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Alex Rae


MillionLiraMan
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Hey there,

Anyone see his kick at a Moscow players' head yesterday? It was AWFUL. Rangers went down 2-1 to CSKA, both teams looked far from great but Rangers should have enough to win comfortably at Ibrox to go through to the group stages, they did OK over there so they can't be too miffed about the game itself.

 

I'm also not Rangers bashing mindlessly. Stefan Klos for example, is a fantastic professional footballer. Dado Prso and Nacho Novo are good footballers. Chris Burke is a talented professional footballer.

 

Alex Rae though, isn't a professional footballer. He is a cowardly thug. That or just a thug wannabe. Murdo MacLeod on Sportscene gave Alex Rae man of the match yesterday. How? He's not even a man, he's a beast. He kicks just about anything that moves on the field except the football. He seems to be trying to cultivate some sort of hard man image, but how hard is it to go and kick people during a football match? Anyone can do it in a situation where their victims have to abide by rules, even though Rae doesn't seem to believe that he is subject to them. If he tried to be a proper hardman and squared up to someone like Boumsong or Bobo Balde in a confrontation (which he wouldn't dare do unless he was opposite them on a football field), they'd destroy him.

 

I know there are other hardly blameless players in football. Look at Neil Lennon. He commits a lot of fouls and mouths off quite a bit. Fernando Ricksen does those things as well. Scott Brown at Hibs is appalling in that regard. With that in mind, you might think, what's so different about Alex Rae?

 

The answer came yesterday. During a halt in the play brought about by a foul committed by him, he kicked a player (Dadu I think it was) who was on the ground in the head at full force. It was sickening. He didn't even get booked for it. He has said of it that the CSKA player 'put his head down' when he went to kick the ball. F*** off did he. Rae fouled him, the referee blew for the foul, play stopped, meaning that everyone including Alex Rae stopped playing, then in a separate motion after having stopped he ran forward and aimed a hard kick at the player's head, which connected. The CSKA manager said that Dadu suffered concussion from it.

 

That's not any foul. That's a guy's head. Not that it's condonable, but if a challenge breaks a player's leg, they can make a recovery in time from that injury, but if you kick someone in the head and they suffer brain damage, they can't recover from that. You could kill someone if you gave them a hard enough kick to the head. If you're in a fight for some unfortunate reason or a heat of the moment confrontation in which you don't want to be, resulting in you delivering a blow like that out of instinct or self-defence, it's still awful but you could at least defend your actions to some extent, even though you can't condone it happening. However, Alex Rae waited, considered and calculated what he was going to do, then kicked the CSKA player in the head. Not only that, he's trying to make out that he was trying to continue play by kicking the ball and that he wasn't trying to kick the player.

 

UEFA are apparently investigating it even though the referee didn't appear to see it. They say they are waiting for the referee's report, but that they will probably take action anyway. Good for them. Duncan Ferguson was prosecuted for a headbutt years ago, rightly so as well, but this was far, far worse than that shot was.

 

I hate what Alex Rae did. He is everything that is wrong about football for doing that. I'm as bad as him though, having said that. Why? There aren't many, or really any other players in football who wouldn't receive my sympathy were they to receive an injury from which they would take a long time to make a full recovery. However, were I to see Alex Rae getting a broken leg in a challenge, I don't think I would feel sorry for him in the slightest. In fact, I'd probably record any replay of it, then watch it again, then point and laugh. That's also wrong, but for some reason, if it happened it would seem like justice being done in some ways. Maybe I'm being harsh there. It was a dreadful challenge, well not even a challenge in fact because it didn't concern the actual game and the ball was long since out of play for the preceding foul, but anyway, I hope UEFA throw the book at him for what he did.

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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Right now, Rae is reminding me of Bobo Balde when he first arrived in Scotland. He goes straight for the ball without making any attempt to avoid hurting the opponent, and more often than not he's giving away needless fouls. We all know that Bobo's calmed down a wee bit since then, and isn't quite as reckless when going for the ball. Perhaps Rae will get that way too after settling into his new role at his new club.

 

Last night, Rangers looked rotten for the majority of the match. They were beaten by a better side, and Rae was frustrated. I don't think that he was aiming for the guy's head, though. What Dadu was doing is called "caging" by young Scottish kids who play with jumpers for goalposts. In other words, he was on top of the ball preventing anyone from getting it. The usual reaction to this by kids is to aim as many kicks as you can in the general area of the ball until it comes out from under his body and you can carry on. That's what Rae seemed to be doing, in my opinion.

