McCall trots out laughable excuse for rivals in last derby; irony won't be lost on Celtic fans

By Euan Davidson

March 31, 2022

According to Stuart McCall, there wasn’t much separating Celtic and Rangers in terms of teams in the February derby, and missing players were the reason the Ibrox club lost.

Yes, really.

The former Rangers and Sheffield United man didn’t doubt Celtic were far better than Rangers on the night. However, he says that without Ryan Jack, Alfredo Morelos – who has a whopping 2 goals against us in 18 derbies [Transfermarkt] – and Aaron Ramsay would’ve made a difference.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Leaving aside the fact that Ryan Jack played the second 45 minutes, and didn’t change the scoreline whatsoever.

McCall told Sky Sports: “I think there’s no doubt the last game, Celtic were far stronger.

“But if you look at the line-ups; Rangers, without Alfredo Morelos, hopefully it’s a good sign he’s come back early from Colombia. Ryan Jack was missing. And Aaron Ramsay, who I think – he came to Rangers for these games, the big games.

“If you’ve got them three down the spine of your team back in, it gives you a much better chance.

“Celtic were up for it, there’s no doubt about it. Rangers were poor. But I would say, I think they had some key men missing. Morelos makes a big difference, Ryan Jack back in there, obviously Lundstram’s playing along side him. You need Kent and Aribo firing on both sides.”

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Stuart McCall in staggering Celtic v Rangers take

Erm, alright mate.

No question, Rangers have had the better of the derbies in very recent history. However, relying on Morelos to make a difference against Celtic that night would’ve meant Rangers had the ball.

Aaron Ramsay is a quality player, and he’s an obvious boost to the Rangers team for Sunday. However, he can’t do it alone, and Celtic showed absolutely zero fear shutting down the Rangers midfield last time round. As for Ryan Jack, again – he did actually play last time round, to pretty minimal effect.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Also, the irony is that Celtic were missing big players that night. There was no Kyogo Furuhashi, no Tom Rogic, no David Turnbull. That’s three of our biggest contributors this season, all missing.

Whenever Rangers seem to have injuries for these fixtures, they’re what “decide the game” when they lose. If Celtic tried the same excuses, they’d be outed as just that – excuses.

It’s Celtic with the better squad of the two, and now some big name players are back. Morelos is crocked, meanwhile, and Rangers have real problems with the players who have come from international duty.

Still, it’s nice to see another Rangers pundit get his Celtic excuses in early.

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