Was Chris Sutton right?

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It isn’t like we’re overly keen on paraphrasing anything Chris Sutton has to say, he is after all a Celtic man.

However, as much as his comments on Rangers have drawn a great deal of flack over the years, not least of all from us on Ibrox Noise, having witnessed his scathing commentary when his main team got gubbed by Zenit, we would admit he does indeed call it as he sees it, albeit in an unquestionably attention-seeking and tabloid manner. He accused Celtic of ‘bottling it’ in Russia, which is a strong accusation at the team you support.

So, with that pre-amble notwithstanding, we have to agree with something else he said recently, which created headlines in our glorious Scottish media.

Chris Sutton described Sunday’s upcoming Old Firm as ‘the first real Old Firm clash in years’ and he couldn’t wait.

Indeed, we would go further than this. We would go on record as saying this is the first Old Firm clash since 2012, period, where both sides had a share of the spoils – Rangers winning at Ibrox, Celtic at Parkhead.

Since then, pale imitation Rangers sides unbefitting of the jersey have faced Celtic, a trend which continued till this year. Even though Warburton’s side got a win, Celtic were the better team that afternoon and wasted some glorious chances. And despite Graeme Murty’s impressive draws at Parkhead, fans went into those matches with little to no hope.

But on Sunday, for the first time really since the 18th of September 2011 when Rangers secured a 4-2 win over Lennon’s men, Rangers go toe-to-toe with Celtic, much more properly than in any recent encounter.

The result after that win at Ibrox was post-Naismith’s injury and it was the start of the decline. A defiant 3-2 win at Ibrox in March was delaying the inevitable following a 1-0 loss at Parkhead in December and the 3-0 reverse in Glasgow’s east end during the split summed up where Rangers were now going.

But here we are, six years later, and for the first time, over the past month or two, Celtic have shown real concern about Rangers, and have started to recognise the renaissance building up at Ibrox.

It really will be the first time in over half a decade where Rangers go into an Old Firm match in considerably better condition than Celtic, and that is why there is real hope and expectation Murty can get a result.

Our defence remains a key problem, and we will look at that in a separate piece, but midfield and attack are in electric form and murmurs in the tabloid press have been scathing of Celtic’s back line recently which is certainly an opportunity Rangers should exploit.

But the original point is instead of fearing the worst, Rangers fans are actually expecting something a lot better on Sunday.

It is of course the ultimate litmus test. Rangers and Celtic are judged on how they do against each other – and Rangers have failed that spectacularly all-too-often. Graeme Murty admits he’s eager to see how his charges fare on Sunday, with this being his first real Old Firm match as manager with the team he has built in really only a couple of months.

Murty has rightly drawn praise for how well he has done this calendar year – well, Sunday’s test is the biggest. Pass that and this Rangers team and manager will have convinced even further that there might just be a sea change in town.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Septic were NOT the best team that day in the semi final! Yes they missed a sitter but they were outplayed. Even Brenda said we deserved that win. Don't downplay our performance.

    • Hi Steve,

      Celtic had 33 shots, 10 on target, we had 9 and 3. And Ronny Deila was their manager that day, not Rodgers. Best not to revise history, leave that for that lot!

    • Celtic were the better team that day out with the 2 goals a piece we had 1 good chance miller whereas they had about 7 . Media and fans went way over the day and I was proved that by how abysmal we were under Warburton

    • I.N i was very intoxicated that fine day but 33 shots? They must have had 1 every time I went to the bar! 33 long range hit n hopes? You get what you deserve in this game..we won! They can have 33 shots this weekend as long as we win! WATP 🇬🇧

  2. 3-1 to us playing a defensive 4-4-2.
    Win this one and we could gain the mentality to win the 55th next season. Can't fn wait…I can feel this one in my bones. 3 fn 1 and send them back to scum land tae think again!

    • I've had a strong feeling about 3-1 too. Gonna stick a fiver on it I think!! Not sure about 4-4-2, I think Murty system doesn't need to change so Murphy comes in for Cummings if fit.

  3. The difference is we are looking to turn them over, but the last ofg is where it started, we should have one that one, the same again but finding the net this time would make the difference

    • I thought a draw was a fair result in the last OFG. They missed 3 great chances in the first half and we missed 3 in the second. It was a great result for us because the scum thought they were going to destroy us now the shoe is on the other foot so let’s see what happens 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

  4. I would start cummings, big game mentality.if he gets chances he'll take them. i would consider playing morelos in a wider role depending on murphy and john's fitness.morelos and miller would have an impact last half hour. either way their defence needs pulled all over the place similar to what warburton did against dundee by interchanging the front line?

  5. The support can make the difference, rock the stadium and PLEASE! don't let them out sing us at home, i can't stand that.

  6. Tell you what Sutton was right about Pedro being a dud. Happy days that we are at least minimising options for Sutton and others like him now we have a clue. Who cares what he thinks anyway. We are on the way back so let's look forward to him squirming shortly.

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