Goram Exclusive: McGregor, Smith, Ferguson, the EPL and Hutton (not that one…)
This is the third and final part of RangersMedia’s exclusive interview with Rangers Legend Andy Goram that we undertook last weekend at the fabulous Wee Rangers Club. This bumper final part of the interview covers a multitude of topics as Andy answered a whole range of different questions that the members of RangersMedia put to him.
Topics like Allan McGregor, the thought of Rangers playing in England, and who he thinks the next great Scottish goalkeeper will be were covered – and you might be surprised…
McGregor and Alexander, obviously both have attributes that are better than the other, but who do you think is the better keeper? And was it right for McGregor to step straight back into the team last year?
Well McGregor, he’s had a few years now where he’s hardly made any mistakes and no one can pin him for one real howler. Every game he makes saves to keep us in it. Obviously Alexander came in when he had to and you can’t fault him for anything. But I think that given McGregor’s record before, he was right to put him back in. The way the gaffer handled him is why we’re seeing the form he’s in now. I do feel sorry for Neil, but at the end of the day, he will know the situation as well
Everybody knows what I think about McGregor as a goalkeeper. He doesn’t make mistakes, he’s great physically and is really strong now.
Whenever you were playing for Rangers Andy, you often found yourself being quiet for large parts of the game before being called into action often to make unbelievable saves. How did you handle that mentally and be able to keep your concentration?
Well if you ask me, you can’t teach that. It’s something that’s in you. With the likes of Allan in the Hibs game, he’s made about nine saves that has kept us in the match. It’s not just the one, which is sometimes what happened when we played.
The difference was that we were just that good. He is under much more pressure and is getting man of the matches. However, if McGregor does end up leaving the club, then there’s no problem with Alexander stepping in.
How would you compare McGregor to yourself when you were his age? Is he as good as you were at that age?
I think that he’s done just as much as me, obviously performance wise. I mean, I played with Richard Gough and John Brown and he’s, with no disrespect to the current guys, playing with players that were in my opinion maybe not as good as us.
I think we’re exactly the same to be honest. I mean, he’s twenty six or twenty seven and I don’t think that I played my best football until the four years between twenty eight and thirty two, so he can still get better.
What are your thoughts about Rangers maybe playing their football in England?
You’d have to give Rangers and Celtic £200 million just to catch up – the standard down there is just that far advanced. If you put the two teams into the English Second Division now then they might struggle.
But yet, because of who we are, we could of course go down there and beat a lot of the teams in the Premiership. If you look at the standard of even the bottom teams in the league, they’re hard teams to beat.
You see they’re physically stronger down there, the players are big and are more like runners, it’s just a totally different game completely.
Euro 96 and Gazza’s goal – Was that the best goal scored past you? Do you think you could of saved it?
No, no, that’s the one. I don’t mind that being the best goal scored against me though, as he’s the only player that could have done that. I just kept shouting at Colin Hendry to stand up, I mean, we’d just missed a penalty 30 seconds before that. I’d have rather that Gazza scored than any other English player, that’s for sure.
What would you say is your most special moment when playing for Rangers?
To be honest it has to be the Celtic games, just being involved in them is fantastic. Every game against them, especially when you win is something special. Other than that I would maybe say the Leeds games – but nothing will compare to the Old Firm games, especially against the Tommy Burns teams.
If there was one result that you could have changed or a game you could have re-played differently, what would it be?
That’s simple, it would have been Marseille, the semi-final. We’d done everything, we’d won the league, the League Cup, the Scottish cup and to have our chance at the big cup would definitely be what I’d choose.
Would you have ever considered moving away from Rangers when you were at the peak of your career? Is taking the chance to move abroad , say with Brescia, something that you wish you’d done?
Yes, I did have the chance to go to Brescia, but I was quite happy at Rangers and didn’t want to go anywhere else. I was on decent money at the time, winning all the time, we were getting bonuses, we were winning trophies, playing in the champions league – so there was no point. You see players that go away to other countries and time and time again they just end up sitting on the bench. I was very happy at the big club.
When Bill McMurdo told you that Celtic were interested in you, how many seconds did it take for you to turn them down?
Well he only told me two years ago. So at the time, he didn’t even ask me, he kept it to himself. As for how long it would have taken me? I think you know the answer to that…
You have a great support from the Rangers fans, could you tell us about your thoughts about them?
How can you fault the Rangers fans? Especially after the 9 in a row celebrations. We gave them so many memories, but see when I go away in Europe with them, they give us loads of memories too. I suppose the thing is that we can’t remember them all (as Andy slugs from a glass of expensive red wine).
But they are great, it’s different times now though. Back then we drank with the fans, we even played dominoes with them. Me, McCoist, Durrant, McCall we were fans too, but we were just lucky enough to have played for the club too.
Do you think it’s a shame that the players can’t really do that now?
Well its changed times now, just totally changed. The difference is that we were winning every year. I think Walter won 14 trophies in 7 years, so when the team isn’t winning like that, then it’s the players that are going to hear the shite. It was easy for us when we were playing.
How would you compare Walter to Sir Alex?
I would say that they are so similar. Is it all about the mind games? I don’t think so, I think that its all about their man management – but more importantly they are fantastic coaches. You can’t do what Walter has done and what Sir Alex has done without having a real talent for coaching.
Would you ever fancy getting back into coaching or management yourself?
No, I wouldn’t say so. Not unless it was with the big club. Rangers. But I can’t say that now though, however if it ever came up and I had the chance to, I’d take it in an instant.
What about if McCoist and Durrant were to take over whenever Walter decides to call it a day?
Aye, well, if you’d said it to me when we were playing then I really wouldn’t have said that they would have a chance. But since they’ve mautred since then. Whenever you see Walter now he has Durranty beside him. If they want to be a manager, then they have the best teacher, that’s for sure.
Apart from any of the current Rangers keepers, who would you say is the next up and coming keeper in the country?
If we’re talking young Scots then I’d have to say young David Hutton. I was at Clyde with Hutts and I just think the world of him. I see so much of him in me and so much of me in him – just the way he goes about things. I had a great few months with him at Clyde and he was only 22. At his age, he is the best I think I’ve ever seen.
Will he be good enough to be a Rangers keeper? He’s certainly got what it takes. I’m sure of that.
Your dinner to celebrate the launch of your book , The Goalie: My Story, is this Sunday (15th November) and will be a great chance for you to see some old faces you played with. Who do you know is coming?
Well, all in there is probably about 25 players coming. Lads from my time with the club and also some guys that are currently playing. Walter’s coming, Bain and about 8-10 current first team players. There’ll be a table for some of the lads from my time with the likes of Laudrup and Albertz. I can’t wait, it should be a great night.
Just to kind of end things now Andy, could you tell us about what you think of the Ex-Players Fund charity which RangersMedia are actively involved in raising money for?
Well, I don’t see anybody else helping the ex-players, especially the older players that didn’t make the money that a lot of the other players are making.
A lot of these players need operations, surgery, for injuries that they sustained playing for the big club. No one can decry the ex-players the money after what they have done for us. I mean they gave a lot physically as well as mentally and it’s a great way for the fans to show their support for some of these guys and to thank them.