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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sunday 13th March 2005, 14:00 at Den's Park.

PREVIEW

No matter what happens we will be top of the league going into this game. Most likely we'll just be 1 point clear but you never know maybe Dunfermline will get something from Celtic Park :howler: With that in mind it is imperative we take all 3 points back home with us.

We must put everything into this match because we don't play a league game for another 3 weeks after that. The following week is the CIS Cup final and the week after is internationals week. When we return to SPL action after a 3 week lay off Celtic will have played a game more than us. If both sides have won their matches up until then we could be going to Fir Park trailing by 5 points making it another must win match.

Here are the fixtures up until the split involving the Old Firm:

SPL Fixtures:

Sat 12 Mar 2005 Celtic v Dunfermline.
Sun 13 Mar 2005 Dundee v Rangers.

Wed 16 Mar 2005 Inverness v Celtic.

Sat 19 Mar 2005 Dundee United v Celtic.

Sat 2 Apr 2005 Celtic v Hearts.
Sun 3 Apr 2005 Motherwell v Rangers.

Code:
[b]SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SIX
_______________________
           P   W  D  L  F  A   GD Pts
[color=blue]Rangers    29  22 6  1  61 14  47 72[/color]
[color=darkgreen]Celtic     27  22 2  3  59 22  37 68[/color] 
[color=green]Hibs       28  14 5  9  47 39   8 47[/color]
[color=red]Aberdeen   28  13 6  9  30 26   4 45[/color]
[color=darkred]Hearts     28  11 9  8  32 26   6 42[/color] 
[color=darkorange]Motherwell 28  11 5 12  34 34   0 38[/b][/color]
Dundee

There is no doubt about it that Dundee are struggling. It doesn't seem too long ago that they were being praised as the best footballing side in the SPL under Ivano Bonetti but all the stars have gone and after administration they are still picking up the pieces. We've always done well against them.

You have to go back 2 years for the last time we dropped points against them. That was the famous 2-2 draw in which Wilkie scored an O.G. and Bazza missed two penalties before Arteta knocked in the third penalty award. They have never beaten us in this millenium. You have to go back to 28 November 1999 for their last win against us. That was a 2-1 win at Ibrox and in the next fixture we hammered them 7-1 at Den's Park.

The current Dundee side is really struggling. They have the worst defence in the league having conceded 54 goals in 28 games. They have only managed 6 wins all season but it should be noted that 5 of those were at home where they have an average of one win every two games. At home also they have scored an average of a goal a game and conceded likewise. It seems to be their away form which has them 3rd bottom of the league only 2 points from the relegation zone.

Dundee had a bad result at home on Saturday after a good run of form at home. In their previous 5 home games they were unbeaten. They had beaten Aberdeen, Inverness, and Motherwell while drawing will Celtic and Hearts. At the weekend though they lost to bottom side Livi in a 6 pointer.

Recent form though is not good. Dundee have lost their last 3 matches failing to score in any of them.

  • 0-1 Livingston (Home)
  • 0-3 Celtic (Away)
  • 0-4 Hibernian (Away)
  • 2-1 Motherwell (Home)
  • 2-2 Dundee United(Away)

RANGERS

Rangers dropped two points in their last match at home to Inverness. It was seen as a disaster. It shows the new level of expectation this season. It was in fact only the second time Rangers had dropped points this season at home in fifteen matches winning thirteen of those. They remain unbeaten at home in the SPL this season. They are also unbeaten in 25 straight matches. They are the form team in the SPL.

Remaining unbeaten though is not enough. They have to win matches and in truth must win all 9 remaining games they have to play starting with Dundee. The good thing is that although they dropped 2 points in the last match the SPL title is still in their own destiny.

