Rangers at Year’s EndBy: rafa | December 29th, 2010
First and foremost, I’d like to say hello as one of the newest additions to the â€śRangers Offside Blogâ€ť. My name is Rafael Gonzales and I am the Producer of World Football Daily in Los Angeles. I started supporting Rangers when I was about 10 years old and have made to sure to order my official home kit from the Rangers Megastore every year for over ten years now. It’s a long story as to how I found this club, but the hook is in deep and this American is a die-hard ‘Gers fan who regularly wakes up at 4am on the weekends to watch his club like a true Blue-nose.
I am kicking off my first blog entry with general recap of the Rangers’ season up to the new year, seeing as how this blog hasn’t been updated in quite some time. Coming out of Christmas, Rangers find themselves with a two point lead over their Old Firm rivals Celtic, along with a game in hand. Their mid-week match against St. Johnstone leading into the New Year was postponed due to weather (as several SPL fixtures have been recently in Scotland), giving Celtic the chance to pull ahead before Sunday’s second Old Firm match of the season. This could be a good thing for Rangers who’s squad is wearing thin and being the only Scottish Club representative left in European competition, along with several matches to make-up due to postponements cause of weather, the second half of the season will not get easier for the Blue side of Glasgow.
This year has really been a tough for Walter Smith’s squad. They haven’t had anything given to them whatsoever. With the constant talk off the pitch of an ownership take-over and the club’s debt weighing heavy on the players, their wages, and any hopes for reinforcements come the January tranfers window, Walter Smith has done an excellent job getting his boys to show a â€śBand of Brothersâ€ť type performance thus far. We started the year with a long unbeaten run in all competitions, including a win away at Celtic (3-1 Rangers) and a draw at Old Trafford in a Champions League opening Group Stage tie against Manchester United (0-0).
Rangers currently have 13 wins, 2 draws and only 1 loss (an embarrassing 0-3 to Hibs) in the Scottish Premier League and have since dropped into the Europa League, looking forward to Sporting Lisbon from Portugal. Although it may look like they are incredibly dependent on the goals coming from Kenny Miller (21 goals in the SPL thus far), it is clear that new addition Vladimir Weiss controls the midfield and has been the creative link from the strong back-line which is anchored by veteran and Captain David Weir. American Maurice Edu has really made an impact this season, but recently suffered an injury which has taken him out of the starting line-up. He hoped to return to action, along with Kyle Lafferty, in the match against Motherwell, but both players did not appear in the plans for Smith.
Celtic recently brought over MLS stars Dwayne DeRosario and Freddie Ljungberg to train with the club. The Hoops have a midweek match against Motherwell before they head across town to the Ibrox for the second Old Firm of the 2010/11 SPL Season. With a game in hand for Rangers, a win at home against Celtic would make the start to second half of the season a little more comfortable. Look for an Old Firm preview and review before and after the big match on Sunday which I will be watching with the True Blues of Los Angeles at the Fox and Hounds in Studio City. For more discussion and debate, leave a comment of email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.