That Was The Week That Was

Last updated : 21 December 2002 By Grandmaster Suck

Is it just me, or do any of the rest of you think that the yahoos are getting away with even more mayhem and thuggery than ever before in O'Neill's stewardship?

As I see it, this inTIMidation of officials is now total. It is now beyond dispute that referees are terrified to uphold the laws of the game if it means the yahoos are to be punished for their strong-arm tactics. The following are some of the issues that cropped up at Ibrox a fortnight ago.Case - 1. John Hartson has a blatant kick OFF THE BALL at Barry Ferguson.The referee actually sees it, but hands out only a yellow card. Fair enough, we'll accept that unsavoury things happen, especially in the heat of a footballing derby moment. But what excuse was there for Clark refusing to red card the same player for banjoing Moore in the second half, which again happened right in front of him? Now this was an automatic red card offence whether the player had been booked previously or not. Yet again shamefully, Clark refused to carry out his duties.

Case - 2. I think we're also entitled to ask why wasn't Booboo booked for a dreadful tackle from behind on Barry Ferguson in the early stages of the game? And why is it, this thug in studs allowed an obligatory bad tackle in every OF game BEFORE the referee decides to administer justice? The fact is he should have been red carded in the first half for two unsavoury challenges on Ferguson and then the one on Amo. That's before we take into account the forearm smash on Shota leading up to our third goal.

Case - 3. The same questions we asked about Bobo the animal can be applied to Neil Lennon. Again he was let off early doors with a bad tackle before he was booked. All I'm asking for here is fairness. Barry Ferguson was booked, and rightly so, for his first bad tackle of the day. So why were Balde and Lennon not treated the same? Three yahoos should have been off the park by the time the ref had blown his half time whistle. I'll say it again, we do ourselves no favours by not highlighting these inconsistencies.

There were also another couple of incidents, which left this onlooker bewildered. In the second half, McCann takes the ball on his chest in  the middle of the park, sweeps by Petrov, which leaves him with a free run at their defence. Only Petrov brings him down with what is a clear professional foul. Yet once again the referee decides to keep his card in his pocket.

McCann was involved in another controversial moment late on in the half when he had the nerve to win the ball off Valgaeren who had slipped, yet he was the one who ended up getting a booking for his troubles? Still, those two instances kind of summed up Kenny Clark's day.

By the way, I just couldn't believe my eyes reading the yahoos in the Sunday rags talking about how Rangers would have been reduced to ten men IF Maurice Ross had handled the ball in the lead up to Celtic's opener. You just cannot beat yahoos and their logic.

In a game where they were given every help by a referee who refused to apply the laws of the game, they expected the same whistler to follow the laws to the letter IF a Rangers player had carried out an imaginary act? Truly, they are not normal observers of the beautiful game!

As for the leaping leprechaun and his press room shenanigans after the match. Well what else should we expect from this wee, embittered man?

I've said before MON is a hypocrite, end of story. The way to judge this guy is to think back to how he behaved with Dick Advocaat after the league game at the munky-hoose last November.

There he was at full time all smiles and hugs and backslaps with Dick Advocaat. Wee Dicky was a great guy etc, etc. The fact is, Dick Advocaat always was bemused by the bitterness of an OF fixture, while MON revels in it. Now he's up against a guy who also knows what this derby means in terms of passion and wanting to win for the fans, and now we get to see MON's true colours. The moral of the story here is, if you can't do the hugs n stuff after a defeat, then don't do it after a victory.

As for the game itself. Let¹s just enjoy and savour the moment because there is still a lot of hard, hard graft to be done. My man of the match was Craig Moore who was the rock at the heart of the defence. Ricksen and Numan who really is in a rich seam of form this season ably assisted him.

Then there was Barry Ferguson who under Alex McLeish has blossomed into a truly exceptional talent. The maturity in his play, this calendar year, has been a revelation.

There was movement aplenty from our front two in the first half, but I thought they were 'goosed' in the second period. R de Boer again was at his most enigmatic. Invisible IMO for long spells, yet he was on hand with a deft flick here and there and popped in with a quite beautifully taken goal from a quite exquisite chip from McCann, who really should have been taking the game to the animal at every opportunity.