  • 1-1 Inverness (Home)
  • 2-1 Hearts (Away)
  • 2-1 Kilmarnock (Home)
  • 2-0 Celtic (Away)
  • 3-0 Hibernian (Home)

HEAD TO HEAD THIS SEASON

The last time Rangers went to Dens Park earlier in the season they were given a tough match but came through with all 3 points thanks to Novo coming on as a sub. In the other game at Ibrox Rangers won comfortably.

SPL, matchday seven (26th Sep 2004)
Dundee 0(0)-(0)2 Rangers
Novo 78, 80

SPL, matchday eighteen (11th Dec 2004)
Rangers 3(1)-(0)0 Inverness
Novo 3 (pen), Prso 4, Malcolm 50

THE TEAM

Hopefully McLeish will return to the formation that was doing us well enough until he chnged it for th Inverness game. With Big Dado back we should do well in this one. Stevie Thompson will be relegated to the bench and quite rightly so after a dire performance last week.

Although Bojan is a week fitter I'm hoping McLeish has seen enough to allow the guy some time to get back to match fitness. If this is the case then Vignal will be pushed back into midfield with Ball coming back in at left back.

----------------Waterreus

---------Kyrgiakos--------Andrews

Ross---------------------------------Ball

---- Ricksen------Fergsuon------Vignal

----------------Buffel

--------------Prso--------Novo


________________________________

RESULT: SPL, matchday thirty (13th Mar 2005)

Dundee 0(0)-(0)2 Rangers


DUNDEE TEAM: Soutar, Mann, Wilkie, Kitamirike, McDonald, Smith, Barrett, Brady, Caballero, Lovell, McManus.
RANGERS TEAM: Waterreus, Ross, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Ball, Ricksen, Ferguson, Malcolm, Vignal, Novo, Prso.

REFEREE: I Brines
ATTENDANCE: 9,876

Match Events:

32
Prso
36
Kyrgiakos
60
Buffel for Malcolm
74
Robertson for McManus
82
Andrews
84
Ricksen
86
Sutton for Barrett
89
Thompson for Andrews
90
Conway for Lovell
90
McCormack for Novo



Code:
[b]SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SIX
_______________________
           P   W  D  L  F  A   GD Pts
[color=blue]Rangers    30  23 6  1  63 14  49 75[/color]
[color=darkgreen]Celtic     28  23 2  3  65 22  43 71[/color] 
[color=red]Aberdeen   29  14 6  9  33 26   7 48[/color]
[color=green]Hibs       29  14 5 10  47 42   5 47[/color]
[color=darkred]Hearts     29  11 9  9  32 28   4 42[/color] 
[color=darkorange]Motherwell 29  11 6 12  35 35   0 39[/b][/color]
Match:

Another strange decision by McLeish. He started with the 4-4-2 which had proved unsuccessful the previous week and he'd had to change. Why he decided to go with it again only he will know as it had the same effect.

Djordjic who was obviously not match fit the week before dropped to the bench as did Buffel in the tactical switch. Stevie Thompson made way for the return of Prso from suspension. Vignal was moved up to left midfield which allowed Ball back into the starting line up at left back. Ricksen took the right midfield role vacated by Buffel and Malcolm came in at central midfield.

----------------Waterreus

Ross---------Kyrgiakos--------Andrews--------Ball

Ricksen---------Malcolm--------Ferguson--------Vignal

--------------Prso--------Novo

Not alot to say about the first half. No passing and no inspirtation about summed up the drab first half. Neither team looked like scoring and the tempo as far as Rangers were concerned was too slow. Players wre actually getting in each others way and communication was breaking down on a number of occassions. It was forgetable to say the least.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were pretty much the same. Rangers were starting to get some kind of attack mainly spearheaded by good Malcolm through balls. The formation wasn't working though as Dundee were matching up to Rangers playing player for player. With half an hour to go McLeish made the change bringing Buffel on for Malcolm and changed the formation at the same time.

