Rangers will have to do more than stand still to catch Celtic next season

By John McGinley

June 9, 2022

Rangers have been busier than Celtic in the last couple of weeks when it comes to contracts and announcements, tying down a couple of experienced members of their squad for more work under Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.

Connor Goldson has committed his next few years to the club while Steven Davis has also signed a contract extension.

Added to the new deal for Scott Arfield announced last month and reports that goalkeeper Allan McGregor is in talks on another contract, you get the sense the majority of last year’s runners-up will be sticking around to battle Celtic again. [Daily Record]

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

No doubt some of their fans will be buoyed by this news but I have to be honest, it doesn’t worry me at this point.

Sure, there’s a cockiness amongst the Ibrox lot owing to their run to the Europa League cup final but observers will surely see that Rangers need to do a lot more than the status quo to compete with the Bhoys next season.

They need improvement in multiple positions, not a reliance on the old guard.

Celtic surpassed the 90-points mark in the Scottish Premiership last term, something Rangers have only managed to do once in the last decade. They’ll need a special team and a special season just to keep pace with Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys, never mind best us.

Celtic, boosted by guaranteed entry to the Champions League group stage, are expected to sign quality in at least five areas of the first team, building on last season’s champion squad that hasn’t been beaten in the league since September 2021.

Do the Ibrox side have the resources to do similar? Even if so, they don’t have the certainty of which European competition they’ll be playing in next term, which could be a detriment to concluding business early.

Are these contract moves a sign that this will be less of a rebuilding year for them than many had expected? If so, for me, that’d only play into our hands considering the ‘big players’ in their team have won just two trophies in countless attempts over the last few years. I’d be more worried about fresh blood arriving.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

When Celtic lost the league in 2020/21, the club set about enacting a radical rethink in order to get back to winning ways. Nothing like that is happening across the city.

We don’t write about Rangers a lot on 67 Hail Hail, but it is worth peering over the fence from time to time to check out what they’re up to. From what I can see, so far their summer is all about retaining what they have, rather than improving on it.

In the end, I suspect that won’t be enough with Celtic firmly focused on the latter.

In other news, Transfer window officially opens for Celtic on Friday.