Für ihn eigentlich ein sehr guter Transfer.
Gennaro Gattuso: "When I lost a match I broke down in frustration. Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick."
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Jason Cummings interview in The Edinburgh Evening News
When Rangers boss Steven Gerrard chose not to take up the option to extend Jason Cummings’ stay at Ibrox, it stung for a few days.
“But the next week I saw that he had signed Jermain Defoe, and I couldn’t really complain,” laughs the striker. “Considering he’s one of
the best goalscorers in the world, I had to take that one on the chin.”
Cummings is a character. But he is more than that. He is self-confident but also self-aware. His endearing gallus streak, is strangled before it reaches arrogance thanks to a timely penchant for self-deprecation and while there is undeniable silliness at times, as the old saying goes, he is not as daft as he is stupid lookin’. Not quite.
There is also a laudable level of honesty that is too-often absent in a time of sanitised soundbites and magnolia-hued media training
Since grabbing the limelight at Hibs, he has been operating down south for the majority of the past three seasons, seeking new challenges and, truth be told, greater remuneration. But, such was his enjoyment of a six-month loan spell, while the 24-year-old says he has no regrets about quitting the Hibees when he did, he admits he would have preferred to hang about Govan a bit longer.
Rangers and Grant Holt
“In Scotland, my time in Hibs, winning the Scottish Cup, that was magical. It hadn’t been won in a lifetime, even longer, so to win that
was special,” Cummings says. “Then we got them promoted to the SPL which was good because I had been part of the team that relegated them as well so it was good to come full circle.
“But when I went to Rangers, even now, to this day, I can’t believe I played for them. They are that big a club. I am just proud that I played
“I scored a hat-trick at Ibrox as well [against Falkirk, in the Scottish Cup] and I will always cherish that. I didn’t play as much as I wanted
at Rangers but I prefer playing two up. Preferably with a big guy.
“At Hibs me and Grant Holt used to play together and that is probably when I was playing my best. He would do all the barging and flick-ons
and I would play off the scraps! But a lot of the clubs I’ve been to, it’s been one up top.”
Liverpool and Gerrard
Finding a club where he can rediscover his best form has taken him from Leith to Nottingham Forest, from Ibrox to Peterborough, Luton and, now, Shrewsbury Town.
Having fallen off the radar slightly, it was his performance for The Shrews in this season’s FA Cup that saw him return to the fore.
Coming off the bench, after an hour, he notched two goals in 10 minutes and almost made it a treble, as the lower league side forced a replay against the all-conquering Anfield side. It wasn’t foremost in his thoughts at the time but he is amused by the notion that it may have given Reds fan Gerrard momentary pause to question his decision to let him leave Glasgow.
I’m not sure he will have been watching that one but if he was then maybe, just for that 10 minutes, he might have regretted not keeping me!
Mind you, that’s if he remembered who I was!
“I had met with him and I told him I wanted to stay but I think he wanted to freshen things up and bring in his own team.
“But I did love it at Rangers. The Old Firm games, although they didn’t always go our way, because at that time Rangers weren’t at their best, just to be part of those games, to be part of that atmosphere, was incredible and I loved it.
“It was hard when they didn’t want to keep me. I wanted to stay at Rangers and I tried my best to get back there. But everything happens
for a reason.”
There is a depth to Cummings that is not always evident in his online horseplay, as he grapples with wrestlers, channels his inner Joker or
entertains viewers and readers with his hilarious post-match interviews. Back up in Edinburgh to see out the coronavirus lockdown at his mum’s, he admits he is worried by the current situation. Not because he is miffed that football has been interrupted just as he was enjoying a run in the starting line up - “I’m not even that bothered about football when the world is like it is just now and people are sick or dying” -
but because, he says, it is hard to see an end to it.
“You watch the news at night and see what has been happening in Italy and Spain and hear that we haven’t even hit the worst of it here, it
feels like the end of the world. But we have to try to stay positive. That’s why I do the challenges, to cheer people up. And because I’m
bored. But it is mental. It feels like we are living through a zombie apocalypse. Especially, when you see people in the shops fighting over
But Cummings is a guy that has been fairly stoical when there have been tough times in his career. The chances are he will come through the Covid-19 crisis with humour intact
“If you are just playing in the team week in, week out and everything is all sunshine and rainbows then I don’t think you learn as much as you do when you’re at a club where you are sometimes bombed into the stand or stuck on the bench every week. I have been chucked into the reserves or the 21s and I think those things made me a stronger person. Those experiences have helped me as a player and as a person.”