----------------Waterreus

Ross------Kyrgiakos-----Andrews-----Ball

----Ricksen------Ferguson------Vignal

----------------Buffel

-------Prso--------Novo

Although the tempo was still too slow they were at least making more chances as they settled into the formation they have been using since the start of this year. It took a headed goal from Marvin Andews to open the scoring 8 minutes from time. A second followed quickly after when Prso skinned the Dundee defence to lay the second on a plate for captain Ricksen.

2-0 in the end. They've had better displays but took all 3 points- that is what matters. The unbeaten run keeps going. We now don't play for 3 weeks in the league.

Prediction: 3-0 to Rangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Jim Duffy has banned his players from laughing ahead of their game with Rangers. No wonder but don't think it will make any difference. From the short highlight I saw Dundee looked rotten on Saturday against Livi. They lose most of their goals from crossed so it will be up to our wing backs to get motoring down the flanks- unless McLeish goes with wingers again.

Some facts ahead of the game:

  • Dundee have lost more goals than any other team in the SPL- 54 goals in 28 games.
  • They are third lowest in the scoring charts ahead of Dunfermline and Livingston- 28 goals in 28 games.
  • They have lost their last 3 games without scoring.
  • They've lost only once at home in their last 6 outings.
  • They have lost 6 of their last ten games.
  • Top scorer Stevie Lovell is in the top 10 scorers in the SPL.

Interestingly Dundee are one of the clubs who have taken points from the Old Firm this season but that wasn't from Rangers. Don't know if that is a good or a bad thing. Four of the "other 10" have failed to take a single point this season. Here is the full list:

Code:
                    [color=blue]Rangers[/color]        [color=darkgreen]Celtic[/color]        TOTAL
                    [color=blue]_______[/color]        [color=darkgreen]______[/color]        _____

Aberdeen            [color=blue]2[/color]              [color=darkgreen]3[/color]             5
Celtic              [color=blue]3[/color]              [color=darkgreen]-[/color]             3
Dundee              [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]2[/color]             2
Dundee U            [color=blue]4[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             4
Dunfermline         [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             0
Hearts              [color=blue]2[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             2
Hibs                [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]2[/color]             2
Inverness           [color=blue]4[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             4
Kilmarnock          [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             0
Livingston          [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             0
Motherwell          [color=blue]0[/color]              [color=darkgreen]0[/color]             0
Rangers             [color=blue]-[/color]              [color=darkgreen]6[/color]             6
_________________________________________________
TOTAL               [color=blue]15[/color]             [color=darkgreen]13[/color]            28
_________________________________________________
Interesting to note that only 3 teams haev taken points from Celtic whereas 5 teams have taken points from Rangers. That mainly comes down to draws. Celtic have lost more than they have drawn (3:2 lose/draw ratio) whereas Rangers have drawn more games than they have lost (1:6 lose draw ratio). Rangers have dropped points in more games than Celtic have despite not losing as many.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From the BBC Website, information on Sunday's match. I've updated the first page with the proposed line-up.

Dundee striker Tom McManus returns to the Dens Park squad having recovered from an ankle injury.
Stephen McNally, Iain Anderson and Kelvin Jack are all missing, while defender Brent Sancho is expected to start in midfield for the Dark Blues.

Dado Prso returns from suspension to lead the Rangers attack.

Steven Thompson is expected to make way for the big Croatian, while winger Peter Lovenkrands and striker Shota Arveladze are still out injured.
 

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I thought i'd give you someone to talk to on your thread.

So much for McLeish 'standing by' Buffel eh? ;)

£2.3m and he can't even get into the team these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
King_Henrik said:
I thought i'd give you someone to talk to on your thread.

