Celtic’s VAR woes, the end is nigh for van Bronckhorst at Rangers

Posted by

Amid game by game controversies surrounding the introduction of VAR to the Scottish Premiership, Celtic have handled a series of controversies by simply making sure enough goals are scored at the other end to negate the worst that any VAR official can throw at the Scottish Champions.

There was no respite in the Champions League either last midweek when VAR decided to gift the European Champions Real Madrid a two-goal start through ridiculous penalty calls that go as far as to fundamentally change the game.

Photo Andrew Milligan

In rugby you get more points for a try but there’s always the option of a drop-kick. Now in football there is no need to rely on finding the back of the net with shots or headers when you can take aim at one from twenty arms and if hit the jackpot you’re now guaranteed a spot kick.

That has been the consistent rule anyway in Celtic’s recent misfortunes with the new technology but bizarrely it didn’t apply when a Hearts player sheepishly pulled his arm behind his back after the most clear handball you could see all season. This happened after a few minutes after VAR took almost ten minutes to decide Hearts merited a penalty – which they scored – but the Celtic one was waved away by the referee and ignored by VAR. How does that work?

Then this weekend, English readers will be pleased to hear, an Argentinian was at long last punished for handball, except this time it was not merited. Two players – one from each side – jumping for a ball, both with an arm behind their backs. The ball goes beyond both and a third player heads the ball into the arm of the defender who is facing the other way.

         Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring Celtic’s third goal.  Photo Andrew Milligan

Celtic were twice in front and were twice pegged back by Dundee United with the second equaliser coming on 88 minutes. This goal was widely celebrated by Rangers supporters, judging by their social media activity, but the Ibrox joy was short-lived as Celtic through Japanese striker Kyogo – last week bizarrely left out of the Japan squad for the World Cup – and Liel Abada, the young Israeli goal-machine, both scoring to win the points for Celtic and to extend the lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to seven points.

          Liel Abada celebrates scoring Celtic’s fourth goal. Photo Andrew Milligan

Things went from bad to worse for those Rangers fans on Sunday lunchtime when they lost 2-1 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in Perth and the first goal, from a chap called James Brown was an absolute peach. It was an ‘I Feel Good’ moment for the young right-back and also for the Celtic Support cheering on the Saints via Sky’s coverage.

There’s now intense pressure on the Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst who last week led the side to the most unwanted record – the worst ever side in the Champions League group stages after six straight defeats and a negative goal difference into the twenties. That included the record 7-1 defeat at home to Liverpool. It’s now it seems a matter of when and not if the Dutchman is sacked.

                                       Photo: Kirk O Rourke/Rangers FC/Shutterstock

There are two matches each for both Glasgow clubs before the break for the World Cup. Celtic play at Motherwell in midweek then entertain Ross County at Celtic Park at the weekend.

Meanwhile Rangers have to face Hearts at Ibrox on Wednesday, where the natives will be restless to say the least, then make the short journey down the M8 to face St Mirren at their tiny ground in Paisley, close to Glasgow Airport.

St Mirren have been poor on their travels in the Scottish Premiership this season but at home it has been a different story with among numerous successes the stand-out was St Mirren’s 2-0 home win over Celtic in September, the only points that Ange Postecoglou’s side has dropped all season.

That’s an extremely tough one to finish on for Rangers. Anything other than a win at St Mirren will mean that the close-by airport departure lounge will be van Bronckhorst’s next destination. If he makes it to the weekend.

1 Comment

  1. I believe getting rid of Gio would positively NOT solve the problems at the new club.
    What this is highlighting is a very deep lying issue with the board there.
    Let’s not forget GVB had his team a penalty kick away from winning the Europa League last season. I know they will almost certainly have been in touch with the last guy who couldn’t get out fast enough, Gerrard, but let’s not kid ourselves, there were two contributing factors to the minute success he had with a single success in his four years there! Neither were the resurgence of his club!
    One was the unexplainable capitulation of Celtic and the other was blatant bigotry and bias from the SFA and SPFL to ensure that under no circumstances were Celtic being allowed to reach ten.
    Gio is s better coach and a better manager than Gerrard will ever be, and you can rest assured he wouldn’t be running for the train to get out at the first opportunity!

Comments are closed