sábado, 23 de junio de 2018

Living the dream!

Life tends to make us take different paths, physically distance us from what we want, but fortunately there are feelings and memory to give validity to what we love, our passions. For decades I have read the most fabulous stories of the Bears across the globe with a common denominator, the repeated desire to return one day to Ibrox to see a game and share a pint. At the end of the day, celebrate the reunion with the identity.

I do not remember how many years have passed since I met Stuart (@RangersLoyalSA) and his passion for Rangers. With Stuart, we created Rangers Loyal South America to expand the voice of Rangers in the region. From a remote place in Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital, where he is living for seven years, Stuart encouraged his love for The Mighty to each of his children, which always meant something valuable to someone like me who was not born in the United Kingdom. The longing, the desire to return is never abandoned.

Now, I want to help him, and if someone can help me help him, I will be eternally grateful. Stuart has three children: Henry, Ally (I don´t must explain why he has that name lol) and Harry. They were never in Ibrox to see a game -only Henry was around Ibrox when he was only a month old- this would be the first time, we all know that these events remain for life in our personal stories, a matter of proud to tell to our descendants. Although Henry was born in England, he speaks English and Spanish impressively (I was always surprised by the spontaneity to move from one language to the other in a matter of seconds), the rest are Argentinians, but not so much, if you know Stuart´s house is full of British flags!!!

Next July 12, three generation of the Sinclair family will be in Ibrox for the Europa League first qualifying round against Shkupi. The mere fact of writing it make me goosebumps. And I want to give them a gift, help them to be in the pitch by seeing their heroes in the first person. It would be unforgettable that the children will enter on the pitch with the players. You know that being a Bear flag was one of the best things I´m going to take away from this life. Seeing the atmosphere of Ibrox from that center of the world is something that everything Bearette and Bear should do sometime in life. I would have liked Jim Hannah to be at the front of all this, I think he was a specialist and he knew how to empathize with these stories, although he is serious and that was very good for that position, for something was the boss!!

From now on I will hit all the doors necessary to make these young people fulfill their dream, if someone can help me, we will be shoulder to shoulder so that The Rangers Family added more stories to their inexhaustible tradition. Seeing those wee Bears smile is worth it!  WATP

If you can share this publication so that someone from the club takes note of this event, I say Thank you!

viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

Bats in the belfry at 150 Edmiston Drive!

Aye, Pedro Caixinha, for moments, was made of sterner stuff in his Aztec stage. “It is true that I am explosive, something impulsive, but I always say what I think,” Caixinha said in an interview with a sports channel. On YouTube there is a bunch of videos about their verbal fights with rival coaches. Anyone who takes the Ibrox reins will have to have the character and the temperament to make many changes (The players who brought MW, a game system full of fissures among other things). The question that underlies all this is whether the form of professionalism of Rangers players and Scottish football is prepared for someone like Caixinha? 

Among the first alarmists is Charlie Nicholas. The former celtic striker made the mistake of asserting: “Don’t forget Caixinha will know very little about the game here.” I do not agree, Caixinha was three years linked and studying with the coaches of the current Scottish football and knowing the surrounding culture, I do not think anything is alien to him. Caixinha partner in the studio coach, Alan Stubbs, in another interview, reinforces the idea: “His English was absolutely fantastic – like a lot of foreign coaches, he put the rest of us to shame a bit with the way he could speak our language. He communicated his ideas really well”.

They are bored when they try to think our club under the parameter of the failure of Paul Le Guen. “Players turned on him and it is still the same mentality within the Scottish game”, said Nicholas. Although this must be borne in mind, the times are not the same, the demands are not the same, other people involved. It is no longer divas time and the moods of the crowds in Ibrox do not want a season like this. From Warburton's discursive incantations on the "ethics" of work, I thought we had more rigorous forms of training. The succession of games where the errors were not modified and Senderos' public statement (once MW was out) that they did not watch videos or study rivals. It seemed that Warburton was the big change and in the end it was a marketing campaign to sell bread in thin slices but with a sour taste by expiration date.

