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Discussion Starter #1
hey lads, how's it been going with him?

haven't heard all too much from him (which usually is bad news I guess), so what's happened?

he actually was a pretty decent player with us. It was only Gullit who didn't like him but the season before when he partnered van Hooijdonk up front, his goal ratio certainly wasn't bad at all, something like 1 in 2 or 3 in the league.
 

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Tam's one of my favourite players at Rangers right now. He's a really clever player as you know. If he could add a bit more consistency he'd be fantastic. Due to the tactical decisions of our soon to be departing manager (which we won't go into here :D) he's not always played in his best position. He's been played wide right and wide left on occasions. Ideally, i'd have him as our second striker in every game, but we've got quite a few forwards to try and fit into the team.

Anyway, I still hope he'll be a major player for us under Paul Le Guen :)
 

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I would be very surprised if Buffel didnt play a major part under PLG, he is one of the few players at Snake Mountain that I do rate quite highly.

A team can be built around him and Ferguson if he regains form.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wide right, wide left..that's just like Gullit who decided to play him as a holding midfielder in one game. :stress: Yeah 2nd striker is his position. Who are actually his main rivals for that spot in the team?

I take it that Dado Prso's your no. 1 striker and big man up front, so that leaves Nacho Novo, Bryd/Boyd? (spelling, only read about the guy, no idea what he's like ) and Buffel to fight for one place? who's the best iyo out of them?
 

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Prso will almost certainly be a first-choice for every match when he's fully fit. Buffel's main rivals are Kris Boyd and Peter Lovenkrands. Novo has fallen quite far down the pecking order this season and I reckon he'll be away in the summer if a Spanish club comes in for him. There's debate about whether Prso and Boyd can play up front together because they're both big guys who aren't particularly quick, while Lovenkrands flatters to deceive a lot of the time and has been most effective in the Champions League.

On Saturday there we played Prso on the left wing with Buffel supporting Boyd. This is partly because we don't have a proper left midfielder and partly because McLeish wants to fit all these players into the team. I doubt Le Guen will find space for the 3 of them next season though. I'd really love to see Boyd playing regularly for us, but I think Prso and Buffel are just about our 2 best players. We'll just have to wait and see, especially since there should be a lot of transfer activity in the summer.
 

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Buffel & Burke are the two positives I'll take from this season. The main problem is that Alex McLeish "system" does not incorporate a player in the hole.

This is one of the reasons I think Alex is an idiot. He keeps buying players then playing them out of position.

Kris Boyd is a natural goalscorer. He does the bread and butter stuff. The only comparable player positionally to Buffel in our squad is Hamed Namouchi another player woefully misused by McLeish.

Buffel will flourish under Le Guen.
 

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Buffel doesn't turn up sometimes, I suppose creative players are like that generally, but he's done well on the left wing when asked.

He'd start every game if Marco was manager. I certainly wouldn't've left him on the bench against Villarreal.

Him 'n' Lovenkrands seem to like each other (in a football sense, like) and it was that partnership which helped us recover a bit in December and January.

In short: He's quality.
 

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Hey Wally quite the contrary my friend. I consider Buffel our best player. Certainly is going by this season anyway.

As my dear friends have already mentioned, Buffel is unfortunate to have now worked under two silly managers whom have persistently asked him to play wide midfield in a somewhat alien role. He does a reasonable job there, but very often finds himself isolated from play. Particularly so when the manager insists on a horrible punt-the-ball-up-the-park speculative game. This in turn gives the numbskulls and the media bores ammo to say "Oh the game seems to pass him by, he's not good enough"

Where Thomas Buffel has been absolutely electrifying for Rangers is within the 4-4-1-1 system, playing off Peter Lovenkrands with whom he enjoys a seemingly telepathic relationship on the park. Buffel has been simply magnificent in this role, and I remember when he first signed you guys on the Feyenoord forum told us this would be the case. This system enabled us to snatch the draws against Inter and Porto, and it relaunched our league season, albeit far too late. But then Mr McLeish decided, as he has constantly done at Rangers, to break up a winning system to accomodate other returning players. It was only injuries which forced the 4-4-1-1 in the first place. The accurate inditement of McLeish's tactical ability (lack of) in my opinion :rolleyes:

Wally, consider this my good friend: When Thomas Buffel was injured in a 5-1 thrashing of Dunfermline, it marked the last win before the team embarked on a winless run, which turned out to be the worst in our history. He returned after 8 of these 10 winless games, but against Falkirk he wasn't fully fit and we drew. The tenth was Rangers 1-1 Inter, with Buffel playing a blinder. We then beat Kilmarnock to end it.

