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What did we learn last night?

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So what did we learn last night?  For a start, when we need to, we can defend effectively and shut up shop, last night was our fourth clean sheet in Europe this season.  The 4-5-1 formation, deployed for the opening 65 minutes, was not effective at producing attacking opportunities, although this may be as much to do with personnel as formation.

Emilio Izaguirre was swamped every time the ball went near him, which did little to settle his confidence.  It was wise for Neil Lennon to hook him and drop Charlie Mulgew back.  I felt sorry for Miku, who looked like a player in an unfamiliar line-up.  He is not a lone target man but will do well when we get the ball to his feet. He was only asked to play that role due to injuries Hooper, Stokes and Samaras and will only do so again under similar circumstances. By contrast, Hooper looked the part once he came on. He bullied defenders as effectively as he does in the SPL, a real pleasing point for me.

Victor Wanyama needs to improve his sharpness to make the most of his composure and tackling ability at this level.  The perpetual motion of Champions League teams means a fraction of a second off-pace can compromise the defensive formation.

Did you notice how every time Commons got the ball he was thinking “goal”? His turn before crossing from the left belied the meagre money we paid for him. He is every inch a Champions League player.

James Forrest was played out of the game by the full back. He/Neil needed to find a resolution to this challenge but it didn’t happen. He tried to knock the ball round the outside and pass on the inside a couple of times, which was over-ambitions, to say the least. I don’t think we saw him drop the shoulder and take the player on with the ball, which is a pity, as I’m sure he had the taking of his marker. Both Forrest and Wanyama will be stronger on Match Day 2.

The first objective from our return to Champions League football was that we would be able to compete at this level.  That achieved, we can look forward to Moscow in 12 days time.


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  1. Paul67

     

     

    Apart from Barca, we are equal to the other teams in this Group. Hopefully we will have Samaras back for Moscow.

  2. Paul67 – Did you notice how every time Commons got the ball he was thinking “goal”?

     

     

    That’s what I was thinking.

     

     

    It was one of the more exciting 0-0 draws I’ve seen. Very pleasing in light of injuries and domestic form. (thumbsup)

  3. First post a podium Philvis. Happy with that. I am unlikely to challenge your undoubted flair for first.

  4. Chuck is really starting to become unfunny. The ramblings of a desperate man…

     

     

     

    CHARLES GREEN has insisted that Motherwell will be warmly welcomed to Ibrox next week because he believes they were pressured into voting against Rangers getting back into the SPL.

     

     

    The Fir Park men – who lead the Premier League right now – come to Ibrox on Wednesday in the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

     

     

    It will be Rangers’ first meeting with an SPL side since the summer vote to exclude them from the top flight was cast.

     

     

    However, although Motherwell were one of the teams to vote “no” Green says he believes they were cajoled into the decision.

     

     

    Speaking exclusively to RangersTV he said: “We have seen and heard lots of hypotheses on radio, in newspapers and on TV and we understand fans’ feelings

     

     

    “But what fans have to understand is what occurred at Hampden over our SPL status when 10 clubs voted against and one abstained.

     

     

    “Ally and I sat there and we know what happened. We know that only half of those clubs wanted Rangers out of that league.

     

     

    “I believe that a number of the clubs were bounced into it.

     

     

    “Why, for example, would Ross County spend all their life-time trying to get into the Premier League to find Rangers were not there? It’s inconceivable.

     

     

    “But we understand what happened and we know the reasons behind it. We understand we have to suffer the punishment for the sins of the fore-fathers and we have done that.

     

     

    “What we have to understand is not everyone in that room wanted Rangers out of that league and I know –because I could glints in eyes – which ones were happy and which ones were not.

     

     

    “We recognise what happened and when some of these clubs come to Ibrox they will be welcome. When others come, they won’t be so welcome.

     

     

    “We know that Rangers are bigger than all of this so we ask the fans to get behind the club as they have done so well.

     

     

    “I want them out there at the Motherwell game cheering, singing and waving the flags.

     

     

    “Motherwell are a club who are suffering financially because Rangers are not in the SPL and we don’t believe that Motherwell are anti-Rangers.

     

     

    “We believe that there was pressure; they were under pressure from their own fans and they took a decision and we understand that.

     

     

    “If you had taken all of these external pressures away then Motherwell and other clubs would have voted differently.”

  5. Sectarian singing has now been recorded at everyone of their away games now. Still nothing being done about it.

     

     

    ‘Inside Galabank Police also recorded three separate counts of sectarian singing and two counts of letting off a smoke flare in the ground.’

  6. ASonOfDan – “Why, for example, would Ross County spend all their life-time trying to get into the Premier League to find Rangers were not there? It’s inconceivable.

     

     

    Awe Naw strikes again.

     

     

    I like Charlie Green, Sevco Franchise has the head Dalek it deserves. (thumbsup)

  7. That Charles Green statement – ‘glints in eyes’, dear oh dear, as if they haven’t been embarrassed enough this week…

  8. iPaddy McCourt – Charlie sure makes a lot of noise for the chairman of a cash-strapped Third Division club that can’t afford to replace its hilariously incompetent and permanently baffled manager. (thumbsup)

  9. “Motherwell are a club who are suffering financially because Rangers are not in the SPL and we don’t believe that Motherwell are anti-Rangers.”

     

     

     

    Aye Chuck, they are really suffering…

     

     

    Daily Record 21 Jun 2012

     

     

    MOTHERWELL have revealed their season-ticket sales are up 30 per cent – despite the uncertainty surrounding next season’s SPL.

     

     

    But the club also confirmed some fans are refusing to renew unless the Fir Park board reject a newco Rangers’ bid to join the top flight with some demanding a refund if they vote in the Ibrox outfit’s favour.

