It doesn’t look as though Celtic will be getting an optimistic guard of honour on Sunday.
The Hoops fans have been goading James Tavernier over the last couple of days over a tweet sent three years ago. The Rangers captain had a go at Hibs for not giving Rangers a guard of honour after winning the Championship title. Alloa Athletic did so in Rangers’ next match, and Tavernier praised them for it.
So a guard of honour from Rangers to Celtic this week would surely only be fitting. Given the fact Celtic only won the league on Saturday, Tavernier would surely be all for it.
But it doesn’t seem as though we can count our chickens before they hatch. Rangers manager Steven Gerrard didn’t sound too committal on it when talking to the Sun. Touching on a guard of honour, Gerrard simply said this:
“I don’t know – I haven’t spoken to the club about it.”
Don’t expect the conversation to even happen
Gerrard perhaps leaves the door open here for a conversation to be had this week. But would you really bank on that happening? Their supporters are likely to be so far against this that it would probably make the club think twice about taking the classy move.
It would actually be a good sign from Rangers if they did it. It would show that they’re aware enough to rise above bigotry and hatred, and accept the fact that Celtic are champions once again.
Hearts, to their credit, gave us a guard of honour last season. The Jambos and the Hoops are traditionally hardly on the friendliest terms with each other. But Hearts realised it was the classy thing to do.
Rangers likely won’t see it that way. Would you honestly expect them to line up and applaud us onto the pitch? It would be beautiful, but it’s extremely unlikely.
It’s more of a comedic side-show than anything that we expect to really be considered. It will show the pettiness involved in this rivalry in all its glory should Rangers decide not to give the guard of honour. But pettiness has never embarassed Rangers before – just look at how many Celtic fans will go to Ibrox this Sunday.
So long as the job is done on the pitch, not many will be complaining.