Saturday, 21 January 2012

Is Rivaldo's move to African football more than just for the money?

With the news last week that Brazilian World Cup winner Rivaldo was moving to Angolan side Kabuscorp, many were quick to assume that he was just moving for the money.

However is Rivaldo just moving for the money?

The Brazilian star, who has won many trophies with his clubs and country, ranging from the Champions League to the Copa America and the 2002 World Cup has also lifted many individuals honours such as the Ballon D'Or in 1999. With his 40th birthday approaching this April he could have hung up his boots and retired with the satisfaction (and most likely the money) to have a comfortable life after football.

However if a player loves playing then it is hard for them to give up and that seems to be the case with Rivaldo.

The former Barcelona and Milan striker wants to continue playing regularly as can be seen with his unhappiness at being on the bench for Sao Paulo FC last year.

Rivaldo did not want to be a bit part player for one of the top sides in Brazil, he wanted to be starting as much as possible and a move to Kabuscorp should bring that. It is not often you see a World Cup winner playing in African football!

Angola's economy is said to be booming right now but if the move was all about money Rivaldo could have made much more staying in Brazilian football which has much more money available or moving to somewhere like Qatar.

Rivaldo seems to be moving for more than the money, and looks like he is setting himself one final challenge.

After previously spending time with Olympiacos and AEK Athens in Greece and then FC Bunyodkor in Uzbekistan, it is clear that Rivaldo is happy to stray from his comfort zone to challenge himself.

Moving to African Football may be the last big challenge in Rivaldo's illustrious career but if he finds more success and manges to bring something to African football then he will retire a happy man.

Either that or he will move on to the next stop of the Rivaldo world tour!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Hope for the Impossible dream.


Hope is the main thing Scotland have going into the last two qualifiers for Euro 2012.

Hope that Scotland can defeat Liechstein in their own back yard and pick up something in the Alicante in Spain while Spain and Lithuania beat the Czech Republic so Scotland are in the play-off round of qualifying for Euro 2012.

Goals from Juan Mata and Xabi Alonso helped Spain to a 2-0 victory over Czech Republic tonight ensuring that a Scotland victory in Liechtenstein would leapfrog Scotland above the Czechs with only one game to play.

However the last game is in Spain and they will face a side who have won all seven qualifying games so far, are the reigning World champions and European champions  and boast a reserve side of players like Fernando Torres, Juan Mata,David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and others of such quality never mind the players who are first choice!

Craig Levein's side must go into both games against Liechtenstein and Spain with the same mindset. That Scotland will win both games.

Six Points would ensure a play-off spot. It is a big ask and is probably building hopes up too high but it can be done.

Liechteinstein nearly caused a scare at Hampden before a last minute Steven McManus header gave Scotland a 2-1 victory but a win is a win and that is what the team must believe going in to the game against Liechtenstein. A 3-0 win would be great for morale but a 1-0 win is the same points as a 3-0 win and it would take Scotland up to second.

Spain will be a different matter and Scotland will have to expect to be on the back foot for most if not all of the game and will have to counter attack well against the World and European champions. Scotland have caused massive upsets before such as the Home and Away Double over France a few years ago and a performance like one of those nights will be needed in the Alicante.

It is a big ask for Craig Levein's side to get the six points but if Scotland have any chance of qualifying they must believe it is possible.

Here we go again building our hopes up for a fall,but just one of these days the hopes will pay off.

Hopefully this week!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Weekend SPL Predictions

With another busy weekend of SPL action getting under way last night with the return of Friday night football and Aberdeen picking up an impressive 4-0 win against Dunfermline, here are predictions for how the other five SPL games will play out this weekend.

Dundee United vs Motherwell:

Tannadice will host an interesting tie when Dundee United Welcome Motherwell.

United sit eighth in the table six points behind third placed Motherwell but it is unlikely it will stay that way in the next few months.

Motherwell have seen their great start to the season seem to fizz out over the last few weeks but they will be hoping to build on their victory over Aberdeen last week and Stuart Mccall will hope his Well side can build some momentum with a win to try and hold on to third place in the table.

Peter Houston's side struggle to cope without last seasons star players like Conway, Goodwillie and Gomis but they have started to click together in the last few weeks and look like they could have a successful season if players like Russell and Daly keep fit.

This will be a close one i am going for a score draw.
Prediction: Dundee United 1 Motherwell 1

Inverness CT vs St Mirren:

What a contrast in these two teams this season.

