Erwin Ganghutter's Online Rant

Last updated : 13 February 2010 By ERWIN G
Don't Panic!
Checking out the FF Messageboard on Thursday morning, I found myself double-checking the SPL table.  With so much doom and gloom around, I had to be kidding myself that the Rangers were eight points clear at the top of the heap.  But hey, no matter what tarrier-loving rag or dodgy website I looked at, it was there in black and white.  Rangers 55 points, Septic 47 points, with our goal difference being +40, a massive 18 goals better than Timothy.  Is there a Bear out there who wouldn't have snatched the hand off anyone who offered that scenario at the start of the season?
It was very disappointing to drop two points at Motherwell in midweek but, in view of our recent record on the patch of wasteland masquerading as a football pitch, it was hardly too surprising.  I'm grateful for the point we got and, while our away form continues to give cause for concern, we have to focus on our immediate priorities, up and coming home games against Hibs and St.Mirren, neither of which will be a walk in the park.
Sunday's game is our chance to fire out a big declaration of intent.  Just as it was in the build-up to our trip to Easter Road in December, all the talk has been about the Rangers feeling the heat.  Timothy is getting uppity again, every has-been who ever wore the horrible hoops has been in rentaquote mode, shooting from the lip about the balance of power shifting, questioning our team's bottle.
They really are a deluded lot.  I don't recall there being too much wrong with our bottle a year ago when we clawed back a seven point deficit to finish four points clear at the top.  For all the messy goings-on behind the scenes, the players have nothing to prove, they've already been there and done it and, once this wee form blip passes, I'm sure we'll be cooking by gas again, well on our way to title number fifty-three.
Hibs have already shown themselves to be more than capable of causing problems, having drawn at our place and won at the Piggery.  Their game is suited to absorbing a lot of pressure then hitting hard on the break so we have to guard possession jealously, regain the sharpness of passing which caught the eye in December and, hopefully using pace on the flanks, get behind the defence to supply the ammunition for Boydie.
A feature of our play during our purple patch was the speed and penetration of Novo and Beasley from the wide positions so, with the American back in the squad, I'd like to see us revert to that system again.  So many will be tuning in on Sunday, hoping to see us come a cropper and, assuming FC Semtex go right ahead against Aberdeen's reserves, they will be drooling at the mouth in anticipation of another gloat-fest.
I trust the Ibrox dressing-room wall will have been suitable decorated with this week's mhedia output.  Their sinister suggestions that we are in an irreversible slump should be more than enough to get our players pumped up.  A packed Ibrox, with the place rocking and the fans fully behind the players from the first whistle to the last, adding encouragement to motivation, would be the perfect backdrop to an afternoon's entertainment which might prompt Sky TV viewers to rethink their views on the Rangers and Scottish football.
And if they tune in again on Wednesday night I'd like to think that, lifted by a major result at the weekend, the team will start to play the brand of football we know they are capable of to give us all a much-needed lift.
The delight so many others are taking in our grim financial position and their great haste in mistaking a slight hiccup for a major slump certainly gets under my skin.  No doubt I am not alone.  Nor do I think it is any coincidence that, while so many brain-dead bhoys have had their views splashed across tomorrow's fish supper wrappings, everybody at Ibrox is staying schtum.  Quite right too, do your talking on the park, Rangers.
Unlike Tony Nobody's lot, we are masters of our own destiny.  With an eight point lead and a vastly superior goal difference, why shouldn't we be confident moving into the final 14 games of the season?  Don't allow Timothy to create doubt and worry where none should exist.
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Cheer Up Sean St Ledger
Spare a thought for poor Preston North End full-back Sean St Ledger.  While the Faministas were flocking to the car park to acclaim the second coming of Keano, Preston's chairman was blanking RaSellick's three million quid bid and didn't even do sad Sean the courtesy of keeping him in the loop.
"I'm Irish and everybody in Ireland regards Celtic as a very special club," he lied.  I wonder if anyone cared to fill him in on what that confusing joker, Irishman Tom English who covers Scottish football, had to say on the Irish reaction to Keano's move to the Piggery.  By all accounts, this is seen as the last throw of the dice for Robbie Bhoy, having flopped at Spurs and Liverpool and effectively been chased off the premises.  They regard this move as the first step on the slippery slope of decline.
