Davie Weir believes Allan McGregor plays to his own twist on Al Pacino’s famous wisdom in The Godfather.
When it comes to football – and especially big games like today’s Scottish Cup tie against Aberdeen – for the Rangers keeper, it’s not business, it’s personal.
McGregor’s last trip to Pittodrie, the 4-2 win at the start of last month, was mired in controversy.
His kick on Lewis Ferguson escaped sanction in the match itself – and a red card and penalty could have made a significant difference – but he was later punished with a retrospective two-match ban.
His defence, revealed by Lewis’s uncle, the former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, that he was only trying to protect himself in a situation where he was vulnerable, finds no argument from his former team-mate.
Nevertheless, Weir says it is no surprise to see McGregor in the wars, and he fully expects more of the same as he does everything in his power to shut out the Dons strikers today.
“Allan is definitely up there with the best keepers I have played with,” said Weir, skipper when Rangers last lifted the Scottish Cup 10 years ago.
“Some saves in some really important games have been life-changing in terms of the results.
“There’s an aggression in him that is right on the edge all the time.
“That’s his character. I think he enjoys it. Enjoys being on the edge and the personal nature of the challenge.
“He sees it as a bit of a war. It is very personal for him.
“Even in training, he was the same. He’d always be the last to come in.
“He’d always stay out, do the shooting practice with the boys and didn’t like anybody scoring against him, regardless of who it was.
“He did take it personally, and you can see that.
“He’s got into a bit of trouble with the suspension following the incident at Pittodrie.
“You can just see how much it means to him.
“I think playing at Rangers suits him. That’s what he likes.
“And he needs that extra motivation, and the realisation that if you don’t play well and it goes wrong, what the implications are.
“That suits his character. He has responded to the pressure of being at Rangers again.”
Weir, now 48 and looking after the loan signings at Brighton, spent three years as assistant to Mark Warburton during his spell as manager at Ibrox.
Wes Foderingham was one of their buys, and Weir is surprised he now finds himself on the bench most weeks.
“I was thinking that Wes was a really good goalkeeper, and wondered if that really was a position where Rangers needed to strengthen,” said Weir.
“But, with hindsight, you look at it as a great signing and a great decision by Steven Gerrard.
“I think even Wes will learn from that, from seeing Allan McGregor in big games, how he plays and how he approaches them and his manner within them.
“He has already been worth a few extra points for Rangers this season, and has definitely made some good saves.
“He contributes. He sets the standard in terms of how he works, how he plays and I think he affects other players as well.”
In a way, Weir believes, that can make a positive impact on the team in major matches.
“I think it’s very relevant to have someone like him,” he continued.
“Look at Celtic now, and the team is full of players who have won cups and leagues and know what it takes to be successful.
“Rangers are maybe less so now, in terms of players who have actually experienced winning leagues and cups and knowing what it takes.
“Allan, Steve Davis and Kyle Lafferty had that first time round at the club, and it’s important in big games that other lads can look at them and get their experience and their knowledge.
“They can take confidence from the fact that they’ve been there before, been around the block and done it, and contributed to successful teams.”
Premier Sports will screen live and exclusive coverage of Aberdeen v Rangers in the Scottish Cup. Available on Sky, Virgin Media and via the Premier Player, new subscribers can get their first month free.
Visit premiersports.com for details.