Inverness and St Mirren last year were in the same area of the table fighting to avoid relegation. How times change.

Inverness sit bottom of the table and look set to be preparing for another relegation dogfight to try and survive in the SPL for another year.

St Mirren on the other hand sit fifth in the table and look like they have a real chance of making the top six this season after Danny Lennon has found a way to convert their good play into goals.

This will be a tough test for St Mirren but i think they will win the match to pile more pressure on Terry Butcher's Inverness side.

Prediction: Inverness 0 St Mirren 1

Kilmarnock vs St Johnstone:

Kenny Shiels will take his side into this match against St Johnstone trying to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Ibrox in Midweek.

Derek Mcinnes will also be regrouping his side after they were defeated 3-2 by Hibs in midweek and this could set up an intriguing tie between two teams eager for a win to gain some momentum back quickly.

St Johnstone's front two of Sandanza and Sheridan or "the SAS" have been on fire in recent weeks and they will be hoping to continue with goals against Kilmarnock.

Kilmarnock themselves have Heffernan up front who has scored his fair share this season as well and this could be a good game to watch.

I can see another score draw at Rugby Park.
Prediction Kilmarnock 2 St Johnstone 2

Rangers vs Hibernian:
Ally Mccoist will lead Champions Rangers into this game knowing a win would put them ten points ahead of nearest rivals Celtic.

Hibs have not played as well as they should have this season and tenth in the table is not where you would expect to see Hibs but Gary O Connor aside, Hibs have been poor this season.

Rangers will go into the game without Steven Naismith as he serves the second game of his two game ban and you could tell Rangers missed him in midweek against Kilmarnock even though they ran out 2-0 winners.

Rangers will also be weary of Hibs on a poor form. Last year a Hibs side came to Ibrox in poor form and ran out 3-0 winners to give Colin Calderwood his first victory as Hibs manager.

A repeat of last season is unlikely however and Rangers should be too strong for Hibs.
Prediction: Rangers 3 Hibs 0

Hearts vs Celtic:
The preview for this game on Sunday has been overshadowed by last seasons off-field problems in this tie but hopefully this game will be remembered for all the right reasons ON the pitch.

Celtic could go into this game ten points behind Rivals Rangers and will be looking to quickly pull back three points with a win at Tynecastle which has not always been a happy Place for Celtic in recent years.

Hearts have not been at their best recently but Paulo Sergio's side is slowly improving and a win against Celtic would help the teams morale and show what many believe, that Hearts are still "the third best team in Scotland."

This will be a tight one but i think Celtic will edge this with maybe a late winner.
Prediction: Hearts 1 Celtic 2

Friday, 16 September 2011

Old Firm Round one

This Sunday afternoon will see the first Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox Park.

The teams  have not exactly been away from each other for long and after seven contests last year,a bitter taste is still be left in the mouths of some as a few moments of madness in one particular game cast a cloud of darkness over the remaining fixtures. Lets hope the football is the focus this year.

New Rangers manager Ally McCoist who has experienced the Old Firm more than most as a player and assistant manager locks horns with Celtic manager Neil Lennon for the first time as manger after taking over from Walter Smith at the end of last season. He will be hoping to pick up his first Old Firm Victory at the first time of asking.

Rangers go in to the game top of the table, one point ahead of rivals Celtic and will hope home advantage will help them pick up an important win. With many players like Goian, Wallace, Bedoya, McKay, Bocanegra and Ortiz set to make their Old Firm Debut if they feature and they will hoping to get the ground running.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon will be hoping his side can emulate some of their performances last season in OF games as Celtic managed to win three of the seven OF games and pick up two draws compared to Rangers winning two and two draws.

 Celtic have had a decent start to the season like Rangers with the only blip being the 1-0 defeat at home to St. Johnstone. Aside from that loss Celtic have scored some big wins including big home wins against Dundee United (5-1) and Motherwell (4-1) being the pick of the games so far this season.

Rangers have had a decent start and sit top of the table. The opening 1-1 home draw was a disappointing start but since then Rangers have went on to five on the bounce conceding no goals in those five games and their best perfomance being a dominant 3-0 away win against Motherwell at Fir Park.

The game promises to be intriguing as ever with the winner gaining bragging rights for a few months and a place at the top of the table after the game.

The winner is not guaranteed to win the league. Last Year Celtic picked up more points in Old Firm games but never won the title and Rangers were champions. This shows what Graeme Souness used to say when he was in charge of Rangers is true when talking about Old Firm games in the league; "They are only four games of the season."

