Lyon

The place to discuss Scottish football
lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:40 am

I seem to recall, scottish, that you made a post a few months back where you listed the Scotland team and the clubs that had given them their debuts in the professional game. It seems you now want to move the goalposts in the case of Charles Miller and Steven Pressley. :wink: I don't think Smith is kept awake at night over Pressley. A very limited player who did well to carve out the limited career he has had but not a player many Rangers fans would have thought had 'got away' - even before his strange Celtic move. Spencer and McPherson were also fairly ordinary players and I don't really see that the judgement of these players has been shown to be false.

'Rangers top scorer in Europe this season' sounds an impressive title but then you remember we were talking about Charlie Adam. Even though he came on against Stuttgart and scored, his performance was thereafter very poor and he wasted almost every setpiece Rangers had that night - and if Adam isn't giving you good delivery from setpieces, he sometimes isn't giving you much else. It's impossible to prove or disprove, of course, but I don't think it was obvious that Charlie Adam or Kris Boyd or indeed anyone else would have made a massive difference to Rangers' performance against Lyon. I certainly don't recall anyone near me before kick-off exclaiming outrage that these players were absent from the starting XI.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:19 am

Let's put it this way then. The involvement of Walter Smith in the club careers of players who have played for Scotland is minimal.

Re Pressley, McPherson & Spencer: I think it's a question of what kind of career these players forged after leaving Ibrox and in all three instances it was a highly successful one. Spencer went on to play for Chelsea and QPR and made 14 Scotland appearances in the process. McPherson? A player let go by Souness for just over £300K cost £1 million on top of that to buy back under Smith, having made 27 Scotland appearances in the meantime, was then let go as a makeweight in the Alan McLaren transfer after two seasons and went on to give Hearts a further five years service.

As for Pressley, well, I think over 30 international caps and close to 500 competitive games after leaving Rangers is pretty compelling. Not what I would call a 'limited' career and judging by the reported interest of Rangers in acquiring his services again neither would they.

Time was when JOINING Rangers used to be the beginning of an international career, not leaving them. The three players in question made over 70 Scotland appearances between them AFTER leaving Ibrox.

That's before considering the money spent on transfer fees on replacements in the interim

lbb wrote:I certainly don't recall anyone near me before kick-off exclaiming outrage that these players were absent from the starting XI.
What were they saying at the end of the match?

lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:16 am

I don't regard it as important that Pressley, McPherson & Spencer all played for Scotland. John Brown never played for Scotland and I would take him ahead of all three of the above. David Robertson also had a limited international career and Pressley and McPherson don't come close to his defensive qualities.

There was a time when being a Scottish internationalist and Rangers signing a Scottish internationalist would have been big news - Richard Gough, for example - but I don't believe this was the case when Pressley, McPherson & Spencer were carving out their international careers. Given some of the players who received caps from Scotland in this period, and the decline in the overall quality of the national side in this period, it was perhaps not quite the accolade that you imagined.

Rangers did buy back David McPherson (for whatever reason) and, in his first season back, he operated mainly as a stop-gap replacement for the injured Gary Stevens at right back. It was certainly not a bad call to let him go as it could not reasonably be said that he was better than any centre-halves Rangers had in that period. The same goes for John Spencer who was never going to displace McCoist, Johnston or Hateley circa 1991 and never did anything, in my view, to suggest we should have done so.

Pressley was always a poor man's Richard Gough. He tried to adopt a lot of Gough's playing style, mannerisms and leadership qualities without having any of the talent of Gough. I'd also add that it was Pressley himself who sought a move away from Ibrox in October 1994 to try his luck at Coventry City. IIRC, he'd had a fair number of appearances (for a player of his age) the previous season and could have had a reasonable future at the club. The fact that he beat a hasty retreat from England and forged a competent career in the SPL does not suggest Smith erred. It was nice to see him finally penalised at Inverness for one of his trademarks - miss the ball, fall backwards, take the opponent with you, claim a freekick. He did well, I admit, to carry this trick for so long at Hearts and Scotland.
scottish wrote: What were they saying at the end of the match?
If it's not obvious at the start of the match who should play then it's not really on to claim afterwards that so-and-so should have played. It's the last refuge of the pub bore/tactician.

bobby s
Posts: 809
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:15 am
Location: Nittingrange
Contact:

Post by bobby s » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:35 am

lbb wrote:It was nice to see him finally penalised at Inverness for one of his trademarks - miss the ball, fall backwards, take the opponent with you, claim a freekick.
I was really beginning to think it was just Hibs fans that thought this.

