Well, it’s that time again.
The marketing men at Sky, the mainstream media in Scotland and anyone else who is out to make a few bob from Scottish footballs cash cow. Celtic v Rangers.
Except, of course, we know better.
And we need to keep reminding everyone of that.
It’s not Celtic v Rangers, it’s Celtic v “rangers “, a club put together from the ashes of Rangers who , after years of creative accounting and unique remuneration finally crashed and burned owing millions of pounds to creditors, who of course will see only pennies on the pound when liquidation is finally complete.
Sky sports, for instance, who have relegated Scottish football to the level of the wrestling that used to be on ITV on Saturday afternoons when they insisted on four of these games every season, have turned a blind eye to the shennanigans at the SFA that ensured the contract would be fulfilled , have done thier best to re-write history.
Charles Paterson, who presumably needs the money, said in his online report for the TV company..
It is not just a new year on the horizon – Rangers supporters will gladly wave goodbye to the decade ending next Tuesday. The club’s financial meltdown nearly seven years ago led to years in the wilderness and, as they floundered in the lower divisions, Celtic racked up the silverware
First of all, the decade doesn’t end for another 12 months, as any fool knows its 01-10 that is classed as a decade.
This financial meltdown he refers to happened to another club, the one currently in liquidation, and it’s fair to say that Celtic didn’t rack up the silverware while they “floundered in the lower divisions ” as much as they have since the club/company entered the top division, since when Celtic have actually won everything domestically that matters.
In this decade Rangers have won just once at Celtic Park – in October 2010, when Kenny Miller scored twice in a 3-1 victory. That season Walter Smith’s side went on to win the league championship on the final day; Rangers have not won a major trophy since.
Er, as I’ve explained , that was last decade…and Rangers have not won a major trophy since because they are in liquidation.
The new entity hasn’t won a major trophy full stop.
But they have a product to sell, and when did the truth matter when there’s a few quid at stake ?
The mainstream media are at it as well.
Neil Lennon has remained quiet, so far, at least, and this has given the back pages over to the “rangers ” manager Steven Gerrard and his supporters in the press to hype the game even further. especially as a defeat will pretty much end the loveable Scouse rogues chances of winning the league.
We’ll start with Gerrard, who reckons this game is quite important…
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard reckons Old Firm ties could be crucial in Premiership title race
“Last year they didn’t because it was split 50-50,” Gerrard said when asked how significant the Old Firm fixtures could be in the title race. “But what happened last year was that a lot of teams were taking points off Celtic and ourselves. So maybe the importance of the Old Firm results wasn’t going to be pivotal.
“This year looks as if it is taking a different pattern – so far. With all due respect, with the consistency of Celtic and ourselves it could well boil down to what happens in the Old Firms.
“It’s difficult to deny that with the pattern the season has taken so far. That’s the reason why it’s so important we get a result at the weekend.”
“I don’t want to disrespect the rest of the league for obvious reasons,” he said. “You would get other managers jumping out of the dressing room and into the press room to say ‘you earn more money than us’ and this and that.
“I don’t want to disrespect anyone. Everyone is trying their best to compete with the Old Firm. Killie put a fantastic show on to try and nullify and frustrate us. Aberdeen took Celtic to the wire just a few days ago.
“So teams are doing everything they can, but what’s happened is that Celtic have improved and we’ve improved. I think the pressure from each side is bringing the best out of both teams.”
There’s no denying they have improved, and there’s equally no denying that it’s largely down to the goalscoring form of Alfredo Morelos, who has 28 goals already this season, thanks largely to referees ignoring his antics and allowing him free reign to “bully ” opposition defenders.
Take him out of the equation, and you’re left with Defoe-who alternates with Morelos, on 11, and Joe Aribo on 6…
In a separate interview, still with the staunch support from Union Jack, Gerrard calls for referees to protect Morelos..
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard calls for a ‘strong performance’ from the officials in Celtic showdown
“I don’t think you can be [under more pressure than the players] as an official in these Old Firms. The pressure is there for everyone, for the players, both sets, for the coaching staff, both sets, the supporters bring pressure into the ground and it is no different for the officials.
“You just hope before a ball is kicked that everyone is talking about the football after the game and not a decision that has been wrong and that affects the outcome of the game.
“I don’t think that is fair on both groups of players. I think the least we deserve is a good, strong performance from all the officials.”
Presumably he means a strong performance like the strong performance of John Beaton…
Ever reliable puppet journalist Gary Ralston at the Record did his bit as well, presumably on the orders of the Fat controller over at Level 5, as he complains that Morelos is the victim of all sorts of abuse…
For instance, there’s years of racist abuse, he’s been attacked in the street, in the dugout and even had to have police protection for his family after bomb threats and bullets were sent to his home..
Oh hang on, I’m getting mixed up here…that was Neil Lennon, who of course, brought it all on himself…
But Ralston is under orders, and so he produced this guff…
Alfredo Morelos and the disgusting Rangers abuse his rivals will dish out to rile him up – Gary Ralston
If the Colombian striker was Scottish the Ibrox star would have a statue outside Hampden.
Alfredo Morelos can sleep easy as he heads into 2020 no matter the result at Celtic Park.
One Scotland, many cultures?
It’s unlikely the Colombian striker will be called up any time soon and asked to lend his endorsement to the Holyrood campaign.
