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Will we pay public servants according to merit or based on politics and ethnicity?

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first_imgIn receiving the Commission of Inquiry report (CoI) for the public service, President David Granger stated that lazy people will receive lazy pay. I wondered then if he was calling all public servants lazy because all public servants received little or no increase in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, wages and salary increases were applicable only for the second half of the year, thereby reducing the annual pay increase to less than five per cent. In 2016, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) has not yet given public servants an increase and the Finance Minister has cautioned public servants and the unions not to expect any large increase in salaries and benefits. I can only conclude that the President and APNU/AFC believe that public servants are lazy.The Cabinet, even before the ink on their appointment instruments dried, gave themselves a hefty pay increase, with junior Ministers earning even more than senior People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Ministers who had been Ministers for more than a decade. I suppose they earned big pay increases because they were deemed not lazy. Yet after more than a year in Government, they have led Guyana backwards, with an economy that is in a reverse, downward trajectory, crime spiralling out of control, health, education, water and housing in crisis and business has stagnated.APNU/AFC and their collaborators will insist that Granger was simply using an innovative way of outlining a policy to abandon the traditional across-the-board pay increases in favour of performance-based pay increases. I get it, it is just that Ministers of his Government seem exempt from performance-based remuneration.My bigger concern is public servants now have genuine fears of whether a pay increase or not will now depend on politics and ethnicity, rather than performance. This is a genuine fear among public servants who now believe that the APNU/AFC is laying the groundwork for coercing political support, punishing those who will not dance to the APNU/AFC music, and for once again, creating an ethnically biased public service, similar to what existed under the People’s National Congress (PNC).Performance-based pay increases is a legitimate and a sound policy direction. Implemented fairly, it could lead to greater productivity and a friendlier, more efficient and effective public service. But in the wrong hands, such a policy could be used effectively to punish those who refuse to be political activists and thugs and those whose political affiliation are non-APNU/AFC. It could be used to limit the participation of one or more ethnic groups.The behaviour of APNU/AFC in the first year of Government reinforces the fear that performance-based policy for pay increases and promotion could be the weapon that APNU/AFC uses to cleanse the public service, not of lazy and inefficient public servants, but cleanse the public service of those they perceived as political opponents. These are not idle fears. In the first year in Government, APNU/AFC has fired hundreds of persons, simply based on their ethnicity and perceived political affiliation.It is incontestable that the vast majority of persons who have been terminated are persons that APNU/AFC saw as supporters of the PPP. It is equally incontestable that almost 99 per cent of those who were fired were of one ethnic group. Just as happened during the 28 years of PNC authoritarianism, East Indians were targeted and many lost their jobs during APNU/AFC’s first year in Government.Moreover, it was exposed during the 2016 Budget consideration in Parliament that more than a thousand new contracted employees were hired since May 2015. These new contracted, high-paying employees followed years of APNU/AFC chastising the PPP for employing public servants as contracted employees. This hypocrisy, as bad as it is, is not the major problem, however. The major problem is that the vast majority of the new contracted employees are from one ethnic group and almost 100 per cent affiliated to APNU/AFC.Public servants in Guyana have reasons to be fearful of a performance-based policy, not because they are opposed to it, but because they know that those who will benefit will be those who give unqualified political support to APNU/AFC. They know that if they do not provide overt support to their political bosses they will not be able to get pay increases. They know that no matter how efficient they are, their ethnicity could be the deciding factor whether they are rewarded or not.A vicious political culture has taken hold where politics and ethnicity mean more than efficient and effective performance as a public servant. The new policy is the blueprint to create a public service that is a creature of APNU/AFC, rather than a public service of pride, dignity, efficiency and effectiveness. It is an integral part of party paramountcy. (Please send comments to doc_ram@hotmail.com)last_img read more