But it has to be reiterated. This win, sweet as it was, counts for nothing at the moment and because of our own failings it didn't even give us real light of day points wise. I make no apologies for wanting and demanding even more effort from our players in the coming months. Only by keeping fully focussed on the job in hand will we get our hands back on the league trophy.

Predictably the Sunday papers (both the rags and the broadsheets) were full of tripe about vendors outside Ibrox peddling sectarian banners/flags etc.

Only trouble was the photographs they showed us to back up their sensationalist stories were invariably that of the Red Hand of Ulster. I tell you, these reptiles will get tired long before I back down on this issue. The Red Hand is not a sectarian flag. No doubt it is in the eyes of the yahoo, but when have we ever got any sense out of this lot in the sectarian debate?

There was also a story carried about how Jack McConnell, the pal of RC terrorist sympathisers, the guy who sends his children through the sectarian, apartheid, sector of the education system here in Scotland, is calling for a ban on the Union Flag at the next OF game.

Honestly people, when are we going to wise up to what is happening here in Scotland? Could you imagine telling a Yank or a Turk IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY to remove their flag because it offends people who are hostile to it?

It has to be reiterated here. A vote for the Labour Party here in Scotland is a vote for bigotry. And the only way things are going to change for the better is to vote these bigots out of power.

Even more predictably, the sports section of said rags were awfully slow to condemn MON's hatchet men. You do have to wonder what will it take for journalists here in Scotland to just come out and tell the truth about the yahoos whether that truth be unpalatable for them to accept or not?

All you have to do is compare and contrast the reaction of the press to Pieter Huistra aiming a kick (which didn't connect, mind) at Tom Boyd a number of years ago, and the downright refusal to get involved in the Hartson/Ferguson incident.

Back then we were told that the intent was enough and the Rangers player HAD to go. This time around the ref was just using discretion, etc. It's shades of the Ian Ferguson spitting AT Petric incident, which resulted in a 3 or 4 match extra ban. Yet just two years ago, a Celtic player spitting ON an opponent merited nothing by way of an extra punishment. It's all a Masonic conspiracy, I tell ya.

Last point about what transpired at Ibrox a fortnight ago. We all know that

Hugh '4 Priests at a Wedding¹ Keevins was hurting at the result. But how can state of affairs be? Is this not the same journalist who inferred that Rangers were traitors to the Scottish game for allowing Blackburn to train at Auchenhowie before their UEFA tie at CP? Yet he wants a foreign manager to beat a patriotic Scotsman in the race to win this season's Scottish league championship?

The winner of the 'Tommy Morgan best newcomer to Vaudeville' award a fortnight ago just had to be the spokesman for Celta Vigo who described the yahoos thus; "It will be a night to remember because we know that Celtic fans respect supporters of other clubs"

'Respect supporters of other clubs'? Good grief, I knew drug taking in sport was rife, but I never thought I'd see the day when it even affected the humble translator. You just need to look at some of the nom de plumes on the various wheb-footed sites, to realise the folly of this particular statement. Let's see now, 'Orangecrush', '66dead', 'Warrenpoint'. Need I go on?

Mind you, what chance have you got as a mere fan when the people running your club have their own cups running over with a hatred and invective which would have made a Nazi blush at his own ineptitude in the grand scheme of things?

One immediately thinks of Maley and his poison, which he couldn't help but spill over at the Accident Enquiry. Desmond White making snide comments about the (new) Ibrox Stands, or Michael Kelly's words just after George Young had died. Still, what else should we expect of people whose own Church newspaper was gloating at the Ibrox Disaster of 1902? It is what they do.

Then again, maybe the 'respect' they have for other supporters, doesn't extend to air staff. As for the hoo-hah and the mayday mayhem a number of them caused on the plane coming home from Spain? Their reaction to it sums them up to perfection.

There was an episode of 'The Simpsons', in which Bart became known across the land as 'The I didn't do it boy.' Well ladies n gentlemen, let me introduce you to the O'Simpsons, the dysfunctional football support.