He didn't get the red card he merited though.
It's the Hope I can't stand

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:21 pm

£1M net for a stop-gap for a season or so is a lot of cash - even for Rangers in the early 1990s. Yes, the quality of the Scotland side declined (not during McPherson's time though - he played in the only Scotland team to reach the last eight of a major finals) but the fact that these players gained their caps elsewhere indicates to me that Rangers erred in letting them go. Were their replacements so much better both in performance and value for money?

lbb wrote:If it's not obvious at the start of the match who should play then it's not really on to claim afterwards that so-and-so should have played. It's the last refuge of the pub bore/tactician.
Why was there so much booing at the end of the game if the fans were so happy with the selection? And are Rangers supporters so naive they don't think you need goalscorers on the pitch in a game the team needs to score?

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:22 pm

bobby s wrote:I was really beginning to think it was just Hibs fans that thought this.
No, it's everybody outside the team he is playing for.

lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:07 pm

bobby s wrote: I was really beginning to think it was just Hibs fans that thought this.
He also has an interesting trick where he becomes invisible after getting booked and carries on committing fouls for the rest of the match.
scottish wrote:Were their replacements so much better both in performance and value for money?
I would say so. McPherson's replacements at centre-half between 1987 and 1992 were, amongst others, Richard Gough, Terry Butcher and John Brown. I don't think even McPherson would argue he deserved a place ahead of those players. Let's bear in mind that McPherson was a first team regular of some years standing by the time of his first departure in 1987 - even then, there was already a perception he was too error-prone to play for Rangers. He seemed to pick up at Hearts and had a decent time initially at Rangers upon his return but by his second departure in 1994 he was a deeply unpopular player amongst the support. Perhaps he wasn't cut out to play for Rangers. Perhaps he found his 'level', or found his surroundings, at Hearts and that brought out the best in him. That's not arrogance, merely an observation that some players can't handle the sometimes hostile and unforgiving crowd at Rangers. Perhaps Dave McPherson was one of them. What I can say is that I never thought, on ability alone, he was good enough.

Pressley wanted to leave Rangers and Spencer was never my cup of tea, tbh.
scottish wrote:Why was there so much booing at the end of the game if the fans were so happy with the selection?
I suspect they were booing the performance and as a general vent to their frustration at how the night had unfolded. I don't think anyone was thinking 'I'll boo the selection'. I've heard of substitutions being booed - as happened with Kris Boyd against Hearts on Saturday - but never entire team selections.
scottish wrote:And are Rangers supporters so naive they don't think you need goalscorers on the pitch in a game the team needs to score?
I don't think there was any naivete in thinking that the set-up and personnel, more or less, that had won so convincingly in Lyon could deliver a result at home.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:52 pm

I still say selling a player for around £300K and buying him back four years later for over £1M is a sign either he should never have been sold in the first place or extremely bad business.

Funny how so many armchair watchers thought playing one man up front against a team that had regained from dramatically between the two matches was asking for trouble

"I don't think anyone was thinking 'I'll boo the selection'."

They were booing the team and the management. Same thing

Rob
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:10 pm
Location: East Lothain
Contact:

Post by Rob » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:08 pm

Walter Smith has never had faith in youngsters. And I doubt he ever will.
Smith was in charge of all playing matters at Ibrox when he was the manager it was his job to build a youth system. How many carreers were ruined because of Smith and his over 35 policy. He is doing the same again but if I hear right he wont be in a job come the summer anyway. New owner could about to take over.

lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:14 pm

Well, for one thing, it was Graeme Souness that sold McPherson in 1987 and Walter Smith that bought him back in 1992. Smith was certainly Souness' assistant at the time but I don't think we can assume he would agree with every transfer deal that took place at that time.

