Charlie Miller's combined Rangers-Celtic team makes for odd reading

By David Walton

December 5, 2019

Rangers great Charlie Miller has today had a stab at his own combined Celtic-Rangers XI, and, predictably, it has a few embarrassing howlers in it.

Given he’s a former Ibrox player, you could forgive him for being biased. That’s natural. However, there comes a point where certain Celtic omissions in his team just become unjustifiable. He’s certainly left a few head-scratching decisions in his Scottish Sun piece.

Mark Wilson made a glaring gaffe in his own combined XI yesterday when he missed out Callum McGregor in favour of Ryan Jack (Scottish Sun). Jack may be having a positive season at Ibrox, but McGregor’s energy has been vital to Celtic being so successful in all competitions this season.

Callum McGregor didn’t make Mark Wilson OR Charlie Miller’s combined XI (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, in one of several bizarre Celtic omissions by Miller today, he’s actually put Steve Davis in there instead of CalMac. That would be the same Steve Davis who, despite being a box-to-box midfielder, has only one goal and two assists in 24 appearances this season (Transfermarkt).

McGregor, meanwhile, has netted five times and played 30 games for a side who have topped their Europa League group and are now two points clear at the top of the Premiership. Considering Davis isn’t even a constant starter in Steven Gerrard’s team, this reeks of favouritism from Miller.

Added to that, Ryan Kent also bizarrely makes his combined side. This would be in favour of both Mikey Johnston and Mohamed Elyounoussi. Or, to put it bluntly, two players who have made a significantly larger impact this season than Kent.

Kent has done next to nothing so far this season

Granted, Kent’s injury has perhaps halted him from adding more to his current three-goal haul. However, Johnston has five goals in only 13 appearances. Elyounoussi? Even better with seven goals and six assists in only 12 appearances (Transfermarkt).

Mohamed Elyounoussi has outshone Ryan Kent this season (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Again, it’s clear that Miller isn’t wanting to take form into account here. He obviously hasn’t seen much if anything from Johnston and Elyounoussi this season. You get the feeling the pair could have scored 20 each and still not be in ahead of Kent in this team.

And the most laughable of all?

Yet, perhaps his most laughable decision of all is at centre-back. Kristoffer Ajer is in there in fairness. However, Miller again can’t seem to hide his bias. Instead of simply admitting Celtic have the better partnership, he’s gone and tossed Connor Goldson in instead of Christopher Jullien.

Do we even need to justify why that’s a shambolic decision? Goldson has been shown up against Celtic time and time again in the past. The same can’t be said for big Chris against tougher opposition. Jullien has perhaps been the main reason we’ve done so well in Europe so far. His dominance over some top strikers has been tremendous. Let’s not also forget his winner against Lazio.

Christopher Jullien would be laughing if he saw Miller’s team (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Goldson has scored a few goals against Kilmarnock, Hamilton, and St Johnstone whilst throwing the game away against Celtic at Ibrox.

A total mind-boggling decision in a combined XI that has several of them. In total, Rangers have managed to get seven players into Miller’s team. That’s laughably left the treble-treble eight-in-a-row champions with only four spots. Only Ajer, Scott Brown, Ryan Christie, and James Forrest make the cut.

Miller certainly gave it a right good go. Hopefully, he’s proved mightily wrong on Sunday.