sport news KRIS COMMONS: Celtic could blow away Michael Beale's laborious and ageing side ... trends now
Before the ink has even dried on their contract, life as an Old Firm boss can often hit managers with a major reality check.
In the space of just three days, Ange Postecoglou oversaw defeats to Midtjylland and Hearts when he arrived at Parkhead in the summer of 2021.
Celtic can go nine points clear of their rivals with a win at Ibrox on Monday afternoon
Michael Beale has enjoyed a sound start at Rangers but his side have so far failed to convince
Indeed, Celtic lost three of their opening six league games under the Australian, before clicking into gear and romping to last season’s league title.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst sat in the stands at Hampden in November 2021 and watched his new Rangers team lose 3-1 to Hibernian in a League Cup semi-final.
Again, another eye-opener — and, this time, before he had even taken charge of the team properly.
Rangers have struggled against weaker opposition than Celtic in some patches of their games
Michael Beale has yet to encounter that sort of speed bump. But, still in the infancy of his Ibrox tenure, I’ve seen enough to suggest it’s definitely in the post.
It looked like it might well arrive against Aberdeen at Pittodrie just a couple of weeks ago, only for the Dons to implode in the final couple of minutes.
But, defensively, I still believe there are major question marks around this Rangers team. They don’t convince me at all.
Aberdeen and Hibs both took two goals off them — and it should have been more. If Celtic hit top gear, they could run riot at Ibrox on Monday afternoon.
Yes, I know Rangers have had clean sheets in their last two games. But, with all due respect, those came against Ross County and Motherwell.
Celtic are playing football on a different planet to those sort of teams and will ask questions of Rangers which I don’t believe Beale’s side are capable of answering.
Listen, Beale will have come into this with his eyes wide open. He will be fully aware of the size of the rebuild that is facing him at Ibrox. But, if anyone has any doubt, ask yourself one simple question: How many current Rangers players would get into the Celtic team?
You would have to say none. I don’t think you can make a conclusive case for any of them.
The potential is there for Rangers to be blown away by their city rivals on Monday afternoon
Against Aberdeen they struggled and were it not for the hosts capitulating they could have suffered
At the very most, there’s maybe a couple of 50-50s.
Maybe you’d take Connor Goldson ahead of Carl Starfelt, but Goldson has been miles off it since Rangers won the league.
Likewise, you could maybe make a case for Borna Barisic ahead of Greg Taylor at left-back. Even that feels like a