Pedro Caixinha is a perfectionist in his work, studious, meticulous, and an obsessive in planning. Worker like few in the strategy, same that is born as an idea but that develops in each training of very detailed way. When Caixinha was young, he tame bulls in his native Beja, a paternal inheritance. The first time he had a close relationship with the bullfighting world represented a traditional streak of value for Caixinha that he will never forget and occupy his life. “It was five years old when in a meeting, my father put me in front of a bull to fight”.

A Mexican journalist told me last night that he has a special way of seeing football. It has led the Santos Laguna in an evolutionary stage, making debut a great number of young people and exerting an aggressive style and playful to the Mexican fitbaw.

Caixinha learned from two managers, he is often said in the interviews, one is Carlos Queiroz (former manager of Real Madrid and Manchester United among others) his academic bases of the game, the work of training. And the other is Mourinho: "I do not try to be a copy of José Mourinho, I have my own style and identity although there are always points of reference and clear that Mourinho is one of my referents just like Guardiola," he said a few years ago to the Spaniard sports daily Marca. Pedro is an advanced disciple.

Caixinha attended in Scotland in his coaching career, where he was companion of Davie Weir and Stubbs. He obtained the UEFA license after completing his studies in 2010. He spent three years studying there. In his perception, Scotland has the best schools to prepare and certify technical directors. It was there that celtic incorporated him as a scout in Portugal and Spain.

Within his concepts focused on the mentality of the player, the Portuguese, with an incorporated Mexican accent, considerer that the word "defeat" within the dressing room should be eradicated, even from the youngster of every club. He is convinced that inculcating the word "victory" to children, the boys would grow up with better convictions.

Standing in the center of the pitch, during his first practice with Santos Laguna, Pedro Caixinha sized up how difficult it would be for him to reach the title of the Mexican league. The reason? His method of work forces the footballer to think and, according to him, most of the Mexican players do not do it. So it is not surprising that it took two and a half years to get the title.

In Caixinha's words, whenever the players reach the dressing room they have on the board the drawing (graphic model) of the training session with the different phases to be fulfilled: organization, dynamics and exercises. What we are looking for is that at the end of the practice each player thinks and asks how and why he has done it.

Within football there are four performance factors: physical, psychological, technical and tactical. This collective sports game is imminently tactical, according to Caixinha. Everything you do has to do with the principles of the game, which are in the moments that exist during the game, such as the offensive transition and when you must defend, which is what you want for the team to have an identity. "That's the hard part, because it's hard for you to think, and most Mexican players are not used to thinking, and in football you have to do it, because it's a game of decisions (…) That's why we spend 12 hours a day at the club and that's what makes us different.” An out-of-the-ordinary training methodology in Mexico. Of course, the training needs “no pain, no gain”, and always looking to develop the most important muscle of the current player: his brain! "Training: base cell of success"

Caixinha changed the optics to the game through the workouts, his range of exercises is so wide that I do not remember to have seen a same training twice. He was an observer and sought to change technical and mental aspects in his players, I remember very well how I could not believe that a top level player did not know how to face the game or hit the ball with both pegs, I also remember how elaborate his game system was in block and as he read and reviewed all the data that provided the department in charge of the analyzes”, says Mexican journalist Alberto Ruiz with enthusiasm. At Santos Laguna, he introduced the GPSport, a technology that measures heart rate during training, passing effectiveness, accelerations, miles developed during play time, as well as preventing possible injuries. 

In the last hours, I read a lot of the word risk in many of our fanbase. Caixinha can be a quality leap towards something totally different from what we know as a manager. It is an update of the role that seemed to manifest incipiently with Warburton (which in my opinion ended up being something fictitious). It will not be immediate, but I think it's the moment of history knocking on our doors.

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2017

Roaming the forests of Nottingham. On how to build a Robin Hood.

Roaming the forests of Nottingham. On how to build a Robin Hood.

The confessed goal of this post is not necessarily to reinterpret King's statement because I'm not interested in getting into a sides dispute to reach a relative truth. The truth is many times it is not the concrete truth resulting from the facts but the triumph of a statement in the world of public relations. I can only say that the King´s statement shows a fracture that until now was only speculation and machinations of the press. I feel a big disappointment for the handling in different areas of both MW and King. With sense, unreason or lucubration, King's statement looks like Tyson vs. Holyfield and King has MW's ear right now. Disappointed in Davie Weir, not the behavior of a true Ranger, that is today the most painful.

