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Can Ranger be the game changer?

Posted on December 15th, 2010 | 111 Comments |

Time for Ranger to start?
Time for Ranger to start?
I thought I’d use this brief break between working shifts to pen my thoughts on Nile Ranger.

Ranger impressed at the weekend, and there is a suggestion that perhaps it was his introduction that tipped balance of power in our favour and allowed us to go on and get the win against Liverpool.

The performance that Ranger put in during his 30 minute cameo appearance has led to calls for him to start the game this weekend when we head to Birmingham City. What I want to know is whether or not you guys think he should get the nod to start? Or whether he should be kept as a secret weapon to be used in the later stages of the game to expose some tired legs?

Personally, I think his time has come. His performance and effort against Liverpool certainly warrants it, and I fell that the time, and opposition, is right to enable Ranger to get the go ahead and start up front with Andy Carroll.

It’s likely to be Roger Johnson and Scott Dann who will line up in the centre of defence for Birmingham on Saturday. Both of them are strong defenders who are good in the air, but there are question marks over their pace. This is where Nile Ranger could be the game changer!

Andy Carroll will come up against a tough test when facing these two. He won’t get everything his own way, which is why it could be important for us to have an extra dimesnsion to our attack on Saturday.

Ranger will give us that option. His pace and work rate will, in my opinion, give the Birmingham defence something else to worry about, although I understand that keeping him on the bench and bringing him on around the hour mark could also have it’s benefits.

If Ranger is to start then people will need to realise that his affect won’t be as dramatic as it was against Liverpool. It isn’t physically possible for someone to run that fast for that long and he will more than likely burn out during the game if he runs about all guns blazing. Knowing when and where to run will come with experience and coaching, but if used properly his pace can be a huge asset for us.

As I said before, I’d tip Ranger to start, but what would you do? Would you keep him as an impact sub? Or would you play him from the off?

Your thoughts please….

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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111 Responses

  1. I was thinking before that Routledge should come in so that Barton could partner Tiote (which would be massive) and Nolan could be pushed up front next to AC.

    However, I’d like to see what happens when Ranger has a chance to pick up the pieces from Carroll’s flick ons. Could that be playing into Birmingham’s hands because they’re well equipped to cope with an aerial threat?

    I can’t decide. Maybe I’m not cut out to be a manager of a prem club after all.

  2. Aye,
    WHEN you NEED to CHANGE a game, is when he should be utilized for now, unknown quantity.
    It’ll be a tight game, brum are tough at hyem.

  3. ranger deserves a start now yes a bit snappy in front of goal but once that first goal comes i think he will b away, plus him n carroll played in reserves together lots

  4. At least theres options now and a bench of senior players.

    ————–Krul————
    Simpson–Willo–Collo–Enrique
    Barton–Nolan—Tiote—-Jonas
    ———Ranger-Carroll——-

    Ranger deserves his chance he will tire then bring on Routledge second half. Swop Nolan upfront Barton inside. Campbell, nice for him to get 500 games but finished unfortunately. Taylor will be away in Jan no point playing him plus always deflects the ball into the net. Need another good performance from Joey and Nolan. Jonas needs to start playing better otherwise Lovenkrands or Ferguson. Close them down work hard they will be up for it. Big Mike to sort out Zigic no more letting ball bounce or half hearted challenges plz.

  5. “Personally, I think his time has come. His performance and effort against Liverpool certainly warrants it”

    For me, a decent half hour warrents nothing but more but more half hours on the pitch. He actually hasn’t done anything yet to say, here play me from the start as I can give you X, Y and Z.

    Promising, yes, Liverpool performance warrent a start? No.

    The coaching team see him all the time so they’ll know when he is ready. I think he’ll start on the bench, but I think he has catapulted himself into the fringes of the first team, he certainly changed things against Liverpool, why can’t he do it on Saturday?

    He’ll be a starter soon though.

  6. Keep the lad hungry, he’s nearly there.
    Still got points to prove.
    Needs to take his chance when he gets it, especially in front of goal.

  7. ILM

    It was from his persistance and flick-on that Joey scored to win us the game and his attempt after 1 min but Liverpools defenders and denfensive mid back and two strikers to worry about whereas before the only threat was Carroll. I would start him, he won’t score until he starts getting games, if he plays like that the goals will come he was just unlucky really. We are so slow and one dimentional without him and Lovenkrands just isn’t up to it. I recon Ranger would cause Birminghams defense problems like and stop the team from pushing forward and pinning us in our half. We maybe could have used him in the Baggies game tbh just to pin them back a bit.

  8. WHATS WRONG WITH MY E_MAIL ADDRESS>>>? YOUR BLOCKING ME OUT JUST BECAUSE I,M FROM CYPRUS>>> GET A GRIP>

  9. I actually agree with the logic of starting him from the begining, but there’s also logic in doing what we did againt Liverpool and in football, managers usually go for experience over promise.

    I would like him to start, just can’t see it.

  10. It will be a tight game at Birmingham.

    I think that Ranger is prone to making silly mistakes that will put as under pressure. Ameobi is reliable in our half of the pitch. He tucks back to defend, and is strong in the air.

    Ranger has a tendency to dwell on the ball. He’s still just a young kid. From his comments, you can see he feels the pressure, but is just loving playing.

    He gave away a goal against Chelsea in the cup, and his shoulders dropped for a bit.

    We can’t afford those type of mistakes in the League. Especially at a game like Birmingham away, these are one of the 3 teams we want to finish above if worst come to worst.

    I think we should start with either Ameobi or Lovenkrands. Experience will be essential in a fixture like this.

    We should be relying on players like Lovenkrands and Ameobi. They can take the pressure.

  11. No, I wouldn’t give him the start just yet, but deffo keep bringing him on for 30+ mins.
    Once he scores he will probably keep on scoring.
    FSS glad I’m no manager either. Alot of frikin tough calls to be made !!!

  12. I just think, what does it say if Ranger comes on an gives 100% and is effective and his reward is to drop back to the bench. Jonas had a poor game and did nothing really yet is pretty much nailed on to start the next game. It just doesn’t really give any incentive to do well. There should be reward for effort. When benny came Jonas had such a shock by it and kick up the backside, he was twice the player because if it.

  13. porciestreet says:
    December 15, 2010 at 8:24 pm
    WHATS WRONG WITH MY E_MAIL ADDRESS>>>? YOUR BLOCKING ME OUT JUST BECAUSE I,M FROM CYPRUS>>> GET A GRIP><<<<<< EVERY 1 IS HAVING PROBLEMS GETTING ON SO YOU GET A GRIP

  14. I say give him a try. If we can score early against them, all the better. His pace early on could make the difference and besides it’s not like our other options are killing it out there.

  15. ohh speaking of Jonas, was having lunch with my lass on Sunday and Jonas and his family came in and sat next to us, tell you what, his bird is unreal like.

  16. ILM,
    aye,
    it’ll be interesting to see what team AP puts out, with 2 CB’s back & decisions to make up top.

  17. Games are won in the second half, not the first 5 minutes. Definitely more important to keeps things tight at the start.

  18. ‘We should be relying on players like Lovenkrands and Ameobi. They can take the pressure.’

    Aye we should be relying on players like Lovenkrands and Ameobi, but can we? I would suggest from what I have seen this season im not sure. Ameobi just looks injured or unfit or something seriously wrong with him at the min and Lovenkrands just doesn’t convince me at this level, or will be at this club much longer.

    Ranger needs games it was the same with Carroll, it was injuries to Shola and lack of options that gave Carroll regular starts and look at him now. I would play Ranger and Krul to Lovenkrands and Harper simply because they are as good now and will be much better in the future.

  19. There’s nothing more I would love to see than one of our youngsters make a name for himself.

    I just think it’s too much pressure to be away from home and start a match for Ranger. I have nightmares thinking about Guthrie’s performance the other night at West Brom. I don’t want to see the same happen to Ranger.

    I think the fans would crucify him.

  20. The Mighty Nile is only 19 years old, so I would keep using him as the “super sub” He should get more time as Dec comes to an end.

    If Best is fit, I’d put him out there on the hot seat next to Carroll. It’s time for him to show us if he is PL material. I’m sure he can do his defensive woirk, it is the offense that needs to come forth. If he is not up to it, bring on Ranger.

    I can see why AP would consider bringing back Marlon H. NUFC seems to like having a pair of Tarzans up front to batter at the goal. The little scrappy guys who want to play need to cover the wings and deliver the crosses.

  21. DJG says:
    December 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    “it was injuries to Shola and lack of options that gave Carroll regular starts and look at him now. ”

    It was because he listened, worked on his technique to add some precision to his “bull in a china shop” style DJG.

    Ranger umdoubtedly has potential too, however he still needs a little practice with a banjo and a cow’s arse at the highest level.

  22. I would like to see NR score as a sub first as there are questions about his finishing. We should always have the two best finishers on the park.

  23. @minda Ameobi might be able to keep the ball well in our half but he always loses it with his bad touch from carrolls flick on that why i think that ranger should be given a try from the start

  24. i woud rather have Ranger or Lovenkrands than Ameobi playing at the moment in last two games hes being poor and Ranger changed the game on Saturday when he came on rushd abit when he had his chances but that will come with experence it will be good to have a st with pace up top with Carroll.

  25. On a more general note, I do hope that Pardew manages to keep player discipline in the future with players such as Barton and Carroll. It hasn’t been one of Pardew’s strong points in the past where his dressing room style has been described as “yob culture”.

  26. I think if Ameobi is injured Ranger should get the nod, and even if he isn’t he looks like he needs a rest to get 100% so I’d give Ranger the start regardless. Birmingham have a decent midfield though so if we aren’t getting anywhere we might have to sub him off later for routledge, which makes me think maybe we should actually start 4-5-1 and then bring on Ranger for the impact? He has been frustrating in almost every match I’ve seen him in, but I do think he deserves the nod. Besides if he gets tired we can sub him off for Xisco in the last 20min :P

    Hope to see the familiar Colo/Willo partnership back…and Krul to remain, although I do really like and rate Harper.

  27. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    “worky,
    tbh, this game has made time stand still, so i’m not sure what day it is anymore.”

    I’ve worked out what it was, Clint. I have a deadline for something on Friday, and I’ve been thinking about it so much in the last few hours that I strted to think that it WAS Friday. I’m gannin’ to the dogs ATM like.

    I’ve made some headway though and I should be able to stop all this funny business with the site gannin’ tits up once all the Christmas and New Year bollocks is over with.

  28. Is he? Through and through? You don’t think he’d compromise his “creative and attacking football” just to play it safe and get us an acceptable point or something? I don’t really know the bloke, do his teams never play 4-5-1 then? If thats the case and we have to play 4-4-2 then I don’t see anyone challenging Ranger for the start…maybe loven if he wants to prove himself or if we want to advertise him out?

  29. Toonsy nice to see you back fro, your hols you lazy dog, speaking of Dogs I havn’t noticed Ice back yet but maybe lying up for a bit and cant get the leg over the computer chair :)
    Toonsy I agree with you mate I think his time has come to give him a run out, lets face it imo he couldn’t do any worse than what Strolla has been doing lately.

  30. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    “worky,
    d’y’gan hyem or stay doon here for the xmas period mate.”

    Most times I gan’n see my brother out in the middle of nowhere, Clint. It’s very isolated but somewhere between Whitby and Scarborough. To answer the other question, my proper work has gone tits up for a while because of my health and other things though so things are very, very frugal until I sell my place in Whitby, so I’ll probably be deein’ buggerall this year. I’m saving my money to get my workstation fixed and holding on to all the donations that haven’t been used on the site already to improve it. I just can’t get the time to get all the stuff that needs to be done right now though as I’m working my tits off keeping afloat in London.

  31. NewkieBrown says:
    December 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    “Is he? Through and through?”

    I’ve always seen his teams play 4-4-2 Newkie, and I did some research on Pardew and his tactics when he took over and that seemed to confirm it. Nothing is impossible but I’d put my money on 4-4-2.

  32. I would play Ranger from the start against brum , his pace and strength allied with Carroll would have the brummie defence chasing shadows ,when he tires which he will ,thenbring on lovenkrands his pace in the last half hour would then be to muchfor a defence that has be physically battered and had it’s legs run off

  33. worky,
    sorry to hear that man.
    Sounds like you’ve had a tough year mate.
    I knaa what y’mean on the health front like, ain’t been too hot for me sweet self either this year.
    & it doesn’t get any cheaper living in the big bad, does it?
    Here’s wishing y’a better time of it work/health & otherwise for 2011 mate.
    Maybe you could offload the Whitby place to a gothic vamp?
    Look forward to the ‘new’ site when it’s done & just keep on, keepin’ on brother.
    You do a great service for all the bloggers that come on here, i’m sure it’s appreciated.
    Just hang in there & push on through mate.
    ;)

  34. I don’t mind 4-4-2 aslong as we press and get good balls in from out wide to the frontmen. Thats was where Birmingham have looked a bit shakey mind, the ball coming in and close ranger header to beat Forster who has been on decent form and will save long shots. People think 4-4-2 will mean we are short in midfield and outnumbered. It doesn’t honestly! When there is one target man upfront and a packed midfield it allows the other team to push up almost their entire team. Two upfront with a target and a pacy forward and the other team is more cautious about throwing people forward because they knew with one good ball flicked on you can be away. Sometimes it pays to have a go at teams and unsettle their defense rather than get 10 behind the ball and invite wave after wave of pressure.

  35. No doubt Ranger can’t run like that for the full 90, but he’ll bloody well try, which is more than can be said for the loping and lazy Ameobi. Was happy as hell when he was about to leave for Ipswich, then we got stuck with him.
    Here’s the order for strikers:
    Carroll
    Ranger
    Lovenk…
    Xisco
    Best (why did we buy him exactly???)

    So if we’re gonna go with 2 up front, it’s gotta be Carroll and Ranger.

  36. I agree with others that Ranger is perhaps best used as a super-sub. I think that speed fresh will work best against the tired legs of a defence. He’ll get his starts in due time, right now I’d just like to see him come in as a sub more frequently.
    I don’t think he’s a “secret weapn.” Perhaps at best, not one people are familiar with. I’d rather not see him have to come on as a game changer, but more in the role of a win solidifier. When we’re up in the 2nd half, bring him on and let him run at defences to keep them too busy to string together attacks. In that role, I think he would be a huge benefit to the team.

  37. workyticket workyticket says:
    December 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Nothing is impossible but I’d put my money on 4-4-2.

    Fair enough then worky, I still know next to nothing about his management style, just the usual stats that were thrown out when he was announced as manager. Suppose its a good thing, think we can play equally well in either 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, but I suppose 4-4-2 can be more “exciting.”

    Think we might actually have to start using bambi as an impact sub from now on, he looks way more up for it when he’s trying to prove himself. I understand why people thought he was poor v liverpool, but lets face it Carroll also fluffed some of his own chances. I don’t think Shola has the stamina to be a starting regular, I realise people think he’s lazy because of that and will slag him off claiming he’s not prem quality and all, but I still think he can do a job for us, for this year and maybe the next at least. Didn’t see people complaining in the Chelsea cup match/Mackem matches after all. Maybe Ranger should be our start and Shola our super sub :P?

  38. What makes you say that, El Toro? I see no credible evidence in that article to suggest anything. All I see is a newspaper reporter of a publication that is banned from SJP “understanding” something….

  39. It wont happen, we’re not that lucky lol
    I am quite sure that if the offer was right cashley would be gone in a shot. So maybe a bit of wishful thinking going on here.
    I’m not sure if this would be good for NUFC or not. I’d like to think so tho.

  40. Toonsy

    I agree, mate. However, last time I read about it from Goal.com, which made it a mere 0.01% credible. However, It is now in the Daily Mail, which surely makes it at least 0.02% credible, eh?

    :lol:

  41. If judging what the possible rumors is true.

    Tottenham, Everton & Newcastle United Head Shortlist As Mega-Rich Qatar Royal Family Seek To Buy Premier League Club

    Firstly,spurs owner doesn’t seems to willing to sell off,and is doing well in UCL. which gives more revenues to current owner.

    Secondly,Everton pontential is slighly smaller than Newcastle.

    SO Newcastle has the highest possible chance of getting new ownership. :lol:

  42. Is a sooner or later situation for ranger.

    If Shola is injured,i am sure ranger will be starting.

    Cause i can’t see the likes of Lovekrand starting yet,though he did finally score.

    Xisco and best,well.i am interested to see how Pardew deal with this two strikers.

  43. Its probably true that someone from Quatar will buy a PL club, but its unlikely they’ll pay fatty’s price. So rule us out!

  44. Exactly stu. More likely Everton than NUFC imo
    I mean who would have thought Blackburn of all clubs would be bought by Indians??
    WTF. makes no sense to me. Apparently they are big club in India. Eh???

  45. Even if fatty has a high asking price and needs his debt paying back immediately we’d probably still be the cheapest option in the long run:
    Spurs will cost more,owners probably won’t want to sell and need a new stadium.
    Everton probably a low asking price but need a new stadium.
    Toon, probably high asking price but stadium in place.

  46. Trouble is Richie, money is no object. Its all about image.
    London is the big draw, a new stadium is no problem to these people.
    Anyway dont sow these seeds, people will build their hopes up, which always ends in tears.
    people being me n all.

  47. BB…. I didnt start it ;-)
    I agree mate, people think the world starts and ends with London and I think it’ll prob be a few years before Ashley finds a buyer if ever.There ya go I’ve ripped up everybodies hopes,chewed them and spat them out. :lol:

  48. Why would we want new owners anyway guys? Ashley is a Saint, never put a foot wrong imo.

    In all seriousness though-would you lot be happy with Blackburn’s current predicament? Months if not a whole season without a perm manager? Asking for trouble really. Hope they go down because of it, we’ll see how many decent transfers they can get with their 100mil whilst in the championship. Maybe we can sell them Perch, Best and Sol? :)

  49. i dont like ashlys managerial decisions but were gonna b debt free soon, am wary of a pompey sitition what if they get bored n leaves us with players on massive wages n lots of debt, better the devil u know for me like i dont wanna end up like pompey 200/300 mill i think u can add a couple of hundreds on to that n what if that gets put on the club like man u

  50. Newkie….much as I don’t like FSA if they take months to replace him then it was an idiotic decision which will benefit us and the other teams trying to stay up hopefully.Personally I think they’ll have a new man in place by next week…I’m often wrong tho ;-)

  51. If the Qataris are in for us, lets hope Ashley doesnt try it on again like he did with the Abu Dubai royal family who walked away and ended up at Man City.

  52. I would start him over shola, after all if we didnt give andy a chance we wouldnt have the player we do now. Shola wont last much longer so Ranger needs a chance to eventually be a strike partner with Carroll, (who else do we have) Nothing ventured nothing gained. After all its Birmingham he would start against not MAN U where he could be out of his depth.

    As for being ‘green’ well whats the point of being on a team if he wont get played. Rooney was 16 playing for everton. Ranger has show he has skills already, not an unknown qauntity to chuck on the pitch.

  53. El Toro @ 66……. If the Qataris are genuinely interested, let’s hope that MA doesn’t decide to wait for them in a beer tent……. as he’s said to have done in Dubai!

  54. richie-Aye mate, I’m pretty sure they’ll have someone sorted sooner rather than later, and by claming they’re willing to wait a while then fans will be more easily appeased when a replacement is made quickly-albeit it might not be one they like. Our recent experiences has taught me that much at least. Still, here’s hoping they take as long about it as possible and get a series of crushing defeats to completely break them…we need someone to crash and burn after all…Was gutted they didn’t want Maradonna though, get him on as a player manager, he’s still got the skills the whole blackburn squad could only dream about :P

  55. AOD @70 ‘Tottenham, Everton & Newcastle United Head Shortlist As Mega-Rich Qatar Royal Family Seek To Buy Premier League Club’

    Hope its not us.

    One day these mega rich oil families are going to get tired of all the hastle of running a football club, and will disappear taking all their money with them, leaving the Club bankrupt.

    Knowing our luck … it will be us … :(

  56. Beardsleys Boots says:
    December 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    “Trouble is Richie, money is no object. Its all about image.”

    You don’ know how right you are, living in the Middle East, I always used to say, Arabs are the type of people who would drive a Hummer, but live in poverty.

    They’re new money.

    Take Man City, got rid of Hughes pure and simple because he didn’t have the global image of Mancini, nothing to do with how he did in the job. Hughes, with that squad, would probably be around the same possition in the league now, but he just didn’t have the right image or appeal.

    Sad really. Can see the same happening with Blackburn, though they’ve denied the Maradona rumours. For a team that has won the Premiership, if they went down this route, it would make them a laughing stock.

  57. And since it’s all been negative around here the last couple of weeks, how about some positive, from no other than Darren Bent:

    Darren Bent, who was made Charlton captain by Pardew, has welcomed his former boss’s move to the North East and said he will continue Hughton’s good work at St James’s Park.

    The pair were reunited at the North East football writers’ dinner on Sunday where Bent picked up his player of the year award and he says his old boss’s enthusiasm is still burning brightly.

    Bent said: ‘Charlton were struggling at the time – we’d won something like one game out of 10 in all competitions – but he came in and was absolutely brilliant. He settled all the players down and got us playing as a team again. Results picked up straight away.

    ‘His man-management was superb. He made me captain, so I’ve got a lot to be grateful to him for, but it’s not just that. He was top-drawer. He got us relaxed, got us playing football. He told us to try and forget what was going on around the club and just concentrate on what we did best. I’m sure he’ll be doing the same at Newcastle.

    ‘He’s a great fit for the Newcastle job. He won’t be scared of it – a lot of people would be – but he’s got the character and personality and to do really well in the North East.

    ‘He’s still full of the same passion and ideas. It says a lot about him that only a couple of days after taking the job, he was out and about in the region, mixing with fans and journalists, at an awards dinner. He’s not here for a holiday, he’s here to do a good job and make a difference.’

  58. Lee Ryder’s twitter
    “I understand there is no truth whatsoever in the talk of an NUFC takeover by Qatari investors despite reports this morning”

    Simply, how the f*ck would he know? Yeah maybe he has asked someone at the club, and they have told him that they have had no contact, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be thinking about it though.

    Though I think it’s a load of crap though :D

  59. think Blackburn need a more experienced manager personally, would be like Paul Ince all over again.

    Good luck to whoever takes the job though

  60. if this is true i would only hope that they bring in some 1 like keegan that knows the clubs a understands the fans and some 1 who we trust to spend good money on players and play the football we miss , and this would be good for the toon haway the lads, i think there may be something in this ashley not daft enough to give some 1 a 5 and a half year contract with out a reason it all makes sence about the Qatari group takeing over

  61. Artnoon all.

    Nice article Toonsy – really good points on both sides, and a reminder of the tough job managers have.

    Personally, I’m with ILM at post 10. Ranger’s effectiveness comes directly from the contrast between his pace and the knackered legs of defenders after an hour’s play. Use him from the start and I think his greenness will show and we’ll lose that impact.

    I’d start Shola if he’s fit (and I think we all know he’s not). Otherwise, it’s either Routledge out wide, Barton in the middle and Nolan up front, or if Best or Lover have been showing the form in training, stick them up front next to Carroll.

    Either way – nice to have these problems, isn’t it?

  62. Blackburn’s owners would/ could only provide £5m to Sam A. Could they afford to give Shearer any more or even contemplate the £25m or so he expected Ashely to fund?

    Shearer’d be a popular choice at Blackburn but realistically…..it ain’t gonna happen.

  63. from Enrique’s twitter

    “Everyone really happy with the new manager. we training hard now and we practice a lot tacticli. Very good”

  64. man city were never going anywhere with Hughes. They never looked anywhere near a top team as they do now with mancini.

    Hughes was a bore draw specialist, look at Fulham now.

  65. I think we havent given Pardew much respect or credit because he is a ‘small name’ up here. But the guy has some tricks up his sleeve thats for sure and all his ex-players seem to really rate him which isn’t the case for every manager.

  66. I think if there is anything in the Qatar story it will be more like what they have just done at Barca and give a load of money for sponsorship . Something like Qatar world cup 2022 @ st james’s park . Didn’t Ashley say last year that renaming the ground is one way of generating cash . Shirt and ground naming rights could be on the cards . Sacking CH and replacing him does not make sense if their was any substance to the take over story ch was popular with the fans and that would appeal to any new owner .

  67. ILM @ 99. Thanks for that bit twitter info from Jose.
    Its good to hear the Lads are happy with Pards.
    Maybe the change will do them good.
    I especially want Jose to be happy as I dont want him leaving any time soon :lol:

  68. Ranger told me: “My aim is to get bigger and stronger.

    “I have been going in the gym quite a lot and working on things.

    “If you said to me would I like to be a powerhouse striker, I’d say yes.

    “But you want to be fiery and clinical and that is what I’m working on.”

    He needs to be careful about not putting on too much beef because his big asset is his pace and skill and that can make a player slower and more injury prone. All he needs to do really is work on his upper body strength and balance a bit and thighs a bit. He doesn’t need to pile the weight on though it could ruin his stamina.

  69. Birmingham have got some old dudes playing for them like haven’t they. Steven Carr, Lee Bowyer, Kevin Philips he must be gettin on a bit. :)

  70. Jerome is rubbish, touch wood, and Zigic is just a big plank. Its their midfield which seems their strong point.

  71. Jerome is big, strong, fast, powerful, and can finish. Where Birmingham pick up piints is their work rate. They hassle all over the pitch until they get the ball back.

  72. Well Ive watched 3-4 birmingham games now toosny and he hasn’t impressed me much. 3 league goals says it all really considering he’s been a regular.

  73. I have to agree, never looks like creating something, he always requires a killer pass through midfield, never really gets into testing posiitions. I wouldn’t worry about him if I was any of the back four, unless I was Pearch as that would make me shite! ;)

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