The Mohamed Elyounoussi comments on Rangers will certainly have sparked a reaction.
The Norwegian, on loan from Southampton for the season, stated that Celtic will “destroy” Rangers when they next meet at the end of the month (Daily Record). This comes after we struggled for large spells of our 1-0 success against the Ibrox side in last Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.
Elyounoussi played for 45 minutes in that one and looked below-par. In fairness, he only came into the contest after missing almost a month of action with a foot injury. It was clear he wasn’t 100%.
Sure, a bit of trash-talking isn’t something you would commonly hear at Parkhead. In fact, keeping it shut and doing our talking on the park is something we all take pride in.
However, can you really blame Elyounoussi for trying to defend the club a bit? After all, it’s not as if you would know we actually won the trophy at Hampden.
Elyounoussi’s words are the perfect response
How the players have managed to keep quiet all week is a credit to them. You could be forgiven for looking at the reaction to that derby match last week and thinking that we lost 5-0. Elyounoussi’s comments, whilst perhaps for some could read as arrogant or provocative – they’re simply defensive of the club. A nice reminder that we still reigned supreme on the day.
Not many have wanted to mention it, but Neil Lennon’s Celtic have now beaten Steven Gerrard’s Rangers twice this season. Overall, Lenny is 3-1 ahead when it comes to the individual battle since his Parkhead return. The only time Gerrard has gotten the better of him so far is in a meaningless game back in May.
Rangers fans are quick to forget
Last weekend, Celtic didn’t have a striker to field at Hampden. Lewis Morgan was thrown into the mix and it led to us being caved in. People seem so quick to forget that we actually gave Rangers a going over at Ibrox just a few months ago. Funny how that’s quickly been forgotten about.
Nevermind this idea that Rangers can ping Elyounoussi’s comments up on the dressing room wall. They’ll be as motivated as they could possibly be on December 29th at Parkhead. As well as that, if Celtic perform the way he should on a day like that, it won’t matter how many clippings Gerrard puts up pre-match.
It’s about time someone came out and defended the club after what’s effectively felt like a week of goading about performance levels. Elyounoussi deserves plenty of backing for showing just how confident we still are, and it’s a nice reminder for Rangers to not get above their station.