Next year in April will see the 30th anniversary of the Souness revolution.
Scottish Football has appeared to have made an another revolution, a 360 degree turn back to the dark days of of pre-Souness and his early tenure at Ibrox. That was a time when people would be happy to watch 6 foot brick shite-houses run about like headless chickens for 90 mins and knock fucking lumps out of each other.
It was that environment that Souness brought his array of international stars and led him to remark that Scottish Football was full of “Hammer throwers” as opponents tried to match the skill of the Rangers team with cynical over-physical hacking.
Don’t get me wrong Souness was known for getting his retaliation in first -A serious injury from a Terence Yorath
tackle as a youth that left him hospitalised taught him that- but there was a lot more to Souness’s game than that you don’t have the career like he did playing for the great Liverpool team of the 70’s and 80’s five League Championships, three European Cups and four League Cups if you couldn’t score and ping a 40 yard baw the way he did also.
But that was what Souness was all about you want to make it a fight today? Then we will fight you. Want to play today? Then we will play. It was the Latter that the Scottish teams couldn’t live with.
Fast forward 30 years and we have the 19-year-old Spurs loanee Nathan Oduwa making his début for Rangers against Alloa and being threatened after the match by an Alloa defender -who’s name escapes me- that if he try’s one of his flamboyant flicks again he will be on the end of a kicking, or words to that effect.
This was pounced on by the media and yet again -after the brilliant Rangers display- the back pages of the newspapers were not about the football.
Let me remind you the Alloa game saw Rangers score Five goals, two disallowed, hit the woodwork twice, 79% possession. The Alloa game was part of the Four wins ,17 goals scored with 4 conceded all part of the Warburton Whirlwind that has not only seen Rangers play like a new team compared to the one a couple of months ago but are a completely new team with 10 new faces coming in.
Make no mistake this was as every bit mischief making as what led Chris McLaughlin get his press privilege revoked from Ibrox.
What is these kind of headlines and attitudes to your fellow players saying to the top teams down south that Mark Warburton is trying to attract some of their best young talent up to Scotland.
It is embarrassing to the outside world. Idiots like what’s his name from Alloa make Scottish fitbaw look like a Harry Enfield self righteous brothers sketch
“oh I love little Messi and his little flicks and kicks of genius brilliance in La Liga…………. but if he was to come up here …..(seeth)…… and do one of his rainbow flicks playing for Rangers …………(seeth)…..I would say……OI! MESSI NO! AND I WOULD GIVE HIM A SLAP!”
It is the latest Rangers loanee Gedion Zelalem I am most concerned with by these type of threats. You could expect the Arsenal youth player having second thoughts seeing those anti-football headlines and for a time it looked like the deal was off.
Footballs a mans game and should always be a contact game Barry Ferguson -who if you watch clips of Gedion Zelalem on youtube has shades off – recalls his Rangers début at Tynecastle, when Neil Pointon nearly took his head off 10 minutes in. Barry recalls that He smashed Him in the face with his shoulder, elbow and fist all in one go.
But what do you call him at Alloa’s threat has images of the Neil “cunt” Simpsons GBH on Ian Durrant and if you have seen the scar on his leg it was a wonder he walked again never mind was part of a Rangers team that conquered all before them in Scotland and challenged at the very top of Europe. It is a testament to Durrant’s bravery and courage over Neil Simpsons thuggish cowardice.
I am concerned for Gedion Zelalem more than I am of the 6 foot plus Nathan Oduwa -who looks like a hybrid of the skill of Mark Walters and the speed and athleticism of Usain Bolt- as Gedion Zelalem plays in the middle third with some deft turns and cute touches. In fact the little I have seen of him he is a younger, better Scott Allan which is no slur on Scott Allan in fact -from the little I’ve seen- he dribbles like Iniesta and passes like Xavi.
With a talent like that in the Rangers midfield -a team that doesn’t need the hatred of it ramped up by thingy-me-bobs from Alloas threatening GBH on her players for showing sublime bits of skill- he will be a lightening rod for guys like the guy from Alloa to make a name for themselves.
All we can rely on is Referees – who have been absolutely shocking so far not in a Celtic paranoid way but as a whole- taking firm action and leaving the Hammer throwers with no room left in the game and leaving it a nurturing ground for talents -the likes that Mark Warburton has managed to persuade to come north to Scotland- too blossom.
30 years on from the Souness revolution which swayed the power balance back in the favour of the sleeping giant that was Rangers with the help of MacWoods , MacButcher and MacRoberts. We are seeing a Warburton revolution with the likes of MacTavernier, MacOduwa and MacWaghorn.
One thing that is happily changed from 30 years ago is the level of Anti-English racism directed at the English Rangers player that came too ply their trade over Hadrian’s wall has all but vanished. Watch any match from that period especially the Rangers Celtic games you will hear booming from the away end “DIRTY ENGLISH BASTARDS” directed at the Rangers players.
Sadly it appears to have raised its ugly head in certain Political parties and Scottish independence movements which is really Scotland’s shame.