The Gub's Old Firm Preview - Out of the frying pan…
Of course, the timing of this particular Old Firm game caused a slight ripple at Ibrox when the fixtures list came out. (we don't do anger of course) Without us being complacent we were entitled to think we'd have a CL 3rd round 2nd leg sandwiched in between the obligatory dire and lack lustre performance up at Pittawdry and what will no doubt be the usual 'backs against the wall' tactics at the cesspit, which you used to get away with in a previous life. However, you and your charges soon put paid to that particular notion before a ball was kicked in earnest domestically.
So how are we shaping up for the cesspit? Well, off the park the signs are not looking too good, especially if your after-the-match performance at Pittawdry, in reaction to that offside decision against Beasley is anything to go by.
I really can't put my finger on the mindset that currently prevails at Ibrox with regards to the relationship that exists between the Old Firm in the present day. However, allowing ourselves to be continually defecated upon, and from a great height at that, will only end in tears and, with any luck, those who have allowed it to happen being frogmarched out of the club sooner rather than later.
Here's a brief summary of life in the Old Firm gold fish bowl in the last ten months.
October 2007 #1- Celtic kick us up and down the park landing nine bookings in the process, we also have a perfectly good goal chalked off in the process. - Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing.
October 2007 #2 - The Celtic goalkeeper accuses some of your players of spitting on him. - Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing.
Jan 2008 - The filth get the Ne'erday Old Firm game called off for the most despicable and disgusting of reasons. - Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing. You were at least entitled to ask the SPL what the criteria was here for this game being postponed. You were at least subsequently entitled to ask why Jimmy Farrell, John Cushley and your pal Silas were not considered a big enough part of Celtic's 'extended football family' to warrant games being postponed for them. - You said nothing. Well, let's face it the Chairman's press poodles won't do it so it is up to you.
April 2008 #1 - That rescheduled Ne'erday game is played and two Celtic players (Robson and Vinegar) should have been red carded for assaults on two of your players. - Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing.
April 2008 #2 - We lose to a clearly offside goal, and a penalty given for a foul that technically occurred outside the box. That the player who caused the foul shouldn't be anywhere a first team Rangers jersey, at right back at any rate is a different story. Vinegar should have once again been red carded. Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing.
April 2008 #3 - A young Rangers player is stretchered off in the Scottish Cup semi final and will be out till at least the end of the year at the hands (or feet) of a thug in a St Johnstone strip.. - Your reaction Walter? Oh you said something this time. You blamed the pitch!
April/May 2008 - As the controversy rages on regards extensions to the season time after time the press continually trot out the red herring of the Gretna game being postponed to allow us time to prepare for the Lyon game. It is conveniently forgotten that, that particular fixture has been played and out the way. It is also conveniently forgotten that the weather and a Scotland fixture have added to our woes. - Your reaction Walter? - You said nothing, so therefore you allowed the lies and disinformation to continue.
Your pals at the cesspit also say they are embarking on a tour of Japan and are worried about the integrity of the SPL if there is an extension. History has proved that your pals at the cesspit were lying regards going to Japan. - Your reaction Walter? - You've said nothing.
June/July 2008 - For good measure the chairman of the filth has subsequently came out and said we really need to look at this issue of helping our teams in Europe now. - Your reaction Walter? Instead of telling them to go and take a powder; you said nothing!
And so to August 23rd 2008. When asked about your feelings on a legitimate last gasp goal for your team being ludicrously ruled out for offside, you then talk about how it was rubbish this notion that the 'Old Firm' always get the benefit of dodgy decisions. I'm going to be blunt again Walter. Just you worry about Rangers FC and only Rangers FC and not about that shower. And if you are not up to that simple task then feel free to leave any time you want.
It was the timing of this particular statement that beggars belief. On day 1 of the season a referee gains Celtic 2 points with a quite incredulous penalty decision. The referee in question worked for Celtic in an official capacity in Europe earlier this year, incidentally.
On day 2 of the season it is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that the referee at Tannadice saved Celtic from dropping all three points.
On day 3 of the season Rangers drop two points thanks to a dodgy call. So my basic arithmetic tells me that the yahoos have gained five points already this season and Rangers have dropped two thanks to incompetent decisions that are verging on cheating. That is a seven point swing in the yahoos' favour and you have the absolute gall to lump our club in with them?
You wonder when this snivelling, accepting second best to the yahoos mentality will finally end, or what will it take before the penny finally drops. But under this present regime, Ibrox is like that Strongbow advert where the guy arranges a surprise rooftop birthday party for his girlfriend and in the space of a pint it all goes spectacularly wrong. You think it just cannot get any worse down Edmiston Drive way but it invariably does.
As for what could happen on the park, then I have to say the defence, especially the back four that started at Pittawdry scares the wits out of me. I said earlier that it will probably be another backs-to-the-wall performance and that is with good reason.
My main worries are the complete lack of pace throughout the back line, which means they need to stay deep to make sure they don't get caught out for pace. If that's not bad enough then the lack of composure and ability to pass the ball to a colleague more often than not, will all conspire to make sure we will be up against it at various times during the game.
What should not be forgotten however is that lot are there for the taking but that will depend on who you deploy on the day. My gut feeling is that if our defence is suspect against pace, then that goes for the yahoos also. To my mind we have three players with pace up front (Novo, Beasley and thumper) who could get at them, but unfortunately their final pass and assurance in front of goal usually leaves a lot to be desired. However, I'd be surprised if you will start all three. In fact I'd be astonished.
In midfield, Steve Davis' mentality and on field demeanour won't let us down, but it will be interesting to see how Mendes reacts in his first OF game. Let's put it this way if he thinks he will get any protection from the officials then he is in for a rude awakening.
In short Walter; we want a win on Sunday, we demand a win on Sunday and we'll all be happy on Sunday night if it comes to pass. But be forewarned, beating the yahoos may have helped paper over the cracks in the past, but what has been allowed to happen on and off the park for all of this calendar year means that for a great many of us out here the rules have changed. And it is you lot at Ibrox who helped change them.
Yours in Rangers,
The Govanhill Gub