Brilliant Record (Rodgers) v Totally Unacceptable (Clement) – King Kenny’s frank assessment

Kenny Dalglish knows all about the dynamics of the Glasgow rivalry as a player and for a short period at least as a manager. And the winner takes it all, the loser has a fall’ rule applies just as much these days as it did in 1970s when King Kenny emerged as one of the best players in world football.

Photo imago/Colorsport – Kenny Dalglish

So will all that experience, Dalglish has supplied some words of wisdom for the participants on the dug-out at the Glasgow Derbies next season and notes that the pressure is very much on theRangers manager Philippe Clement after the latest Ibrox club failed to win a match against their biggest rivals in the season ended.

And the only consultation for theRangers supporters was provided by one of their former players, Derek McInnes who steered Kilmarnock to an early rounds victory over Celtic at Rugby Park last August to get Celtic out of the way and as it turned out create a relatively straight forward path to the least important of the three major honours handed out in Scottish football.

theRangers manager Philippe Clement and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers embrace on the final whistle after the  Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox on April 07, 2024  . (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Clement arrived in October and was still searching for his first win over Celtic at the recent Scottish Cup Final where an Adam Idah goal in the 90th minuted added yet more pain and suffering to the hapless Belgium who in the final few months of the season, failed to cope with the demands of steering his side to title or even Scottish Cup glory.

While Clement was celebrating a 3-3 victory over Celtic at Ibrox, or failing to shake hands with an opponent in Dingwall, or going on and on about postponements at Dens Park, Brendan Rodgers showed his elite managerial standards in everything he said and in the results and performances his team put in on the park.

Ross County interim manager Don Cowie looks towards Rangers manager Philippe Clement as the final whistle sounds. Clement did not shake hands with Cowie at full-time Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Fishing ahead of the next Glasgow Derby at Celtic Park after an outstanding performance in the win over Hearts, Rodgers said his side would have some fun against theRangers the next week. Clement walked right into the tap. Celtic won that match too.

After losing the Scottish Cup final Clement claimed his side were the better team on the day – the stats showed something quite different – but even if that was true is that what theRangers supporters want? Unlucky losers are still losers and in Glasgow the lose takes a fall.

Next up will be the first Glasgow Derby of the season and it will be at Celtic Park. It will be the end of the year before Celtic go back to Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership. Will Clement still be there?

Looking back at theRangers record in the past three seasons Dalglish, in his Sunday Post column, reckons that it’s totally unacceptable from the latest Ibrox club’s point of view. If it continues Clement will be luck to make it to the game at Ibrox.

On Brendan Rodgers being back at Celtic, Dalglish reckons that his record agains theRangers is nothing short of brilliant.

“When it mattered, they produced the goods. They defeated (the)Rangers four times and drew with them once. It was a brilliant record,” Dalglish stated in his weekly newspaper column (The Sunday Post print edition page 73).

(the)Rangers, on the other hand, need to find a way to beat their biggest rivals. From their point of view, their results in Old Firm (sic) matches in the last three years have been totally unacceptable.

“Sure, they can point to the fact all their defeats came by a single goal. They also played well in stages in the Scottish Cup final last week and had Celtic pinned back for spells.

“But since when was that good enough or acceptable for a club of that size with its success rate? The onus is now on Philippe Clement to find a way. And he’ll need to do it quickly.

“There is no room for more defeats.”

Philippe Clement cannot say he has not been warned and even he would find it hard to argue with Kenny Dalglish’s frank assessment of where things stand in terms of the two Glasgow giants ahead of the new season.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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