'It wizny us, it wiz thae DOBS. Ah wiz only in the bog, joining the mile-high-fag-on-the-fly club. Yeah right. According to those who know about such things, the reaction taken by the terrified cabin crew last Friday is how they would behave in times of a terrorist/hijacking attack etc. Yet we have to believe it all came about last week because a pissed-up yahoo tapped an air stewardess on the shoulder?

As for some of their number taking a beating at the hands of Spanish Polis at the airport? Mmm, funny how they've told us for thirty years now that the Spanish Police wouldn't round on or attack a foreign support indiscriminately for nothing. But now we've to take a sympathetic view because it is them? I don't think so.

And just to top it off, they are now considering asking the Foreign Office to fight their case. As I've said before, they are hypocrites who are warped from the cradle to the grave. This lot hates everything British.

They want the destruction of everything British. Even the British flag offends them. But when push comes to shove, they want the British government to back them up whenever they feel it is justified. I sincerely hope the FO tells them to feck off.

But I digress. There was of course another wee event happened on the Saturday evening of the Old Firm game. The now annual Follow Follow 'net nite' truly was a memorable and outstanding evening all round. There's no use in me trying to describe the warmth and the comradeship that seemed to wrap itself around the whole company. Everyone who was there was touched by it.

Just where do you start in trying to relive the magic? It was first and foremost, a real pleasure to meet both Dorset Bear and Rocky Mountain Bear for the first time. The latter especially couldn't stress enough how important the website means to him as an exile. In the same vein it was also good to grab ten minutes or so with Denver Bear, who remains as tuned into what is happening at the club domiciled as he is in Denver, as he would if he was still living here in Scotland.

The chirpy, cheeky 'manfromdelmonte', who along with 'Larky' and A_B_B, is as amiable and friendly a chap as you'll get on the message boards was in Chic Murray mode for most of the night, as the following wee snippet will testify;

'Haw Gub, did I tell you I got stopped for drunk driving today?'

'Naw, but I've got a sneaky, wee feeling you're going to'

'Aye, ah wis coming home from the game, and I got flagged down by plod.

A big, busty blonde Poliswoman told me that she thought I was drunk and would I blow into the breathalyser for her?'

'Ah told her ah wisny drunk'

So she told me 'get out of your car and walk in a straight line'

'Ah did as I was told and then she said to me, 'You're staggering!'

'And ah said to her, 'Yer no bad yersel doll'

Believe me, it was that sort of night. There were of course other good reasons why that function truly was special. Let's hope that we can have many more of these occasions in the years to come. Thanks one and all for not only attending, but for making it a 'do' that will live long in the memory. Oh, and if you're reading this Barman. Don't sell 'Odin' another raffle ticket. He hoovered up more prizes last Saturday night than that other Danish legend, Laudrup won in 4 years at Ibrox! One last point on the net nite. An honourable mention must be given to Berkshire Bear who really did make it through the pain barrier to be there. It was a tremendous effort for him to join in the fun.

Later that week saw the joint haggis an totty Euro 2008 bid finally blown out of the water. I'll keep it brief at this point and only say that I for one was delighted. Especially watching the reaction of the SFA reptiles after the announcement. This is the same shower, lest we forget, who spat on the memories of the victims of the Ibrox disaster(s) this last decade or so, as they fought (I use the term loosely) to get a European final for Ibrox. Now they know how it feels.

When all is said and done, neither Scotland nor Ireland had enough stadia to meet European standards, yet still they pressed ahead with the bid. It is worth repeating. This bid had nothing to do with football and everything to do with Labour bigots wanting to link Scotland inextricably with Southern Ireland. Each and every last Rangers supporter should be delighted it all fell through.

Last Saturday saw referee Stuart Dougal give another of those baffling refereeing performances that blights the game here in Scotland. Just to recap, he followed the law to the letter because it involved Ricksen.

So he's a good, no nonsense, stern referee? Don't you believe it, because the same man clearly ignored the rules of the game when he awarded Rangers a stonewall penalty late in the game.

You do have to ask if there has there been a new rule made up in the summer that Scottish referees have decided to keep to themselves? That's the one whereby it's enough to award Rangers a penalty without carrying out the other last man/stopping a goalscoring opportunity rule that goes with the penalty. As for the red carding of the Arab? Nothing will ever convince me that wasn't done out of a guilty conscience to try and even up a wrong earlier on in the match.