"It was great to see all those Irish flags there to welcome Robbie," he went on.  "And I'm a Catholic too so it would've been great to be part of all that."
Hang on a wee minute there.  Whatever happened to religion having no part to play in Scottish football?  Can you imagine the outcry if, with his permanent move to Rangers still up in the air, Steven Davis had pointed out that, as an Ulster Protestant, he was particularly keen to move to Ibrox?
Aye, we all know the drill by now.  One rule for them and another for us.
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Scotland The Brave?
Listening to Tim Traynor's 'Your Call' on Radio Scotland on Wednesday night, with all the talk of the SPL title race beginning to turn FC Semtex's way - EIGHT points, ya feckin tossers! - I couldn't help feeling that the smug bassa behind the microphone was trying to stir up a campaign against Barry Ferguson getting back into the Scotland set-up.
Clearly the fact that Baz has been outstanding in Birmingham's recent impressive run matters not a jot to this rebel without a clue.  If Levein was overloaded with midfield talent, maybe he could be excused for looking elsewhere but if the welfare of the national team is top priority - can it be any other way? - it is essential that the best players are selected.
Of course, by singling out Barry as his hobby horse, the BBC's equivalent of Fat Boab was merely laying the foundations for his future campaigns of vilification of Greegs and Boydie.  Memo the Lee McCulloch: Do you really want to leave yourself open to this sort of crap again?
Craig Levein is to be commended for insisting that he be allowed to be his own man.  Burley's decisions (indecision even!) must have no influence on the new manager's plans.  Ferfuxxake, football management is hard enough without being hamstrung by his predecessor's mistakes and, while the Press Gang have been very receptive to Levein's appointment, we all know they are devious enough to be already sharpening the knives for the moment he faces his first problem.
Boozegate is yesterday's news and the dogs in the street know that more than Ferguson and McGregor were involved, yet Burley's confused response to it all - send them home/ keep them on the bench/ ban them for life - will suddenly be portrayed as strong management, with Levein's fresh start approach being thrown in his face.  And although Boydie repeatedly made it clear that his only issue was with the manager, NOT WITH SCOTLAND, poisonous liars with laptops and areholes like former Scotland manager Grandpaw Broon have persisted in using terms like 'unpatriotic' to question the top goalscorer in the history of the SPL's return to the national team.
The Scotland fan in me is enthusiastic about the future under Craig Levein.  I'd love to see his team hit the ground running, with Greegs outstanding between the sticks, Barry grabbing control in midfield and Boydie rattling in the goals.  Oh how good it would be to see humble pie rammed down the throats of Traynor and his cohorts.
However, always a realist, I reckon Scotland could still blow hot and cold while Levein weighs up all his options and there are no prizes for guessing how the blame game will then unfold. 
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Running Scared
Methinks Mark MickGhee is a worried man up in the frozen north.  Having already gone a long way towards alienating Dolly & Co by having a pop at those who criticise his non-triers, he decided to shy clear of any questions from the Hack Pack regarding fielding a weakened side against Septic, preferring to keep his main men fresh for their midweek cup-tie against mighty Raith Rovers.
Who does he think he is kidding?  Nobody in their right mind expects anybody on the Shittodrie payroll to put themselves about too much against RaSellick.  It will be no more than a light training session, yet another act of capitulation to green and white jerseys, a plethora of pathetic performances which would prompt serious questions in any league which knows the meaning of integrity.
The Aberdeen boss, who has always made it clear he wishes he was working somewhere else, crossed a line last week when he criticised the baaaaastards who support his team and, to be perfectly honest, having been perfectly happy to settle for three or four fully committed performances a season - against who? - their sudden demand for more is a bit puzzling.
Having put up with it for more than 20 years, the Sheepies deserve all they get.  Sure, they'll get a gubbing on Saturday but wouldn't it just be something else if they took a right  sore kick in the chookies on Tuesday night?  C'mon Raith Rovers!
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Its That Time Again
We're spoiled for choice on the box this week as the Champions League and the Europa League resume after the winter break with plenty of tasty ties on the agenda.  In view of how our league race is panning out - and with painful memories of 2008 still vivid in my mind - it is maybe a good thing that the Rangers have no European involvement but there will still be more than a wee touch of envy in evidence as we watch the rest of Europe enjoy its time in the spotlight.
Maybe next year.  Beam me up Scottie!