Allan McGregor

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Allan McGregor
Allan McGregor 1.png
McGregor playing for Hull City in 2013
Personal information
Full name Allan James McGregor[1]
Date of birth (1982-01-31) 31 January 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Hull City
Number 1
Youth career
1998–2001 Rangers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2012 Rangers 205 (0)
2004–2005 St. Johnstone (loan) 20 (0)
2005–2006 Dunfermline Athletic (loan) 26 (0)
2012–2013 Beşiktaş 27 (0)
2013– Hull City 32 (0)
National team
2002–2003 Scotland U21 6 (0)
2004 Scotland B 1 (0)
2007– Scotland 32 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:23, 27 September 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Allan James McGregor (born 31 January 1982) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League side Hull City. McGregor previously played for Scottish clubs Rangers, St. Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic and Turkish team Beşiktaş.

A product of the Rangers youth development, McGregor made his first team debut in February 2002 in a Scottish Cup match against Forfar Athletic. He was later loaned out to St. Johnstone and Dunfermline Athletic, before becoming a regular Rangers first team player at the start of the 2006–07 season. McGregor made over 200 appearances for Rangers, winning 11 major honours in the process, including a hat-trick of league titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011, three Scottish Cups and five Scottish League Cups. Following the insolvency of Rangers in 2012, McGregor exercised his rights under TUPE regulations to rescind his contract and become a free agent. He then signed a two-year contract with Turkish club Beşiktaş.

McGregor made his international debut against Austria on 30 May 2007 and has 30 international caps. McGregor was suspended for two weeks by his club, and the Scottish Football Association said that McGregor would never play for Scotland again, after multiple breaches of squad discipline following Scotland's 3–0 defeat to the Netherlands on 28 March 2009.[2][3] The following year, McGregor's lifetime ban from international football was overturned by Scotland manager Craig Levein.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early Rangers career[edit]

McGregor signed for Rangers on 14 July 1998.[5] His early career suffered a setback when he injured his wrist during a youth match followed by a broken hand that kept him out of action for nearly a year and stunted his development.[6] However, upon returning from the injury he became a regular in the reserve team.

He made his first team debut in February 2002 in a Scottish Cup match against Forfar Athletic[7] and his Scottish Premier League debut against Aberdeen aged 20.[8] McGregor did not play a single minute of competitive football during the 2002–03 season, being an unused substitute in every match of Rangers' Treble success. The following season, McGregor made six appearances, twice in the Scottish League Cup and four times in the league.[8]

Loan spells[edit]

In the 2004–05 season McGregor was loaned to Scottish Football League club St. Johnstone, making his debut in a Scottish Challenge Cup match against Alloa Athletic. McGregor featured consistently for St. Johnstone and kept six consecutive clean sheets for the club.[9] While playing on loan, McGregor was named SFL Player of the Month for December 2004.[9] He made 24 appearances in total for the club and kept 11 clean sheets.[9] Upon returning to Rangers in January 2005, McGregor became the number one goalkeeper at the club after an injury to first choice Stefan Klos.[10] He played consistently for Rangers, however, the then manager Alex McLeish signed Dutch keeper Ronald Waterreus[11] on deadline day in January 2005, a move which angered McGregor.[12]

For the 2005–06 season, Rangers retained Waterreus and Klos, leaving McGregor as third choice.[13] Dunfermline Athletic took advantage of this situation and signed McGregor on loan for the season.[13][14] He made his debut in a 3–2 league defeat to Kilmarnock. He played in the 2006 Scottish League Cup Final defeat to Celtic and made 31 appearances in all competitions, keeping seven clean sheets. Dunfermline manager Jim Leishman credited McGregor for helping them reach that cup final and a surprise 1–0 league victory against Celtic.[13]

Rangers first team[edit]

With the arrival of Frenchman Paul Le Guen as manager at Rangers, McGregor was made third choice goalkeeper behind Letizi and Klos.[15] A bizarre pre-season cycling injury to Stefan Klos[16] meant that McGregor started the 2006–07 season as back-up to Lionel Letizi.[17] When Letizi was himself injured, McGregor started the next match for Rangers, a 2–2 draw away to Kilmarnock.[18] McGregor was then awarded the man of the match award for his performance in Rangers Uefa Cup qualifying match against Molde.[17] He went on to be awarded the Scottish Premier League Player of the Month for September[19] and was then rewarded with a new contract.[20] Despite his performances Le Guen still considered McGregor to be the second choice goalkeeper.[17] McGregor was dropped when Letizi returned from injury. When Letizi was injured again, McGregor returned in goal and was confirmed as first choice by Le Guen even after Letizi returned from injury.[21]

