Rumour Mill: Warburton criticised for Barton saga | Sutton hails Dembele | Griffiths ‘like Larsson’

Joey Barton, left, has been absent from the Rangers squad after a bust-up with manager Mark Warburton. Picture: PA

Joey Barton, left, has been absent from the Rangers squad after a bust-up with manager Mark Warburton. Picture: PA

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Mark Warburton has been criticised for failing to end the Joey Barton ‘pantomime’ sooner, Chris Sutton has hailed Celtic star Moussa Dembele, and Leigh Griffiths should start for Scotland because he’s deceptively strong in the air.

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Warburton ‘should end Barton saga’

Former Rangers midfielder Ian Ferguson has criticised Mark Warburton for his handling of the Joey Barton situation, insisting the Ibrox manager needed to be stronger in dealing with the troublesome player.

Ferguson compared the situation to a bust-up between Graeme Souness and Graham Roberts in the 1980s. Roberts was axed after the altercation as Souness showed everyone “who was boss”. Ferguson has called on Warburton to do likewise and cut ties with the ex-England international. (The Herald)

Sutton hails Dembele

Chris Sutton is convinced English clubs are kicking themselves for missing out on Moussa Dembele, the in-form striker on whom Celtic are pinning their hopes ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Sutton yesterday described Dembele, who scored twice against Manchester City last month and has 13 goals already this season, as the “player of the moment” in British football. (The Scotsman)

Gladbach ready for Celtic fight

Borussia Mönchengladbach insist they are ready for a physical battle at Parkhead as the German side look to overtake Celtic in the Champions League group.

With one point from four games combined, it is unlikely either side will reach the knockout stages, but a victory on Wednesday will go a long way to securing entry to the Europa League.

Attacker Andre Hahn says his side are ready for the fight and will need to stand strong against the intense Celtic Park atmosphere. (Daily Record)

Griffiths as good in the air as Larsson

Former Celtic defender Tom Boyd insists Gordon Strachan should put his faith in Leigh Griffiths, regardless of height, as the current Parkhead hitman is deceptively strong in the air.

Boyd was reacting to comments made by the Scotland boss, who admitted height was a factor in his decision to leave Griffiths on the bench from the start in the recent World Cup qualifiers.

The ex-Celtic captain likened Griffiths’ prowess to that of Henrik Larsson. The legendary Celtic striker was another who wasn’t the tallest, but could be deadly with his head and he routinely out jumped bigger defenders. (Daily Record)

• Leigh Griffiths has hit back at Scotland boss Gordon Strachan’s claims he is too small to lead the line for his country by changing his Twitter name to #Shorty. (The Scotsman)

May returns from injury

Scotland international Stevie May has returned to training after missing the last year with a knee injury.

The ex-St Johnstone favourite, who played in their 2014 Scottish Cup final victory over Dundee United, sustained the injury shortly after signing for Preston North End last summer. (Daily Record)

Malonga struggling in Italy

Former Hibs striker Dominique Malonga has fallen out of favour with Italian Serie B club Pro Vercelli having not played a single game for them this season.

The Congolese internationalist quit Easter Road in January for an undisclosed fee to return to Italy where he’d previously played for Torino, Foggia, Cesena and Vicenza. (Evening News)

Tierney on way to being world class

Pat Nevin has reiterated his claim from Sunday’s Sportscene programme that Kieran Tierney can be just as good as Celtic legend Danny McGrain.

The young left-back caught the eye yet again at the weekend, producing a scintillating run and shot that cannoned back off the crossbar. An effort which, had it found the back of the net, would have been a goal of the season contender.

Nevin believes there are no flaws in the young defender’s game and if he continues to develop there’s no telling how good he could be. (The Herald)

Celtic ‘better than before 5-1 win’

Murdo MacLeod reckons Rangers are heading for another Old Firm game drubbing this Sunday when the sides meet in the Betfred Cup semi-final.

Even though Celtic won the last fixture 5-1, the ex-Parkhead star insists they’ve improved since then and Rangers could be in for another harsh lesson if Brendan Rodgers’ team play to their full potential on the day. (Daily Record)

Livingston to re-sign De Vita

Livingston are on the verge of re-signing winger Raffaele de Vita.

The playmaker played a prominent role in helping the club climb back up the Scottish league structure between 2008 and 2011. He’s since played for Swindon, Bradford, Cheltenham and Ross County.

He left the Staggies earlier this year and has been a free agent ever since. (West Lothian Courier)

Durrant backs Rangers to bounce back

Ian Durrant believes the Rangers players will stand up and be counted at Hampden on Sunday by upsetting the odds against Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final.

The Rangers squad came under fire after last month’s 5-1 hammering in the league at Celtic Park but Durrant says there are good characters in the Ibrox team. And he says it has been proved in the past that derby games can produce unexpected results. (The Scotsman)


• Andy Robertson will miss Scotland’s crunch World Cup qualifier with England at Wembley after sustaining a calf injury. (The Scotsman)

• Borussia Monchengladbach defender Andreas Christensen will miss tomorrow’s Champions League clash through injury. (The Scotsman)

• Chris Erskine was at a loss to explain Partick Thistle’s failure to win again in the Ladbrokes Premiership. The 11th place side haven’t won since defeat Inverness CT on opening day. (Evening Times)

• Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley took to Twitter to question his red card for “booting” Raith winger Bobby Barr. (The Scotsman)

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