Barry Ferguson's hat trick merely served to underline the growing maturity in his play and really the first two goals were as brilliantly executed and diverse a brace as you're likely to see from a midfielder. When he broke through to the first team I thought big brother Derek was probably the better footballer of the two, whilst Barry was easily more mobile. That was then, this is now.

From my same seat in the Copland, were I watched his big brother also, I see now a young man who is the player his big brother could have been, but wasn't. Barry Ferguson says he wants to become a Rangers legend. Well, another couple of years hitting the standards he's set this year will assuredly see him become one.

While we're on the subject of Derek Ferguson, a player who had it all and threw it away. Saturday threw up another cruel, wee footballing cameo in the shape of Charlie Miller, who started the game as one of our favourite ex boys, and ended it a haunted man. My feelings on the subject now are the exact same as I said to those around me on Saturday. We were booing the wrong person. The invective should have been kept for the referee.

The following day threw up a surprise at Rugby Park, which I am not going to dwell on, because there is still a long, long way to go and that is something we should never lose sight of. But the reaction of the yahoos at the end up does tend to highlight one useful little fact. And that is, they have been so used to getting things their own way for so long now, that they simply cannot handle the notion that a referee in Scotland can have the audacity to refuse their obligatory dives and falls and trips around the penalty box. They are the biggest cheats ever to have disgraced the Scottish game and if things start to run away from them domestically, then our whistlers better start insuring their windows pretty smartish.

Winner of this week's 'Do our journos make it up as they go along' award is won hands down by Peter Jardine of The Mail. In an article about Steve Nicol's attempts at being a manager (over in the US of A) he said of Nicol and I quote; 'Several battalions of the Tartan Army have not yet forgiven him for his 1986 World Cup finals miss against Uruguay'

What a load of 'Shaun Maloney'! The fact is, the idiots/non football fans who make up the majority of the Tartan Army are too busy hating all things Rangers to know much about Steve Nicol, far less remembering one, on the field incident involving him, the best part of twenty years ago. Still, why let the facts get in the way of the article, I suppose.

Keeping with our reptiles with typewriters, it truly was nauseating reading Ian King in The Sun on Wednesday regards his article of 'The Ref Revolution', which concerns the fact that sometime in the not, too distant future our whistlers will be allowed to explain their decisions on the Internet.

King, then proceeded to give us his top 6 (presumably) decisions that needed explaining away. He included a penalty awarded to Rangers in 1976 and the disallowed Cadette effort from 1997 along with the likes of THAT Geoff Hurst goal and Maradonna's 'hand of God' shot.

Just where do you start in trying to fathom out King's thought processes?

For a start, I've never heard a Motherwell fan (and I've met a few) make a reference to that goal all those years ago.

As for the Cadette incident? Maybe King could tell us why that decision should be put under any more scrutiny than the Davie Robertson goal at the same end of the ground and disallowed by the same stand side official 14 months previously?

Most nauseating sight of the week? It surely has to be the photographs of the sick bhoys going to meet the sick kids at Yorkhill Hospital on Thursday.

If nothing else it did confirm once and for all that there truly are no depths to which Septic FC will not stoop. The flesh crawls just thinking about it. They had minders on the doors of the Hospital (which surely must be illegal in the first place) to keep the press from talking to the players. But they still allowed a snapper to photograph some of them with the kids. Charity seeks no reward? You have got to be kidding with Cesspit FC about. There's nothing for nothing with this lot. Truly, they the dregs of the sporting world.

So it's Firhill this Sunday and I sincerely hope all the frills come from our players. There can be no denying that the 'Harry Wraggs' have succeeded even their own wildest dreams up till now this season. And I for one take my hat off to them for their honest endeavour. Let us remember that it is this endeavour and determination we will have to match first and foremost before the superior skills come into play. Sorry if that sounds a wee bit downbeat, but that's how we need to approach every, single game from now until the end of the season.So it's Christmas time once again. I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all Rangers fans and their families a very, merry Christmas, and may their stockings be full to the brim with tangerines.

We are the People!

The Govanhill Gub.