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Jackson Does It Again With Another Classic: A Celtic Cup Final Victory Turned Into An Ibrox “Battle Won.”

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Well, it’s that time of the week again; Jackson time, and I am doing this one today because as usual some of this stuff is braindead … and besides, it’s the last one for a while now that the season is over and it’s always possible that The Record either goes out of business or sacks this guy before the next one kicks off … what a choker either of those scenarios would be, eah?

Here goes with the headline then folks.

Brittle Rangers lose the war and Clement must break nasty habit or risk becoming collateral damage – Keith Jackson

There I thought it was a game of football at the weekend, not a war. But yes, the sentiment is one I agree with. He’s in real trouble at this point.

Our man has his say on the Hampden showpiece that saw the Hoops continue their derby dominance.

Nobody would call that a showpiece. It was a poor game. With the sub-headline now also out of the way, let’s jump right into the mind of Scotland’s most notorious sports journalist. Brace yourselves.

They won the battle but still contrived to lose the war.

They won the battle? This will be the club from Ibrox, then? What battle was that? Does he mean the Scottish Cup Final which we just watched? Because I could swear to God that our name is the one on the trophy. I know Ibrox floats on a sea of this reality bending stuff, but honest to God, if he thinks they were the team that deserved to win that game he is off his nut.

Which, in retrospect, sums up the abject state of a Rangers side which is overdue for some serious and permanent dismantling. Because even when Philippe Clement’s players are following the tactical commands of their manager to the letter, they still can’t quite be trusted to win the matches which are there to be won. Where Jurgen Klopp once famously branded his Liverpool side mentality monsters, Clement’s current collection are more like mentality meringues. Brittle, fragile and with a soft centre.

Not bad, I guess. I mean his jokes are usually crap and this one is no exception, but then this is the weekend when we’ve been treated to Gary Keown’s attempts at humour and so next to that this is Kevin Bridges Live At The Apollo. As to his general point about players following tactical commands, I actually have no idea what he’s talking about. Clement has one plan only; hoof the ball up the pitch and hope someone runs onto it. A trained chimp could follow that. People keep on looking for some evidence of genius in this guy in the same way they were looking for some in The Mooch and it just wasn’t there. It’s not here either. It’s like that chess analogy I sometimes use; a really good player facing an amateur will sometimes assume that there is some hidden pattern in their play, because that’s what they are used to in their opponents … but sometimes incoherence is exactly what it looks like, with no underlying structure to it at all. That’s what this is.

So while they were the better team throughout Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final, the fact that they left Hampden with another second prize means this side’s cycle has come to a fitting end. With another punctured tyre. Let’s begin with some plaudits though because the truth of the matter is the best players on the pitch were all wearing Rangers shirts. From the emergency centre back pairing of Ben Davies and Leon Balogun, who hardly put a foot wrong, the outstanding double act of Mohamed Diomande and Nicolas Raskin in midfield, to Todd Cantwell who stepped up onto the big stage and ran himself into the ground having presumably eaten one shooshburger too many during the week.

A paragraph of such stupidity that I find it amazing even by his standards. The best players on the park were all in their colours? Is that a joke? The better team throughout? They were played off the park in the first half. Absolutely played off the park. Give all the plaudits you want Jackson, that entire paragraph is delusional rubbish. The attempted rehabilitation of that defensive pairing is hilarious. The idea that Raskin was brilliant is absurd. Diomande is another triumph of hype. And don’t even get me started on Cantwell; he “stepped up onto the big stage”? This reads more like a parody than a serious attempt to write about the game.

All of them were head and shoulders above anything Celtic could muster on a day when it seemed the league celebrations had emptied their tank. But that’s the trouble with this Rangers side. Too often, in the games which define a season, their best just isn’t good enough. Clement, for his part, was also a star performer in the tactical jousting with Brendan Rodgers. Indeed, the Ibrox boss could not have wished for his plan to come together with such emphatic effect.

They were absolutely not “head and shoulders about anything Celtic could muster.” I said last night that Alastair Johnston was the best player on the pitch and I meant it. Carter Vickers was also excellent. But our midfield more than matched theirs without being brilliant. In a sense this pleases me; we read variations of this garbage all the way through the summer, especially in relation to Raskin and Cantwell and neither of them would get in our midfield on a bad day … on top of that, Clement was a “star performer” in his tactical joust with Rodgers? To paraphrase Oliver Stone here; “we’re through the looking glass, people … white is black and black is white.” I repeat my question from earlier; whose name is on the Scottish Cup? Did Jackson write this, in a blue funk, when the game was still in progress and before Idah got the winner?