Those trying times made the showing against Liverpool all the more special. Hailed by the fans and team-mates, English journalists and
f football fans were introduced to the entertainer within as he paraded around in an inflatable crown and had BBC pundits in stitches as he thanked Ian Wright for some praise by telling the former England striker he had voted for him every night on I’m a Celebrity. He also corrected those who ignorantly-assumed that a trip to Anfield would be the highlight of his career
Not the career highlight
“In any interviews I will always tell the truth and be myself. There are a lot of players who become robots and they have been trying to coach
me on how to do the media for years but I think that takes away my character and my real personality and I don’t want to be turned into a
“But that one was funny. I feel a lot of English people, even the English players I’ve played with, do look down on Scottish football
because they don’t know how good it is. Some of them are just deluded.
“For me, the Old Firm game is the biggest game in the UK. I think if you look at the numbers, the history, the interest and the passion. That’s
the biggest difference, I think, between playing in England and in Scotland, the passion for football and for the clubs in Scotland in so
“The fans in general, the singing, the noise, even the abuse, it is all much more passionate in Scotland. I love the energy and the fact fans
get into it up here. In England, it is hard to explain … it just lacks a bit of something. It is that raw emotion. They don’t get caught up in
“Look at the bigger games, like Manchester United or Spurs, clubs like that, everyone is just taking pictures. If you watch Rangers score a
If you watch Rangers score a last minute winner against Celtic, you would be lucky to see one phone in the middle of it, it’s just limbs and bodies everywhere as everyone enjoys the moment.
“But watch a Man U v Man City and the first thought for a lot of them when their team scores a goal is to get their phones out! They are
watching it, they’re not part of it.”
That would never suit Cummings, He is a lot of things but, at the core, he is a guy who loves to be in the thick of it, preferably centre stage
Richard Foster on football, his studies, writing a book & wife Amy Macdonald
By Thomas Duncan
"There's one there," says Richard Foster, reaching for his books just out of shot on the video call. "'Study the layperson's understanding of gender and sexuality in the 'Me Too' era'."
Where do you start with that? "Exactly."
Foster is not having much trouble filling the days of lockdown. A final-year student of psychology with the Open University, he has 9,000 words of reports and essays to get through, interspersed with sessions on his wife's Peloton spin bike.
He's also writing his second novel. It's enough to be getting on with.
Those familiar with the 34-year-old's 17-season career to date might feel psychology an apt choice of subject. Those in the game he has clashed with - Jimmy Calderwood, Mark McGhee, Danny Swanson, Tommy Wright - might even have a laugh at the thought.
"It's an interesting subject," Foster says of his chosen degree. "I think it's something that transcends probably every workplace but also more specifically I like the idea of the relationship between a coach and a player, between the players themselves and how that works."
So how would he handle someone like himself? After all, he did once call Calderwood stupid.
Despite their recent bust up which led to his switch from St Johnstone to Ross County at the start of the season, Foster cites Wright alongside Walter Smith as characters who got it.
"Tommy and my gaffers now at Ross County, brought me into the squad knowing that I expect training to be at a good standard, I expect everyone to work as hard as they can, and if they don't I call them out on it. But they like that aspect of my personality because it's something I bring to the squad. So they allow me to be myself more.
"Sometimes people would go 'oh you lose your temper and shout'. Well, yeah, but sitting here just now, I can speak about anything and I won't get angry, I can say quite eloquently what I'm wanting to say.
"On a football pitch, I don't have time to hold someone's hand and be nice to them, it's got to be done now and then afterwards we can deal with it.
"But it's always the same. You always look back and think you could have done things better, or differently. But if you take away that aspect of my personality it probably takes away from me as a player."
'I'd be sacked for bullying in a normal workplace'
At 34, Foster is in the twilight of his career, with his deal at County due to expire this summer. He still feels fit and strong enough to keep playing, while acknowledging the end is nearing.
