Former Celtic attacking midfielder Kris Commons thinks the ‘wheels have come off’ Rangers’ bid to stop Neil Lennon winning nine-in-a-row, writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column (17/02 print edition, Verdict supplement page 16).
While Lennon’s Bhoys have been racking up the wins in domestic action since the return from the winter break, the opposite is true of Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit.
They’ve lost matches against Hearts and Kilmarnock, also drawing against Aberdeen. With all of them coming in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic have been able to rack up a 10 point lead at the top of the table.
It has put Gerrard and his team under huge pressure and Sky Sports man Commons thinks their upcoming European tie against Braga is a dangerous proposition that could result in further bad times.
As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail, he said: “If they lose, though, the heat will be turned up considerably. Yeah, I understand that getting this far in Europe was always going to be viewed as a bonus by the majority of fans.
“But you have to view it all in context. Stopping Celtic’s march to Nine-In-A-Row was always the priority, but the wheels have come off that particular wagon quite spectacularly.
“If they then go and follow that with a weak European exit, particularly if they were to suffer a heavy aggregate defeat over the two legs, it would pile the pain on Gerrard.”
Commons does note that a win would potentially help turn around their season again, but his comments do demonstrate the tricky tightrope that the Ibrox boss is walking right now.
Any defeat simply turns the heat up as we approach the tail-end of the season and would only benefit Celtic, regardless of what competition it comes in.
Celtic will remain focused on their own work and won’t be paying too much attention to what Rangers are going through, especially in Europe, but for us fans, the situation at Ibrox is fascinating right now.
There is a real sense they are a bad result or two away from complete 2019/20 implosion.
With Celtic travelling to Govan in less than a month, a win there, as we achieved earlier in the season, would surely leave them wondering about their short and long-term future under Gerrard.