Former Foreign Minister King-Akerele Releases New Book

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first_imgThe Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Madam Olubanke King-Akerele, recently released her fourth book entitled, “The Liberian Way: Breaking the Cycle.” The foreword of the book is written by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while the book is a publication of the Liberian Institute for “Growing” Patriotism and the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security. The launching ceremony was held in conjunction with the dedication of the Ruth Morgenthau Reading Room at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL).Vice President Joseph Boakai, who performed the official launch, described Madam Akerele as a prolific writer, noting that the book is her fourth since she left government. Boakai said the development of emergent leaders is a key program area in several African nations. He hailed former Minster Akerele for bringing the subject matter into the spotlight through her book. Veep Boakai said Liberia has been through a lot of tribulations in recent years and as the country is in the process of rebuilding and rebranding itself, the people must include deliberate and drastic change from being “business as usual.” He urged Liberians to adopt an attitude of transformation, stating: “let’s celebrate and recognize the leadership modules that have impacted our nation the most. Let’s think about changing minds and changing attitudes” as propounded by former Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh. He said it is within that dimension that the book delves into the descriptive and narrative challenges associated with reconstruction and nation building. Boakai explained that the “Liberian Way” as defined in the book means taking “shortcuts, lack of standards, doing the wrong things, but careless because it is convenient.” Such impediments that constitute the “cycle” need to be broken, he said. The author divided the book into five parts with part one documenting the experience of the ABIC in Africa, generally, and in Liberia in particular with support for the “Nurturing and Growing” of its Emergent Leadership. Part two documents a selected number of initiatives that are ongoing or have taken place in the country that are contributing to the “growing of Liberia’s Emergent Leadership.” The book entitled, “Patriotism in Action,” highlights some of the many positive things that Liberians are engaged in that are nothing short of Patriotism in Action, but are hardly heard about.Akerele went on to explain that part three contains inspiring life paths of mid-career professionals, while part four contains profiles of Liberians from the earlier book, The “Growing of Africa’s Emergent Leadership.” Part five focuses on “Plaiting the New Mat: Breaking the Cycle of the Liberian Way,” and tackles the issue of what has come to be referred to as “the Liberian Way” – a problem brought into focus by the discussion on the motivation behind the writing, since it is seen as critical to the future of the country.Dr. Herman Browne, President of Cuttington University, who critiques the book, noted that it is very refreshing to be reading a book by one author and hearing several other voices and their perspective on the same theme. He described the style by the Madam Akerele as an unusual approach, but said what is paramount is that, “the book makes readers not just to think about patriotism, but to feel patriotism, which makes it more related to poetry than to prose.” He said in reading the book, “there is something that makes you to appreciate and see how easy it is to be frustrated that the generation so cherished and loved either knows so little or appreciates so little of what is so important.” The Dedication of the Ruth Morgenthau Reading RoomThe program also included the dedication of a reading room at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia. Liberia’s former Ambassador to the United States, Charles Minor and former Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. David A.B. Jallah, performed the dedication of the Ruth Morgenthau Reading Room (RMRR), where the ceremony was held. Amb. Minor recounted the history leading to the establishment of the reading room, noting that the reading room dates back to 2010 at the time Madam Akerele was Minister of Foreign Affairs. He outlined the immense contributions she made to ensure the establishment of the room. The RMRR is named after a distinguished American scholar, and international political scientist who was a specialist on Francophone Africa. She was born in Vienna and managed to escape along with her family from Nazi prosecution. Ruth grew up to become prominent, serving as Foreign Policy Adviser to three US Democratic Presidents. She lent her expertise to the United Nations (was part of the U.S.A. delegation to the United Nations) and the World Bank in various capacities.Upon her death, Ruth’s widower called to say that he wanted to donate her library to Madam Akerele, her former student at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He said he could not think of anyone else she would have wanted to have her books. It was then that MadamAkerele contacted the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law to receive the collection and set it up there. Ambassador Minor then Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States assisted in this process, as did the President of the University, Dr. Emmet Dennis to get the books to Liberia together with the then Dean of the Law School, Cllr. David Jallah. He was assisted by Cllr. Krubo Kollie, then Legal Counsellor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Professor Morgenthau’s daughter Sarah (then Director of the Peace Corps Response office in Washington DC) visited Liberia in the second half of 2010 at which time she presented the books. Unfortunately, as the Minister was on mission, she could not be there during the presentation. The Morgenthau family sent an official message during the dedication of the library pledging to provide a computer and printer to facilitate the use of the RMRR.The ceremony was attended by UL president Dr. Dennis; the Dean of the UL Law School, Cllr. Negbalee Warner; President of Stella Maris, Sister Mary Laurene Brown; Rev. Emmanuel Bowier; Judge Eva Mappy Morgan; among others. Madam Akerele had previously written books entitled, “Women’s Leadership in Post-Conflict Liberia”; “My Journey,” launched in 2012; “Accelerating Regional Integration through Micro Regionalism: the case of Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique”; “Growth Triangle and its Impact”; and “The ‘Growing of Africa’s Emergent Leadership,” launched in 2014 in Lusaka, Zambia, with the foreword by the first President of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Axe set to fall on Kimanzi