Key Players:


Nikica Jelavic: The Croatian striker is a fitness doubt for the game but he is a class act and Rangers are much stronger team with him than without him. He scored the winner in the League Cup Final against Celtic last season to hand Rangers the victory.

Kyle Lafferty: Lafferty has been an enigma for some fans and has not always produced the goods in Old Firm games but the "Big game player" on his day is a major threat and Jelavic and Lafferty together and on form would cause Celtic problems at the back.

Steven Davis: The Rangers stand in Captain is the playmaker and heart of the Rangers midfield. He is in fine form so far this season and he will be looked upon to influence play on Sunday like he has done before like in the League Cup final last season.


Gary Hooper: Hooper is Celtic's main striking force and a cert to start on Sunday. He is a constant threat when in form and Celtic's best performances usually include a big input from Hooper.He managed to score a couple of Old Firm goals last season and he is always a threat to defences in the box.

Beram Kayal: Pulling the strings in the Celtic midfield is Kayal's job as well as holding the midfield together to protect the defence. The defensive midfielder had a good Old Firm debut season and will be looking to stop Davis' threat on Sunday while enforcing his own on the game.

Ki Sung Yeung: The Souh Korean is one of the emerging talents in Scottish football. Ki has grown into his role in the Celtic midfield and when he plays well Celtic look a much better side. For Celtic's midfield to be dominant Ki will have to help Kayal.


There is not much difference between the sides and a draw would not be far from most people's minds when thinking of the game and i am sure both teams would take a draw. Rangers and Celtic will go for the game but i can't see many goals.


Major Change ahead in Junior Football?

Changes could be afoot for Junior football very soon as news has spread that an MEP is challenging the retention rule in Junior football on behalf of one of his constituency members.

The MEP and his constituency member are taking the matter to the courts with the argument that retention is a breach of employment laws and human rights. It is widely assumed that this court case will bring an end to retention once and for all in Junior football.

Under the retention rule a Junior football club if they want to, retains a player at the end of every season. For that player to move to another club at junior level, the club he is leaving is entitled to a fee  set by the SJFA from the club wanting to sign the player for the transfer to happen.

 Basically this means that for a retained player to move to another Junior club money must be paid for his services. If this fee or a bargained fee is not met then the player is not allowed to move to the team or any other Junior club until the retention fee is met.

The rule is met by criticism as effectively a club could end someone’s Junior footballing career by not letting them move without receiving their “asking price.” The player can play Amateur or professional football but not Junior until the fee is paid.

Some clubs will argue that they are entitle to receiving a fee for their retained players to cover what they have paid on the players wages and will not want to lose a top player for free when he could come back and haunt them. But surely paying for a player when he is at the club should not be a problem if he is proving his worth with his performances on the pitch?

The player would only be allowed to play trials for other Junior teams and even then you can only play as a trialist three times for a club. It is harsh on players wanting to play Junior football as they could be forced out if nobody meets their club’s demands.

If the case is successful against retention then effectively Junior Football will be changed forever. Clubs will no longer receive fees for retained players if they are out of contract and effectively Bosman transfers will likely be introduced with out of contract players being able to move freely from club to club with ease.

Players will more likely be happier than clubs if this ruling occurs and many frozen out players will be able to play Junior football again.

The sooner the rule changes the better.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Built up high only to come crashing down

It seems to happen regularly to Scotland fans.

Every time we build our nation's footballing expectations up , we are sent crashing to the depths of despair at the last minute.

- In 1978 Scotland were going to win the World Cup in Argentina but "Ally's Army" limped home instead of marching to victory!

- In 2007 Scotland's hopes of reaching Euro 2008, our first national tournament finals since World Cup 98 in France were thwarted by a late Italian Job and a "dodgy" referee.

- Now it is 2011 and it has happened again!

With only two games to go and after a disappointing home double header against the Czech Republic and Lithuania, it looks as if Scotland's hopes of reaching a national tournament will go on past Euro 2012.

Usually four points out of six in a European Championships double qualifier would be good news, however Scotland needed the full six points to make sure Craig Levein's side were in the driving seat to reach the play-offs and be in with a great chance of qualifying.

Drawing 2-2 with the Czechs inflicted the damage before the 1-0 win over Lithuania and leave Scotland needing to at least win in Liechtenstein and draw in Spain and need help from Spain and Lithuania when the sides take on the Czech Republic to have hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.

