It’s hard to know how Rangers fans will be feeling watching their team seemingly stroll to their first league title since 2011. Of course, the blue half of Glasgow will be euphoric and when the day comes when they are eventually crowned as SPL champions, the party will last for days and weeks, perhaps even the whole summer. But one does wonder whether Celtic’s capitulation has slightly dampened the experience of finally stopping their bitter rivals. Of course, there will be some who don’t care and the ones that do, won’t dare admit it.
The catastrophic goings-on at Celtic Park has to a certain degree taken away the spotlight from Steven Gerrard’s miraculous work at Ibrox. But a closer look at how Gerrard’s Rangers have performed this season suggests that even if Celtic had been at the races, they wouldn’t have stood a chance of winning.
Steven Gerrard's Rangers in 2020-21:— Goal (@goal) December 11, 2020
👕 28 games
✅ 24 wins
🤝 4 draws
❌ 0 defeats
Europe's in-form team 🙌 pic.twitter.com/0FE5u5QbEi
Indeed, however poor Celtic have been, you can’t get away from the fact that Rangers have only let in three league goals in 16 games. Gerrard’s men even broke a record that stood for 114 years at the start of the season by keeping seven consecutive clean sheets. Celtic had held the record of six in a row when they accomplished the feat in 1906 but that is no more thanks to Rangers’ miserly approach at the back.
This won’t be the first defensive record to tumble this season and you’d have to say that Celtic’s record of fewest goals conceded in an SPL league campaign – 18 during the 2001/2002 season – looks in serious danger of being eclipsed by Rangers as well. Gerrard’s men are currently only conceding a goal every 5.3 games. Should they be able to keep this form up until the end of the season, they would have only conceded seven goals during the 2020/2021 campaign. As previously mentioned, even if Celtic were at their best, they would still be on a hiding to nothing this season.
Now, you may be reading this and take exception to the fact that Rangers are being awarded the title prematurely given it is only December and there are another five and a half months left of the season to play. Of course, you would be correct and football is unpredictable. Rangers could concede five in their next game against Motherwell and any talk of only letting in seven for the season would go out the window.
But the reality is Gerrard’s men have shown enough consistency to conclude that they will be able to carry on shutting out teams at the back. Indeed, when it comes to predicting the future in football, you have to focus on current form, as this sportsbettingmarkets page outlines in their football betting strategies section. Rangers current form has gone on long enough to feel pretty confident that they will go the whole season like this.
Perhaps the reason to feel most assured that Rangers will carry on like this is that they have been able to keep it tidy at the back on the continent as well. The Gers let in just seven goals over six games – the fewest in their pool – to top Group D after beating Lech Poznan 2-0 on matchday six.
Whatever way you look at it, Steven Gerrard has turned Rangers into a team that does not concede goals, no matter who the opposition might be. So yes, Celtic have capitulated on their quest to win ten league titles in a row and will surely finish behind Rangers this season. But as long as Gerrard is in charge at Ibrox, even the most competitive Celtic team will battle to regain the status as Scotland’s best team. The new dawn in Scottish football has arrived.