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first_imgThe defeat in Lome saw Stars edged out on the away goal rule after carrying a 2-1 first leg advantage to Nairobi and was preceded by another 1-0 reverse at Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.Similarly, the fate of some of the long serving players in the side looks sealed after Nyamweya also pledged to inject fresh blood into the side.“It is indeed a sad day for our football but we call for support from all as we launch a renewed campaign for next year’s qualifiers. We are awaiting the technical report by the head coach and our head of delegation regarding the two matches.“We are looking into issues of overhauling the entire technical bench and injecting more young blood in the playing unit in our efforts of rebuilding Kenyan football,” Nyamweya said.The release of the brief confirmed swirling rumours that Kimanzi, who was re-appointed head coach soon after Nyamweya was elected into office on October 28 last year was on his last chance saloon in Lome as FKF mandarins mull over hiring a foreign coach.In defence of his intended action, the football chief outlined seven grounds proving Kimanzi and his technical bench were accorded unequivocal support for the World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers that kicked off a fortnight ago when Stars drew with Malawi 0-0 at home.These include, a week’s training at Kasarani, two-weeks closed door training at Kenya School of Monetary Studies, provision of air tickets for professional players he identified, ensuring captain Dennis Oliech and keeper Arnold Origi were back in the team after announcing their retirement from international football.Full payment of allowances, three day training camps in Namibia and Ghana as well as full payment of away allowances in advance before they played Togo were also cited.“The federation gave the team and technical bench all the support in conjunction with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Sport and ensured the team was well received by our embassies in Namibia and Ghana,” Nyamweya added.And in reference to the scathing attack he received from his deputy, Sammy Sholei, who called for radical surgery in the federation Nyamweya rebutted;“We request our NEC members to take collective responsibility regarding the performance of Harambee Stars rather than pretending to work as outsiders and if there are any issues, should be channelled before NEC.”Sholei accused Nyamweya of sleeping on the job as he tore into regional NEC representatives whom he accused of corruption, complacency as well as incompetence in execution of their duties in a press statement released late Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, June 18- Harambee Stars head coach, Francis Kimanzi is headed for the sack after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announced it was seeking to overhaul the entire technical bench.According to a press statement signed federation boss, Sam Nyamweya on Monday, the fate of Kimanzi sealed ahead of their expected arrival on Tuesday from Togo where they lost 1-0 on Sunday to crash out of the continental showpiece.last_img read more

Exclusive: Costa stamp was deliberate, claims Halsey

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first_imgFormer Premier League referee Mark Halsey claimed Diego Costa “deliberately” stood on Emre Can’s ankle during Chelsea’s 2-1 aggregate win over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.The Blues striker was charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for his apparent stamp on the German defender and faces an immediate three-match ban, but the 26-year-old announced he will contest the decision.Speaking the talkSPORT, Halsey expects the book to be thrown at the former Atletico Madrid front man by the FA.“He knows what he is doing,” said Halsey. “He knows his leg is there.“I strongly expect that Diego Costa will face a three-game ban.“It’s difficult to prove [if Costa meant it] but we don’t want to see that in our game because it could seriously injure someone.“For me, he deliberately stood on his ankle when he was getting up, that’s my personal opinion.“In that instance, he knew what he was doing. It’s different to the second one where I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but on that one I think he could have avoided the stamp.”last_img read more

Around Whittier

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first_imgWHITTIER – A hearing for state Sen. Ron Calderon’s bill that would require the state to sell the now-closed Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility was postponed Tuesday. An inadvertent scheduling mix-up was the reason for the postponement, said Bob Jimenez, spokesman for Calderon, D-Montebello. A hearing is expected to be held within the next couple of weeks. Also, Calderon, city officials and officials from the governor’s office were expected to meet soon to discuss the property, he said. Whittier officials want the 73.5-acre property to be sold for private development. Molestation hearing postponed DOWNEY – The preliminary hearing for a La Mirada guitar teacher accused of sexually molesting a student was postponed Tuesday to July 25 at Downey Municipal Court, 7500 E. Imperial Highway. Keith Clark Salisbury, 61, was arrested Jan. 11. Police allege Salisbury molested one of his students, an 8-year-old girl, at the La Mirada Community Center. Salisbury had also taught guitar lessons at community centers in Whittier and Bellflower, investigators said. Garden plots available to locals PICO RIVERA – The city has several garden plots available for rent at its community gardens, 9035 Beverly Road. The 200-square-foot plots can be used to grow fruit or vegetables. They are available for an annual rental fee of $75 per adult, or $60 for seniors 60 and older. The city provides water and a portable toilet at the site. Gardeners must provide their own gardening tools and supplies. For more information, call (562) 801-4470. La Mirada High graduates honored LA MIRADA – Five local students have received a combined $4,750 in scholarships from the city’s Community Services Foundation. La Mirada High graduates Tabatha Bassett, Erica Sei, Jay Armenta and Andrew Speth were given $1,000 scholarships each to use toward their college education. The Ray Haugh Vocational Scholarship, worth $750, went to Joshua Knight. The scholarships were presented at the high school last month. For more information on the scholarship program, call (562) 943-7277. Costume repair volunteer needed LA HABRA – The Children’s Museum at La Habra, 301 S. Euclid St., is looking for a volunteer to periodically and help repair its children’s costumes at its facility. The job involves patching holes, fixing zippers, adding Velcro and fastening straps to keep the dress-up clothes in good condition. In addition, the museum is also asking for volunteers to help with its summer events and activities, as well as its annual renovation in September. The museum will be closed from Sept. 3 to Sept. 24 for renovation. A reopening is scheduled for Sept. 25, when the museum will show off freshly washed, painted and repaired exhibits and galleries. For more information, call (562) 905-9647. 3-D artists group to meet Monday WHITTIER – The 3-Dimensional Artists Group will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Monday at the Whittier Art Association and Gallery, 8035 Painter Ave. Anyone who creates or has an interest in creating 3-D art is encouraged to join. For more information, call Mike Tyler at (562) 946-5956, or e-mail mtylerwhit@aol.com, or call Pat Brown at (562) 698-8710. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

