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Has the tide turned????


BRM

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Yet again one of my Old Firm related threads.

 

3 Old Firms have taken palce this season and the Rangers have walked away the victor on 2 occasions to Celtics 1

 

In the League it is 1 victory each with Celtic heading the league by 1 point going into Sunday 28th games.

 

Both teams have done okish in Europe, Celtic recived a automatic palce in the Champions league due to Scotlands co-effcient, Rangers however were handed a qualifying tie against CSKA Moscow which they were unable to navigate and hence they were demoted to the UEFA cup.

Celtic were then handed a very unfortunate roup along with Euro giants AC Milan and FC Barcelona. along with Ukaraine side Shaktor Donesek. The midweek draw at the Nou Camp has given the hoops a great chance to reach the UEFA cup when it restarts after Christmas.

Rangers became the first British team to beat Maritimo after a defeat in Maderia they were able to take the tie to a Penalty shoot out in ibrox which they eventully won. The group stage of the UEFA cup could hardly of gone better for them with a 5-0 victory away to Amica followed this week by a 3-0 win over AK Grazer which has almost guranteed them UEFA cup football after Christmas.

 

The CIS cup provided Rangers with there first old firm victory for 18 months with a deserved victory all be it in the extra time. A John Hartson header gave Celtic the lead all be it against the run of play, but 5 minutes from time Dado Prso sent the game into extra time, in which Shorta Arevladze was able to clinch victory for the gers with a goal on the break.

 

In the SPL Rangers started slowly after a very promising pre season. This also coincided with the the first Old firm game of the season where a goal from Alan Thompson fit enoughth for any game was able to claim Celtic a valuable 3 points in the race for the SPL title race.

In the 2nd Old Firm in the SPL this season Rangers came out on top after A penalty from Nacho Novo and a header from Dado Prso were good enougth to seal a 2-0 victory for the gers. However the victory was made simpler with the sendings off of Celtic resident Englismen Alan Thompson and Chris Sutton and to be fair Henri Camara was very lucky to stay on the pitch.

 

The results so far leave us witha very close title race and with both clubs looking good to progress to the latter stages of the UEFA cup.

 

The Question really is how has the gap which was so great between the sides last season been able close so dramatically. The loss of Henrik has been a major loss for the hoops and i'm sorry but Henri Camara is not even fit to lace larrsons boots. Rangers have however have been able to recruit Croatia Forward Dado Prso and former dundee forward Nach Novo who have both been able to find the net on a regualr basis (thanks novo you won me some money the other night). At the back rangers have been able to match Celtics big robust forwards with 2 giant center halves in the shape of marvin Andrews and Jean alain Boumsong who i personally class as one of the best center backs in the game at the moment.

 

All this has lead me to belive that Rangers could dominate when the honors are handed out in May

Although that is just my opnion and i'm sure that millionliraman will more than likely have some opnions that will differ from mine.

I'm sure he wiil agree with me when i say The SPL title rce looks as it could be better than the title race south of the border.

 

So what do you guys think has there been a shift of power in the city of Glasgow, or will the Green and White hoops prevail and come out on top come May.

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I don't think you can say the tide has turned until Rangers have actually won something. But it is looking promising at the minute. I think the big difference is that this year McLeish has bought some good players compared to the season before. Every one of his signings this year have done the business so far.

 

We've done well recently but we haven't won anything and Celtic are still at the top of the league.

 

Champions League was disappointing. With so many new players we hadn't really gelled but it was disappointing. We've started well in the UEFA Cup and I think if we continue to have our belief then we can do well in that tournament.

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Its a case of that Celtic haven't brought in the players to pad out the squad and haven't got over the loss of Larsson at all.

 

When was the last time Celtic splashed out on a player? Hartson or Lennon weren't it? Thats not good enough for a club with the ambitions of the Hoops and although they are complaining of a lack of transfer money the fact is they shouldn't be at all.

 

Look at their income, they are one of the richest clubs on paper in Britain, if not Europe so where the hell has the money gone? Their gonna need it to pick up a player worthy of replacing Larsson. Hell not even that, they need to be cleaver as Rangers where in getting Prso and Novo, even if I don't rate Prso.

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I'd agree with Cripps, you can't say the tide has turned unless Rangers have won something. It always seems to be the case that one team will be winning the Old Firm matches for a while then the other gets a win and goes on a run.
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I wouldn't say the tide has turned, not yet anyway. Rangers are on a great run and hopefully they can keep it going for a while. I hope the tide turns shortly as i have always preferred Rangers to Celtic, the thing is that the season is still far from over, and a lot can happen in a few months....
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celtic just dont have a good a squad as rangers now rangers got rid of all their dreadful buys they got last season and brought in some good players, henri camara cant kick a ball properly even denis irwin said it after they were together at wolves, plus liam miller was promising but hes gone to the club i like best (celtic are my second fav club)hopefully the skill of petrov and the power of sutton,hartson,balde will help us through the season
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Hardcore is right. O'Neill might be great at man-management, but he's a horrible manager in the transfer market. Balde will likely leave at the end of the season for free, as might Hartson, while he wants McNamara and Rab Douglas on new deals. I'd get rid of Hartson anyway, the moment he has a new contract he will put weight back on and be lazy again, but letting him and Balde effectively go for nothing after already losing Larsson and Liam Miller that way is poor management. Henri Camara is I think the worst player I've ever seen play up front for Celtic - he's fast but that's it. He has a woeful first touch, can't shoot and unlike other strikers we've had that didn't get many goals such as Willie Falconer and Andreas Thom, he can't create chances primarily because he's too greedy to pass. Even Harald Brattbakk, who was famous for being awful at Celtic (though he's been decent both times at Rosenbörg), was better than him. Between Camara and Wayne Biggins it's a close call, but at least Wayne Biggins didn't indulge in fancy earrings and gold boots, the trappings of a big star, when he was crap for us. Juninho was an even worse signing. He had 45 minutes of good play against Rangers at Parkhead, during which Celtic didn't score, since then he's been awful, not getting ahead of Aiden McGeady, or McGreedy as he should be known, for a place in the team.

