Rangers fans can all enjoy watching Celtic lurch from one disaster to the next, but lessons need to be learned in Ibrox too…
Look, I’ll be the first to admit, second only to Rangers winning is the drama of a good, old fashioned Celtic meltdown, on the scale of football fun. We’ve had our own share of kerfuffles in this last decade or so and they, and their hungry media, have sat with popcorn lapping up each and every one. The financial woes, the takeovers, the demotions, the Newco nonsense, the objectively dire Pedro Caixhna years and all the poor results in between. They’ve got their money’s worth, but oh, how the tables have turned.
You see, if Hoops fans were expecting 2021 to bring some reprieve from the endless, hilarious, onslaught of bad news stories about their laughably mismanaged outfit, they’d be wrong. Last year had the infamous Boli Bolingoli lockdown-breaking trip, ending in the lad being cast out by Celtic only to be, apparently, soon returning. Signing Shane Duffy, purveyor of many questionable tweets regarding domestic terrorists, was the rubber stamp on the front of the 10 in a row, a Premier League quality central defender who would be boss north of the border.
Well, let’s be honest, he’s dire. Objectively the worst defensive signing by a Premiership club in years, a liability who actively makes the team look, and play, worse every time he’s on the park. It’s that poor play which compounded Celtic’s woes, and Rangers’ delights, as 2020 got on it would become obvious no “historic” 10 in a row was forthcoming. Dumped out of Europe twice, the narrative changed to “focusing on the title”, but that didn’t hold long as results went down like a lead balloon at home too.
The protests, with arrests and everything, outside Park Head where mindless Hoops fans demanding a widescale sacking of everyone from club legend and manager Neil Lennon to the entire board, decided a riot would help their cause. This was to be but the tip of the iceberg.
More from Rangers FC News
- System remains disjointed for now for Beale and Rangers
- Rangers vs St Johnstone player ratings as Michael Beale’s side get back to winning ways
- Rangers board and management not singing off same hymn sheet
- Rangers players on international duty September 2023
- Michael Beale manager position and Rangers summer signings assessed
You see, now in 2021 we’ve got a new chapter in this reality even more hilarious, and in many ways unthinkable, than satire. Dubai happened, perhaps the best twist in the tale yet. The team flew out for er…training (?)… in sunny United Arab Emirates, immediately following a 2-0 drubbing by Rangers, to which fans were dismayed to see pictures of the team chilling by the pool, enjoying drinks and laughing. Indeed, they weren’t the only ones laughing.
On their return, the team brought with them fresh tans, beer bellies and COVID-19. The Scottish government, of course, insisted the players isolate so as not to spread the exceedingly infectious virus further and, like the petulant child he is, Lennon throws a hissy fit. It’s not fair, Celtic are being held to higher standards than any other club, he cries. How strange as I don’t recall another team in the Premiership jetting off during a national lockdown to sit and drink beer by the pool, do you?
All in all, while we enjoy a good chuckle at Lennon losing his head, arguing with his own chief executive and accusing the Scottish government (Nicola Sturgeon, even!) of playing politics – there’s lessons to be learned from all this for the Gers too.
It’s up to Rangers to usher in a new era of dominance in Scotland but without the Hoops’ failings.
We’ve had our own issues with players breaking lockdown. Jordan Jones and George Edmundson, both quickly suspended by the club, had a Kyle Walker-esque house party during the peak of the pandemic. Now, it’s true, neither have come anywhere near the team sheet since and, one would expect it to be a good while before they do, but that was a bit of a wobble from the light blues that serves as a warning.
As we said, it’s been ten years of Celtic sitting unchallenged, laughing at the Gers flailing around with struggle after struggle. Now the tables have turned, we sit 21 points ahead at the top of the pile, unbeaten, financially stronger and with a seemingly competent backroom staff behind an exceptionally competent manager. Ok the kit debacle wasn’t great, but you can’t have everything.
Celtic all too quickly forget they were awarded the title as an undeserved and free gift last season, their cries of bias thusly ring hollow. It’s up to Rangers to usher in a new era of dominance in Scotland but without the Hoops’ failings. No win is automatic and we aren’t above the League in any way other than position. Similarly, stability is paramount and those who seek to endanger that should be removed.
With that said, it’s another day of meltdowns from our green neighbours – to waste it would be a sin.