Rangers gear up to face Celtic – is Michael Beale Old Firm ready?

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Rangers gear up to face Celtic – is Michael Beale Old Firm ready?
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 15: Rangers Manager Michael Beale speaks with Fourth Official Chris Graham ahead of the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Hibernian FC at on December 15, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

So what exactly is the situation with Rangers going into the Old Firm on Monday? Ibrox Noise has been watching quietly our fans’ opinions, while noting the messages coming out of Govan as well, and things stand a lot better than a lot of supporters want to believe.

First off, we’ve learned quickly that Michael Beale is, 100%, a liar, and funnily enough it’s actually a bit of a compliment. He feeds the press absolute manure, spews frequent untruths, and regularly uses misdirection to fend off from the scent – this leads to keeping his hand close to his chest and we’ve already seen tonnes of fans saying ‘but Beale said xxx so why is xxx on the bench/playing/not there’.

It’s part of his style, and so far it’s working very well indeed.

In terms of form, the football is massively better, and yes, we’ve had tonnes of criticism from fans, who know much better, explaining we’re wrong and the football is horrible. Ignore the 4 goals in two matches, ignore the clean sheets, ignore Borna Barisic with two assists, ignore all the switching in play up front, ignore the 90% passing in midfield, and ignore the tonnes of shots on target.

It’s all much worse than before…

The system has completely changed – instead of backwards passing and static wingplay, we’re seeing fullbacks forwards, wingers cutting in, and midfielders pondering a lot less on the ball and feeding it forward much faster. We’ve seen the triangles up top working so much better – Morelos centrally linking with Tav and Tillman on one side or Barisic and Kent on the other, with Lowry involved too.

In short, Beale has changed the mentality, made players work much harder, and move more to create space.

As much as many of our supporters want to protest otherwise, the play is a tonne more effective – we’ve scored 10 goals in 4 matches, conceding just 4, and while we’re not suggesting 56 is ours this season (yet) there are much better signs from the tactics we’ve seen.

So are we ready for Celtic? There’s no such thing. Old Firm matches are form out the window – it’s who wants it more, and Rangers have EVERYTHING to win and Celtic have everything to lose.

The pressure is on Celtic to maintain their lead, the focus and interest is on Michael Beale and Rangers to see what they can do in by far his toughest match.

But Michael Beale has a big trick up his sleeve with regards Celtic, and we’ll explain it later today.

Short version though? We’re as ready as we need to be. Bring them on.

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