PUB WISDOM

Tiger Who?

Archive for Pedro Mendes

Rangers Unimpressed by Spendthrift Man City

Man City's money's no good at Ibrox.

Man City's money's no good at Ibrox.

Yeah, yeah, I know… it’s meaningless, just a friendly. You know what? I’ll take the Rangers 3-2 Manchester City result, meaningless or not. Read about the match here.

Pub Wisdom reckons that while Premiership sides that come North for friendlies will find a modicum of comfort in that alleged meaninglessness, the game was taken seriously on the pitch as no self-respecting English side wants to lose to a lowly Scots side, even if it is the reigning champs.

Goals by Nacho Novo and Kenny Miller set up late theatrics provided by wizened old Dave Weir. Must say, the juices are flowing for the campaign to start in earnest.

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Hospitable Hoops Leave the Door Open for Rangers

Sweatin' It.

Strachan: Sweatin' It.

There was a  time at the end of November, with the Rangers’ early victory at Parkhead a distant memory, when it appeared that Celtic FC may never lose or draw another league game. Celtic went on a scorching streak, winning 12 straight SPL ties.

Many people — many pundits — began to sketch out the framework of the Rangers’ obit right about then, and sharpened their pencils once more after Celtic’s one-goal win at Ibrox over the holidays extended its lead at the top of the table to seven points.

But a new trend was being established, even as Celtic was galloping out to that seven-point lead. Over the course of December and January, Celtic went just 3-2-3 in league play and has allowed Rangers to creep back within two points of first place. It seems that Celtic is just as vulnerable of late as it was unbeatable earlier. No matter what face they put on — and three straight league titles gives them considerable confidence — you can bet the bhoys are sweating bhullets.  They couldn’t even muster a goal against Caley-Thistle’s listing side. It’s not like Terry Butcher’s mere presence changes the fact that this side is in relegation position at the bottom of the table.

Meanwhile, RFC’s team chemistry is well in balance even if its books are not as Rangers reached the end of the transfer window without giving up any of the key players from the core nucleus.

So the race for the SPL title is as close as you’d like as we begin to round the final corner and line up the home stretch, thanks to the gracious gift Celtic has given Rangers — new life. The Old Firm match on February 15 — the next SPL tie for both clubs — will be huge. But it will not ultimately determine the champion. Pub Wisdom sees plenty of dicey fixtures yet unplayed for both clubs, as the SPL’s second-tier is fiercer, hungrier, and more confident than it has been in recent memory with the gap between the Old Firm and the likes of Aberdeen, DUFC, Hearts, Hibs, and others is not as great as it once was.  Much drama is yet to unfold before a king is crowned.

My Hero: Jimmy Calderwood

M'man Jimmy C

M'man Jimmy C

A quick hats off to my new hero, Aberdeen gaffer and legendary football man Jimmy Calderwood.

A hearty and heartfelt thanks to him and the Dons for humiliating Celtic at Pittodrie last weekend with an emphatic 4-2 decision that forced Aberdeen to take the lead three different times. That’s some gutty performance. I just watched the rebroadcast on Setanta last night and it was a thing of beauty. Rangers now trail Celtic by just two points.

Inserting Duff was genius, resulting in one goal and a spot-on delivery for an assist on another goal, and Zander Diamond’s second-half double proved too much for the Hoops to handle. Despite all the noise recently about Boruc’s propensity toward howlers of late, I can’t help thinking they missed him up North this trip.

Now, before we all get too cozy, Jimbo, please know that a repeat performance against Rangers, who travel to Pittodrie tomorrow, would reflect poorly on our new-found chumminess so let’s just agree now you’ll get pipped by a late goal by Pedro Mendes or Kenny Miller after Kris Boyd snags another double in the first half. Right? That will see Rangers to the top of the table, thank you very much.

Pub Wisdom Predicts: Aberdeen 2 – 3 Rangers