The Czech Republic will qualify on the next match day if either they defeat Spain and Scotland fail to defeat Liechtenstein,or they draw with Spain and Scotland lose to Liechtenstein. It is the Czech Republic's play-off spot to throw away now.

Leading 2-1 with eight minutes to go against the Czech's it looked as if Scotland were going to hold out however some play acting and some dodgy refereeing led to a late Czech equalizer from the penalty spot and the game finished 2-2 with Scotland's hopes seemingly crushed.

Is the ref fully to blame?

The simple answer is no. Yes Jan Rezek dived to win the Czech's a penalty near the end and the referee Kevin Blom had a terrible game from start to finish but Scotland were simply not good enough to win the game against the Czech's and a draw was a fair result.

Scotland defended too deep and were lucky not to be 3-0 down before Kenny Miller put the Scots ahead as Milan Baros missed easy chances early on and Kevin Blom missed a stonewall penalty for the Czechs when Charlie Adam went over the ball and stamped on Baros' ankle in the box.

The Czech's got back in the game at 1-1 and when Darren Fletcher scored Scotland looked set to steal a win but they defended too deep and if you defend in your own box letting the opposition run at you, it is only a matter of time before you concede.

Scotland managed to bounce back from the disappointing 2-2 draw to beat Lithuania 1-0 to keep our slim chances of the play-offs alive and there were some promising signs in the performance but they made hard work of a poor Lithuania side who were hardly in the game.

Man Of The Match Barry Bannan showed why he is a prospect for the future with a fine performance and the likes of Don Cowie, David Goodwillie and late sub Robert Snodgrass all showed some reasons to be cheerful after Steven Naismith fired Scotland to only the second win of the campaign however the finishing needs to be worked on.

Scotland should have been out of sight but Steven Naismith, Christophe Berra, Goodwillie and others wasted chance after chance and captain Darren Fletcher surprisingly took and then missed a poor penalty before half time when it was still 0-0. Another type of attacking option is clearly needed when Kenny Miller is suspended or injured.

Steven Fletcher could very well be that option.

It is time for Fletcher to put his spat with Levein to the side and come back to help his country when they need him. Fletcher is one of if not the top Scottish striker right now and scores regularly at the top level in the English Premiership against some of the best defenders in the world.

Fletcher back in the side would give Levein healthy selection choices which are needed and if he and everybody else is fit it is time for Levein to finally work out his top side for the next two crucial games.

 Levein has not covered himself in glory since he took over and it tells you something when his most memorable moment was the infamous 4-6-0 disaster in Prague but he has shown signs of promise with young talents like Graeme Dorrans, Snodgrass, Danny Wilson and Barry Bannan being involved in his squads regularly and there have been some impressive performances albeit in friendlies, Levein has to lead Scotland in the last two matches to the glory of the play-offs or to at least go down fighting and not go out with a whimper.

If Scotland don't qualify for Euro 2012 and if Levein is still the manager then attention will turn to World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

With Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales standing in our way , you can bet the expectation's and belief of finally qualifying for another National Tournament will surface again and we will build up Scotland's chances once more.

We will never learn.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Is Wenger finished?

Next month Arsene Wenger will celebrate being the Arsenal manager for fifteen years although if there is not much change in the next few weeks there will hardly be cause for celebration!
Wenger in his time at Arsenal has built great teams, brought through young talents regularly to the team and won Eleven honours at the club.

He has guided Arsenal to the  Premier League three times, the FA Cup four times and the FA Community Shield four times as well however Arsenal have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup over six years ago and fans are starting to grow tired of winning nothing every season.

Selling star players like Thierry Henry and this season losing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas has also angered fans who think it makes them look like a seller club and many paired with some of the media are building pressure against the man the fans once adored.

But is Wenger really finished?

Losing Fabregas and Nasri recently has left the squad looking depleted and even though there are many young talents at Arsenal waiting for a chance, A marquee signing is needed to appease angry fans.

Eden Hazard, Mikel Arteta and Kaka have all been linked with the club and Arteta or Kaka could be a great replacement for Fabregas whereas Hazard would provide quality on the wing. Arteta would be more likely as there is little chance of Arsenal wanting to pay 30 million plus nearly 200k a week for Kaka!

Wenger has many young talents coming through which was shown on their Champions League qualification victory over Udinese, they may not have played Udinese off the park in both legs but they were up to the challenge and showed they are not a poor team as well as being capable of playing the "Arsenal way."

Wenger is like he has been for the past few seasons three or four players from a team that can hold a Premier League challenge again as there is talent at the club already like Gervinho, Van Persie, Arshavin, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott and many others.

