Arthur Numan Interview

Interview with Arthur Numan
Did u take part in the first ever Champions League when u were with PSV in 1992/93? and Marseille denied Rangers, and if so what appearances did you make? I joined PSV in the summer of 1992 and was the only player that signed that season. It was a fantastic move for me to join a great team with big players (Romario, Popescu, van Breukelen, Kieft, E.Koeman).PSV had a very experienced team and a lot of them played in the European 1 cup final in 1988 which PSV won. This time I had the chance to act on the highest platform against the big guns in Europe. Unfortunatly we had a very disappointing campagne and we couldn’t qualify for the next stage. Although we didn’t reach the next stage it was a fantastic experience for me and I even scored a goal against Gotenburg. We were in the same group of AC Milan and they were the strongest team I’ve ever played against. Eventually they won the CL that year with players like van Basten, Baresi, Albertini, Gullit, Rijkaard, Donadoni,Costacurta.

What appearances did u make in the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA?I was happy to be in the squad for this tournament and I didn’t expect to play my part. Holland had a good team and for me to be involved for five weeks was a great experience. I was one of the youngsters together with Overmars and a few others and we could only learn from the older players. I was happy to come on as a substitute against the Rep.of Ireland for the last 15 min. We won that game with 2-0 and finally I could made my debut on the highest platform, the World Cup.

Is it true that you currently have 2 season tickets at Ibrox? I’ve been lucky enough that I sometimes got tickets from Laura who works on Murray Park. She’s always there to help you with everything and is a great help for all the players. The clubdoctor tries to help me as well and get me tickets for some of the games. But for next season I will have my own season tickets (4) and don’t have to beg anymore. A lot of people are still asking me for tickets and now I can invite them for some of the games. Did doesn’t mean that all of you can ask me now for tickets……

What do you think of Iain Sinclair, the club secretary, does he give you any peace? and can u confirm that he gave you a treble winning polo shirt before Rangers even won the League in 2003? You probably mean Iain Sinclair the stalker……haha only joking Iain! I think he’s doing a fantastic job and spends a lot of time for for the supportersclub. He always tries to organise things and wants to be sure that it’s done properly. Some of the members have already been lucky enough to see Murray park because of his contacts….. I know Iain since I came to Scotland and he asked me permission for my name for this supporters club and website . It’s a fantastic website which is always up to date and I’m proud that my name is still connected to the club.
In my last season ( 02-03) Iain gave me a treble winning polo shirt before we won the league against Dunfermline. This was on a wednesday and we still had to play Dundee for the Scottish Cup later. He told me that the shirts were already printed and warned me that I could not dissappoint him and all the other Teddy Bears. I promised him to wear the top after the game with the celebrations on the pitch. On the day of the cupfinaI I had the shirt in my bag and after the final whistle I went back to the dressing room to get my Treble winning polo shirt. I kept my word and Iain was over the moon when my picture with the Arthur Numan Loyal RSC Milngavie supporters club logo appearing in all the papers ( even in all the dutch papers)!

Are u aware of which English clubs (if any) expressed an interest in signing you before or during your time at Rangers? Sometimes your agent get information that there are some clubs interested in you and that’s when the ball begins to roll. It depends if you’re interested in a new challenge and also if the clubs wants to let you go as well. There were some clubs ( one was very interested,but I don’t tell you the name, come on the Reds!!!) who informed for me during my time with Rangers , but I didn’t want to leave because I was quite happy here.

Would you consider setting up a club premises for the supporters in Milngavie???? No, because I would be bankrupt within a year with all the alcoholics over here… I’ve seen some of the members on a Christmas night out on Ibrox and that’s what you call binge-drinking…haha!

This may be obvious, but which goal you scored for Rangers gave you the most pleasure? I was happy finally to score my first goal against Aberdeen after 18 months. Now everybody understands why I became a defender.. To be honest I didn’t score a lot of goals , but if I score one you will always remember it. And that goaaaaaaaaaaaal was of course against Celtic. It’s fantastic if you can score in front of your own supporters a cracker against them.
But I also scored a goal when I made my debut in ’98 against Shelbourne. I lobbed the bal outside the box over the keeper with the outside of my left foot. Unfortunatly the linesman gave off-side but it wasn’t, the bastard.. I thought this was a dreamstart and a great goal as well, especially when you don’t score a lot

At what levels have you scored for Holland`s national team? I played 45 games for Holland but I never scored a goal, shit! That’s a pity, because it’s great if you can score for your own country. The future’s bright, the future is Orange!

Which Gers player in your time at Rangers would you have found the most difficult to mark if in opposition to him? That’s a very difficult question, because you don’t know how you play on some positions against players. But i was always playing a game with my opponent and try to let him run after me instead that I was chasing him. On training I was always playing against Andre Kanchelskis and he was constantly running up and down the line. It was good to play against him because that keeps you sharp as well
What do you think of the birds in Tiger,Tiger? haha, cheeky question!!! It’s a nice place to go to on a saturday night and there’s a relax atmosphere. The last couple of years I always sent my friends or relatives to this place because it’s a nice club. And the birds are nice as well, that’s a bonus, haha
What guidance did you give to a young Barry Ferguson? It’s important as a youngster that you must have the wright attitude and mentality to succeed as a proffesional player. Barry had a lot of talent as a youngster and I was hoping for him that he could make it. I talked a lot to him because I could see that he had it in him to become a good player and I didn’t want him to waste it. You hope that you can give him some advice and that he can actually do something with it. We always shared a room on trainings-camp and we’ve been room-mates for 5 years. Sometimes I had a nice dream and then in the morning I woke up next to him…. got the fright of my life, haha sorry Baz
Scotland and Holland have almost the same populations, where do you think Scotland has went wrong in producing young talent in recent times in comparison to the Netherlands? Sorry, have not the whole day to answer this question….
Which current or ex-Rangers players are you still in touch with on a regular basis? Still see some of the players I’ve played with when I go to Murray-Park and sometimes we go out for a drink. I also speak to C.Moore who’s playing for Gladbach. You’re lucky if you keep in touch with 3 or 4 players over the next couple of years. That’s typical for the football world; out of mind out of sight!!!