Later in the 2006–07 season McGregor was sent off during Rangers' UEFA Cup match at Ibrox against Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv, which they won 4–0. After Barry Ferguson's second goal, Italian referee Matteo Trefoloni gave a straight red card to McGregor for allegedly headbutting Hapoel substitute Luciano De Bruno. The incident was not caught on television cameras and McGregor denied headbutting De Bruno. However, he was given a two-match ban, which was reduced to one game on appeal.[22] At the end of his first season as first choice keeper, he was voted by his Rangers teammates as the Player's Player of the Year.[23] In September 2007 McGregor signed a new four-year contract with Rangers.[24]

He continued to be Rangers' number one the following season, despite the arrival and subsequent departure of former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll.[25][26] Rangers progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2008 UEFA Cup after putting out SV Werder Bremen in the fourth round. McGregor's display in the second-leg of the tie drew praise from the manager.[27] He made his 100th appearance for Rangers in a league match against Hibernian in March 2008.[28] In the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final the match finished 2–2 after extra time and went to penalty kicks.[29] McGregor saved two penalties and Rangers went on to win the shoot-out and the League Cup.[29] In the third Old Firm League match of the 2007–08 season McGregor saved a penalty while limping with an injury when the scores were tied at 1–1.[30] McGregor had to be substituted shortly after[30] and didn't play again that season through injury, missing out on both the 2008 Scottish Cup Final and Rangers European run to the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.[31]

McGregor signed another new contract in June 2008, keeping him at the club until 2013 and was worth £5 million.[32] In the opening game of the 2008–09 season McGregor saved a penalty in the match against Falkirk, Rangers went on to win 1–0.[33] McGregor captained the club for the first Scottish Premier League match of the 2008–09 season against Falkirk due to the absences of captain Barry Ferguson and senior players David Weir and Carlos Cuéllar.[34] McGregor was a regular in the side, up until the Boozegate scandal which saw himself and Ferguson dropped by both club and country and was replaced as the Rangers number one by Neil Alexander.[35] He played his last game of that season on 21 March, a 2–2 draw at home to Hearts.[36] McGregor played 27 league matches in the 2008–09 season and picked up an SPL winners medal.[37]

In the 2009–10 season McGregor was reinstated as the number one goalkeeper for Rangers and made 46 appearances in all competitions,[38][39] picking up winners medals in the Scottish League Cup and the SPL championship.[40] Although McGregor was preferred as first choice in League, Europe and Scottish Cup matches the manager Walter Smith decided to let Neil Alexander play all of the League Cup matches, a decision which continued the following season.[39][41]

In October 2010 McGregor was given a one match retrospective ban by the SFA for kicking out at Aberdeen player Chris Maguire even though no contact was made.[42] In April of season 2010–11 McGregor saved a penalty against Hamilton in a match that Rangers went on to win 1–0.[43] McGregor was praised for his performances in the second half of the 2010–11 season winning the SPL player of the month award for April.[44] This included 5 clean sheets in the month including a man of the match performance in the final Old Firm game of the season where he saved a penalty with 8 minutes of the game remaining.[44][45] Rangers went on to win the SPL championship for the third consecutive time by one point.[46] McGregor kept 22 clean sheets for Rangers in 36 SPL matches during season 2010–11 and signaled his intention to sign a new contract once the season was finished.[47]

On 4 July 2011, it was announced by Rangers that McGregor had signed a new six-year contract with the club.[48] McGregor started the first nine matches for Rangers in season 2011–12 conceding only one goal domestically in the season opener against Hearts.[49] In the first Old Firm game of the season McGregor was criticised for making a bad mistake which gifted a goal to Celtic just before half time which made the score 2–1 in Celtic's favor.[50] Rangers however went on to win the match 4–2.[50] McGregor was praised by his manager Ally McCoist for preventing Rangers conceding a goal in their 1–0 victory over Hibernian in October 2011.[51]

In June 2012, McGregor lodged an objection against his contract being transferred from Rangers to a new company set up by Charles Green.[52] PFA Scotland had previously commented that players were entitled to become free agents if they objected to the transfer.[53]

Beşiktaş[edit]

On 26 July 2012, McGregor joined Turkish club Beşiktaş on a two-year contract worth €1.2 million per-season,[54] after undergoing a medical in Istanbul.[54][55] A first team regular, McGregor helped Beşiktaş to a third-placed finish in the Turkish Süper Lig.