A solid central defender is needed which Wenger knows with constant links to defenders like Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, a goalscoring strike to partner Van Persie, a midfield playmaker like Arteta or Kaka and a top defensive midfielder like Nigel De Jong at Manchester City to hold the midfield together and protect the defence.

If Arsenal could sign four players like that then they would have a really good team and even signing two of the four would leave them in a better place. 

Wenger has given so much to the club over the past fifteen years and even though the days of Keown,Bergkamp,Henry and co are over, there is signs Wenger is far from finished and is capable of  building a new successful team if he manages to get the owners and fans appeased and on his side believing in the team. 

A marquee signing would do just that but he will have to move quickly, the Transfer Window shuts on the thirty first of August.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Season Predictions

This is not a full article this is just predictions on who i will think will win their respective leagues and who will be relegated etc in all the Scottish Leagues and the English Premier League:

Scottish Premier League:
Winners: Rangers
Runners Up: Celtic
Third spot: Hearts
Fourth Spot:Motherwell
Relegated : Dunfermline

Scottish First Division:
Winners: Hamilton
Runners Up: Ross County
Ninth and First Division Play-Offs: Ayr United
Relegated: Queen Of The South

Scottish Second Division:
Winners: Stirling Albion
Runners Up and  First Division Play-Offs: Cowdenbeath
Third and First Division Play-Offs: Forfar
Fourth and First Division Play-Offs: Brechin
Ninth and Second Division Play-Offs: Albion Rovers
Relegated: Arbroath

Scottish Third Division:
Winners: Peterhead
Runners Up and Second Division Play-Offs: Alloa
Third and Second Division Play-Offs: Queens Park
Fourth and Second Division Play-Offs: Clyde
Bottom of League: East Stirling

English Premier League:
Winners: Chelsea
Second Place: Manchester United
Third Place: Manchester  City
Fourth Place: Liverpool
Eighteenth place and Relegated: Wolves
Nineteenth place and Relegated: Swansea City
Twentieth place and Relegated: Norwich City

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Football clubs and the "problem" of Social Networking

Controlling a workforce is never an easy task.

Companies are always trying to make sure their staff stay in line with the rules and regulations and Football clubs are no different.

Football clubs have always had trouble trying to keep in control of their players but it is easier said than done.

Every year there are always players unhappy who want changes or even want to leave and there always will be, however the ways the players are expressing their discontent continues to change.

Going straight to the manager or owner is still the correct way to deal with problems and is the best way to make sure your concerns will be dealt with. This was once virtually the only way to express concerns however times have changed and continue to do so.

The Newspapers always have liked exclusives and a discontent player or problems at a football club is always going to sell papers to interested or worried football fans. Radio stations , TV channels and Internet sites have also cashed in on this as technology advanced over the years and they all joined at some stage the race for exclusives and big stories.

Clubs have had to try and stay private to make sure nothing leaks to the press that they don't want but this is difficult and continues to be a worry for clubs when trying to make sure they control their club and everyone linked to it.

However over the last few years a new threat emerged that is more dangerous to an extent than the press to football clubs in regards to news leaking out from clubs:  Social networking.

Private profiles means not just that news can leak quickly from journalists or sources before a club has time to release a statement, but also that players and staff can  leak information or say things they shouldn't say, giving the press a story without the press having to do any work to get it.

Social networking is like a microphone on players at all times and is very popular among players. Many high profile players such as Rio Ferdinand, Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney having countless amounts of followers so the spotlight is on players at all times watching what they say.

Ryan Babel, Carlton Cole and Darren Bent are some of the most famous cases of players going out of line on Twitter and all three have had to pay fines to their club or footballing authorities after comments they have made that were out of line.

One of the biggest stories in football right now is the Joey Barton episode at Newcastle and his Twitter account is the cause.

Joey Barton more than once has stated on his twitter page his concerns or unhappiness with Newcastle due to reasons such as breakdown in contract talks between him  and the club or the surprise transfer of his friend Kevin Nolan from Newcastle to West Ham.

Things have got to the stage where Newcastle had enough and have said he can leave for free and have fined him two weeks wages . Even this has not stopped him and Barton has laughed off his fine and said they are "kicking a man when he is down."

Whether Joey Barton is right to have concerns is not the big story, the fact that he has publicly stated them before talking directly to the club has caused a stir. Incidents like this are why clubs are trying to find ways to prevent situations like this with social networking sites.