Scottish football can be a brutal, tribal business, but the civic nationalism espoused by Nicola Sturgeon was long ago exposed as a fallacy when it comes to the Rangers frontman.
Too often, there’s an ugliness at the heart of the Scottish football support, which will be manifested in all its gory detail in tomorrow’s Old Firm clash.
you know, for a minute i thought he was going to mention what happened to Lennon, or the racist abuse of Scott Sinclair, or the missiles thrown at Leigh Griffiths, or even the endemic anti irish racism that purs down from the stands every time “rangers ” are at home….
But I was disappointed…
Morelos is likely to feel the wrath of it, walking out into an environment that would make even the knees of a Spartan shake, but this time you’d back him to cope.
Spartans-wasn’t that the club who were forced to make way for “rangers 2 when the new club needed to get into the league ?
The learning curve for Morelos these past 18 months has been steep, but there’s more to the 23-year-old than a scowl and a well clipped short back and sides.
That disgusting banner held up by Aberdeen fans at Pittodrie earlier this year, which crossed the line from naked hostility to blatant racism, represented a new low for the image of Scotland as a tolerant, welcoming nation.
Anyone else remember the kick on Du Wei ?
In his first game against Rangers, the Record used a wee bit of blatant racism which represented a new low for the image of Scotland as a tolerant , welcoming nation…
Something about welcome to Scotland, China ?
Oddly enough, the abuse Scott sinclair received at Ibrox didn;t get this much coverage, and I’ve yet to see anything resembling racism that has been thrown at morelos.
That someone would go to the bother of funding a banner declaring, in Spanish, ‘Morelos, your mother is a mattress’ was shameful.
not quite sure how that’s racist….
That a group of fans would hoist it high was even worse, before we even get started on those who tried to take a Silentnight into the subsequent Ibrox cup replay the following week.
The woman who was the victim of such reprehensible behaviour – her name is Marta by the way, not Mattress – spent her Christmas Eve with her husband, Alfredo senior, handing out gifts to disadvantaged kids in their home city.
Their boy – that despicable individual – funded 300 gifts for children in the Botaven neighbourhood of Cerete as part of his charity foundation and has rightly been feted for his sense of community, as well as his integrity and generosity.
Win, lose or draw, Morelos will climb off a plane from the UK on Monday and straight into a game he has organised to help raise funds for a host of educational causes around his home town.
Morelos, it seems, does do a lot for charity, and should be rightly commended for that.
But to use that as an excuse for his shocking behaviour on the park is utterly shameful.
It’s like excusing Jimmy Saville for his crimes….maybe an extreme example, but the point stands.
If Morelos was Scottish they would be erecting statues to him outside Hampden and building an international team around him for seasons to come.
But he isn’t, so they won’t.
Put it this way, how many Scottish kids could leave their home at the age of 19 and fly halfway across the world without a support network in a bid to make it in the game?
I’d say that Liam Henderson has made a decent fist of it, and so would many more given the opportunity.
That was the route Morelos took less than four years ago when he moved to Finland, determined to fulfil his dream of playing in the major leagues by using HJK Helsinki as a stepping stone.
Morelos grew up in such abject poverty he sold fruit from the side of the road with his father and it’s the same streetfighter instincts that will help him achieve his career ambition via Rangers, most likely at the end of this season.
In the meantime, he will continue to bully the life out of Scottish defenders, underlining a strength of character and a lack of fear, driven only by the desire to be the very best he can be.
What he actually means is the dopey little sod doesn’t quite understand that you can;t go around stamping , elbowing and diving your way to success.
What Ralston fails to add, in a purely footballing sense, is that despite his goals, and he does score a few, no one has yet put in a serious bid for him, and when millions of pounds are at stake, clubs will have a look into all aspects of a player, including his character, which at best with Morelos can be descrobed as suspect, and thats why no one wants him, at least not at the price “rangers ” value him at, which means sooner or later Morelos will implode, as he will almost certainly believe his own publicity, and there’s a showdown due at ibrox when he is led to believe that he’s worth more than they are paying him.
Thats what they’re telling him.
Of course, when or if he does go, they’ve paved the way for a narrative that will siggest he was hounded out by racists, which will be a convenient excuse for another trophyless season….
After all, thats what everyone has been saying.
Meanwhile, the good guys are just quietly going about their business, having already beaten Gerrards side twice this season, and despite the superstar striker in their midst, the men in blue have failed to score on both occasions, neither of which were at Celtic Park.
In fact, the new club have never won there, and Morelos has never even scored against Celtic.
Thats not to say we should take this game lightly, in fact Celtic should take it very seriously, and play to the best of their ability to put the world firmly back on its axis and put an end to all this talk of a title race.
Here’s something to consider…
Since the SPFL started, 7 games have ended with a 7goals (or more) winning margin. Celtic provided 6 of the 7
Celtic 9:0 Aberdeen
Celtic FC 8:1 Hamilton
Dunfermline 1:8 Celtic
Celtic 7:0 St Johnstone
Celtic 7:0 Motherwell
Celtic 7:0 St Mirren
Dundee 0:7 Aberdeen
It’s time to add to that list…someone is due a pounding, given the recent form of the men in hoops, and tomorrow would be as good a time as any for that to happen.
Yesterday, we had this…