 

Yes, he swung a wild kick which might well have seen Rae pick up a red card if the ref had been in the right position. But I think the intent was to kick the ball hard into Dadu's body, either releasing the ball from his grip or knocking the player back so he could get access to the ball. It didn't look to me like he was aiming for the head, he started swinging his foot while Dadu's head was up. As his foot got closer, Dadu lowered his head, the two connected and it looked a lot worse than it was meant to be. If he hadn't have lowered his head, it would still be an offensive, and there was still intent to hurt, so Rae certainly isn't innocent.

 

I have a feeling that with Rae's reputation, it'll eventually boil down to him getting a suspension of some sort. I do feel that what he was doing was wrong in the rules of the game, but it certainly looked to me an accident that it was Dadu's head that got the kicking.

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I hope it was an accident Russ, but I certainly don't think it was. The player's body was between Rae and the ball, but not his head, besides which play had stopped and been stopped for some time. I agree Balde was reckless when he first came to Scotland and sometimes he still is, plus Ricksen, Brown, Lennon and many others can be, but there's a line between having a temper and commitiing some bad fouls and taking a deliberate kick at a professional's head (I was going to say a fellow professional, but Alex Rae isn't a professional footballer).

 

No doubt Alex Rae will score or provide some part in creating decisive goals against Celtic now that I've said that, but I stand by what I've said even if he does. Oh and Russ, I also agree about Rangers looking rotten and being beaten by the better saide, but they weren't that much better were they? CSKA still looked poor themselves and while Rangers should do better in the return leg at home in front of their own fans, I don't know whether CSKA are that much better than they showed in the first game. I just think that Rangers should be the better team.

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I'm sure Rae will get done by the trial by tv thing, which I don't have a problem with as it did look a bit off. Having said that, it'd be nice to hear about other teams getting done with this trial by tv. Always seems to be Rangers. You also have to question how the referee missed it.

 

I don't think Rangers were that bad in the first half. I thought we played ok, you must remember CSKA are well into their season and Rangers are not.

 

There's a whole bunch of idiots at the minute wanting McLeish sacked, of course they were the same people who were saying Rangers were going to romp it this season after the preseason results. They are also the same idiots who if Rangers win the next two home league games, the second leg and beat Celtic at Celtic Park, will be calling for McLeish to be a given a lifetime contract with the club. Such is the hysteria around the Old Firm.

 

I think you went a bit over the top there Steve in your appraisal of Rae, admittedly it wasn't a nice thing to see but at the same time there wouldn't have been the uproar had it been someone from Aberdeen or Hearts. You certainly wouldn't have started a thread about it.

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but there's a line between having a temper and commitiing some bad fouls and taking a deliberate kick at a professional's head

 

Yup, agreed. I was referring more to Rae's general play than that single solitary incident. In the Aberdeen game, which I saw on the RIDICULOUSLY over priced Setanta channel, he was throwing his full force behind every tackle, and never ducking out of a challenge. That's the complete opposite of what Rangers had last year with Emerson, Arteta and Capucho. It might not be what makes a good pro, but that's Rae's game, and Rangers needed some more steel to add to their midfield, which he's bringing them in barrell loads.

 

As for CSKA, I was fairly impressed. Olic looks a very tidy player, and I can see why he's so good in Championship Manager. He never stood out in Euro 2004, but he was my man of the match last night. Vagner Love looked a real danger at times with his pace, and set up the commentators for some delicious "From Russia with Love" puns, Semek had a good game and the young keeper, which not having loads to do, didn't look out of place for a teenager.

 

I think that Rangers need to hope that Ibrox is bouncing with an atmousphere similar to the one we saw against Man Utd last year. If the fans get behind the team, their keeper doesn't play to his full ability and maybe if they sneak a goal early on, Rangers will be favourites to go through. If CSKA can keep things tight at the back in the first half, they could turn the crowd on Rangers, the home side could push up looking for the all important goal and end up getting hit on the counter attack via the quality of Love and Olic. It happened to them in the UEFA cup in 2002, it can happen in 2004.

