So as we know Rangers did not close the gap to Celtic to 6 points last weekend. Of course, it was a matter of hope rather than expectation, especially in light of Aberdeen’s obvious willingness to lie down to Celtic.
The fact both teams are essentially mates now who share players constantly gives some idea of just what level of ‘rivalry’ there is, plus the 18/82 possession stat after 25 minutes at Pittodrie further enhances that idea.
And the utterly flat atmosphere in north Scotland compared to the toxic one when Rangers comes to town tells its own story – we have not even mentioned the 9IAR Celtic had over Aberdeen, which became 10.
So yeah, hopes were minimal, but there was always a chance.
As things stand, the Premiership title is out of Rangers’ hands – even two wins over Celtic between now and the end of the season, should they win the rest of their fixtures, obviously isn’t enough. But if you had offered Rangers fans losing the title by three points after how low we sunk under Mark Warburton then Pedro Caixinha, we would have bitten your hand off for it.
The fact is Rangers are on the rise while Celtic have begun to flounder. This season has been pretty much back to the Deila Celtic, with that unbeaten record a distant memory now. Hopeless in Europe and vulnerable in the SPL, Celtic are there for the taking if Rangers can continue the progression.
We travel to Perth tonight to face a completely off form St Johnstone who have only two wins in their last seven. In Rangers’ current state we have to assume we will secure victory.
And that is all we can ask for the rest of the season. Our players can do no more than just keep winning, keep on doing their best, and whatever will be, will be.
One thing is definitely for sure no matter what transpires before the end of the season – this Rangers team is much better equipped to deal with a title challenge next campaign, and an Old Firm win in either of the remaining clashes with Rodgers’ side would be a big statement of intent.
Rangers have not beaten Celtic in 90 minutes since 2012 – six years since we did it, and that is abominable. But there is progress. After countless losses, Graeme Murty has gotten his men to become hard to beat against the eastenders, and that was before they hit the current patch of form and progress we appear to be enjoying.
So get that win next month or after the split – one win, versus Celtic, and suddenly Rangers look like a Rangers finally capable of delivering a sustained and serious title shout.
Indeed, it’s arguable we already do.