Philippe Clement & Rangers must beat Celtic this weekend

Philippe Clement & Rangers must beat Celtic this weekend
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)

We might have discussed recently how 56-wise anything other than a win on Sunday might not actually be the end of Rangers’ title dream, that data shows Philippe Clement has outperformed his Celtic counterpart Brendan Rodgers overall this season by 6 points.

It’s been a recurring pattern and will likely continue regardless of Sunday’s result, but when it comes to the meat and bones of it, Rangers fans will not tolerate anything other than a win.

The simple fact is Rangers squads and especially Rangers managers are definitively judged on the outcome of this fixture, and there’s no denying Rodgers has had a good record against Rangers, in fact borderline faultless – just one loss in 15 matches and it was back in 2018.

So Clement, having flubbed his lines along with his squad at Parkhead, has to go a big step here to gaining that credibility by beating Celtic.

A league title won without having beaten Celtic would still be a league title, but there’s definitely a big issue of not having beaten them, much like being ‘voted’ champions as Celtic were in 2020…

But getting back to the issue, Clement has been a revelation as manager, but did drop the ball on the biggest stage in Parkhead.

To win all three points this weekend is exactly what he and Rangers need, because despite all not being lost if we don’t win, morale would get a huge boost and Rangers fans would be completely sold on Clement.

This is not to say they’re not already, but as we say, fans judge our club on results v Celtic, and failure to beat Celtic at home would be very much looked down upon.

It wouldn’t be a good look at all.

So, despite what we say about data, and the implications, ultimately it’s all about Rangers beating Celtic because that’s really all that matters in this city.

It’s down to Philippe Clement and his team to deliver it. Rangers managers are judged on their record against ‘that’ lot. Walter Smith travelling to Parkhead in 2007 and managing that colossal win while trailing in the league – he showed his mettle, and so did his team.

Clement needs the same this weekend.

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