Hull City[edit]

On 2 July 2013, McGregor signed for Hull City for £1.5 million.[56] He signed on a three-year contract.[57] He made his debut on the first day of the 2013–14 season in a 2–0 loss away at Chelsea.[58] Five minutes into his debut, McGregor conceded a penalty, mistiming a punch and subsequently hitting Fernando Torres in the head. He made up for it however, as he saved the resulting penalty from Frank Lampard. In the 25th minute, Lampard got the better of him, scoring a free-kick from 30 yards. McGregor received criticism for the goal, with pundits saying he should have got a stronger hand to the ball. McGregor once again made up for his mistake, pulling off a superb double save, which called into question the newly installed goal-line technology. On 17 May 2014, he started in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Arsenal, in which Hull City lost 3-2.[59]

International career[edit]

McGregor was capped six times at under 21 level before representing the senior national side.[60]

On 30 January 2007, ex-Rangers manager Alex McLeish named McGregor in his first squad as Scotland manager.[61] He made his international debut against Austria on 30 May 2007, playing the first half in goal before being substituted.[62] McGregor received his second cap for Scotland after coming on as a second half substitute for Craig Gordon in a friendly against Northern Ireland at Hampden in August 2008.[63] He gave away a penalty when he brought down Warren Feeney but saved the resulting spot kick from David Healy and the match ended in a 0–0 draw.[63] McGregor was then first choice goalkeeper for the friendly match against Argentina at Hampden in November 2008, Scotland lost the match 1–0 but McGregor made a number of notable saves.[64] McGregor made his first competitive start for Scotland when he was selected ahead of fellow keeper Craig Gordon for Scotland's 2010 World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands.[65]

On 3 April 2009, McGregor was banned from representing Scotland again after multiple breaches of squad discipline. After returning to their hotel at 4am from the international game with the Netherlands on 28 March 2009 the team were granted permission by then Scotland manager George Burley to have a drink in the bar.[66] McGregor and then teammate Barry Ferguson were the last to leave the bar at lunchtime.[66] They were subsequently dropped from the following match against Iceland on 1 April 2009, the incident has been referred to by the media as Boozegate.[66] Gestures made by the players to cameras when they were both unused substitutes in the Iceland match led the SFA to inform the players by fax that they would not be considered for national team selection again.[66][67] McGregor later apologised and was docked two weeks wages by Rangers.[68] McGregor was on the verge of being recalled to the national team by manager Craig Levein, but was omitted from the squad after he was attacked on the way home from a night out in Glasgow city centre.[69] On 2 August 2010, McGregor was recalled to the national team for the 3–0 friendly defeat against Sweden.[4] McGregor made a number of important saves in the match to prevent a heavier defeat.[70]

McGregor was named as first choice goalkeeper for Scotlands Euro 2012 qualifying matches in 2010, starting the first two matches against Lithuania[71] and Liechtenstein.[72][73] In the qualifying match against the Czech Republic McGregor was given the Man of the match award even though Scotland lost the match 1–0.[74] McGregor was then given the man of the match award for his performance against World and European champions Spain even though Scotland lost the match at Hampden 3–2.[73] Spain internationalist Pablo Hernandez believed McGregor to be a world class goalkeeper and said, "He made some amazing saves, it was a fantastic performance,"[75]

McGregor received the Scottish Sports Writers International Player of the Year award for season 2010–11.[76]

McGregor was then selected for Scotland's first match in the Nations Cup against Northern Ireland in Dublin.[77] Before the second match of the tournament against Wales McGregor was praised by the Scotland manager Craig Levein as being an "absolute diamond" since Levein had taken over the Scotland team managers job.[78] McGregor then received his 12th and 13th caps in the tournaments matches against Wales,[79] and Ireland.[80]

McGregor remained first choice goalkeeper for Scotland when he was selected for the friendly against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium London in March 2011.[81] Scotland lost the match 2–0.[81] McGregor started both international matches against Denmark and Czech Republic in August and September 2011 but was criticized for making a mistake in the friendly game against Denmark which cost Scotland a goal.[82][83]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 27 September 2014
Club Season League Scottish Cup FA Cup League Cup Other[84] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rangers 2001–02 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2002–03 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003–04 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 6 0
2004–05 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
St. Johnstone (loan) 20 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 24 0
Dunfermline Athletic (loan) 2005–06 26 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 31 0
Rangers 2006–07 31 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 8 0 42 0
2007–08 31 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 16 0 53 0
2008–09 27 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 35 0
2009–10 34 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 46 0
2010–11 36 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 48 0
2011–12 37 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 43 0
Beşiktaş 2012–13 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Hull City 2013–14 26 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2014–15 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 10 0
Rangers Total 205 0 19 0 0 0 10 0 42 0 278 0
Beşiktaş Total 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Hull City Total 32 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 0 39 0
Career Total 309 0 20 0 3 0 15 0 49 0 396 0

Honours[edit]

Rangers

Personal awards

References[edit]

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  84. ^ Includes Europe and Challenge Cup
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External links[edit]