It was no coincidence, trust me :thumbsup:
 

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He is one of our most skillfull players and the main creator in our ranks. His best position is the second striker sitting just behind the main striker. Currently he isn't used in this role very much only when our current manger thinks this is the best way forward. The manager was forced to play him and Peter Lovenkrands upfront as everyone else was injured or not playing well and guess what happened..? Buffel set them up and Lovenkrands knocked them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the many replies lads :thumbsup:

Just wondering if McCleish is that imcompetant (sounds almost Gullitlike), then how on earth did you beat Celtic to the title in the last couple of years? was O'Neill not so good then as he's made out to be in the English press ?
 

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He installed a lot of team spirit in those seasons and if we are being honest Wally, Celtic were not as powerful as they have been in other seasons. Also, the first time he won the league, he still had a number of players from Dick Advocaats regime. McLeish has had to build his own team with a limited budget while letting the more expensive players leave for pennies. That doesn't excuse some of his idiotic decisions like buying players who don't fit into a team or playing players out of position.

O'Neill is a very good manager, but he is probably a little too loyal to players imo. I don't know if he would cut it as England or Man Utd manager for example, but I wouldn't put it past him.

P.S - Just to add, I echo my fellow Bears sentiment on Tam Buffel. He is a wonderful player and once he setlles into a certain position and has better quality around him, he will flourish, I have no doubts about that.
 

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Wally said:
Thanks for the many replies lads :thumbsup:

Just wondering if McCleish is that imcompetant (sounds almost Gullitlike), then how on earth did you beat Celtic to the title in the last couple of years? was O'Neill not so good then as he's made out to be in the English press ?
I agree with all the points Laddie made there except for one and that is that Martin O'Neill is a good manager. In my opinion is very average and highly overrated. His biggest failing is he is one dimensional.

A Martin O'Neill team is big and strong. It batters it's opposition. It's not pretty but can be effective. That is until he meets someone more tactically aware. Celtic fans will point to the UEFA Cup final of 2002/03 as testement to how good a manager he was in Europe. I wouldn't deny it was a good run. The UEFA Cup is not where a manager is judged though. For example would a lot of clubs be chasing the CKSA Moscow manager because he won the UEFA Cup last year or the Sporting manager for getting to the final?

What MON fans seem to have erased from that season is that the same great Celtic side were knocked out of the Champions League at the qualification stage by Basle. In the Champions League they had a great home record but that was weighed up by a very poor away record under O'Neill. Against the likes of Donetsk, Anderlecht and Rosenborg they were beaten easily becuase of MON's infexibility.

The night Celtic travelled to Porto in October 2001 was a key event. That night they were ripped apart and lucky to escape with only a 3-0 defeat. The reason for the defeat was the tactical move by Porto to play a 4-3-3 against O'Neill's 3-5-2. The effect was that Celtic's backline were stretched all over the place and MON had no answer to it.

Two months after that McLeish arrived at Rangers and changed the formation of the team to a 4-3-3. McLeish is tactically inept but even he could see how this tactic had worked for Porto and how O'Neill had no way of changing it. It brought McLeish great success. Rangers went 7 games in a row without defeat against Celtic including knocking them out of the CIS Cup semi final, beating them in the CIS cup final and winning the Scottish Cup final against them.

It wasn't until April 2003, nearly 18 month later, that MON final changed to a flat back four at Ibrox. Celtic won the match 2-1 and this time it was Eck who had no reply. It was too little too late for Celtic though and Rangers went on to win the domestic treble that season.

I don't know if he would be a success at England or Man U. These two team have so many match winners in the squad that even an average manager could get some degree of success with them.
 

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I do rate Martin O'Neill as a manager, but I think you make some excellent points there chivo. Some interesting reading.

Lest we also forget that wee Martin was given a transfer budget of approximately £27million to buy players with. But we hardly ever seemed to hear about that when he was Celtic's gaffer. Instead it was the opposite, and how he was starved of funds. He was starved because he spent it all in his first season. Contrast with the coverage of Dick Advocaat's spending for example.

Just to add by the way Wally, yes McLeish in terms of organisation is a disaster. His strength lies in motivation, particularly as the 'friendly face' coming in and galvanising a set of players at a new club. When he starts to get his own men in, that's when the problems start! :googly:
 

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Bocha said:
Just to add by the way Wally, yes McLeish in terms of organisation is a disaster. His strength lies in motivation, particularly as the 'friendly face' coming in and galvanising a set of players at a new club. When he starts to get his own men in, that's when the problems start! :googly:
It seems to be the shout from fans of every club he has been at. Maybe he would work better under a DOF who was in charge of buying and selling players.
 
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