Monday, 21 March 2011

David Weir shows Doubters he still has much to offer

The 2011 Co Operative Insurance final brought joy to the blue half of Glasgow as it has done to more than any other club. Yesterday however the trophy was lifted by maybe someone who deserved to lift the trophy more than anybody else after the hassle he has been receiving.

That man is Rangers Captain David Weir.

Approaching his 41st birthday this May David Weir has done in his career that some may not have managed in two yet as he captains Rangers in their quest for their third title in a row , he would have been forgiven for thinking that he should have retired at the end of last season.

This season has had many positives for Weir but the last few months have called his role at Rangers into doubt with many unfairly writing him off as “past it.”

Outpaced and outplayed by Gary Hooper in Rangers’ 3-0 demise at Parkhead in the league at the end of February, Weir was the victim of criticism from many who claimed Weir should be dropped and recent games like the Europa League ties against PSV and Sporting Lisbon have seen Weir taken off when Rangers have been going for it which looked as if Weir may be dropped with Kyle Bartley impressing more and more each time he plays.

If a 24 year old has a bad game he is off form but because Weir is 40, his bad game at Parkhead was seen as the end of his career.

Walter Smith has stuck by his Captain and with Bartley ruled out of final many would have been worried about Weir being made vulnerable. Walter Smith was not one of these doubters.

David Weir finished the Cup Final as one of the best players on the park with the on form Gary Hooper in his backpocket and he finished the 90 minutes plus 30 minutes extra time looking like one of the youngest players on the park with a great performance which should cast doubt in the minds of people who say David Weir is too old to play for Rangers.

If this happens to be Weir’s last season as a Rangers player then he can leave Ibrox with his head held high no matter what the outcome is of the season after being a great servant and captain for Rangers. If Rangers do win a third successive title then David weir will have the last laugh over all the doubters and yesterday was a little victory on its own for Weir who will have had a laugh to himself when he got home and went to bed that night.

Age is only a number.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Toure not the first case of failing Drugs test.

As Kolo Toure serves his suspension after failing a drugs test, Toure joins the list of famous Footballers who have failed drug tests.

Medication has been blamed as Toure tries to prove his innocence but others have not been so adamant of their innocence:

Here is a few other examples of players who have failed drugs tests:

Diego Maradona:

One of the greatest players of all time had many ups and downs in his career. One major one was in the 1994 World cup where after only two games Maradona was sent home for failing a drug test for Ephedrine doping.

Adrian Mutu:

Adrian Mutu's career at Chelsea was terminated in 2004 after he failed a drugs test was fined and ordered to pay Chelsea for his misconduct. Legal battles have been on and off for years and Mutu who is now at Fiorentina is supposed to pay Chelsea 17 million euros which he is expected to challenge again.

Simon Mensing

Not as high profile but a recent stroy. Simon Mensing has just returned from a month long ban for failing a drugs test.Mensing was banned for a month positive  for testing for a banned substance methylhexaneamine.  He missed five games for Hamilton in total. Mensing revealed that the substance was in a dietary supplement he had purchased of the high street and he had taken advise before taking and believed there to be no banned substances in it. Hamilton and Mensing only revealed details of the ban after it had been served. He was banned between the 29th of January and the 28th of February 2011 and as soon as his ban was finished the player and his club came out blasting the way drugtests are handled.

As these examples show Toure is the latest in a line of failed tests but he will likely not be the last.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Where does the FA draw the line?

The FA cup has produced many magical moments over the years but Aston Villa's tonight was not one of them.

Beaten 3-0 by a rampant Manchester City does not sound terrible but when you look at the team selection you can do nothing but scratch your head.

Making eight changes to your side when going to face a clubin the FA cup  who are sitting comfortably in top four is a crazy idea. Gerard Houllier has shown that next weeks game against Bolton and survival in the Premiership is more important than winning a trophy this season.

A disappointing Villa season could have ended with some success if they had wnet for the Cup and won it but changes were made. Will the FA fine Houllier and Villa for his team selection? I very much doubt it.

The FA don't see dropping players for cup games as a problem however somehow changing your team around in the league is supposedly different. Just ask Wolves and Blackpool.

Wolves were fined last season over team selection and this season Blackpool were fined for making ten changes to their team for a league match against Villa they narrowly lost.

Ian Holloway and Blackpool were furious that they had been fined and you can see why. Why do the FA make you pick a 23 man squad if you are not allowed to use the players you have picked without scrutiny?

The FA will not charge Aston Villa as changing your team in the cup seems to be ok as teams like Arsenal and Manchester United do it every year against lower teams. The problem will lie with Houllier who is receiving severe criticism from his teams fans whoare angry that mid table is the aim instead of winning a cup as well as.

Houllier might not last much longer than the end of this season if the fans get their way.