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True enough. I actually thought the CSKA keeper looked really dodgy though, especially on crosses, if Burke is fit and hits a few decent crosses or they get some crosses from elsewhere (for their sake they'll be hoping Prso isn't having to play left wing again and can provide more of a goal threat) then I think they could get a goal or two certainly and win the tie reasonably comfortably. I thought the CSKA defence was dodgy as well. Novo actually duffed his chance to score for the goal, just that rather than clear it the CSKA defence passed the ball straight back to Prso with them still being completely exposed, so Novo was left with little excuse but to score second time around really. Rangers just need some trickery. If Burke is fit, they should certainly have that in the second leg and therefore shouldn't have a good chance of progressing to the group stages. If they play like they did in the first game against CSKA against Celtic and Celtic show any decent form, then Celtic should beat them later this month, but I just think this is Rangers' year this year and that they will find decent enough form to get them through and win the league.
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I think you went a bit over the top there Steve in your appraisal of Rae' date=' admittedly it wasn't a nice thing to see but at the same time there wouldn't have been the uproar had it been someone from Aberdeen or Hearts. You certainly wouldn't have started a thread about it.[/quote']

 

Just spotted this. I agree pretty much with everything else you've said, but it was a dreadful challenge and his attitude I don't think warrants a better appraisal of him. I'm sure there wouldn't have been the same uproar had it been Aberdeen or Hearts, maybe I wouldn't have started a thread about it. However, this is a high profile game supposedly at Champions League level. This sort of thing shouldn't happen. Had a Celtic player done it, and I'd seen it (which I might not have had it been Hibs against Falkirk in the CIS Cup just as a for instance), I would have started a thread about it. It was appalling and made me turn away from the TV, wince and shiver when I saw it. I think the last things in football I saw that made me do that were Henrik's leg break against Lyon and David Busst's leg break for Coventry against Manchester United, neither unfortunate incident being caused by a bad challenge but simply bad contact with the ground. The fact is that if you did what Alex Rae did in almost any other circumstances, you'd be going to jail.

 

You have to get used to dirty players in the game. Lennon, Ricksen, Scott Brown at Hibs and Alan Maybury at Hearts have shown themselves to be examples of that, but there was always a line that they didn't cross. John Hartson crossed that line when he kicked Eyal Berkovic in training. He's been a great player for us in some games (although it seems like he can't be bothered anymore, have to wait and see if he redeems himself in the near future), he shouldn't have been playing after that, he should have been in prison. That's a virtually identical example. However, other than that despite the fact that on occasion arms are raised on the field, it's very rare that you see a full force shot deliberately aimed at an opposing player. Alan Shearer on Neil Lennon was another one, I might not remember this right but I think that he got let off altogether, probably because it was almost Euro 96. It's the sort of thing that should see players receiving at least very lengthy bans. We'll see what happens to Alex Rae. I hope it's a harsh ban.

 

To answer your accusation though, perhaps I wouldn't have started a thread about it had it not been high profile or an Old Firm player doing it, but it wasn't an anti-Rangers thing.

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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While I don't in any way condone what Rae did yesterday I think that you've perhaps gone overboard with your condemnation of "dirty" players in general.

 

While Rae obviously doesn't have the class that some of the players I will mention have/had every team, certainly every great team has had one man, one guy in the engine room that could be considered "dirty"

 

Would Liverpool ever have been as good in the early 80's without Souness' drive? Would Manchester Utd ever have won the Champions League without Roy Keane? Take Robbie Savage out of the Birmingham or Wales sides and they look completely different. Look at Real Madrid's poor season last year when they had no such player despite all the talent they had in their midfield and front line. Brian Clough said you need 9 workhorses and 2 match winners to be successful. Similarly I believe you need one nasty little player in the side to truly be a top team.

 

Now, Alex Rae doesn't make Rangers a great side and he is way off being Premiership class anymore but I do think Rangers are a better side with him in it than without him and it's that willingness to get stuck in, that willingness to rile the opposition that makes him effective.

 

Of course those atributes don't make it acceptable to go and kick someone in the head, which was a disgusting thing to do, but if you took all the "dirty" players out of the game the teams they play for, the game as a whole would be less entertaining, less effective and much less interesting.

Edited by Jayden
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yes, last season he did, for a side that went down. If he had anything to give the Premiership anymore he'd have stayed there.

 

I just think one year on he'd struggle to handle the pace of the Premiership. Sure he has one hell of a strike on him, as he proved with those goals last season, but despite the goals I saw nothing last year that made me think he's Premiership class and I certainly don't expect to see anything when he has one year's less energy, pace and stamina.

