The biggest Old Firm match of all time


Quite simply, yes it is. There have
been gargantuan Old Firm clashes in the past, but tomorrow’s meeting at Hampden
is simply the most significant and important fixture between the sides in
living memory.
Many will point to Rangers’
triumph in ’99 at Parkhead. Yes, that was a big one, and it was the only time
either side has won the league on the opponents’ turf, but that match did not
have the baggage, hype, anticipation and level of hatred dousing this one.
Rangers have suffered insanely
over the past three years, and Celtic fans have been a major proponent in that
suffering. Misguided comments about Zombies, Craig Whyte, Rangers being dead
and all sorts of trashy taunts have imbued relations between the two sets of
fans, and it has led to a pressure cooker of loathing.
As such a three-year break of
hostilities on the park between Rangers and Celtic has seen a build up of
hatred, and a potential police operation larger than any previously witnessed
for a football game in Scotland.
It is no secret that Rangers are
a terrible side right now, and while one of my previous entries hinted at a way
the Ibrox men could overcome the Eastenders, it was more in hope than
expectation. Celtic are clear favourites, rightly so. They are a vastly better
team, even if by their normal standards they are appalling.
In his inimitable style, Celtic’s
former striker John Hartson illustrated expectation levels:
“I just don’t think he (Ronnie Deila) could
survive a defeat to Gers. I don’t think the fans would let him. They will be going
to Hampden desperate to see their team wipe the floor with Rangers. They will
not be happy unless they play them off the park and smash with them a bundle of
goals. Neither should they.”
He is right. That is how bad
Rangers are and by comparison how good their opponents are. But it is still
dressing-room pinup material and it is that kind of hurt on the Parkhead lot
that would be so delicious to inflict.
It is a gigantic match, not in
terms of quality of the teams, but in terms of what victory for Rangers would
mean. It is Celtic who have everything to lose. Rangers are fully expected to
be trounced, and it will be no surprise to see it happen. But if we win, or if
Rangers stroll out on Hampden and even score the first goal, it will sicken
everyone connected to the Eastern lot and will be exquisite.
To outright win though, to beat
Celtic would be monumental and the biggest Old Firm result of all time, given
Rangers’ circumstances.
If Hartson demanding Celtic smash
Rangers, if Guidetti boasting about bagging a hat trick and Tom Boyd claiming
Rangers are dead is not enough motivation to go out there and give it 200%,
then we might as well pack up and go home.
Add a victory to that kind of
effort and I doubt it will ever be forgotten.


  1. All we can do is for every Ger to give 100% and remember the spirit shown by Greig , Forsyth , Shearer , Brown , Cooper , Baxter , Miller Brand and Wilson AND every other true blue who wore that jersey ! All the best lads !

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