     

     

    Motherwell spokesman Alan Burrows said: “At this time last year we had sold just under 1600 season tickets but now we’re past 2100.

     

     

    “We try to put extra value on our tickets by allowing parents to bring in kids for free and giving discounts to local firms.

     

     

    “Finishing third and having Champions League qualifiers to look forward to has also helped.

     

     

    “However, we’ve also been subject to threats of non-renewal from supporters who are waiting to see whether or not we support Rangers’ application to join the SPL.

     

     

    “And some fans who have already bought their season books have said they’ll demand their money back if we do back them.”

  10. Defence is improving but we need to build by passing from the back and not booting it up the park, which has its limits.

  11. ASonOfDan – I bet £1 that Motherwell FC will still be a going concern long after Sevco Franchise goes into liquidation. (thumbsup)

  12. Cumbernauld No 1 on

    @CFC – Contrary to reports in the media, the attendance at last night’s UCL at Celtic Park was just under 58,000.

  13. So in the world according to chuck it was nothing to do with a democratic vote because

     

     

    he could see by the glints in eyes – which ones were happy and which ones were not.

     

    DEARY DEARY ME.

     

     

    Ps i thought Tony Watt should have got on for the last couple of minutes for James Forrest.

  14. Green Lantern (((((0))))) on

    Like many Yorkshiremen, Mel fae Benidorm is a tedious ( is there any other kind) bore.

     

     

    Get over yerself ya numpty.

  15. Philvis, ASonOfDan:

     

     

    Im starting to think that old line about jokes ageing quickly was a lie…

     

     

    Maybe its just this guy Charles is a comedy genius.

     

    Is he speaking sarcastically, its hard to tell in written press…

     

     

    HH

  16. ASonOfDan

     

     

    Green’s stupidity knows no bounds

     

     

    “We believe that there was pressure; they were under pressure from their own fans and they took a decision and we understand that.

     

     

    “If you had taken all of these external pressures away then Motherwell and other clubs would have voted differently.”

     

     

    So in Charlie’s logic, if the fans hadn’t voted against SevCo being allowed into the SPL, then they would be in there?

     

     

    With no fans at the games apart from SevCo’s?

     

     

    What a muppet

  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    And we’re back

     

     

    I really enjoyed the game last night. Champions League football is a test and our young team showed maturity and nerve.

     

     

    Scott Brown will never be reinvented as Lubo Moravcik, but the man’s heart is huge, and last night he delivered an immense performance.

     

     

    Speaking of reinvention, Charlie Mulgrew! That first half was nuts. He was half Samaras, half Rensenbrink.

     

     

    Delighted with Matthews work defensively too. Benfica got nothing out of him all night, and credit to Lustig too for his work in that department.

     

     

    James Forrest was unable to influence the game, but reading the Benfica manager’s comments post-match, it seems they set up to stop him, and succeeded.

     

     

    Was surprised Neil didn’t give Lassad a run in the final 20 minutes in place of Forrest. It wouldn’t have changed the shape of the team, and might have given Benfica something else to think about.

     

     

    That said, I can’t fault Neil or the team. A very grown up performance from a rather young group.

  18. He just wants Michael McIntyre to give him a shout…

     

     

    I think he should do what all humble comedians do and work their way up the ladder,

     

    Someone direct him to the Halt and the Stand!

  19. philvis

     

    second

     

    third

     

    And

     

    philvis

     

    silver

     

    bronze

     

    do have a certain ring to them :)))

     

    HAIL HAIL

  20. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul67 –

     

     

    My 3-0 prediction was a tad optimistic, but had we got an early goal it may have worked out that way.

     

     

    My biggest frustration last night was how cheaply we lost the ball at times. But it is easy to forget we only had one player who has performed in the Champions Leauge before. We’ll get better in this respect.

     

     

    Highlights for me were the performances of Brown, Commons, Lustig and Wilson in particular.

  21. neil lennon is (and always will be) a celtforlife (*o*)

     

     

    Hadn’t heard that up until now , do you have a longer piece of that part of the show to see how that developed.

     

    And keep up the pressure mate , well done .

  22. Paul67 – in answer to your question I learned that despite driving from Leeds 8 hours before kick off, and despite arriving at the ground half an hour before kick off, there is no guarantee of seeing the kick off.

     

    What the ……..heck………was the delay about at turnstile 45 (I think) ex-hun end?

     

    Shocking that hundreds and hundreds should miss a large part of the game due to the incompetence of the club.

     

    I missed the first 15 minutes and there were plenty behind me.

     

    I saw an elderly gentleman have a discussion with a steward (when they showed up) and then walk off from the ground after ripping his ticket up and throwing it behind his head.

     

    It was a complete an utter shambles.

  23. philvis

     

     

    If last is first and first is philvis, aren’t you last, not first, or at least last and first ?

  24. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I have no problems where the club is just now on and off the park apart from the fact that we are plying our trade in Scotland and when Neil Lennons Celtic start to take the massive strides that will duly come our way due to our collective nurturing and then when Craig latrine comes calling to get the nations fu**** up World cup campaign on track WE BETTER TELL THEM WHERE TO GET TO

     

     

    Hail Hail

  25. Chuck’s stoater from last week. Remember what they are missing? From what I seen on Alba, it is a trip to a rusted, unpainted midden is what fans are missing.

     

     

    “There was speculation we would sell match programmes at £14 and charge fans just 50p for entry to the Motherwell game but we won’t do that as it is not the Rangers way.

     

     

    “I would like to make it a fantastic evening so that Motherwell fans, or indeed fans from other SPL clubs that have the privilege of visiting Ibrox this season, remember what they are missing.”

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