All this would be very difficult. Under current conditions, I would leave Kenny Miller in charge to finish the season because he knows this squad well (this season can´t do much more given that the covert temptation of the former manager threw everything away) or some interim that knows the abilities and defects of the team to finish worthily the season (that should include some sort of classification for Europe). But in the meantime they should hire a manager to start organizing the next season. Honestly, I want a manager for the future, not one of the past, however successful they may have been. No one who wants Rangers as "stepping-stone to achieve manages in the EPL”. In football there is first to be successful, leave a mark to aspire to something else.

De Boer is extremely tempting, he knows our club and meets the requirement of having passed a model club like Ajax, which puts emphasis on training young people. He even dared to promote many youngsters to the first team. (From 2007 to 2010, Frank led the youth team of Amsterdam, knew well the youngster who then came to the top level, as happened with Guardiola in Barcelona). The question is whether the Rangers with the imperious needs for success can accept a formative, long-term stage in which there are not necessarily successes. Yes, we manage that sense of thought and resist the impossibility of winning things to create a solid structure of future, the chosen one should have been Ian Cathro, but it is already out of battle.

In Frank's case, we would also have to talk about a taboo subject, money. I do not know how to write pinnacle in Dutch, at least that I read in the subtitle of the interview to Frank that is circulating virally in Twitter. I do not know if he's going to stake his pinnacle if there is not an investment. A strong investment in structure and players does not necessarily mean that we will return to the madness of the long debts on the back (I am not ignoring the whole obstacle of Ashley, but, repetitively, already seems an excuse that an argument). I am not alien to our history but I try to think beyond. Even within the periodic transcends of the last hours, the repeated expression was "a severely limited transfer budget" how could the Dutch manager work with this limitation? That would have to be thoroughly checked to avoid "sudden escapes". Against Frank, he took the reins of Inter, a team not organized by him, and failed foolishly. In his favor, the Italian team was plagued with prima donnas with egos through the sky.

Of the other names I have listened to do not fit the idea of modern football that I aspire to. We are going to have a big problem of imagination in that aspect. Because we always choose those close, thinking that it can be successful. I love Big Eck, a referent for us even when he did not from Ibrox. I would look elsewhere. McInnes is the automatic bet before every storm, but that's the best we can aspire to? Billy Davies? Seems to have a friend in the club because they offer it periodically for almost any position! lolz

But let us look for some archaeological evidence in the stage that ended abruptly. Warburton came here as a reformist, and somehow it was. Although there were still many open questions about the effectiveness of their system, which I personally disagreed with. In the Championship, the team showed a dynamic and impressive common understanding. In the final months of the previous season the system began to fail. Obnubilation with 4-3-3 many times did not let the forest behind. From systematic defensive failures (including individual performances not as a whole, the misunderstanding the indispensable defensive tasks, from avoiding the rival pull the center to mark the striker in the small area) to the inability to define after a game play that was backed up in statistics. The basic science is like this, you can have the ball all the time but without resolution it is useless. It takes someone who encourages players to give them: tactics, strategy and belief that they are the best. In this season we have seen that the players fell in gaps of game, without determination and after the rest in the dressing-room they returned to eat raw to the rival.

An attack often out of focus. The theory of playing without a center striker of reference. Thus, the steps to the area come from the second line and by surprise, also with the diagonals of the ends. But there was no surprise, no diagonals. The idea of surprise was interesting, rivals can´t predict where he appears, what he will do, in which direction he will go or where he will shoot. But it made no difference. Garner came with a record of goals, but with an obvious drought, which was only contrasted with the bunch of editions of youtube videos that showed him as the new Ally McCoist. The former Preston stood out for fighting with strong defenders and not hiding, but more like a second striker, the one who supports and wins the divided ball. In the last days, it began to be repeated by social networks that he was not playing in his position, etc. More excuses.

Nikica Jelavic 18

Nikica Jelavic 18

We Are Not Neil Lennon!

We Are Not Neil Lennon!

Spot The Difference

Spot The Difference