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I don't agree that if he had anything to offer the Premiership that he'd have stayed there. I could pretty much guarantee you that if Rangers had came in for him at any stage of his career he'd have walked to Scotland in his bare feet to play for them.

 

He went to as many Rangers games as possible last season. Was in the away end at Old Trafford when we played United etc.

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That is maybe true but the point I was making was he would have left the Premiership at any stage in his career (even when Sunderland were a consistant top 8 team) if Rangers had come in for him as he is a Bluenose.

 

I don't really want to get into another debate about how the Old Firm would do in the Premiership which is how I feel this thread is going so I'll leave it at that. :)

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Not sure that's how it was going to be honest. There's no debate to be had really though. Neither would challenge for the title. Celtic would challenge for the top half and Rangers would be in a relegation battle.

 

However what would happen is that the increased revenue those two clubs gained, and the huge support that both receive would mean that they could build some seriously impressive squads and eventually challenge for Champions League and Premiership titles if they were managed properly.

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I did say that you have to get used to dirty players in the game, to an extent, plus they do play an important role in winning the ball in many cases. You reminded me of another example though - when Roy Keane said in his book that he delibrately went out to injure Alf Inge Haaland in a game. People were calling on him to be banned from football for that. He wasn't, in fact I forget what happened now, but that shows you the level of disgust rightly evoked by deliberate malicious conduct of that kind.

 

With Alex Rae being such a fan of Rangers I'm sure he would have picked them over any Premiership team in England. I must admit though I kind of was and wasn't surprised that they went for him. He is sort of the type of player they want in their midfield (in the centre alongside someone more creative), but I didn't think he was good enough for what Rangers were hoping to achieve this season. Like I say though, now that I've said something against him I'm sure he'll be the source of loads of goals against Celtic now, but it was still a signing that I considered to be a bit of an odd one at the time in spite of his attachment to them.

 

EDIT: I think that Celtic in recent seasons would have been good enough to challenge for Champions League spots in England had they played there. It's hard to say at this early stage how they could do without Henrik or how Rangers would do with their new players, but in the past I certainly think that both teams would have been able to hold their own, Celtic beat Liverpool and Blackburn in competitive matches. Rangers didn't do too well against Manchester United last season but they hardly disgraced themselves at Ibrox and even though Manchester United didn't win the Premiership in England, not that many teams did do well against them last season. They narrowly lost in the last minute in the Champions League against the team that went on to win it, so I don't think Rangers can be too disappointed about not beating them in the same competition.

 

I think Celtic could have gained a Champions League place from the Premiership in recent seasons, perhaps they might not have challenged every time for the title but with increased revenue I don't think it would take them very long to do that. Newcastle apparently get twlve million pounds this season from television rights and they didn't make the Champions League. Celtic get 1.2 million pounds in installments from Setanta, who haven't hit their sales targets and so might not even pay unless they get that money from somewhere. Rangers won't be getting more than that from TV rights. That's a huge difference in terms of what a team can do in the transfer market during the close season. They might not have done as well as Celtic last season for instance, but the season before that they could have done well and I couldn't ever imagine them getting relegated over and above the Premiership teams that have been relegated in recent seasons. They'd be top half of the table I think, certainly, maybe going for a European spot. It's hard to say what they'll be like this season but I think Rangers will be better than us in the SPL anyway.

 

Anyway, like Will said, this thread is turning into a thread about what Rangers and Celtic would be like in the Premiership thread, we've discussed this umpteen times already and no-one's opinions on the subject seem to be changeable from what they thought in the first place, so let's just leave that argument alone.

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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From BBC Sport:

 

Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has been charged with gross unsporting conduct by Uefa after officials viewed a tape of his challenge on Serghei Dadu.

Rae's case will be heard on Monday 16 August and he could miss the return leg of the Champions League qualifier with CSKA Moscow.

 

Rangers manager Alex McLeish, though, said on Thursday he saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

 

"It happened in a split second," McLeish told BBC Scotland.

 

Rae was accused by the Russian club of deliberately kicking Dadu on the head.

 

CSKA Moscow coach Valeriy Gazzaev claimed that Dadu suffered concussion.

 

Dutch referee Jan Wegereef took no action and there is no mention of the incident in his report.

 

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Rae said after his Champions League debut: "The ball was actually there and he put his head down between my foot and the ball.