Five years is a long time for any player to develop and, as I've admitted, McPherson did turn in some good form for Hearts. It could be that he matured there or that playing for Hearts suited him. I don't think he ever recreated his Hearts form when back playing for Rangers, though, and this leads me to believe it was the right decision to sell him in 1987. I've read McPherson since in interviews and he seems happier discussing his time at Tynecastle than Ibrox.

I didn't boo and I wasn't going to stop and ask folk their reasoning. My own take was that the culmination of a series of disappointing incidents in the final 10 minutes - Darcheville miss, Lyon 2nd goal, Lyon 3rd goal, Darcheville decapitates Lyon player - had given people the need to let off some steam. I think a journalist - James Traynor, perhaps - could have been thrown into the Enclosure to placate the mob, as the Romans used to do.

lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:27 pm

I recently read a Rangers News report from around 10 years ago. Rangers youths had defeated Celtic's youths 5-1. However, only Robert Malcolm and Barry Ferguson made the first team at Rangers and only Mark Burchill made the Celtic team. I saw Rangers youths in the flesh in this period and it was obvious, even to me, that Ferguson was a stand-out, a cert to make it in the professional game. The rest? Ordinary. The other big star in the team at the time, Darren Fitzgerald, scored the goal but did not impress. Celtic's big hope at the time was a player called Marc Anthony who was playing for Berwick last time I heard and may have drifted out of the game altogether. Was that the fault of the respective managers (Smith and Burns) or were the players just not good enough?

I'm genuinely interested in this question. There's no doubt Smith is a cautious man and asked to pick between a promising 19-year-old or a 34-year-old veteran, he will almost always pick the latter. However, I'm attempting to flag up the talent that has gone through the Rangers system in his time and ask where it has appeared elsewhere to ram Smith's words down his throat? If the talent is there, surely rejection by Walter Smith won't be enough to stop it? Maybe there's some flaw in the way we train players, coach players, organise the game in this country, play the game in this country that stifles the development of our own talent? I saw a comparison in one of the Sunday papers between Steven Fletcher of Hibs and Benzema of Lyon. No offence to Fletcher but Benzema tore Rangers a new arse. I can't see Fletcher doing the same. Do we hype our young players too much and do they then believe it?

It's a good thing to have your own young players in your team. It's an even better thing to have excellent young players in your team.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:44 pm

lbb wrote: I think a journalist - James Traynor, perhaps - could have been thrown into the Enclosure to placate the mob, as the Romans used to do.
No wonder the Romans got such a bad press.

Skyline Drifter
Posts: 790
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:34 pm
Location: Dumfries
Contact:

Post by Skyline Drifter » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:06 pm

lbb wrote:I'm genuinely interested in this question. There's no doubt Smith is a cautious man and asked to pick between a promising 19-year-old or a 34-year-old veteran, he will almost always pick the latter. However, I'm attempting to flag up the talent that has gone through the Rangers system in his time and ask where it has appeared elsewhere to ram Smith's words down his throat?
Was Smith still in charge when Barry Nicholson failed to break through or was that Advocaat?

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:11 pm

Nicolson was signed when Smith was in charge - 1995- but to give Walter the benefit of the doubt on this one he was still only 19 when Advocaat took over and hadn't played for the first team.

I wonder how long Wayne Rooney would have waited had Wattie stayed at Everton?

lbb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 am
Contact:

Post by lbb » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:23 am

It was Smith that signed Wayne Rooney on a youth contract at Everton and he was a huge fan of him. It might be why he sees John Fleck as a future star as he carries much of the Rooney-style bulk.

Smith also signed Rino Gattuso for Rangers - then only 19. It was Advocaat who preferred Andrei Kanchelskis for that position.

So, Rooney and Gattuso - no bad for someone that can't spot a youth player. :wink:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests