Boogie’s a disgrace if this is how he repays club for his big chance
SAYS RANGERS NINE-IN-A-ROW LEGEND JOHN BROWN
IT IS the January sale that every Rangers supporter fears the most. When the transfer window opens on January 1 the Ibrox legions could be forgiven for looking through the cracks of their fingers.
The likelihood is that at least one of their star assets will be cashed-in to try and hold the financial floodgates in place, which are all that stand between the Govan club and a Doomsday scenario which noone of the Light Blue persuasion can bear to countenance.
At the top of the balance sheet column marked saleable assets and the possible departure worrying fans the most is Rangers’ Algerian international central defender, Madjid Bougherra.
Yet today Rangers nine-in-arow defensive legend Jo h n ‘Bomber’ Brown has told the support not to worry about any disappearing act from Magic in the New Year and branded the absence-prone Algerian no more than “decent” and “replaceable”.
Brown will forever hold a place in the affections of the Ibrox hordes for the way he put his body on the line for the cause.
He has become increasingly angered by Bougherra’s repeated absences from the Ibrox camp at key junctures of the season for a variety o f reasons from his daughter’s health to the misplacing of his passport and a party date with the Algerian president. ANGERED by what he sees as a lack of respect for the manager he revered above all, Walter Smith, the man who scouted Carlos Cuellar for his former and the current Ibrox boss has no doubt Rangers would be well served to move Bougherra on.
Bomber said: “I feel that Madjid Bougherra’s behaviour this season has shown a complete lack of respect for Walter Smith and for Rangers. When Walter signed him in the summer of 2008 he was not even getting a regular game for Charlton Athletic in the Championship.
“By bringing him to Ibrox Walter has given him the Champions League stage he could only have had in England by playing for one of the big four clubs.
“On top of that, he has won silverware with Rangers that he was never going to get with Charlton and all of that has, in turn, cemented his place in the Algerian international team and helped get him to South Africa 2010.
“So, for Walter to have provided him with that type of opportunity and then had to put up with this type of behaviour, is nothing short of a disgrace.
“Bougherra has shown no respect for Walter, the fans or the club. I find that incredible given the faith Walter has put i n him and the opportunity he has given him.
“On top of that, Bougherra is no more than decent. Okay, he has done a reasonable job in replacing Carlos Cuellar but he is no Carlos Cuellar and he has been helped in no small measure by having Davie Weir playing alongside him.
“ I have no doubt that if Bougherra goes in January and Rangers get decent money for him then Rangers could replace him for less than the initial £2.5million they spent on him with someone every bit as good and a whole lot less trouble.” WHILE even during the almost mystic bond of brotherhood that evolved in the nine-in-a-row squad there were several flashpoints in an adrenalin-charged dressing room, the close camaraderie of that immortal squad meant these spats only served to bring Brown and his teammates closer together.
Yet Bougherra’s repeated late returns from international duty seem to have developed a fissure between himself and his club colleagues with both Kenny Miller and Lee McCulloch in recent weeks critical of their way wa r d team-mate.
Bougherra has also made it clear that he intends to put off his return to international duty in the African Nations Cup to feature i n the next Old Firm game, at Parkhead, on January 3, when previously he has been late back for more run-of-the-mill SPL outings – something that is the final straw for Bomber.
The Gers legend said: “For Bougherra to be saying he wants to stay and play in the Old Firm game tells yo u a story. Is he only interested in playing in the big games for Rangers then? “During the Champions League tie with Sevilla he was indulging in show - boating when Rangers were going down heavily and it was all about him.
“So you have to say that here is a guy who is apparently only interested in putting himself first.”