When did you make your Debut for the Dutch National side and against whom? I made my debut for the national team in October 1992 against Poland. I was the youngster in the team and played alongside big stars like Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Hans van Breukelen and Jan Wouters. We drew 2-2 although we deserved to win but couldn’t score the goals. For me it was disappointing because I was replaced after 25 mins (not because I played badly but we were 2-0 down after 15 mins and the manager then, Dick Advocaat, had to do something.) At half time he came to me and explained that it was for tactical reasons, but I was not happy as you can understand!
Which players were your hero’s as a youngster? I was always a big fan of Johan Cruyff.
Which team did you support as a boy? AZ Alkmaar in the early eighties. They had a very good team and won the League as well.
Which person in the world would you most like to meet? Nobody in particular!
If you weren’t a footballer what would you be? I went to school to become a PH teacher because I liked doing all different kinds of sport. I finished my study within 3 years and really enjoyed it, so probably I would have done something with my education. I was also interested in the Exchange Market in Amsterdam and wanted to do something with stocks and shares, but the combination with football was not possible! The funny side of the story is that my younger brother Jeroen is now working as a stockbroker for a big company.
Did you realise how big a club Rangers were before you actually joined, and if not when did you become aware of it?
I knew about Rangers because of the Old Firm games with the Dutch players involved, vanHooijdonk, Huistra, and van Vossen, but to realise how big the club is you have to play for it. I had heard a lot about Rangers before I came to Scotland, because my room mate during the World Cup in France was Pierre van Hooijdonk. I asked him a lot about the country and the club and he was very positive. He told me that I had signed for a great team and club!
Which of the goals you have scored for Rangers do you regard as the best? As a defender I don’t score many goals – so every goal I score for RFC gives me a lot of satisfaction.
You lifted Rangers’ 100th domestic trophy in their history when they won the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen in May 2000. How does this compare with other highlights in your career? It gave me a fantastic feeling to lift this special 100th Trophy – especially because I was Captain that day! But you cant compare it to playing for your country in the biggest sporting event on earth, the World Cup! I think ever young boy is dreaming about it.
Is there any particular reason why No 5 seems to be your preferred squad number at club and international level? When I became left full-back for PSV Eindhoven I got number 5 that belongs to that position. With the National team I play on the same position and always get number 5 as well! So I was happy that I got the same number here in Scotland.
Will you have any ambitions as regards a coaching/managing position when your career finally ends? With Rangers or whoever? It is difficult to tell at this moment, because I have no idea what to do after I stop playing football, but maybe I’d like to do something with the youth as a coach.
In your opinion which is the best Rangers Supporters Club that you know of? (loaded question, careful now Arthur!!!!!) The easiest question so far! Of course its the Arthur Numan Loyal RSC!!!!!!!!!!!!
What would be your typical pre-match meal? I take some slices of brown bread with chocolate or jam, some yoghurt with muesli and a banana. I don’t like pasta 2 hours before the kick-off.
Rangers are famous for having a huge travelling support at home and in Europe, what does it do for the players to see such numbers travelling so far and do they know the commitment these fans make on such trips? It is fantastic to see so many supporters travelling so far to see their team playing! I think a good example of this was Monaco where so many fans turned up that I had a feeling we were playing a home game. The atmosphere is great and everybody is enjoying it, including the players who are happy to see so many TRUE BLUES!!!!!!! We don’t want to let them down and want to pay them back with a result.
If you had your pick of anyone in the world today of anyone you would want to play for Rangers who would it be? That’s for the Manager and Chairman.
Have you ever known any other club to have had so many star players injured in your time at Rangers, and will Murray Park training complex eventually help alleviate this in your opinion? The last three years were a disaster for Rangers with so many players out! Although you try to prevent it there is sometimes nothing you can do about it – it just happens. Hopefully our new (fantastic) training complex will help the players.
Rangers are known as being a family football club, does it make you feel more part of the club having an RSC named after you, like Barry and the other Gers players have? It is something you can be proud of as a player when a supporters club is named after you! It also means that they appreciate what you do both ON and OFF the pitch.
What is it like to captain the famous Glasgow Rangers? It is always great when you can captain a big team. I also captained PSV Eindhoven, Twente Enschede and the under 21 National Team!
Do you or any of the other foreign players ever read the Rangers fanzines like Follow Follow or Aye Ready? To be honest I have never read them and didn’t even know of their existence.

ARTHUR: I hope I gave you the RIGHT answers to your questions and hear from you soon. I also want to thank the fans for their support, it is very important for the players, because WITHOUT the fans football is a very boring game.