box-to-box as we committed men forward.
© SNS Group
December 29, 2010
Tonight's SPL clash between St Johnstone and Rangers was postponed yesterday on police advice about the safety of the supporters.
The winter weather has affected a number of fixtures in the past month with the Gers now having five games to fit into the congested calendar after the new year. If the Gers beat Motherwell and reach the Co-operative Insurance Cup Final then a trip to Pittodrie will need to be rescheduled.
After an impressive win at Motherwell, manager Walter Smith was understandably disappointed at the postponement. He told the official Rangers website: "We are obviously disappointed. With the break in the weather we hoped the game would be on."
"We are a little disappointed not to be playing but there's not a lot we can do about it. It has been a bit stop-start for a lot of the matches but everyone has had to put up with that.
"But after playing well at Motherwell we thought we would have another game. Sadly it's not to be."
© Sky Sports
December 22, 2010
Steven Naismith has signed a new 4-year-deal at Ibrox and has encouraged his fellow team-mates to follow suit.
Rangers are also in contract talks with Kenny Miller and will begin talks with Sasa Papac in the next few days. After extending his contract to May 2015, Naismith told the official Rangers website: "We've got a great squad here. I'm happy to sign for the long term and hopefully now a few of the other boys do as well. I definitely hope that's the case. I couldn't ask a better group of players to work with and everybody wants to fight for each other."
Naismith has been one of Rangers' most impressive performers this season in a new role on the right-side of midfield. His performances this season have made him the hot property in Scottish Football and manager Walter Smith will be hoping that Naismith is here for the long-haul.
© Daily Telegraph
December 20, 2010
Rangers will again need to try and fit their trip to Dundee United into the calendar after the game was called-off for a second time.
The game orginally failed an early morning pitch inspection on November 28th and was re-arranged for the 21st but the harsh winter weather has returned this week and Tayside Police advised that game would be called-off.
An SPL statement said: "Tuesday night's Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Dundee United and Rangers at Tannadice has been postponed following advice from the police.
"A new date for the game will be announced in due course."
December 14, 2010
Rangers striker Kenny Miller has adequately filled the role vacated by last year's top scorer Kris Boyd since the summer by netting 20 League Goals so far this season.
Miller has been linked with moves back to England, to Turkey and even to AC Milan as a replacement for Filippo Inzaghi. With the January transfer window approaching, chief executive Martin Bain said he will not be looking to sell Miller in the summer.
Bain said: "Kenny is in a situation where I've had discussions with him and as Walter said at the weekend, talks have stalled. I really value Kenny and Walter wants him to stay - certainly not leaving in January. We have no desire for that to happen. He's playing exceptionally well."
© Daily Record
December 9, 2010
Rangers' lunchtime kick-off with Inverness Caley Thistle is likely to go ahead this Saturday after SPL Officials cancelled two of the weekend's matches.
Celtic against Kilmarnock and Motherwell's trip to Tannadice have been postponed for safety reasons and Hibs' match with Hamilton Accies could be called-off tomorrow.
The Gers haven't played in the SPL since they beat Kilmarnock 3-2 at Rugby Park over 2 weeks ago. Wednesday's match with Bursaspor saw Madjid Bougherra return to the squad and he will be joined by Sasa Papac who is available after a nasty head-knock in the 3-0 defeat to Hibernian.
December 7, 2010
18-year-old Darren Cole will make his Rangers debut this evening as Rangers take on Bursaspor in the Champions League.
© Rangers FC
Manager Walter Smith will take charge of the Gers for the final time in Europe's premier competition and once again will show faith in the Murray Park youngsters with both Cole and Hutton starting this evening.
Smith will stick with the 5-4-1 system this evening with Cole at right-back with Steven Whtittaker at centre-half alongside Madjid Bougherra and Davie Weir who is the joint oldest outfield player alongside AC Milan legend Alessandro Costacurta.
December 5, 2010
It might prove meaningless in terms of the Champions League, but there is a lot at stake for both Bursaspor and Rangers heading into their Matchday 6 clash on Tuesday night.
The Turkish Champions will be hoping to get their first points on the board and manager Ertugrul Saglam has come under pressure from the board over their poor performances in this year's Champions League. Bursaspor currently sit 2nd in the Turkish SuperLig, just 5 points behind leaders Trabzonspor with a game in hand.
Walter Smith will have Sasa Papac and Madjid Bougherra back for the trip to Turkey, and the return of James Beattie from a hip injury could afford Kenny Miller a longer rest ahead of a congested winter calendar.
© BBC Sport
December 3, 2010
Businessman Craig Whyte has agreed a £33m takeover deal 'in principle' with Sir David Murray, according to STV and Sky.
Whyte was in Glasgow today and had talks with Rangers chairman Alistair Johnston, but it is understood that these talks were not to do with the takeover. Whyte will fund the £33m deal, which will clear off Rangers' debt, and Andrew Ellis will pay a 25 per cent stake back to Whyte.
© Scottish Sun
December 1, 2010
All of Saturday's Scottish Premier League matches have been postponed due to severe weather across the country.
Rangers were set to take on Hearts at Ibrox this weekend but the surrounding areas have caused major difficulties in travelling. The Scottish Premier League took the decision to call-off the games now to avoid any inconvenience for travelling supporters.
The SPL's statement reads:
In light of the severe weather conditions across Scotland, which are forecast to continue for some time, all Clydesdale Bank Premier League games have been postponed this weekend, Saturday 4 December. It is hoped that this early notice of postponement whilst disappointing will allow everyone to plan accordingly."
"New dates for the fixtures will be announced in due course."
