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Unrealistic expectations?

by Simon Austin (U1645949) 05 January 2007
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I've been trying to find out exactly what went on behind the scenes at Rangers in the run-up to Paul Le Guen's departure yesterday.

I spoke to a French journalist who speaks to Le Guen every week and had a lengthy discussion with him on Tuesday.

The things he told me about the drinking culture at the club, the players flouting an alcohol ban at a Christmas party and Barry Ferguson's refusal to follow Le Guen's tactical instructions against St Mirren have already been reported.

The bits that interested me most didn't actually involve Ferguson.

The journalist told me that Le Guen was only to receive 1.5m in the January transfer window.

That's despite the fact he had only spent about 2.5m in the summer and that several new players are clearly needed at Ibrox.

And there was this fairly damning assessment from the journalist, which he suggested reflect Le Guen's thoughts.

"At Rangers, the expectations do not match the reality," he told me.

"The fans want Rangers to be a big European club, but the money is not there."

Is this fair? Do Rangers' fans expect too much considering the current financial situation at Ibrox?

And do you think this was actually a major reason for Le Guen's departure, perhaps more than his fall-out with Ferguson?

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comment by Manno (U4247926)

posted Jan 5, 2007

Sorry Turnberry

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posted Jan 6, 2007

No problem True Blue

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comment by FD&S (U3391454)

posted Jan 6, 2007

Simon: Excellent article. It makes a pleasant change to read something so well articulated on this forum. And some very interesting insights from your French colleague.

I do think "the team that drinks together wins together" was completely alien to Paul Le Guen and I can understand why this was such an issue with him. Fast food and drink have no place in the life of an elite athlete.

But on your question, I've often said that Rangers have the toughest fans in the World ... and I don't mean hand-to-hand combat. We're quick to judge, slow to forgive, and impatient for success ... well at least I am!

And Paul Le Guen's arrival did create very high expectations among the fans that we would be able to succeed domestically ... a view that was fuelled to a large extent by media reaction to our new manager.

So we had high expectations, but with Paul Le Guens glowing CV you could argue that this was not unrealistic. What may have been unrealistic was our timeframe for success. Combine high expectations with the desire for instant success and you have a potentially lethal combination ... as it later proved for Paul Le Guen.

The irony is that I think the fans would have been more patient with Paul Le Guen had he been willing to stay. I for one genuinely believed we were moving in the right direction. Our results against the top teams in the league were a match for anyone. We have played some great footall against Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen and even Celtic in the last game. It was our inability to take points from teams in the bottom half of the league which placed us in such a dire position: second place in the league. Which may be seen as success in any other league in the world ... but for the Old Firm you are only the first loser - second is nothing.

Perhaps this is another facet of the Old Firm psyche he couldn't understand? But whatever the reason for his departure I think it is a lost opportunity ... both for Rangers and Scottish football.

S_Garner: I'll bet even East Stirling supporters think they can finish 2nd bottom of the league.

laughok Comedy gold!

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posted Jan 6, 2007

Paul Le Geun never got a chance at IBROX.Rangers are one of the biggest clubs in the world, there miles behind Celtic,you would think the Barry Fergusen and the rest of them would have been willing to give up the drink to get back on top.Murray and the board should have let Fergusen go and keep Le Geun who was trying to get some discipline,they took the easy way out.I like Rangers,but hope the get knocked out of Europe.

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comment by Manno (U4247926)

posted Jan 6, 2007

"PAUL LE GUEN quit Rangers because of the bevvy culture at Ibrox, according to his old Lyon boss Bernard Lacombe" From the ever reliable Daily Record.

Do people believe this could be one of the factors which led to his departure?

Just mentioning it because it links to the Clash of Cultures article I read.

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posted Jan 6, 2007

This decision will haunt rangers, I really beleive that....managers are becoming isolated by a chairman who has very little interest in the day to day afairs of the club...Ironic that today I was seeing a football panel praise the board of Birmingham City for backing steve bruce...of course Le Guen being a bit of a Johnny Foreigner was never going to get it right was he?...somewhere along the line Scotticsh football will have to grow up, the game has changed and it's more athletic than at any time in it's history...if you even look at the modern day footballer at the top clubs around the world they look different to the ones we see on old film...Le guen wanted to tackle all aspects of the management of the club, and now it's we who will be left behid...I really do wish him well in the next job he gets, if he was so poor then this news wouldn't have reverberated around france...he will succeed again, pity that his last memory is getting protection from a lynchmob of hoodies

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comment by anglo6 (U7048018)

posted Jan 6, 2007

Rose tinted glasses,how many cups would you have won in England or Europe?
If you really want a team that compares with the best in the World then you are going to have to accept that to compete with the best the club has to change.
If you want to only compete against 2 -3 clubs domestically each season, do nothing but if you want to be compete and be compared with the best European clubs each year, give each player a dictionary and ask them to look up the word professional or even better send each player on an exchange visit to a European Club to see how they train and behave as a professional and more importantly what happens when they don't.
The facilities and fan base provides you with the opportunity to be amongst the best sports clubs in the World but until the finances are put on a secure footing with regular and diverse investments in to the club then Rangers will never reach their full potential.

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posted Jan 6, 2007

Totally agreed

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posted Jan 6, 2007

Typical Rangers, fans have no patience and we've ousted a manager than would have come good with time. Barry should have been more proffesional and not acted like a brat, he knows he can pretty much do what he likes and get away with it cause hes 'rangers through and through'. Walter Smith is a step backwards, he brought us 9 in a row but couldnt handle the European stage. Rangers should have shown PLG time and more respect, we are going backwards now.

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comment by tshtemb (U6870870)

posted Jan 10, 2007

Ok, maybe slightly off topic but this could be the biggest disaster for Scottish football and Ferguson's career ever.

A country who's footbal has been in turmoil for too long with a severe lack of home grown talent and interest, has now completely turned its footballing recovery on its head (International side in great form and 4 or 5 clubs potentially challenging for a european place and domestic honours rather than the usual suspects)over a disagreement between arguably Scotlands best player and a young and potentially talented Manager.

All thats come out of it is a player in distress, a top club in dissaray and a national side (the most important part of the Scottish football recovery) not knowing whether its coming or going with some very important games ahead!!
How short sighted are some people in Scottish football.

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