DONE DEAL! Hull City sign goalkeeper David Marshall from Cardiff

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first_img1 Hull have been boosted by the arrival of goalkeeper David Marshall Hull have completed the transfer of goalkeeper David Marshall from Cardiff for an undisclosed fee.The 31-year-old Scotland international has agreed a three-year contract to become caretaker manager Mike Phelan’s first signing.His arrival is particularly crucial, given Phelan was overseeing a squad of only fit 14 senior players, and comes while Allan McGregor is out with a long-term back injury.Marshall joins fellow Scotland internationals McGregor, Andy Robertson, Robert Snodgrass and Shaun Maloney at Hull, and will vie for selection with Eldin Jakupovic. Marshall impressed for Cardiff during their season of Premier League football in 2013/14, and will next link-up with Gordon Strachan’s squad as they prepare for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier at Malta.last_img read more

Danny Care on Eddie Jones, growing up with Jamie Vardy and more – LISTEN

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first_imgDanny Care joined Alan Brazil and Ray Wilkins in the talkSPORT studios on Thursday morning and spoke about the huge impact Eddie Jones has had on England.England have made huge strides under the New Zealander, winning 19 out of 20 matches since he replaced Stuart Lancaster as head coach in 2016 to rise up the world rankings.Jones has made it clear from the outset his aim is to topple the mighty All Blacks and lead the Red Rose to World Cup glory and Care says it is his bullish and confident approach which is driving the squad on to greater things.The 30-year-old scrum-half said: “He has been great for us, great for me. I’ve really enjoyed working with him.“He is honest. That is his biggest thing. If you are not playing well enough, he will tell you. If there are things you need to work in to get in the team, he will tell you, and as a player that is all you can ask for.“I remember the first day he came in and spoke to us as a group he said ‘I think this team can be the best team in the world and I think you win the World Cup in Japan’ and a few of us were like ‘brilliant’. That is what you want to hear and every training session we have, every meeting we have, every game we play, we try and get one step closer to the goal of being the best team in the world.”Care also explained why his wife was to blame for missing his beloved Liverpool’s Champions League return Wednesday night, spoke about growing up with England football star Jamie Vardy, and had some advice for Calum Best – Listen to the interview IN FULL above!last_img read more

