Three thirds might not mean a lot, but that’s the number of times Rangers have faced third-placed opposition in the SPL this season, and blown each of them away.
First it was high-flying Hearts who Rangers put in their place despite all the hype about their league position and Rangers’ form, then it was St Mirren with that lofty slot but Rangers comfortably dispatched them, before third-placed Aberdeen came to Ibrox and found themselves on the receiving end of a hiding.
The SPL is of no real challenge to Rangers, as long as our team always shows up and commits. See, Rangers’ results this season are even more remarkable thanks to the appalling injury list. Celtic have dropped three points this campaign, Rangers seven, but Celtic have dropped their three with mostly a full squad and few injuries.
Rangers are missing anywhere between 10-15 players at any given point.
It’s actually stunning that we’re only four behind given the catastrophic injuries which blight the campaign.
Forget the UCL, we never had any expectation with it, expecting a last-placed finish – it was indeed a disaster and we couldn’t cope, injuries certainly not helping.
But the basic maths of losing all our best players and having the remaining squad run on fumes seems to be lost on many, including Ibrox Noise at times. Which is why to keep on dispatching third-place without any difficulty shows Rangers are still miles and away the biggest challengers to Celtic in first place, and it only takes one good result against them to shift momentum completely.
Come next year and the next Old Firm, Rangers will hope to have a number of players back, and we’d like to think that will make the season a bit more of an even playing field.
See, it’s all well and good slaughtering the manager, the players, and the board, but the reality is without half the squad it’s a massive cross to bear – and yet domestically at least, the damage of this has been minimal.
Judge this regime in March, when the bulk of players are fit again, and we’re toe to toe with Celtic, not now, while the majority of our best players aren’t even available.
That just feels like eating and judging the taste of meat before it’s actually been cooked.