Rangers have improved massively and Celtic stars would struggle to get into starting XI
Rangers fans have endured a nightmare decade or so as they watched their club lurch from a financial crisis to being thrown into the bottom tier of the Scottish league and a parade of charlatans and chancers taking up roles from the boardroom to the dugout.
However things are finally on the right track for the Gers and it is no more evident than the fact that for the first time in years, most of Celtic’s stars couldn’t just waltz into the Light Blues starting XI.
Since the days of Sir David Murray’s downsizing and the mess that followed the purchase of the cub by Craig Whyte, the Light Blues have lagged behind their rivals in the transfer market and have often been reduced to bargain basement signings but comparing both sides today, there are maybe only one or two Celtic stars there would be a genuine argument for getting a place in Graeme Murty’s side when everyone is fit.
Despite much of the hype built up around Brendan Rodgers’ side in the last 18 months, Kieran Tierney is arguably the only first-pick at Celtic Park who would take the place of their Ibrox counterpart with few questions.
Whether it is at the back or up front, the Gers have built a squad who are as close to their bitter rivals as they have been in years and the only thing that appears to separate them is the PR machine that surrounds them.
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You can go through the entire Celtic starting XI and compare them with the Gers squad but would the likes of Craig Gordon really be a surefire pick ahead of Wes Foderingham or is Mikael Lustig a better bet than James Tavernier? Would Moussa Dembele or Scott Sinclair merit a start ahead of Josh Windass or Alfredo Morelos?
The addition of players like Daniel Candeias, Jamie Murphy, Greg Docherty and Sean Goss have taken the Gers up a level and has pushed guys like Tavernier and even David Bates into an improved level of performance on a consistent basis.
With the gap between the two sides as close as it has been in a long time, there is nothing between the two squads – and recent results are starting to bear that out.