And though he - with his coaching badges and university education - is better placed than many players to cope with the difficult transition, life after playing still scares him. But not in the way you might think.
"My workplace is a lot different to your workplace," he explains. "The way you behave in a football dressing room, I'd probably be sacked for bullying within a week in your workplace.
"If you come in wearing the wrong shoes, jacket, or you've got the wrong haircut, everybody's on you all the time. If I walked into your workplace and said 'look at the state of your hair', people might get really offended by that. But for us that's just normal.
"So I probably need a smooth transition into regular workspaces, and that's what scares a lot of players. Football is all they know, even when they study, they want to reinvest themselves back in football in some capacity.
"I would probably make a joke - not through badness - that someone would find offensive and I find that it's just a bit of a minefield. Moving to nine-to-five in an office, I would just have to sit quietly the whole day, just in fear of upsetting the wrong person."
'My wife finds the abuse difficult'
Foster is no stranger to getting stick himself. He falls into the love-to-hate category for many supporters in Scotland, as his wife - singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald, seller of 12 million records - reminds him.
At Aberdeen, where he started his career, he played in two of the club's greatest European nights of the last two decades against Dnipro and Copenhagen, scoring in the latter.
But the loan move to Rangers in 2010 - which was not of his own choosing - and subsequent return as captain was worthy of crucifixion in the eyes of some. Now? He is such a pariah at Pittodrie that his nine-year-old son and dad don't go to watch him there because of the abuse.
"I met so many nice people there and had a lot of good career moments there, and it's almost like I'm not allowed to enjoy those moments," he says.
Foster was signed by Smith at Rangers during his last spell as manager and played in the Champions League during the 2010/11 season, the last time they clinched the title.
By the tail end of his second spell, when the club failed to gain promotion to the top-flight, he was outside a snowy Ibrox surrounded by seething fans trying to get into his car and screaming he wasn't good enough to wear the shirt.
Even this season, playing for County against St Johnstone, he says his wife was subjected to derogatory chants.
"My wife certainly struggles," Foster says. "I think she's one of those where you can say what you like about her, but as soon as you say something about someone she loves it's like 'woah' , it's like a red rag to a bull. So I think she finds it difficult."
The abuse doesn't affect Foster, though that doesn't mean it's easily shrugged off. What it does mean is that some victories are sweeter than others.
"The best one I had was a guy at Aberdeen," he says, giggling. "So the ball went into the crowd and I went to get it for a throw-in and he's got it. And I can see it's as if he's going to throw the ball at me as hard as he can.
"He goes to put his hand on the wall for leverage but he puts his hand on the gate, which opens out the way. And as he pushes, the gate opens and he falls forward, lands on his face and just hands the ball to me. I'm thinking 'that serves you right, I hope it hurt.'
"Little moments like that you take so much joy from just because of what you deal with game to game. And, yeah, there are times when I've probably overstepped the mark, but there's nothing better than seeing the incredulous look on someone's face when they're abusing me for 90 minutes and I just turn round and give them some back."
'Is my book any good? I don't really care'
The ultra-competitive, outspoken and sometimes combustible character on the field is what is often judged by the footballing public. But Foster is engaging and intelligent, an avid reader, and a writer of a crime-based novel.
His passion for reading started when he won a book voucher in second year of high school in Elgin.
He went into a book shop and didn't have a clue where to start, but spotted 'Green Mile' by Stephen King and, having seen the film adaption, plumped for it. Twenty years later, he has used his regular train journeys from his Glasgow home to Dingwall to pen his own story.
"I decided that I would get the train and I had an idea for a book," Foster says. "So I thought I may as well just write it down, and it kind of snowballed and I got into it. I'd be sitting on the train for three hours and before I knew it I was at my destination.
"I just got so caught up in what I was doing. And then I enjoyed the challenge of remembering the characters you've put in, the storyline, and how it all fits together. It has to have a natural flow to it, and it just interested me. It was a thing I used as a hobby, and when I got to the end I was super proud of myself."
But is it any good?
"Even if it's an absolute pile of rubbish, I don't care," he says. "I've got no illusions of getting it published or anything like that. It was just a hobby that I really enjoyed doing and it was just a little achievement. So much so now that I'm on to another one and I'm looking to develop that.
