One vague phrase on the lips of many Rangers fans over the past few years and accelerating as Celtic won their eighth on the trot is ‘10IAR’ and the fear that regardless of mitigating factors helping them achieve it, Celtic had nothing to stop them desecrating the sacred 9IAR record both clubs have, and becoming the first in Scotland to break that run.
Indeed, it’s even had a number of fans worried about renewing – what’s the point watching Celtic romp with ease to 9IAR next season.
At least, it did till yesterday.
As we said earlier, make no mistake – for the first time since 2011, Celtic are genuinely worried about Rangers. They have not had a great season, and it was enough to win the title over a poor Aberdeen and an inconsistent Rangers.
But for us to have strolled to wins over them twice, and managing to produce our best football of the season during the tough split period gives a serious preview of our intentions next season.
Of course, the work continues – we need better and more defenders, we need strikers, and we probably need creative midfielders – but we can rarely remember a time here at Ibrox Noise when our Rangers side played like it – like the side who would be King.
But while we’d never pretend it’s the finished product, that performance yesterday was a side flirting with challenging at the top – a side who’s starting to believe and a support willing to do likewise.
With a few key signings in the right areas, Rangers will be equipped to stop Celtic from winning 10IAR. We might not manage it next season, but going by the evidence of the past six matches, it will be the hardest of their 9 titles to win, by a mile.
10IAR seemed a dead cert only a few months ago. There seemed nothing we could do at Ibrox to stop Celtic from claiming it.
The goalposts have definitely shifted now and Celtic’s cycle is coming to a real end. Rangers are ready to seriously mount something in the next two seasons.
And we can’t wait for it.