So much for McLeish 'standing by' Buffel eh? ;)

£2.3m and he can't even get into the team these days.
LOL, 9 starts out of 11- must be struggling to get a game then. I noticed at the weekend when they were doing songs associated with Old Firm players that "Don't you forget about me" by Simple Minds was attrbuted to a certain Brazilian World Cup winner. This was the guy who was going to be sensational and light up Scottish football. Now he can't even get on the bench in front of an overweight Spaniard who hasn't kicked a ball in years and a plastic Irishman still in nappies. :dielaugh:

Anyway, back to the game. 3 points in the bag. 26 games unbeaten. Bot going to badly. Siths done OK yesterday to but then again I think we all knew Dunfermline would lie down to them- is that not the official response when you knock 6 past them? ;)
 

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Didn't see the game, although I was up in Dundee today. Incidentally, I was informed of a rule that I didn't know about. I put on my best Dundonian accent at Dens Park, in an attempt to get a ticket for the Dundee end at about 11.30 this morning (just a last minute thought). The guy said it was against police regulations to sell tickets with less than 3 hours until kick-off. I was wanting 3 tickets (and there was some left), but I guess Dundee aren't short of a bob or two these days...

From what I gather we were far from convincing, but 3 points is all that matters. I've got one question (I might have asked it before). Why the **** was Bob Malcolm back in the team? :wallbang:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The reason Boab was back was because McLeish stuck with the 4-4-2. In my last report I did say how it didn't work and has never worked and that the 1-1 draw with Inverness was proof of that. I also said that for this reason would revert back to the 4-3-1-2. I was wrong. He went with the formation we struggled with last week and again we struggled. What can I say?

Boab though rather funnily played well and was our most creative player in the seconf half. Obviously that meant he had to go so was replaced by Buffel- I'm sure Vignal had a s****** to himself that Boab was the one being hooked. We then moved to the 4-3-1-2 and things happened. Surely, please, Big Eck can see why.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
LOL, 9 starts out of 11- must be struggling to get a game then. I noticed at the weekend when they were doing songs associated with Old Firm players that "Don't you forget about me" by Simple Minds was attrbuted to a certain Brazilian World Cup winner. This was the guy who was going to be sensational and light up Scottish football. Now he can't even get on the bench in front of an overweight Spaniard who hasn't kicked a ball in years and a plastic Irishman still in nappies. :dielaugh:

Anyway, back to the game. 3 points in the bag. 26 games unbeaten. Bot going to badly. Siths done OK yesterday to but then again I think we all knew Dunfermline would lie down to them- is that not the official response when you knock 6 past them? ;)
You said a couple of days ago that big Eck was standing by Buffel, despite his poor form, but it seems that your manager has instead come to realise himself that the guy isn't doing the business - hence the reason why he was dropped.

It speaks volumes when Bob Malcolm can get into the team ahead of him.

As for the game itself, Rangers were horrific - even calling it a game of football is being kind. Luckily you escaped through your usual set-piece goal though. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
King_Henrik said:
You said a couple of days ago that big Eck was standing by Buffel, despite his poor form, but it seems that your manager has instead come to realise himself that the guy isn't doing the business - hence the reason why he was dropped.

It speaks volumes when Bob Malcolm can get into the team ahead of him.

As for the game itself, Rangers were horrific - even calling it a game of football is being kind. Luckily you escaped through your usual set-piece goal though. ;)
Not quite. He played a 4-4-2 and rather than play Buffel out of position on the right of midfield he played Malcolm in central midfield with Ricksen out on the right. It was not clever and that's why later he moved back to the 4-3-1-2 bringing on Buffel- we then went on to win 2-0.

The game was horrific. It's the worst game I've seen since...Celtic went there actually. That was a horrific game too. Difference is we came away with 3 points.
:)
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
Not quite. He played a 4-4-2 and rather than play Buffel out of position on the right of midfield he played Malcolm in central midfield with Ricksen out on the right. It was not clever and that's why later he moved back to the 4-3-1-2 bringing on Buffel- we then went on to win 2-0.

The game was horrific. It's the worst game I've seen since...Celtic went there actually. That was a horrific game too. Difference is we came away with 3 points.
:)
So he paid £2.3m for a guy and then can't find a place for him in the team.

