Rangers fans have never been that keen on Dundee United. After hammering them 4-0 today in the League, we discuss the reasons why,
Well now, that was fun, wasn’t it? Just about everything went right in today’s 4-0 tonking of Dundee United – four goals from four different scorers, Ianis Hagi getting involved in all of them, still clear top of the table, record broken for consecutive clean sheet games. More than all that though, we just looked immense. It’s not an exaggeration to say that was our best performance of the season, and to further hammer that home, keep in mind the scoreline flattered Dundee. Yes, Dundee got off lightly shipping only the four.
Ryan Kent, the best player in the League and it’s pretty hard to deny, scored an absolute bomb and was a class above his hapless opposition, sending Sean Stanton to the Shadow Realm as he sent the ball into the back of the net. Our Captain Fantastic James Tavernier, a player we legitimately don’t deserve, marked his 250th appearance at the club with a goal and a piece of footballing record history. You could go through the entire team and sing their praises, to a man Rangers were rampant.
Alas there was one downside, one big downside, to the game – Dundee being Dundee. The Hatchet Men they call them. If you can’t beat them, take them out, and all that. It was clear from the first whistle that the Arabs had every intention of living up to their reputation – and live up to it they did. Three, yes that’s right, three of our players were taken off prematurely due to injury.
As if that wasn’t shocking enough, one of those injured, Alfredo Morelos, himself a substitute for injured Brandon Barker, had to be taken off on a stretcher with stud-holes in his leg. Of course, because the referee was Kevin Clancy, what was a red card challenge wasn’t even a booking of any sort. How unexpected.
In any case, that’s Dundee for you. Cloggers, certainly, but far worse is their roughhousing style of play, that Hatchet Men mentality we spoke of. It serves as a timely reminder why Rangers, and why anyone who actually cares about football, find the club to be repugnant.
Way back in 2009, Rangers played Dundee at Tannadice and the game had to be called off at half time as the pitch was waterlogged. Not a desirable situation, even less so as Rangers were 1-0 up, but understandable nonetheless. What wasn’t understandable was that Dundee refused to reimburse Rangers fans for the tickets, nor would they let them exchange said tickets for new ones at the rearranged game. Basically, United made Bears pay for the same match twice.
Supposedly, that’s where our dislike for Dundee United came from and why it largely persists to this day – but I don’t buy it. Yes, they tried to take our fans to the cleaners 11 years ago. Certainly, they voted against common sense, cutting off their nose to spite their face, having a hand in our being jettisoned to the Third Division. But the real reason we don’t like them now is more what’s on the pitch than what’s off it.
While we wait on word of Ryan Jack, Morelos and Barker’s expected recovery times, let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that they were targetted by our opponents and unprotected by the officials. The win was still so, so enjoyable, but let’s not forget how difficult it will be to get the 55 this year. Let’s also not forget how much we don’t like Dundee.