Wed, Jul
23 New Articles

Russell Latapy was last night hailed as a football great in the Teddy Sheringham mould. The comparison between the Falkirk ace and the former England star was made by Dunfermline's Stephen Simmons.

Latapy - 38 yesterday - starred in the Bairns' 2-1 win over Dundee United in their SPL opener last weekend as well as getting on the scoresheet with a free-kick. John Hughes' side host the Pars this weekend and Simmons said: "I admire Russell a lot.

"I played against him when he was at Hibs and Rangers and even though he is getting older, he's still got great feet.

"I watched the highlights of the game against Dundee United and he ran the show and scored a fantastic goal.

"He has so many skills. His touch, passing and awareness are exceptional. He's great on the ball, rarely loses it and has the confidence to try any pass.

"Russell has played for some big clubs and has a lot of caps with Trinidad and Tobago so clearly the sort of guy I look forward to playing against.

"I read his World Cup Diary in Sports Record World Cup and he admitted he smokes a few fags a day. It's up to him what he does and if it works for him why should he stop?

"My best memory of him as a player was when I was just starting out at Hearts and he played against us for Hibs. He was absolutely brilliant, a player you want to sit back and admire.

"His touch was immaculate and he was always one step ahead of everyone on the park - and still is. He may have lost a yard or two in pace but it doesn't seem to affect his game at all.

"He's like Sheringham in that he's still quick upstairs so if his legs can't do the job his brain will.

"We'll need to get close to him and the rest of the Falkirk midfield because they are a very good passing side and will be determined to keep up their good start to season."

While Simmons is aware of the danger of Latapy, he also knows the clash with Falkirk could turn into a 90-minute scrap. A Falkirk-Dunfermline match may not attract the same attention as an Edinburgh derby, but the games always have added spice.

Simmons added: "I know the fans don't like each other and it will be the same as every derby. It's going to be a battle and you need to win the battle before you can win the match.

"We'll need to get stuck in and not let them play. The Old Firm, Edinburgh, and Dundee derbies and this one are all similar. You know you've to be fully committed to get three points.