Former Celtic attacker Kris Commons has taken a swipe at Steven Gerrard for his Parkhead celebrations, as things quickly swung back in the Bhoys’ favour.
Rangers celebrated on December 29th as if the league had been won. Their 2-1 win at Parkhead moved them to within two points of Celtic with a game in hand. However, their defeat to Hearts coupled with our own win against Ross County has wiped that result out.
Gerrard’s emphatic celebrations on the 29th always looked a tad over the top. With big question marks over Rangers’ mentality to sustain a title-challenge, the Parkhead result was never going to win them anything.
And, speaking in his Daily Mail column (27/01, Verdict Supplement, page 16), Sky Sports pundit Commons has hit out at Gerrard for his “wildly premature” post-match reaction.
“That’s now three sub-standard displays on the trot. Gerrard admitted he was ‘bored’ watching the 2-0 Scottish Cup win over Stranraer as fringe players failed to take their chance. Next came a 1-0 win over St Mirren which was hardly anything to write home about, before they fell to defeat at Hearts yesterday.
“That’s an alarming trend and Gerrard’s celebrations at the end of the Old Firm game prior to new year now look wildly premature. Towards the end of my career, I always tried to avoid giving it big licks.
“You don’t want to end up with egg on your face, so you learn to keep a lid on it until you actually have a trophy in your hands.”
Celtic won’t make the same mistake
Rangers have a tendency to do this. Their ego as a football club just won’t allow them to tame celebrations against us. It was the same when we lost at Ibrox before the New Year in 2018 too. Every win against us is celebrated as if they’ve finally won the Champions League.
However, you can always sense a clear difference when Celtic win at Ibrox. Look back to our own post-match reaction back in September. The Celtic players weren’t dancing about in Govan with their manager looking like a clown. Instead, we showed some passion and went straight over to our own supporters.
It didn’t feel as though we were celebrating any more than three points in a derby game. Gerrard, however, was acting as though he had just won a Premier League title with Liverpool.
Whilst acting in such a manager feels good at the time, it can come back to haunt you pretty quickly. Rangers, all of a sudden, are five points behind and under big pressure to win their next few games in order to keep in touch with the Hoops.
It’s not our mentality that needs questioning. Celtic fans know exactly what their team is capable of. Rangers fans can’t say the same about their own choke artists. All we know is that they simply can’t cope with the pressure of being the team with the title advantage.
So hopefully yesterday’s 2-1 loss will provide the Rangers manager with another lesson in how to conduct himself after one derby win. It’s doubtful he’ll listen of course.