 

"It looked worse than it was, without a doubt. No action was taken by the referee."

 

McLeish insisted at the time: "The ball was on the ground when Alex Rae attempted to kick it and it just so happened there was a Moscow player lying on the ground beside the ball.

 

"I think that was why the Russians were so upset. The ball was there and I think he made contact with it."

 

We'd better hope Mladenovic is back or we are out of the Champions League already. It's not that Rae is hugely influential, it's just we don't have very many midfielders.

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I know the Rangers' midfield is stretched, but I think they'd do better without him. If they keep Ricksen in midfield he can win the ball as well as Rae and while Ricksen isn't the calmest, most saintly player they have, he's better than Alex Rae. I still think Rangers will be OK. After all, they only need to win 1-0 to progress.

 

I just can't believe that McLeish is defending him. The fact that it happened in an instant is no excuse. Hartson's kick on Berkovic wasn't drawn out to last for minutes on end, but that was dreadful. This is no different. The CSKA player didn't move that much either, he lowered his head very, very slightly but if he hadn't, Rae would still have connected with him in the head. If I'd been playing with some kids when I was young and did that in front of my parents, then offered then Rae's excuse, quite rightly I'd get battered for telling such a blatant lie, besides being punished even more severely for doing it. Hopefully UEFA will take a similar stance over this incident. I don't know that the player could have been that concussed - didn't Dadu keep playing? I could be wrong but I don't remember a CSKA substitution immediately following what happened. That's still no excuse though, Alex Rae should at least have admitted what looks pretty obvious anyway. What the Hell was he thinking?

 

Anyway, I hope he gets a lengthy ban for it. By the way Will, I've just typed this as I've thought it so if it sounds over the top, those were just my thoughts.

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That didn't sound over the top at all. Only thing I thought was over the top from the first post was calling him a beast and saying you'd laugh if he broke his leg.

 

I totally agree that he should get done as like I said it was a bit off. There isn't much room for excuses for what he did. I'm not surprised McLeish defended him though as he worked under the manager who is known for defending his players to the hilt - Alex Ferguson.

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One thing about the incident, maybe I missed something, but from what i remember seeing it the challenge was made while the ball was still in play, and the free kick went to Rangers for dangerous play(havign head that low, still remember the playground arguments when people would be through on goal and get on there knees to knock the ball in with their heads :P).

 

And at the same time, I think there has been a huge over reaction to it. I dont believe he really tried to hurt him that much, and lets remember, the player got back up quite quickly and was able to continue. Plus his head shouldnt have been over the ball while it was still in play. To be totally honest, I have seen much much worse tackles and challenges made than that, some of which are forgotten about soon after.

 

I'm not trying to say kicking people in the head is right, I just believe that it's down to a lot of unfortunate circumstances, and partly Alex Rae's reputation as someone who doesnt hold back, that has brought on such hysteria over the event.

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This should cheer Steve up a bit. :)

 

From BBC Sport

 

Rangers' Alex Rae has been banned for five European matches by Uefa.

The midfielder was charged with gross unsporting conduct after officials viewed a tape of his challenge on CSKA Moscow's Serghei Dadu.

 

A statement from Uefa read: "...video evidence clearly showed that the Scottish player had kicked the head of an opponent while the player of the Russian team was lying on the ground."

 

The Ibrox club have until midnight on Thursday to appeal the decision.

 

That's pretty much us screwed for the CSKA game if Dragan Mladenovic isn't back. Our midfield looks thin as it is even with Rae and Mladenovic available for selection but now it is pretty much non-existant. We'll probably have to resort to Bob frigging Malcolm now.

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That was actually a good point Will made about McLeish defending his players like Ferguson does, which, Inno, could explain their defence. However, you can tell that McLeish is not at the level of Ferguson. He merely went with Rae's defence of Dadu putting his head in the way, whereas maybe Ferguson might have gone that extra level and accused Dadu of viciously attacking Alex Rae's boot with his head.

 

Ah well, I suppose we'll never know.

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I don't really want to get into another debate about how the Old Firm would do in the Premiership which is how I feel this thread is going so I'll leave it at that. :)

 

 

Shame that really as i had a thread planned. I guess i'll leave it till the old firm game in 2 weeks.

 

As for Rae i can't really comment on the said incident, but i was at Ibrox on Saturday for the Livingstone game and he made rangers tick in the first half, kinnda got lost in the 2nd.

Edited by BRM
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