Sky Sports pundit and former Celtic striker Andy Walker has praised the Hoops for their relentlessness since the winter break.
Celtic have won their last eight consecutive games including six league matches that have helped build ourselves a 10-point gap at the top of the Premiership. The winning run resembles a similar performance post-winter break last season when Celtic went on an eight-game victory charge in the Premiership.
Meanwhile, title-rivals Rangers have stumbled and stuttered all over the place since returning. They’ve already dropped eight points in five league games – not the sign of championship contenders.
And Walker believes that the difference between the teams is now showing. Speaking in comments published on Sky Sports’ website, Walker made the following remarks:
“What we are seeing is Celtic showing their strength and their relentless pursuit of this title. They have got eight and are looking for nine and beyond. I think what last night shows you, with Celtic winning by five and Rangers losing so unexpectedly, it was a pivotal night.
“I think they are huge favourites because they know what it takes. If Rangers do win their game in hand then it is seven points but with the type of concerns that Steven Gerrard has with his players I think Rangers might slip up once or twice before we get to the next Rangers v Celtic game and that’s the difference.
“They (Celtic) have shown that they are capable of getting over the line. I think it is down to the strength in depth and quality that they have and the stronger mentality that they have. Steven Gerrard has hit the nail on the head that this is a group of players that lacks the mentality to take it the distance.”
Not even the most passionate Celtic fan could’ve imagined this
Celtic were extremely efficient in the first half of the season. We had only dropped eight points between August and December. Yet still we found ourselves ahead by just two points having played a game more.
In fairness, that shows how efficient Rangers were during that period of the season too. One of the most frustrating aspects of that first half of the campaign was the fact that we were winning every week but were still seeing Rangers hang on to our coat-tails. Nobody could’ve imagined we would be in this strong a position at the end of 2019.
But Walker is right – when push came to shove, Rangers didn’t have an answer to the toughness Celtic have shown. We’re deservedly 10 points clear and only look like extending that gap, with each Rangers slip-up providing the club with a further spring in its step.
Where Walker is wrong, however, is when he states later on in his Sky Sports piece that Rangers need to “back” Gerrard with more money. How many more transfer windows is the Ibrox manager going to get? He’s just come out of his fourth.
Maybe, just maybe, Steven Gerrard simply hasn’t done well enough and doesn’t deserve more money. Is that not a fairer judgment? After all, his side doesn’t look any better than last season.
If it was Neil Lennon who had stuttered the way Gerrard has, he would be getting stick all over the place. But nevermind, so long as Lenny continues to be as efficient as he has been so far this season, he’ll be the one laughing come the end of the season.