ANDREI KANCHELSKIS spent four years at Rangers, won five trophies and wrote his name into the history books. The Russian was one of a host of multi-million pound signings made by Dick Advocaat and he would delight the Ibrox crowd with his dazzling wing play and natural ability. There were as many highs as there were lows, though.

In part one of a serialisation of his autobiography, ‘Russian Winters’, Kanchelskis details his stormy relationship with Advocaat, explains why Rangers failed in Europe and reveals all about an end of season trip to Marbella.

WHEN Advocaat arrived at Rangers, he wanted to install Arthur Numan, whom he had brought with him from PSV Eindhoven, as captain.

Read more: Andrei Kanchelskis on Dick Advocaat's Rangers regime, his war with the Little General and the Dutch contingent at Ibrox

Numan, who was one of the Dutch contingent I really liked, was an intelligent man who knew that it would create divisions if a newcomer was made captain straight away.

Advocaat offered it to Amoruso, who was a Catholic. It was a brave decision.

The partnership ended in November 2000. Rangers were playing Monaco at Ibrox in a game they had to win to stay in the Champions League.

They were winning 2–1 when Amoruso made a mistake that cost them an equaliser and Advocaat immediately stripped him of the captaincy. Amoruso never forgave Advocaat.

He accused his manager of trying to destroy him.

There was a reason behind Advocaat’s anger. One of the main reasons for Murray’s hiring of him had been to improve Rangers’ performances in Europe. They had been Scottish champions nine times in a row but only once, in 1992/93 when they just failed to beat Marseilles to a place in the final, did they really meet the expectations of their fans.

The following season they were knocked out in the first round by Levski Sofia.

Advocaat had been brought in because Rangers imagined a foreign manager would do better in Europe. Advocaat had won the Eredivisie with Eindhoven and taken them to second place in a difficult Champions League group behind Dynamo Kiev but ahead of Newcastle and Barcelona.

Read more: Andrei Kanchelskis: Rangers squad celebrated the title with McDonald's and beer in Marbella

One of the reasons why Advocaat failed was because there were so many new players arriving at Ibrox that it would take time for them to gel into a team. However, I think that Rangers, like Celtic, faced their own problems when they played in Europe.

Outside Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, the standard of Scottish football is mediocre. The step up to the Champions League or even the Europa League is often enormous. It is the same in Russian football now.

The last wave of his Dutch signings were expensive and not up to scratch. Konterman was not nearly as good as Colin Hendry, the man he replaced in the Rangers defence. We had heard that Hendry had been signed by David Murray because he wanted Scottish footballers in the Rangers squad but Advocaat barely played him.

That, to me, shows what a good chairman Murray, was because he was more in touch with the concerns of his dressing room than his manager.

Towards the end, when Rangers’ debt was becoming a real concern, he tried to rein Advocaat back because he was buying players the club did not need, want or could afford. Ronald de Boer was one of them.

Read more: Andrei Kanchelskis on Dick Advocaat's Rangers regime, his war with the Little General and the Dutch contingent at Ibrox

De Boer had arrived at Ibrox from Barcelona with a huge reputation. However, he was thirty when he signed and had constant problems with his knees.

After every game he was unable to train for two days and you often saw De Boer in the dressing room with ice-packs on his knees.

Advocaat’s obsession with Dutch footballers meant that sometimes it felt we started with nine men because one, Konterman, was not good enough and the other, De Boer, was not fit enough for regular first-team football.

Often we could get away with it in the Scottish Premier League but in one month, October 2000, we lost 3–0 at home to Kilmarnock, 2–1 at St Johnstone and 1–0 at Hibernian. In the Champions League we became more and more exposed.

Andrei Kanchelskis’ autobiography ‘Russian Winters’ is published by deCoubertin Books and costs £20. Click here to purchase.