September 9, 2010
So the new SPL Season is well underway for Champions Rangers; performances in the creative sense may not be on par with any brand of ‘sexy football’ thus far however goals have been hitting the back of the net and points mean prize at the end of the campaign after all.
August 2, 2010
It’s certainly changed days alright at Rangers financially which is something that the Ibrox faithful has learned perhaps to appreciate rather than accept fully...
Summertime used to be a busy affair in years gone by at Edminston Drive, sadly the days of box office signings including the likes of Butcher, Gazza, Laudrup, De Boer Twins, Numan’s et al are long gone. Indeed a signing of any kind is rare a sight at Ibrox these past two and a half years or so.
So far it’s been a mighty exodus with one or three key individuals who made up the spine of a title winning side these past few seasons leaving for pastures new. Away is goal machine Kris Boyd for starters, his move away was always going to be a pro-longed goodbye as he was free to talk to other clubs from January onwards as his contract came to an end this summer with Rangers.
May 11, 2010
Rangers SPL Champions Season 2009/2010!
Walter Smiths side may have taken their time to cross over the finish line in recent weeks but the SPL Title was retained by Rangers thanks to a player who has hit some excellent form in the tail end of the season; much maligned since his move to Rangers by the press, ex-players, pundits and fans alike et al but it was the Kyle Lafferty who had the final laugh this season and the big Ulsterman won the title for Rangers with his impressive 17th minute strike in the 1 – 0 away win at Hibs.
April 18, 2010
All good things come to those who wait…
The SPL Champions have been stuttering a tad in the last few weeks as they bid to get over the finish line for a second successive league championship. Form and results have been a mix of Good, Bad and Ugly but things were put back on track today at Ibrox with a heartwarming second half display in the 2 – 0 victory over Jim Jeffries Hearts side.
March 27, 2010
March 15, 2010
February 2, 2010
One draw, two wins and three exits...
Both management and fans will be pleased to see a decent run of league results of late considering the number of key injuries which are still affecting the first team; namely Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, DaMarcus Beasley and Mo Edu.
Helping pave the way for this recent good form and results have been some of the young guns at Ibrox, namely trio Andrew Little, Danny Wilson and John Fleck who all continue to cement their rising reputations by stepping up to the plate and showing a real contribution on the park; particularly striker Andrew Little who bagged his first goal for the club and spared Rangers blushes against 10man Hearts at Ibrox.
November 30, 2009
Not the best week for Glasgow Rangers.
On the European front it was another sorry Champions League display as Rangers stuttered against Stuttgart losing 2 – 0 at Ibrox to the German side. The run of poor form continued into the weekend as Rangers lost their unbeaten record and top spot in the SPL as they went down 1 – 0 to 10 man Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The defeat on Tuesday signaled the end of any hope of making the last 16 of the Champions League and now the fall back of a place in the Europa Cup is gone too. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that Rangers are out of Europe altogether as the performance on Tuesday night was simply appalling and I don’t think the fans can stomach much more this.
November 2, 2009
Glasgow Rangers have launched a new pioneering internet TV station - RangersTV.tv to fill the void left by the now defunct Setanta Sports who previously ran the clubs TV channel.
The new station is the first dedicated online TV station created by a UK football club and will service the clubs UK and overseas fans with a range of comprehensive programming which includes nine separate channels.
October 20, 2009
The Rangers Hall of Fame was set up by Sir David Murray back in 2000 to honour the clubs past and modern day greats who have helped make Rangers Football Club the huge success it is today.
What’s so special about the Rangers Hall of Fame is that it’s the fans who vote every year on who should be elected to this elite member’s only club.
October 7, 2009
The treatment table at Ibrox and Murray Park has seen a fair bit of action of late which reflected in manager Walter Smith’s make shift defence in the 2 – 1 win against Celtic at the weekend.
Rookie Andy Little making his debut for Rangers was the first injury victim in Sundays Old Firm Clash when he pulled a hamstring just minutes into the match and now faces up to six weeks on the sidelines.
September 6, 2009
Scotland's World Cup qualification dream is still alive thanks to a thrilling second half performance at Hampden Park on Saturday in front of a capacity crowd of just over 50,000.
Two goals in the second half from Celtic midfielder Scott Brown and Birmingham City forward James McFadden sets up another must win clash against the innovators of 'Total Football', The Netherlands on Wednesday (9th Sept) at the national stadium.
Three Rangers players helped the national cause on Saturday including captain Davie Weir and striker Kenny Miller who both made Scotland manager George Burley's starting eleven and defender Steven Whittaker, who came on as a substitute after just 13 minutes replacing the injured Calum Davidson.
September 1, 2009
Transfer deadline day is always a nervy, exciting and sometimes frustrating day for football fans.
Today the Rangers fans were treated to their first new signing in just over a year as Paris Saint-German winger Jerome Rothen put pen to paper on a year long loan move to the Ibrox club.
Walter Smith moved in for the 31-year-old winger after the player snubbed a move to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers and German outfit Schalke '04, instead opting for an opportunity to win titles and play Champions League football with Rangers.
August 27, 2009
It was announced yesterday (26 Aug 2009) that Sir David Murray is stepping down from his role at Rangers both as Chairman and Board Director. Sound familiar? He of course stepped down before back in 2002 but quickly put himself back at the helm within two years of walking away last time.
However, I genuinely believe we won’t be seeing a hat trick of returns from Murray as he has openly admitted that he is willing to relinquish his majority shareholding in the club providing its in the best interests of taking Rangers forward. How many a fan must be waiting with baited breath for a money laden Arab led consortium to come knocking at the Ibrox door.