December loss was a blessing in disguise for Rangers

December loss was a blessing in disguise for Rangers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 30: Rangers manager Philippe Clement (l) reacts as Celtic Manager Brendon Rodgers looks on during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Celtic Park Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

So it turns out Rangers’ loss to Celtic in December may, in fact, have actually been a stunning blessing in disguise, and the current state of things owe a lot to that loss as much as anything else.

Rangers of course lost at Parkhead at the tail end of 2023, and while the end of the match was nervy for the hosts, they won out.

And then considered us a lot less of a problem than they might have had they drawn or lost.

See, there is now a little theory circulating that that loss taught Philippe Clement a LOT of lessons about himself, his squad, and what he needed in the transfer market, but equally significantly, it lessened Celtic’s need to spend big in the same window.

They did nothing in that window, nothing good anyway, and it’s as if the Old Firm result made them take Rangers and Clement a lot less seriously and they consequently rested on their laurels.

A silver lining of a loss that may have actually been:

It gave Clement a kick up his backside and taught him he wasn’t the finished product (something he very much knows) as a manager at this club, and told him his squad was still short.

And it gave Celtic a false sense of security that they didn’t need to strengthen that much in the window because they were miles ahead of us anyway.

Fast-forward 7 or so weeks, and the picture couldn’t have changed more. Yes, Rangers do still need to beat Celtic, that is always the benchmark, but 2 points clear and 2 goals better off says that that Old Firm loss in December may actually have been the perfect result for Rangers.

It told Clement he was nowhere near done, and that he needed more, and told Celtic they were fine, not to worry.

They’re worried now.

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