Rival has written Celtic's Glasgow Derby team-talk today

By David Walton

April 18, 2021

Rangers player Borna Barisic told Celtic to be “respectful” ahead of this upcoming Glasgow Derby, but failed to take his own advice.

Barisic was one of the many who decided to misinterpret what Hoops interim boss John Kennedy meant when he made his “best team in the country” comments. Kennedy claimed last week that, when Celtic perform to their highest standard, they’re still the best in the land.

Kennedy tried to clear up what he meant. Many, Barisic included, decided to take it as Kennedy claiming we’ve been the best team this season. Just to reiterate – that’s not what he said.

It didn’t stop Barisic from going off on one however. Here’s what the Rangers left-back said in response to John’s remarks [BBC]:

“I think that is the biggest joke I heard this year. They didn’t win against us in three games and we are 20 points in front of them, so it is disrespectful a little bit to us. That’s my comment on that.

“You need to be in life always realistic. If someone is better and if someone is 20 points in front of you, you just don’t talk like that. It is disrespectful for all the things we do this season. It is not only from him. I know a lot of people talking about Celtic’s situation with Covid and all of these things. It’s like we’ve lost five games or we are just five points in front of them.

“We are 20 points clear in front of them, we didn’t lose a game this year. It is disrespectful to talk about anyone and changes. I am talking about this season. That’s it.”

Barisic fails to understand Kennedy’s remark; Celtic’s Glasgow derby team-talk has been written

Kennedy needs to use these comments from Barisic to his advantage today. Make no mistake, this will be the kind of thought process running through every Rangers player’s mind. They’ll likely have had a chuckle and refused to actually acknowledge what Kennedy actually meant.

The irony also isn’t lost on many of us. Barisic tells Celtic they should be respectful and realistic. If you could show me one scintilla of respect Rangers have given us during our historic nine-in-a-row run, hats off to you.

The derby matches have proven that Celtic can outperform Rangers when they’re on form. The truth is the Ibrox side have had huge swathes of luck in the head-to-heads against us this season. I don’t think I can remember a big decision going against them throughout the entire campaign either.

Celtic face Rangers at Ibrox today / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Barisic comes across as brash and cocky. Like a player who’s basking in his team’s title success and looking to rub it in. That’s fine – it’s part of the goading that goes on between the clubs’ players and fans. But don’t misinterpret our manager’s comments and tell us to be respectful given your own club’s recent history towards our successes.

The Croatian clearly had no understanding or respect for the fact we’ve been struck hard by Covid this year. No mention that we’ve had players self-isolating for big games whilst Rangers have gotten an incredible run of fortune with the virus.

Barisic’s dismissal of the Hoops dimply must be used as further motivation by Kennedy today. These are exactly the kind of comments we need to rile the players up further. Today isn’t about laying down a marker for next season, it’s simply about landing a sore punch on their jaw.

In other news, John Kennedy has pinpointed the Celtic player who’s been impressing him in training.