30th out of 32

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30th out of 32

Post by Scottish » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:54 pm

That's how Rangers ended up points-wise in the Champions League. With just two points from six games only Debrecen & Maccabi Haifa had worse records, both losing all six games. In fairness to them they are hardly the CL regulars that Rangers are and their groups were infinitely harder as well.

That's now eleven European matches without a win for Rangers and only two in their last 21. Yet I listened, amazed, as both Davie Weir and Neil McCann talked about how well Rangers have played at times and how 'luck' had deserted them. Then came the weekly worshipping of the Walter as every TV pundit agreed it was great for Rangers that he was staying on without a contract and a blow for the Scottish national team.

Talk about living in a different world to the rest of us!

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Post by the hibLOG » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:40 am

Four legs good, two legs bad.

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Post by lbb » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:14 am

I wasn't surprised by Weir. He's hardly going to come out and slaughter his team-mates - particularly when his own performances were questionable. I was only surprised he didn't come out with his traditional 'we just have to go on a run of unbeaten games now' which he normally does after a defeat.

I was surprised by Neil McCann. If he aspires to sit in the big boys studio with Graeme Souness, Andy Gray, etc. then he needs to offer more than he did post-match last night.

Souness is best friends with Smith so he's never going to get involved. However, the plain fact that Rangers have had 50+ shots rained into them in the last 2 Champions League matches shows up Smith's claim that they've suffered from being too adventurous as utterly preposterous.

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Post by msdkfc » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:42 am

'Walter' (the man with no surname) is absolutely untouchable as far as the journalists go, completely immune to criticism. As lbb said, the journalists still put forward this 'grandfather of the nation, wily old fox' image of him.

A Rangers fan phoned Jim Traynor the other week to complain bitterly about how he never gets criticised. JT then got in the act saying, 'no it's the players you've got to look at, not Walter. He couldn't have done any more'.

The worst of course is El Chico, who said a few weeks ago (with a straight face) that he thought Walter is up there with Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein in terms of managerial greats!!! Also he doesn't think Walter gets an easier ride than say George Burley! :roll:

Everyone, we're all in the wrong profession surely. We should all have been in the media. I mean, look how easy it's been for Chic to stay where he is for so long, and make a good living, despite coming out with such profound and deeply worrying garbage. Just how has he managed it?

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Post by lbb » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:02 am

Smith's record in Scotland - he's either won the Championship or taken it to the last day - wins him a lot of friends amongst the myopic Scottish press. His European record is atrocious and has been financially disastrous for Rangers. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where people believe that beating Hamilton Accies and St. Mirren, with all respect, registers outside this country.

You just to need look at the treatment of Paul Le Guen. After his 18th match in charge of Rangers, a 2-1 defeat at Tannadice, The Sun newspaper introduced a guillotine with his image on it and called it 'Le Chopometer' in order to measure how close he was to getting sacked. Le Guen was about to lead Rangers into European football after Christmas, too. The mind boggles as to how The Sun would have reacted if Le Guen had delivered a Champions League performance like the one just past for Rangers - 'Hop it, Le Frog' or something equally charmless no doubt.

The press are part of the problem. Our game is about strength, closing space. The European game is about creating angles, stretching opponents. Until the media stop accepting sub-standard football and start calling managers like Smith for it then we'll go nowhere.

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Post by Blueivygreen » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:17 pm

Hi, it's nice to finally find a friendly forum and be able to have an intelligent conversation.

I believe Walter's Smiths record is only good because he has been up against either 2nd rate Celtic managers or because he has had superior financial advantage as in the 90's.

When he came up against a better manager (Wim Jansen) he was found out. The only reason Rangers are still in the title hunt this season is because the current Celtic manager is in my opinion 3rd rate.

Any time Walter has come up against a better tactician most of the time he has failed miserably. Walter is all about a strong physical presence and trying to play on the break.

As for the majority of Scottish media not criticizing Sir Walter, I think the majority of them are summed up when the only recent criticism I have seen in print has been from Tam Cowan.

To be fair to Sir Walter he did a pretty decent job for Scotland and perhaps he should have stayed and seen the job through. But hindsight is a great thing.

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Post by lbb » Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:44 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum.

I don't know if I'd say Wim Jansen was a better manager than Smith - for all his good work, the run-in to the 1997-98 title saw both teams stumbling and could have gone either way - but Smith's overall Champions League record of 5 wins in 30 group games is without argument. He has never coped well with the unexpected and generally his ideas and preparation are predictable and outdated.

I'm not convinced a return to Scotland would work either. For some reason, Smith enjoyed a good first 18 months at Rangers until 1993. He repeated this for the first 12 months or so in his second spell at Rangers. Whatever strengths he has seem to work quite well initially but problems soon set in and are never addressed. Smith did a competent job at Scotland first time round but if he went back I would expect a marked deterioration.

There is an excellent Everton fanzine article which sums up Smith and could be applied at any stage of his career.


* Everton were playing utterly awful football with little spirit or creativity.
* Despite injuries, the available players appeared to be poorly prepared for each match.
* The 4-5-1 experiment had mostly been a complete disaster.
* The policy of buying aging injured players had backfired badly.

When he was appointed, Rangers fans were invited to comment on their knowledge of him:

* Good motivator
* Gets team playing together
* Determined and competitive
* Unlikely to publicly criticise players – but murders them in private, if necessary
* Carries a grudge to the grave
* Will NEVER change his mind or admit he's wrong
* Usually good at basic organisation and team structure
* Tactically clueless
* Needs a strong control over his spending
* Buys players on reports and videos without seeing them himself
* Very poor relationship with young players
* Attempts to establish a steady regular team selection

The similarities between Rangers-Smith and Everton-Smith were frightening... but they should come as no surprise: people do not change; the old dog was not receptive to learning any new tricks. In his third season at Goodison, his inadequacies only become even more glaring:

* He could not decide on a formation and basic system of playing.
* He failed to play most of the players in their best position.
* He could not ensure that each player understood the team plan and his particular role within it.
* He was blatantly incapable of getting the players fit.

The list for Season 1999-2000 was just as long and puzzling:

# Relying on the efforts of 38-year-old Richard Gough in defence, which crumbles when he gets injured
# Michael Branch introduced from nowhere in the Anfield derby – to disastrous effect.
# David Unsworth played in midfield!!!
# Defenders playing deep to protect a slow defence, creating virtually nothing as a result.
# Everton taking the field with 5 centre-halfs, or 7 defenders!!!
# Reputed dire words to the young players for their every mistake.

Walter had clearly lost all his enthusiasm by the end of that season. If he'd gone after ensuring our survival, he could have kept some dignity. By the end, nearly all the fans were fed up of him, while the know-nothing pundits and journalists were defending him almost to a man.

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Post by Smith Must Score » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:11 pm

Facts don't lie folks i dont think their has been many Managers since Stein and Waddell that have fared well in Europe..But Walter home record is right up there with the best of them


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