Old Firm shame – Old Firm blame


Rarely has the aftermath of an Old Firm clash been as surreal as this. Confusion, bewilderment, angst, fury, and a host of other bizarre and unexpected emotions have followed yesterday’s tragic ‘clash’ at Hampden, where the build up, match and fallout were all among the most downright strange I can remember associated with the historic bitter rivalry between the sides.

Signs did not bode overly positively in the first place when Pedro Caixinha went ‘Warby’ on us and told Charles Paterson on Sky that he did ‘not care about other teams’ which rather oddly contradicted his stance of weeks gone by that it is ‘important to study your opponent’. It was strange, confusing, and sent out a slightly mixed message of his intentions.

Then the XI filtered through. As this site told you, Wes was a huge doubt but managed to pass a late fitness test, while that shock return for Halliday was confirmed with the listed team. It already appeared a weird selection, and his utter rustiness was confirmed with what could easily have been a red card for that scythe on Roberts. Pedro has done some good things but his pre-match interview was not one of them, and his restoration of Halliday was not either.

But the rest of the team… still no place for Hodson (in defence of Tavernier, he had probably his best match for Rangers this season, but that said it was usually the two playing together v Celtic), a bizarre switch in formation to a 4-3-1-2, and a start for Joe Garner. None of this looked good. Two up top against Celtic? A change from the previously working 4-2-3-1? I am all for trying new things and adapting but this team had gone to Pittodrie and won (admittedly a tad unexpectedly) and now it was being torn up?

But then that ‘performance’. Ok, the early goal did not help matters, but there cannot be a Bear who was not gutted at the tactical mess, lack of energy, absent pressing, loss of urgency and general flatness of that atrocity in Mount Florida.

From Pedro getting his team, tactics, system and shape totally wrong to the players seemingly throwing in the towel after Celtic opened the scoring, it was a complete eyesore to all that is Rangers.

All the fight, aggression, power, unity and team work we saw at Parkhead under Graeme Murty was gone, replaced with something that simply was not Rangers in any Old Firm I remember.

Celtic absolutely bullied Rangers, with a thriftiness, efficient use of the ball and general appetite unforgivably absent from Rangers’ play. The system was not working, Caixinha’s tactics were a mess, and for all the pelters Joe Garner rightly got and gets, in his defence (yes, we are actually defending the guy) he did not even get scraps to work with.

It was a true shambles, a wreck of a display, but that indicting lack of desire on Rangers’ players’ parts was something intolerable to all fans.

Celtic won deservedly, frankly without really getting out of second gear, and Rangers’ team and management should be utterly ashamed of that. We can take a loss if our team fights – it will always hurt, and we will always moan about losing to that lot, but it is easier to stomach when our team earns the right to wear the shirt. For only James Tavernier, Danny Wilson and Wes Foderingham to get pass marks sums up how colossally poor this all was.

Post-match was not much better – whatever your thoughts on Caixinha smiling and laughing with Rodgers, there are some fans who would not be happy with their manager being so jovial after a desperate loss – and surely that is exactly why he was supposed to appoint a ‘Scottish Local Coach’ to help him out with the climate and context. Such an individual would surely give him advice about that, but the ‘Scottish Local Coach’ ended up being Finland’s Jonatan Johansson. I rate him highly but a pseudo-consigliere to Pedro he surely is not.

Then we had the media nonsense. Pedro blaming the players – not wrong, they were mince, but he made plenty of mistakes himself too and just like his predecessor refused to acknowledge that. Pinning it all on the shirts is a route we have been down and we do not want to go down again. And his general comments really did suggest someone out of touch with Rangers and the Scottish game. Again, this cannot be history repeating itself.

Truth is this was a disaster. The whole debacle from beginning to end. Ped has six days to fix it and get his men ready for Old Firm Take Two. A great number of fans have doubts about his ability to do so, and we would love nothing more than for him to prove them wrong.


  1. I think Ped has real potential as a manager. This was his first Old Firm game. He messed up I know. But I think he would have learned a lot from for next one. Let's wait and see?

  2. Agree with every word. He should never have been appointed our manager, another cheap option buy the board, will we never learn. I honestly think if there was any money avaliable we would have gotten a better calibre of manager. WATP

  3. The hugging at the end was bizarre to say the least, starting eleven was easily predictable, will be interesting to see if any changes are made for Saturday. Dodoo must be in contention for a starting place with a more attacking formation seeing the game is at Ibrox. Season tickets are up for renewal and a good performance could help the undecided make up their minds.