Do you consider this to be money well-spent on a guy that McLeish obviously doesn't think too highly of?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
King_Henrik said:
So he paid £2.3m for a guy and then can't find a place for him in the team.

Do you consider this to be money well-spent on a guy that McLeish obviously doesn't think too highly of?
One game constitutes not being able to find a place in the team for him? I'm sure Buffel will be a Rangers regular for years to come. Since he arrived he has featured in every game. He's started 82% of the games since he arrived which isn't too bad a ratio.

Money well spent in my opinion. £1.5m excluding wages to loan someone in for half a season would have been a waste of money.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
One game constitutes not being able to find a place in the team for him? I'm sure Buffel will be a Rangers regular for years to come. Since he arrived he has featured in every game. He's started 82% of the games since he arrived which isn't too bad a ratio.

Money well spent in my opinion. £1.5m excluding wages to loan someone in for half a season would have been a waste of money.
Considering the outlay spent on bringing Buffel to the club you'd expect him to be featuring in the starting lineup at every opportunity, barring injury.

Obviously McLeish has been as unimpressed with him so far as everyone else, excluding you of course, and decided to drop him - therefore failing to 'stand by' him.

Or is this gonna be another Mladenovic case where you defend another expensive dud to the hilt, until the penny drops again and Buffel is shipped out as well? ;)



"Nothing is wrong here, Buffel is a superstar. Mladenovic is magic"

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
RESULT: SPL, matchday thirty (13th Mar 2005)

Dundee 0(0)-(0)2 Rangers


DUNDEE TEAM: Soutar, Mann, Wilkie, Kitamirike, McDonald, Smith, Barrett, Brady, Caballero, Lovell, McManus.
RANGRES TEAM: Waterreus, Ross, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Ball, Ricksen, Ferguson, Malcolm, Vignal, Novo, Prso.

REFEREE: I Brines
ATTENDANCE: 9,876

Match Events:

32
Prso
36
Kyrgiakos
60
Buffel for Malcolm
74
Robertson for McManus
82
Andrews
84
Ricksen
86
Sutton for Barrett
89
Thompson for Andrews
90
Conway for Lovell
90
McCormack for Novo



Code:
[b]SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SIX
_______________________
           P   W  D  L  F  A   GD Pts
[color=blue]Rangers    30  23 6  1  63 14  49 75[/color]
[color=darkgreen]Celtic     28  23 2  3  65 22  43 71[/color] 
[color=red]Aberdeen   29  14 6  9  33 26   7 48[/color]
[color=green]Hibs       29  14 5 10  47 42   5 47[/color]
[color=darkred]Hearts     29  11 9  9  32 28   4 42[/color] 
[color=darkorange]Motherwell 29  11 6 12  35 35   0 39[/b][/color]
Match:

Another strange decision by McLeish. He started with the 4-4-2 which had proved unsuccessful the previous week and he'd had to change. Why he decided to go with it again only he will know as it had the same effect.

Djordjic who was obviously not match fit the week before dropped to the bench as did Buffel in the tactical switch. Stevie Thompson made way for the return of Prso from suspension. Vignal was moved up to left midfield which allowed Ball back into the starting line up at left back. Ricksen took the right midfield role vacated by Buffel and Malcolm came in at central midfield.

----------------Waterreus

Ross---------Kyrgiakos--------Andrews--------Ball

Ricksen---------Malcolm--------Ferguson--------Vignal

--------------Prso--------Novo

Not alot to say about the first half. No passing and no inspirtation about summed up the drab first half. Neither team looked like scoring and the tempo as far as Rangers were concerned was too slow. Players wre actually getting in each others way and communication was breaking down on a number of occassions. It was forgetable to say the least.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were pretty much the same. Rangers were starting to get some kind of attack mainly spearheaded by good Malcolm through balls. The formation wasn't working though as Dundee were matching up to Rangers playing player for player. With half an hour to go McLeish made the change bringing Buffel on for Malcolm and changed the formation at the same time.

