The dust has settled (sort of) over another bad Old Firm for Rangers, seeing yet again another Ibrox manager get it wrong on the day and most of the players failing to deliver either.
Ibrox Noise brings you the things we believe we’ve picked up from this one.
1: Philippe Clement’s supposed-miracle-working didn’t extend to the one that TRULY mattered. Just like in Aberdeen, the boss got his selection wrong, and wouldn’t make changes till it was too late. James Tavernier’s stunning goal made the hosts nervous, but that strike had nothing to do with the manager.
2: Had Rangers faced Celtic at Hampden for the cup final, sadly we don’t think we’d have lifted the trophy. However the Parkhead side play, whatever form they’re in, they find a new level every single time they face us and we find ourselves up against the champion Celtic side. Not the one horsed by Kilmarnock.
3: Philippe Clement got a big wake-up call here – his first defeat had to come at some point, but this was the one match Rangers fans needed to get a result in. This one proved Clement is no Walter Smith yet, and we’ll explain that one in a later article. Clement has lots of talent, and potential, and he is a winner, but he makes mistakes and, like many stubborn bosses, never admits them or takes responsibility.
4: The players were finally, truly, and completely exposed as average for the most part, rather than just a few of them being classed as subpar. Rangers players are measured on how they stand up v Celtic, and only a couple really did – Sterling, Lunny and Ridvan were the best of the bunch, but too many of the rest fell painfully short, sadly. This is the big one for Rangers fans, you fall short here this is how you’re remembered.
5: There is a piece of context here – Celtic are about £100M ahead of Rangers financially, they’ve had years of big money whereas Rangers fall short there too ‘thanks’ to 2012-. So we are losing to the big rich club which in itself is understandable. But it’s no less tolerable to Rangers supporters.
6: Cyriel Dessers was heavily abused today, and Ibrox Noise have defended him more than any other fansite historically – his stats and assists etc are good, they really are, but just in the same way Alfredo Morelos and Kris Boyd both absolutely choked against Celtic, so has Dessers. We’re not going to defend his dreadful composure.
7: Todd Cantwell is a busted flush – he has never shown up in any single meaningful Rangers match aside Prague, and we believe he peaked last season when he was trying to prove himself. When he reckoned he did, he just dropped the ball thereafter. The £40M-rated player he once was is completely AWOL and he’s becoming a figure of ridicule from Celtic fans. A lot of which he brought on himself.
8: A lot is being made of James Tavernier’s record v Celtic. It is the worst in Rangers’ history for a significant captain, and if not for his free kick, today would have been another bad Tav showing against Celtic. But he just keeps on getting away with it.
9: We hate banging on about Tav and Goldson, but another big match in which neither covers themselves with glory but play with immunity as always. It just gets tiring seeing neither of them ever being accountable to any manager they play under.
10: A fair bit being claimed about Rangers actually having chances and just not taking them – well, 3 shots on target, and Joe Hart barely had a genuine save to make. His low stop from Ross McCausland’s decent effort was as tough as it got for him. Early on and late on, yes, Rangers put Celtic under some sustained pressure, but there was no quality in it. From about 15 minutes to literally Tav’s goal on 88 minutes, it was all Celtic.
There are many more but we’re too depressed to keep going.