  4. I don't think it was down to money that Ped was hired more on his selling ability along the lines of I have a dream which he sold to the interviewers who had no football management experience at all. Smith, Gough and Souness should have been given the task of putting a short list together for the board to make a final decision from.Instead we have another talking head who will be lucky to make it to Xmas.

  5. Until Halliday and those like him are gone we will win nothing. I can accept him being a limited player technically but I cannot an will not accept the lack of effort, the lack of guile and the lack of courage in a so called Rangers man in any game but especially in this one! Even at my advancing years I feel I would have given a more committed performance, well at least for the 10 minutes that I might last before exhaustion set in, but it would be 10 minutes more than we generally get from Halliday. One other thing is for sure I would last longer than at least one of the opposition in that particular game! Even his attempt at a tackle after three minutes that could have saw him red carded was a joke, if he is to put in such tackles then he needs to ask Greig, Souness, Roberts or Hurlock to teach him how to make the tackles effectively!

    • Yes, je should reallu have been off, as could Beerman, and maybe even Tav for the peno. Theres no discipline. Kenny should have went in the last gamne v them too. Its reckless and players are just jumping desperately into challenges in order to make up for their lack of real drive and ability

  6. If Rangers cannot use that hammering and the fall out from it to muster a better display and have a go at Celtic, who wiull be weakened , imo, without Brown and Dembele. Even though Griffiths is a goal scorer, and could hurt any team, the Celtic bench wont have a Grigffiths to come on as it where. Brown will be missed though I still feel Armstrong could play that role. Pedro muyst have learned from yesterday and will make changes, if he hasnt then its not very encouraging

  7. For me in the end it wasn't​ even that we lost the game, it was the way we lost it. There was no fight or determination. There wasn't any passion or guile.

    If they had got stuck in and we'd lost then at least they'd tried and gave their all.
    Instead we got a team that didn't have a clue. Most amateurs would have done a better job while hungover! As for the cuddly happiness at the end? I don't think I am the only fan who wasn't happy at that.

  8. Waghorn does my tits in! The amount of decent chances as well as sitters he misses everyweek is shocking!

    Halliday needs to go! Give Burt or Forrester a chance.

    Garner is not Rangers class. Get shot in summer.

    Play Dodoo from the start, excellent strike with his weak foot from distance. Unpredictable player, what we need.

    Bates is certainly rough around the edges but he did a job and has done since he's been in. Possible decent Scottish Centre Back for us in future.

    Beerman is class bags of potential!

  9. Been our BIGGEST problem since start of season….NO GUTS, NO GRIT, lack of solidarity as a team….GET RID OF HALF THESE PLAYERS..!!!!…

    • Isn't that the same kind of mentality that got us nowhere with Warburton? Burying heads in the sand when it all begins to go a bit shit is precisely what we don't need to do. I'm still feeling giving him a chance but the whole 'in Ped we trust' is ridiculous.
      Trust is earned and so far he's done nothing TO earn it.

  10. Shocking 'performance' It pains me to say it but I'd rather we lost 4-0 and seen us show up and show some grit, fight and passion.
    Most fans would show more if plucked from the stands!
    Embarrassing to watch. Shameful.

  11. A lot of good and true points in the article. It's not easy trying to figure out where to even start and then pick through individual points from what was just an absolute mess of shocking tactics and an extremely poor performance.
    Hodson and Tavernier together worked so well last time and nullified a lot of their attacking threat with Sinclair but also allowed Tavernier to do the things offensively that he usually does well. I like Taverniers athleticism and mobility in against their midfield anyway. The Halliday selection was just bizarre, a player with such poor form and confidence going into that game was just never going to work. I think the most frustrating thing was the Garner/Waghorn selection… the total lack of mobility and threat offensively in that game was just embarrassing particularly when you're sitting off them therefore suggesting that we'd be hoping to hit them on the break (ie the Aberdeen game) Dodoo and Mckay at least offered a bit of pace and mobility when they came on.
    The whole thing was a massive regression from Murty's tactics last time which is worrying. They are a good side at the moment but not a great side, unfortunately we made them look so!

  12. Have you ever wondered if the managers are giving a script by the PR entity to just dole out for interviews?

    It's all well and good talking about getting rid of the dead wood, but no ones going to buy any of them and the money isn't there to simply release them.

    Surely now it can be seen the problem ultimately isn't the manager, the players are just vastly inferior and people are, perhaps, waking up to the fact the entire squad has been overrated due to their performances against part timers.