----------------Waterreus

Ross------Kyrgiakos-----Andrews-----Ball

----Ricksen------Ferguson------Vignal

----------------Buffel

-------Prso--------Novo

Although the tempo was still too slow they were at least making more chances as they settled into the formation they have been using since the start of this year. It took a headed goal from Marvin Andews to open the scoring 8 minutes from time. A second followed quickly after when Prso skinned the Dundee defence to lay the second on a plate for captain Ricksen.

2-0 in the end. They've had better displays but took all 3 points- that is what matters. The unbeaten run keeps going. We now don't play for 3 weeks in the league.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
King_Henrik said:
Considering the outlay spent on bringing Buffel to the club you'd expect him to be featuring in the starting lineup at every opportunity, barring injury.

Obviously McLeish has been as unimpressed with him so far as everyone else, excluding you of course, and decided to drop him - therefore failing to 'stand by' him.

Or is this gonna be another Mladenovic case where you defend another expensive dud to the hilt, until the penny drops again and Buffel is shipped out as well? ;)
What was Camara's starting ratio? What is Juninho's starting ratio? Starting 9 games out of 11 does not suggest he's finding it hard to get a game- does it?

Mladenovic for me didn't get a chance to prove himself. He was twice injured and never got a fair crack at a run in the team when he was injury free. I feel you are clutching at straws here with regards to Buffel.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
What was Camara's starting ratio? What is Juninho's starting ratio? Starting 9 games out of 11 does not suggest he's finding it hard to get a game- does it?

Mladenovic for me didn't get a chance to prove himself. He was twice injured and never got a fair crack at a run in the team when he was injury free. I feel you are clutching at straws here with regards to Buffel.
This thread isn't about Camara or Juninho, plenty has been said about both players on these forums already.

I've been saying since i saw Rangers, and Buffel, struggle at Pittodrie that i've had doubts over the player and whether he's worth £2.3m, since then he's done nothing to change that - and McLeish has merely confirmed my suspicion by relegating him to the bench this week.

If your manager was happy with his contribution then Buffel would have found a place in the team somewhere, your denials are fooling no-one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
King_Henrik said:
This thread isn't about Camara or Juninho, plenty has been said about both players on these forums already.

I've been saying since i saw Rangers, and Buffel, struggle at Pittodrie that i've had doubts over the player and whether he's worth £2.3m, since then he's done nothing to change that - and McLeish has merely confirmed my suspicion by relegating him to the bench this week.

If your manager was happy with his contribution then Buffel would have found a place in the team somewhere, your denials are fooling no-one.
9 starts out of 11- whos fooling who here? One game on the bench after start 9 times in a row does not mean the manager isn't happy with his contribution. If he becomes a regular on the bench then fair enough but that's not the case.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
9 starts out of 11- whos fooling who here? One game on the bench after start 9 times in a row does not mean the manager isn't happy with his contribution. If he becomes a regular on the bench then fair enough but that's not the case.
Oh right, so Eck thinks Buffel has been as sensational as you do, and that's the reason why he dropped him against Dundee then?

Does he have a habit of dropping his on-form players?
 

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He was inconsistent at Feyenoord so he'll probably be inconsistent here. I, for one, think he's a good player.

By the way, am I the only person on the Rangers forum that doesn't read or reply in the Celtic forum? This place seems to be full of Cel'ic fans.
 

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Marco Negri said:
By the way, am I the only person on the Rangers forum that doesn't read or reply in the Celtic forum? This place seems to be full of Cel'ic fans.
Yes, you are.

Activity in both sub-forums is good for the Scottish Football forum overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
King_Henrik said:
Oh right, so Eck thinks Buffel has been as sensational as you do, and that's the reason why he dropped him against Dundee then?

Does he have a habit of dropping his on-form players?
He didn't start one game after starting the 9 previous. Are you saying that anytime a player does not start a game then he is out of favour with the manager?
 
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