 

These young players Celtic go on about aren't great either. McGreedy seems to think he's great, like Mark Burchill seemed to think when he was at Celtic, but despite talking about comparisons with Ronaldinho in the Daily Record he's hardly that. Everyone is waiting for John Kennedy to come back from injury, but he's not great either. Wallace is alright but not better than SPL standard, same goes for Pearson, while Craig Beattie in competitive matches seems to need about ten minutes to line up a weak shot whenever he gets a chance. David Marshall started well but has since been mediocre, mind you, considering the alternatives are Rab Douglas and Magnus Hedman, I want to see him back in the team. I'd rather see Godfrey from Dad's Army in goals than either of them mind you. I think what it is is that there are so few Scottish players that any Scot in the team is praised to ridiculous levels, which can be the only explanation for people thinking that Jackie McNamara is a good player. He's a lightweight, unaware, dithering liability. Look at that first game against Barcelona - he cost Celtic the game on his own. Worst game I've ever seen any defender play, not because of the quality of the opposition, but you'd need to have seen the game to know what I mean, it was like he was out to sabotage what little chance Celtic had. A lot of goals stem from McNamara being out of position and not bothering to track back when there was no need to be out of position in the first place. I'll stop now because I could go on about him all day.

 

Our big players are past it now. Thompson has totally lost the plot, Lennon is hit and miss, so is Sutton, while incredibly Hartson recently has been the only consistent contributor of anything decent to the team. I'm not saying O'Neill should go as we'd collapse without him, not so much even because he wouldn't be there but also because we'd get in someone clueless and terrible if he left - the fact that Paul Lambert has been doing so many coaching courses on Celtic's time is, to say the least, worrying. I think even O'Neill has been losing the plot now. Look at Sunday's game - Dundee were unlucky. 2-2 and both sides had a goal chopped off, but theirs was for high feet, yet no actual contact was made and high feet isn't a rule that you see in British football most of the time so I think that was extremely harsh on them. Hedman cost Celtic another two points, Valgaeren was too slow again, Agathe proved again that he doesn't have a clue what to do with the ball when he gets it, it's like he's scared when he has the ball, Varga did some more ballwatching, Petrov wasn't as bad but he still has a tendency in harder games to go missing for long periods, while up front Hartson wasn't totally on form and Camara showed how bad he is, he shouldn't even have been playing after the Rangers game and it would have been better if he hadn't as he made a hash of nearly everything that came his way, including a feeble failure to score from about three yards out at the end of the game.

 

I think Rangers have their act together now. I said that the day they signed Novo was the day they effectively won the league and that doesn't look like a bad shout, I just wish I'd had the balls to back them at 2/1 against before the season started. I toyed with the idea of putting about fifty notes on them and didn't do it. McLeish finally has a team playing alright, because even in the games against Celtic, in Europe and in the SPL they've not been great, after Celtic went down to nine men the way the game was played suggested that Rangers might have been there for the taking had Celtic not given up immediately, while in the CIS Cup they really should have won that and would have won the game had Alan Thompson not been so terrible on the night. However, they're playing well enough to be notably better than Celtic, so yes, I think the tide is turning.

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I'm not sure the tide is turning as such, but its certainly more even.

 

While one man doesnt make a team, losing Larrson was a huge blow for Celtic. You could have bet if he was still here that he woulda popped up near the end to score a winner against dundee on Sunday, probably after playing terribly as well. His goals got Celtic out of trouble a lot of times in the games that they werent winning comfortably, and without him they have lost that. Add on to that as MLM previously stated that a lot of the Celtic players are getting on a bit and seeming past their best, and the only signings have been Juninho who cant get into the team, and Henri camara(who scored less goals than alex rae for wolves in the premiership and played more games) and hasnt looked that great this season for Celtic. Then on the flip side, the duds rangers brought in such as Ostenstad and Capucho are out, and the likes of Boumsong, Novo and Prso have been brought in. However, I'd still say our most important signign has been Alex Rae, along with the return of Ricksen in midfield.

 

Alex Rae is the sort of player Rangers have missed since Ferguson left, someone in the middle of the park who would get stuck in and try to give the team a lift when they're down. Someone who is Rangers through and through. While Arteta was a good player, when things were down he was never likely to be that desperate to take the game by the scruff of the neck and turn ti around. Adding onto that Ricksen, who has been a revelation in midfield for us, especially since we've had a lack of central midfielders this season, and he's been battling well in there, and getting forward as well, plus his set pieces have led to quite a few goals for us.

 

One little worry I've got though is the left back role. While we have Vignal this year, we may not be able to sign him, and Vanoli is nowhere near good enough. Steven Smith came on at the weekend and looked good, and he is one for the future, but the solution i feel is already there, but almost frozen out. Micheal Ball I think is a quality player, but he must be down to his last 2 or 3 games before the payment as part of his transfer, and Rangers seem adamant that they dont want to pay it. Personally I think the 500,000 for a player of his quality is easily worth it, but if we're not willing to pay it and we cant sign Vignal then we may have problems next year.

 

Still, I do think Rangers are slightly ahead of celtic at the current moment, but its difficult to say whether the tide has totally turned, as I still think its quite close.

 

Oh, and as a final point about losing out on money on bets, I had down a Dundee half time, draw full time for the Dundee Celtic game on Sunday, just to realise I was 2 minutes late for putting it on. Damn Sentanta with there 2 o clock kick offs :P

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