  13. Pedro is a dud! Another expensive mistake he will surely go down in history as the strangest appointment ever to take over the Managers office. After the failed experiment that was Warburton the last thing Rangers needed was another untried gamble. Simply it needed someone steeped in Scottish football if not the club itself – who would first and foremost have the experience and know how to work with a limited bunch of players and make us difficult to beat. Those res[ponsioble for Pedro's appointment should hang their head in shame, and next time ask themselves what credentials they have to select a football Manager. It borders on criminal not to bring in the likes of Walter Smith to have an input into the appointment. It gives me no pleasure to say all this and aI know many of my fellow supporters will be saying the jury's out and Pedro requires to be given a chance – but we simply can't afford to invest limited resources in another chancer in the Manager's chair. He clearly learned nothing from watching in the stand at Celtic Park. I'd put him back in the stand next week while we negotiate his exit – and put Murty back in charge of the team to end Rodgers unbeaten run.

  14. Right Ped the Ted is a big question mark as a manager and the clock is ticking …BUT to his credit he has delivered two young players to the first team set up and they look good. Hopefully he will go back to the Academy and produce more gems, also he WILL sign new players this close season and they will carry his potential as a manager in their performances so right now he looks a donkey but we will just have to suck it up and see what kind of outfit he conjures up and their actions come mid September. Think he has that long to show a difference from now. Cause the last few games our 1st half performances have been rank so maybee he needs the time to get educated as it seems he does make a difference in 2nd halves, even v Sundays game our 2nd half looked better till that muppet Tavernier jumped in…..And lastly we are still being punished by Warburtons signings so there is a need to bin 90% of them and he will be judged on their replacements.

  15. Are we to beleive ped was the best candidate.The board r takin the piss. we are f****d until we put in place a competent board who can maximise the potential of a worldwde brand.We are being run like f*****g berwick rangers.

  16. If the boys can't react to the insult by legohead and the daily rebel lauding them up, then nothing will.To be the first to defeat them this season is the only meaningful thing left. If it was them they would try everything to sicken us, thats the mentality needed.i would have fergie & bomber in that dressing room before kick off then ped might get it.

  17. Joe Garner did not get any scraps to work with as he himself did not work his ass off for the ball he was so far from the player with the ball he gave himself no chance,the first 45 mins we where played off the park and i just hope second 45 mins was good tactics from us and not Selltic taking there foot off the gas,in four days we will find this out,i am pissed off

  18. The whole Caixinha thing is baffling he seems at one stage to talk about football as he knows it and then swings completely around to say we have a good squad and are better !!! I fear the worst sorry agree we should have had someone hiring like Smith Gough Brown etc. . The team is need of major overhaul with what ever means we can use , getting better in Scotland is the priority there are deals to be done Bates is a good example of that … the Scum will be what they will, be the SFA et all ensured that they were handed this passage to print money for over four years with our relegation debacle , never let us forget that ever and I include further boycotts of those who were responsible. We need more than ever to get our season books in and try to move forward. The board are the board there is no one waiting in the wings to pump dough into us .

  19. I have said it before he won't last till the end of next season and thats a 100% GUARANTEED.
    The manky mob saw there weakness and went out and recruited a decent manager who has turned there dross into a decent team (Not wonderful) .If we had done the same, maybe some of our dross may be performing better than they have been.

  20. Bottom line is poor squad, poor backing financially from the board, a poor choice of manager appointment – we should expect nothing other than poor performances and little if any progress. I despair!

  21. I have said it before he won't last till the end of next season and thats a 100% GUARANTEED.
    The manky mob saw there weakness and went out and recruited a decent manager who has turned there dross into a decent team (Not wonderful) .If we had done the same, maybe some of our dross may be performing better than they have been.

    • Willie

      They did what any club in good financial health did and recruited the very best they could attract, same as us. Ped is about as good as we can attract, apart from Big Eck etc who would do it for the right reasons.

      They are not brilliant, they are good and tough to beat, but there is no competition to them and we are not going to provide any in the near future. Until the message gets through that we need rid of a criminal chairman who is holding us back for his own benefit, the longer we will be chasing shadows….another 10m+ into their coffers for Champions League efforts….while all we get is fuckin loans and bad debt….they also have a canny6 knack of buying average, building them up, selling them on….something we never have been, and sadly that mentality is prevalent at the club today…

      We are in dire straights but people have their heads buried either in the sand or up Kings arse…change has to happen….or there will be no change….think about it


  22. Gordon, correct yet again, but no one listens, really really strange, makes you wonder the spell King has!!! J

  23. Ok we beat them in last game at home or 10 maybe 12 players walk to make room
    for new faces that are fearless players that want to play for our team.

  24. Rangers had 3 passes before Celtic scored & 2 of them were at the kick off .. I'll let that sink in ..we scored in 10th min …

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