Championship round-up: Cardiff close gap at the top as Wolves slip up at home

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first_img1 A conclusive review of all the action in the Championship from February 21 Nelson Oliveira’s spectacular late strike saw Norwich grab a point in stoppage time for the second time in four days as they drew 2-2 with Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves at Molineux.A Jamal Lewis own goal and Alfred N’Diaye’s header appeared to have the hosts cruising midway through the first half, but Christoph Zimmermann swiftly pulled one back and the Canaries were good value for their point.Timm Klose had snatched a draw in Sunday’s East Anglia derby and the Canaries repeated the trick as substitute Oliveira beat John Ruddy at his near post with a 35-yard effort in added time.Cardiff moved four points clear of the chasing pack in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race as Kenneth Zohore’s scrambled goal earned a 1-0 win at Ipswich.The striker almost collapsed onto the ball before prodding in after 65 minutes as Neil Warnock’s second-placed side boosted their promotion prospects.Ipswich had plenty of the play but could not find a response after sliding behind and they remain lodged in mid-tableKasey Palmer rescued Derby with a stoppage time strike as a pulsating Sky Bet Championship game against Leeds ended 2-2 at Pride Park.The visitors appeared to be heading for victory when Ezgjan Alioski put then in front with 10 minutes to go but Palmer pounced in a crowded area to score his first goal for the club.Pierre-Michel Lasogga had put Leeds in front in the first half before Andreas Weimann punished a defensive mistake just before half-time and the late drama means Derby have now won only once in six gamesBobby Reid’s 16th goal of the season earned Bristol City a 1-1 draw from a superb Championship clash against Fulham at Ashton Gate.Aleksandar Mitrovic fired the visitors in front after 14 minutes, reacting quicker than City defenders to a cleverly-angled ball towards the six-yard box from Cyrus Christie and planting a shot past Frank Fielding from close range.But Lee Johnson’s men levelled after 35 minutes as Reid played a neat one-two with Josh Brownhill inside the area, creating space to beat Marcus Bettinelli with a left-footed finish from a narrow angle.last_img read more

Smoke blows other way in Capitol

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first_img“Henry Waxman has a long history of being a champion for public health. He knows what the science is, that no exposure to secondhand smoke is safe,” said Bill Corr, director of the D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and a former Waxman aide. Not only should lawmakers be held to the same laws as others, Corr said, “Congress’ obligation is to set the standard.” But smokers-rights advocates say Waxman’s efforts are just one more example of the nanny state they believe America is becoming. “Representative Waxman would basically like to ban smoking from the entire world,” Michael Fadden, mid-Atlantic regional director of The Smoker’s Club Inc., said in an e-mailed statement. “The way he’s going about it, by `dragging out the children’ in claiming concern about young congressional pages who might possibly walk by someone who is smoking, is completely typical of the antismoking lobby. “Radical antismoking groups are already pushing for bans in private apartments and condos and this action is just closing up some of the loopholes that have been left behind,” he said. Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Phillip Morris, said the manufacturer of brands including Marlboro and Benson & Hedges has no problem with Waxman’s goal. “We understand and agree that people should be able to avoid being around secondhand smoke, particularly in places where they must go. Public buildings would be one example of that,” Phelps said, noting that includes the U.S. Capitol. It remains unclear whether any ban would also include the balcony located outside of the Speaker’s Lobby. But if Waxman has his way, smoking will be off-limits there as well. Said Waxman of outdoor smokers: “They feel they have the right over everyone else to use up the air.” lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Just as California has taken the lead in enacting some of the nation’s most stringent bans on public smoking, Capitol Hill has remained a sanctuary for politicians who want to light up. But California sensitivities now appear poised to strike there, as well. Los Angeles Democrat Henry Waxman, a former smoker, has long sought to end smoking in an ornate lounge just off the U.S. House chambers known as the Speaker’s Lobby. And that’s bad news for outgoing Majority Leader John Boehner, a chain smoker who even has his own smoking perch, known as the “Boehner Bench,” in the Speaker’s Lobby. “To me it has been a ridiculous anomaly that smoking is permitted there,” Waxman said. “It means that people who are working there have to breathe smoke in.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Luckily for Boehner, however, he still sits on the three-member commission that must agree to the change. His staff did not return a request for comment this week. Others, in the meantime, say they smell the whiff of change in the Capitol, which has exempted itself from the District of Columbia’s anti-smoking regulations set to take effect in January. “I think the march is on,” said Bruce Cain, president of the University of California’s Washington Center. “I think Waxman will prevail.” Added American Enterprise Institute congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, “It’s not going to make Henry a lot of additional friends. You’ve got a lot of smokers in Congress and maybe those who smoke are powerful people and for them it’s like their home.” Anti-smoking groups, however, already are hailing the move. last_img

Borna Barisic arrives in Glasgow to complete Rangers move

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first_imgShould he finalise his move to Rangers, he will be ineligible until the group stages of the competition having appeared for Osijek.Barisic has three caps for his country and made his country’s 32-man squad before the Russian finals, but didn’t make the cut of 23.He admitted he would love to play for Rangers after being impressed with the Ibrox atmosphere.Meanwhile, Bournemouth centre-back Jack Simpson remains an active target. Osijek defender Borna Barisic has arrived in Glasgow to complete his move to Rangers.The fee for the left-back is believed to be in the region of £2m.The Croatian international played against the Ibrox side in both legs of their recent second round Europa League qualifier.Steven Gerrard appears to have been impressed by the 25-year-old who scored in the return leg in Glasgow.last_img read more