Rivals announce new manager; Celtic have a new adversary

By David Walton

November 18, 2021

Rangers have tonight announced that Giovanni van Bronckhorst has become the club’s new manager, with Celtic officially aware of their new adversary.

Van Bronckhorst arrives after Steven Gerrard’s sudden departure to Aston Villa last week. He becomes their 17th permanent manager, with Celtic currently 4 points behind them in the title race.

Rangers have a Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Hibernian this weekend. Celtic are also in action against St Johnstone. Should both sides win, our first game against van Bronckhorst’s Rangers side will be on December 19th.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Celtic will also face Rangers at Parkhead on January 2nd. As things stand, that sits as the next scheduled meeting between the pair.

The Dutchman arrives at Ibrox after a spell out of the game. He made a reputation for himself after winning the title with Feyenoord back in the 2016/17 campaign. However, his next 2 years saw a decline before he left the club.

His only other spell in management came in China with Guangzhou, where he came 11th in his only season in charge.

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Celtic can put major pressure on Giovanni van Bronckhorst from the start

Make no mistake, van Bronckhorst is under massive pressure from the get-go. Forget any allowance of time to settle into his surroundings. Celtic are coming at him hard, and a decline in form even if only temporary could prove costly for them.

Celtic are absolutely flying with morale and performances at a high level. If they continue that over the course of late November and into the Christmas period, it’s going to take a miracle of a start for van Bronckhorst to keep up with our pace.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the Rangers players react. So many of them were urged to stay by Steven Gerrard. So many arrived and played for the club because of Gerrard’s name and influence. It’ll be interesting to see if they have that same commitment for their new boss.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic have a glorious opportunity ahead of them here. The new Ibrox boss has a host of questions he needs to ask himself about his squad. If we managed to beat them in a cup final and then once more at Celtic Park in the new year, it won’t be a good look.

Make no mistake, the former Feyenoord boss needs results now. If their positive derby record doesn’t remain intact, the doubts will creep in immediately.

But for now, it’s all about ourselves and how we perform. Ultimately, that’s what will dictate the level of pressure van Bronckhorst will have to deal with.

In other news, “Unless you went to a different AGM”; Celtic boss’ class response to journalist’s DoF question