Last week we had to listen to former Celtic stars John Hartson and Chris Sutton tell everybody that Rangers had no chance of beating Celtic this Sunday in the semi-final, playing on a poor, newly laid pitch at Hampden Park. Today it is Craig Burley’s turn to spout out the same old rubbish about the clash this weekend being another ‘total embarrassment’. After Celtic beat Championship team Morton 3-0 and Rangers hammered Premier League team Dundee 4-0 in the last round of the Scottish Cup, the two famous Old Firm rivals were paired against each other in the semi-finals, stoking the bitter rivalry yet again.
The teams have met only once in the last four years due to Rangers’ fall to Division 3 and Celtic coasted past a very disappointing Rangers side 2-0 at Hampden Park over a year ago. In fairness, the Ally McCoist-built Rangers team were even worse than normal in that game.
Now things should be entirely different with this new Rangers team being totally revitalised under our new management team of Mark Warburton and David Weir. We have just won both the Championship and the Petrofac Training Cup, whilst Celtic have been very unconvincing throughout the season under their current unpopular manager, Ronny Deila. In Celtic’s last league game at Motherwell where they won 2-1, the Well goalkeeper Connor Ripley was truly dreadful at both Leigh Griffiths’ goals.
The first one was an extremely stoppable average shot from the edge of the box and the second was straight at him and yet he let it squirm between his hands and his legs; it was hugely embarrassing, and the look on the Motherwell players’ faces told you what they were thinking. Scott McDonald scored once and had a perfectly good goal disallowed by another wrong assistant referee decision, when TV pictures proved he was level when the ball was passed to him and therefore onside when he actually “scored”.
Celtic have also struggled to beat several teams they would normally win easily against, leaving the fans to be disgruntled to such an extent that thousands of them are deserting Celtic Park in their droves. You can visibly see all the empty spaces now.
Have any of the three totally biased Celtic ex-players taken any of the above facts into account when they have given their ‘expert’ verdicts? I doubt it, but of course, they were all top internationalists and they are possibly correct – but let’s hope not, and roll on Sunday.