Former Rangers boss Walter Smith banned his players from using social networking sites near the end of last season due to a poor run of form and it seemed to work a treat as with less distractions Rangers went on to claim their third successive league trophy and also won the League cup to complete a league and cup double.

Leeds United have banned their players from using Twitter recently after a pre-season game in which striker Davide Somma was taken off injured and he leaked into the public domain on his Twitter account that he would be out for six months before the manager Simon Grayson and his staff could tell certain personnel who needed to know the information first.

Banning Twitter and other sites altogether may seem extreme but some clubs will see it as the right thing to do. I am sure Mike Ashley and other owners will think of George Orwell's 1984 and wish they had a way of controlling their players like that but thankfully free will stops a situation like that happening!

Time will tell if it works out for Leeds but until clubs can to an extent find a way to control what players say on social networking sites you can safely guarantee stories like the Joey Barton one will continue to surface and cause a stir.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Changes needed at Ibrox so McCoist can avert danger.

Two games, zero wins, one draw and one loss.

Not the start Alistair "Ally" McCoist wanted to have in charge of his beloved Rangers.

An opening day 1-1 draw with Hearts at Ibrox did not get Rangers' quest  to retain the Scottish Premier league off to a great start and some fans began to grumble about problems that seemed to have already surfaced.

Poor defending, lack of creativity, disappointing performances from players, the list goes on and with an Important Champions League qualifier against Malmo at Ibrox a few days later the fans hoped Rangers would "Step up and play" as can be heard in Sammy King's "Penny Arcade"  when it is played before kickoff at Ibrox.

Rangers did not "step up and play" against Malmo.

The negatives brought up from the  Hearts game were all on show again as poor defending, lack of creativity and disappointing performance's led to Malmo picking up a shock 1-0 win at Ibrox and left Rangers needing to win by at least two next week in Sweden or face an early Champions League exit on the same level of Kaunus a few years ago.

Rangers were poor against Malmo. McCoist set up his team like his predecessor and mentor Walter Smith would with a lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation and it did not work. Errors were being made by many and an error by Steven Whittaker (who did not look like a player who recently signed a long term deal,) on the right side of his own box in the eighteenth minute led to Daniel Larsson scoring and grabbing an important away goal for Malmo. Daniel of course not being the first Larsson to break Rangers' fans hearts.

Whittaker's mistake at the goal was not the only mistake made by him or any of his team mates as most of the Rangers team struggled to make an impact.

Lee Mculloch and Maurice Edu in the heart of Rangers' midfield was not working for the second game in a row.Both are trying but neither player has the creative spark to control and boss the midfield and there is little pace between the two. Steven Davis is Rangers' best central midfielder but he is played out of position wide right yet he is still covering for Mculloch and Edu.

Madjid Bougherra continues to look like a disinterested player and McCoist will surely let the Algerian part ways with Rangers as soon as he finds another centre back to join Dorin Goian joining the club and create a new central defence.

In fact only newbie Lee Wallace, Nikica Jelavic and the outstanding  Allan McGregor in goals came out of the the game with any positives.

Wallace on his debut did not look out of place at Rangers or on the Champions League stage and was industrious going froward all night as he put in a solid shift trying to stop the Malmo attack down the right while contributing to Rangers' attacking options.

Nikica Jelavic looked a class act at times but looked a lonely figure up front most of the time. Even when Rangers went for it and put Steven Naismith up front with him, Jelavic was still isolated which was frustrating for him as he won many balls but there was no support and Rangers were constantly punting the ball up front to him and he could do nothing with them which would frustrate the fans sick of seeing the same tactics fail constantly.

Allan McGregor recently signing a new deal at Ibrox and saying he wants to end his career at Ibrox is fantastic news for the club as his fantastic performance against Malmo proved. McGregor was flawless and pulled off at least three important saves to keep Rangers' deficit a manageable one, his fingertip save from Figueirdo's long range drive was world class. McGregor's performance was one of the few positives to come out of the Malmo game.

The season is only two weeks old so Rangers fans and McCoist will not be too overly critical. There is a lot of football to play and if Rangers win by two next week in Sweden which is manageable, they will be closer to Champions League football. Kyle Lafferty is also missing through injury right  now and he is sorely missed . The Ulsterman is a threat in front of goal which from the evidence of the first two games, is sorely missed.

However changes are needed and whether McCoist rallies his current squad together or signs fresh new  faces, Rangers need to change a few things to make sure they will have a successful season and help McCoist be a success as manager as well as being a legendary player at the club.