PUB WISDOM

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Archive for Rangers

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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Marry Me, Mixu

Mixu's Hibs: Double the drama.

Mixu's Hibs: Double the drama.

A week ago, I would’ve probably stuck him with a shiv if I saw him in the street. Today, I’d french kiss him and ask for his hand in marriage, so freely does my adoration flow… I’m talking about my main man Mixu Paatelainen, Hibernian manager and restorer of balance in the universe.

With Rangers just clear of the East Enders after their recent Old Firm win, Mixu’s men held the Light Blues to a 1-1 draw, allowing Celtic to retake tops in the SPL table and delivering a crushing blow to Gers fans who remember last season’s stinging goal-differential disappointment. But just when it seemed all was lost, Mixu’s Hibs flipt da script again, holding the other half of the Old Firm to a goal-less draw on the following matchday, thus catapulting Rangers tidily into the lead once more with one game to go.

And a stern test it will be at Tannadice as Levein’s Dundee United side has had pretty impressive form of late and will itself be stinging after three-nil humiliation at Tynecastle. But Rangers’ form has been tight of late as well, so it should be a fun one.

The Hoops will also have their hands full with visiting Hearts looking to make a statement on the last day of their impressive campaign.

Four in a row? Hell no!

No Keeping Up with this Keeper

Score one -- or ten -- for the keeper.

Score one -- or ten -- for the keeper.

Missed this gem in the fall, but just found it doing some digging in light of recent events involving current Rangers and former Scotland keeper Allan “The Playa” McGregor. This article spotlight’s one of McGregor’s love interests — one of at least 10 women with whom young Allan was romantically entangled during the previous year —  promoting a tell-all sexploitation interview. Wonder if that’s aired yet, and how it went over…

Nice to see opinions softening about the Loch Lomond Liquor Lockdown in general. What a mess.

Shocking Development: Scottish Footballers Get Drunk

Fancy a dram, Georgie?

Fancy a dram, Georgie?

In what passes as news only in a Eugene Ionesco book, it’s been uncovered that Scotland skipper Barry Ferguson and keeper Allan McGregor — both Rangers regulars — posted up in the hotel bar into the wee hours after returning to the team’s Loch Lomand hotel following Scotland’s three-nil loss to Holland on the weekend.

What would actually be shocking is if the Scottish side wasn’t drowning its sorrows after that devastating blow. It’s shocking the entire team wasn’t in there. Apparently, George “Short Timer” Burley caught Ferguson and McGregor in the bar area well after curfew and blew a fuse. A heated argument ensued. The fallout resulted in the pair riding the pine during Scotland’s 2-1 win over Iceland.

It’s water under the bridge at this point, allegedly, and what appeared to be official perturbance over Burley’s handling of it was quickly smoothed but one can’t help wonder how much longer Burley will have the helm. It’s been a tumultuous tenure for Burley, with unfortunate injuries woes, defecting players and more, which makes it hard to make sense of whether he’s getting a fair shake or not. In the end, it’s all about the result, and on that note it has been an underwhelming picture.

Time will tell but I think they’ll can his ass as soon as this World Cup campaign is over if not much, much sooner.

Talk of Rangers Demise A Wee Bit Premature

It wasn’t long ago that Caley Thistle had lost eight straight matches and was destined to relagation. More recently, the Highlanders have lost only one in their last seven. Their latest coup, a one-nil victory over Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday is a potentially mortal blow to Rangers’ title hopes that also sees Inverness off the bottom of the table, pushing Falkirk into the relegation spot. Whatever new gaffer and former Ranger Terry Butcher is doing — it’s working, mate.

Crying now, laughing later.

Crying now, laughing later.

And none are happier than the Hoops, once again alone at the top of the table after Rangers’ stumble put  them three points clear. After getting their asses handed to them more often than not

over the past several weeks, the Bhoys were no doubt stressed to see Rangers pull even on points and ahead on goal differential recently.

Pub Wisdom urges patience in these exciting times, lest anyone gets too hasty in writing off the Light Blues. A quick check of the remaining fixtures before the split reveals stern tests for Celtic against Dundee United, Hamilton, Hearts and Aberdeen along with only one walk-over against Falkirk. Rangers’ road over that stretch is decidedly friendlier with the hardest test against Hearts, with Hibs, ‘Well, and bottom-feeders Falkirk rounding out the fixtures. Much football to be played, ya?

Pub Wisdom wagers there are a few plot twists yet to unfurl this season. Only time will tell if the sloppy play against Butcher’s born-again Highlanders will prove to be the point at which this season’s valiant campaign crashed on the rocks.

Ready Rangers Storm Parkhead

Bring on the Bhoys.

Bring on the Bhoys.

Old Firm No. 3 kicks off on Sunday at Parkhead, site of Rangers’ victorious four-goal effort at the beginning of the season. Celtic returned the favor at Ibrox over the holidays, one-nil.

Every Old Firm match is huge. But as we eye the tail end of the title race, with Rangers trailing a flagging Celtic side by two points, this is a huge as it gets.

I’m partisan, no doubt, but I do feel Rangers have more momentum at the moment, more cohesion. Once leading by seven poiuts, Celtic’s left the door open for Rangers by stumbling its way through December and January. Celtic feels the pressure, no doubt, and Kris Boyd and Co. need to capitalize.

I feel a 1-1 draw in the cards for some reason, but I’m predicting a narrow Rangers away victory,  just to keep it sporting. If I’m right, Rangers will take over the top of the table by a single point.

Novo’s out, which is bad news since he seems to rise up in Old Firm ties. On the other hand, Kenny Miller’s fit. Can he recreate his double from his last effort at Parkhead? Who will step up? Let’s hope it’s not Scott MacDonald, Aiden McGeady or any of the other dangerous hoops hitmen.

Come on you Rangers.

Pub Wisdom Predicts: Celtic 1 – 2 Rangers

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.