Rangers tonight face PSV in Eindhoven in what has become a very winnable match of football. While we’re counting no chickens whatsoever and it’ll have to be a colossal performance like last year was, well, we did it last year didn’t we?
What is the pressure on Michael Beale here? Let’s just say if he secures the group spot AND beats Celtic this weekend, he will be forgiven pretty much for everything that went before.
Instant hero? Maybe. Legend? No – not quite – you don’t win anything by beating Celtic the first Old Firm and while there’s big money in the Champions League, we could still get humped in the group stage.
But he’d be close. Beating Celtic is everything to Rangers and us fans, and adding a titanic place in the group stage having overcome the massive PSV for the second-year running would be a behemoth of an achievement for a man who’s only been a manager in his own right for 13 months.
Now, we’re aware of the gravity here – we said this kind of stuff before Sevilla and that one sure worked out. That is, we bigged up what the nature of winning that final would have been and it absolutely crashed in front of us, thanks to the hopeless reject that is Aaron Ramsey.
But we also did it pre-PSV last season and hey presto, that one worked out, so horses for courses.
End of the day, this 5 or 6 days could define Rangers’ season, and Beale would be a borderline statue outside Ibrox just for two little wins.
Can he do it? Well, as Ibrox Noise’s Derek says, PSV threw every trick they had at us, and only a fluke of a goal even got them a draw. They have no surprises left. So it’s possible. Still will need a momentous performance however.
As for Celtic? Couldn’t be facing them at a better time. They’re in drastic form, their manager is clueless, their players don’t even like him and most of them are leaving. Meanwhile they have no defence. Beware the wounded animal, of course, and no complacency, but if Michael Beale can’t beat this Celtic, he will never be able to.
But two wins out of two…
If Rangers are in the Champions League and top of the Scottish Premiership come 2pm on Sunday, Michael Beale will instantly have the support, goodwill and backing of 100% of all true Rangers fans.