Alan Thompson still expecting Rangers wobble as Celtic woes go on
Alan Thompson believes that Rangers have still to suffer the same wobble that Celtic have gone through, but says that it will indeed come at some point.
Rangers have only dropped four points all season and continue to be unbeaten in the Premiership. Neil Lennon’s Celtic, meanwhile, have now dropped nine and have slumped to the bottom of their Europa League group as performances catch up to them.
The Hoops haven’t had their troubles to seek off the pitch either. Covid has ruled out key players such as Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, Nir Bitton, and Hatem Elhamed to name a few. The virus has sidelined several of Neil Lennon’s top stars, whilst our rivals have gone relatively unscathed by it.
However, Thommo thinks their slump will arrive at some point, as he urged supporters not to panic.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Thompson said: “Rangers haven’t had the same problems with the virus but it’s looking as though everyone is likely to be affected at some point.
“They’ve also still to have their own dip in form and there will come a point, over a three-to-four-week period, where they will drop points when they’re not expected to. So there’s a lot still to be played for.
“When they’re chopping and changing the team all the time, not because the manager wants to but because of the way things have panned out and it’s been thrust upon him, it isn’t easy. When you have continuity of selection, you click quickly going into games. But when you don’t have that it can often take you until the second half before you get going.”
A case of trying to buy Lennon more time?
Thompson, as we all know, is a brilliant Celtic man and will only want what’s best for the club. However, personally, I just don’t buy these excuses.
Sure, we’ve had a few missing with the virus – that’s undeniable. However, we’re supposed to have a squad capable of dealing with these sorts of things. It’s not as if we’ve had 10 or 11 players out at once – at worse it’s been two or three of Lennon’s strongest starting XI.
It says a lot about the summer recruitment that we feel we can’t cope with a couple of injuries/absences. It’s not a valid excuse, and makes a mockery of the idea that we have strength in depth.
Thommo also says that it can take until the second half to click in games where you’re chopping and changing. But that doesn’t explain why we were better against Hibs in the first half on Saturday before shipping two careless goals at the start of the second. We were, 100%, a lot more careless when we came out for the restart at Easter Road.
This idea that we can just wait for Rangers to crumble also isn’t a valid one. They’re showing no signs of making a mess of this, and that’s worrying news for Celtic. Where this three or four-week slump is going to come from is anyone’s guess.
Instead, it’s down to us to match their consistency and force them into slip-ups further down the line. If we’re banking on them caving in under no pressure, then things are even worse than we thought.