"My wife's too afraid to read it in case it's rubbish and she has to tell me. I also listen to podcasts, one with [author] James Patterson on writing a book. He says you need to give it to people you know are going to be honest. Because if you have any aspirations to get it published, it's a harsh world.
"So out of everyone, my wife will probably be the last to read it. She'll probably be the most honest."
At least Foster is used to criticism.
Richard "Ricky" Foster über das Leben als Fußballer, Student, Autor und Mann eines Popstars ... (und auch hier schafft es der Autor, ein negaties Licht der Rangers zu zaubern .... und zu vergessen zu erwähnen, daß Amy MacDonald eine Bluenose ist)
Joey Barton in jaw-dropping Rangers blast as he reveals 'f***ing waste of time' training bust-up
An argument over Warburton’s desire to sign Joleon Lescott, whom Barton believed had “grassed” him to the FA after his sending off for QPR against Manchester City four years earlier, had fractured an already shaky relationship with the Ibrox boss but after a 5-1 hammering by Celtic at Parkhead a week later, it was over.
Barton said: “We’re playing Celtic at Celtic Park. I’ve said I’m going to be the best player in Scotland and all eyes are on me and Scott Brown.
“We did team shape on Thursday. Andy Halliday was having something to eat later that night and he says, ‘I’m not playing tomorrow’.
“He was in the team shape on the Thursday, so we’ve had all this preparation, so why is he changing the team on the Friday? We found out on the Saturday that Warbs was concerned the team had been leaked, so he decided to change it.
“But he didn’t tell Andy – he texted him, despite us all being in the hotel.
“Andy’s a mad Rangers man and a good lad. He was clearly upset. It was just amateur hour everywhere.
“We turn up at the stadium and run the gauntlet of the Celtic fans. I know we’re going to lose the game because of the team selection. It’s me, Josh Windass and Niko Kranjcar in centre midfield against Scott Brown, Nir Bitton and Callum McGregor.
“Josh and Niko are good players but not ones you really want in the trenches with you at Parkhead. You want warhorses.
“I knew all the sh** I was going to get because we weren’t winning that game. Before the game Kenny Miller is having a go. Andy’s trying to galvanise the troops. I look to my right and there’s Warburton shaking.
“He was supposed to be the leader and he’s shaking like a dog having a sh**.
“I remember thinking, ‘Don’t get sent off’. My mindset was not about winning. It was not getting sent off.”
There was a sending-off. Philippe Senderos was red-carded on his debut at 3-1 and according to Barton, Warburton made a tactical switch that allowed Celtic to go on and rout them.
He added: “Senderos got sent off and Warbs put me as the middle man of a back three with Lee Wallace and Tav on either side of me. Tav can’t defend for toffee, everybody knows that.
“Wallace ducked out of a header at Dundee and I dug him out for it, saying, ‘If you’re captain of Rangers you can’t do that. Don’t do that again’.
“Warbs didn’t like that but Lee, to be fair, accepted it. We got overrun and lost 5-1 to Celtic. I thought we could use that as a reality check.
“On Sunday, Warbs phoned me and asked me to have breakfast with him. I left that thinking he was in over his head.
“On Monday I went in thinking, ‘This is Ground Zero – day one when Rangers rebuild themselves.
“There was a real intense training session. Miller, Halliday, Wallace were hurt by the result and it was right on the edge of going over – but that’s how you should train at elite level.
“Me and Andy were on opposite teams. He was pissed off at being left out and I was pissed off with the result.
“We had a couple of ding-dongs and at one point lads got in between us but it was never going to be a dust-up. Instead of letting it go on, Warbs stopped the session and had a shooting session. I walked off, thinking, ‘This is a f***ing waste of my time’.
“Stuff was said that doesn’t cover me, Mark or Davie (Weir) in glory and should remain behind closed doors but we had a fundamental disagreement about where the team and club was going.
“I knew when things were being said that it was me or him who would be going. I was cool with that. It needed resolving.
“I should have left a week earlier but if I’d done that before the Celtic game, people would have said I was a sh**bag.
“I was made the scapegoat but went back to Burnley where I was so de-conditioned by the standard of Rangers’ training that I had to train like crazy to get back up to Premier League standard.
“But I got back and showed I was a Premier League player.”