Having failed to win any of his first three derbies, Clement had to come up with a curveball of some sort on the basis that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while hoping for different results. But what he came up with did catch a few by surprise, none more so than Cantwell who was trusted with a starting place even though the man in charge has made a habit of forcing him to sit the big ones out.

Only one thing counts here. One. Did it work? Did they win? No, it’s four games against Rodgers and no wins. Three losses. Costly losses. A league and cup double for the Celtic manager. The idea that Rodgers has been outmanoeuvred here is completely ridiculous.

Ridvan Yilmaz also made the Belgian’s starting XI just days after breaking down in tears at a confessional in the manager’s office, during which he all but ruled himself out of contention with the latest in a succession of niggles. And then there was the curious case of Raskin anchoring the Rangers midfield and being chosen for that role ahead of John Lundtrsam, despite being frozen out of the first team pretty much consistently since his countryman arrived in the same city.

The famous “crying” scene. A work of fiction that deserves to stand alongside Nacho Novo turning down Celtic. It will probably not inspire a dreadful book with a terrible name but it’s a beauty nonetheless. There was also nothing “curious” about Lundstram being dropped. He is a liability. Had the game lasted another 60 seconds he might well have faced VAR review for his psychotic lunge on Greg Taylor at the end. He was dropped because he has both feet out the Ibrox door and Clement was desperate to have players on the pitch who actually want to be there. Jackson gets one thing right here; Raskin hasn’t been in Clement’s plans and he still isn’t.

Yes, this was Clement’s way of mixing things up and attempting to find answers to the same puzzles which have been bamboozling Rangers over these last three years.

You’d think they’d have played better in the first half if this was such genius, wouldn’t you? Jackson simply does not appear to be grasping how this stuff works.

Like how to stop Callum McGregor from dominating proceedings every time he’s confronted by someone wearing a blue shirt. The solution? Confront him with two of them. It was Cantwell and Cyriel Dessers who took it in turns to shut Celtic’s captain down when he was roaming around in deep areas attempting to get on the ball and get his side moving forward.

What? What game did he watch? Dessers was hooked at half time, and Celtic ran the whole midfield show in the first half. As to Cantwell, I have no idea what he was doing for most of that game, but he wasn’t closing anybody down. If there was a tactical plan he certainly wasn’t following it, because he drifted about the pitch like a fan who had somehow gotten on in an Ibrox top … I thought he was wholly ineffectual, like playing with a man down. The Ibrox fans as a whole were massively underwhelmed by him. The idea that he and Dessers played McGregor out of the first half, where we ran rings round them, is so absurd I have to believe someone’s slipped Jackson a copy of the wrong match. If he watched the same one as us, he’s been slipped something else.

And, with their main cog all choked up, the Celtic machine began to cough and splutter more than most could have expected. For long spells during the opening 45 minutes, the champions simply couldn’t settle into any kind of stride. And even when the misfiring Dessers was replaced by Abdallah Sima at half time, Clement’s strategical blueprint stayed in place.

Again, utter rubbish. Celtic controlled the first half completely. Our moves broke down in the final third. But the midfield was so obviously superior to the Ibrox one that I feel like an idiot having to write a retort to this stuff. And “strategical blueprint”? What a grammatical car-crash that phrase is. The lack of formal education seeps through again.

It was a combination of Sima and Cantwell at first. And when Cantwell’s race was eventually run, midway through the second half, Scott Wright came on to occupy the same spaces. Every now and then – albeit not nearly often enough – McGregor would break into a gap and try to get his team functioning.

Scott Wright! Yeah, he showed up brilliantly, didn’t he? Bravo to Clement for his introduction! His mistake led to the goal. So that worked out well.

In fact, with Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate also getting outnumbered and outmanoeuvred in the middle of the pitch, Celtic were as close to being there for the taking as they have been since way back when the season began and Rodgers was rummaging around the cupboards of Lennoxtown in search of eleven fit players.

Yawn. More Jackson attempts to be funny. Thank God this is the last time I’ll have to endure this for a while. I think O’Riley and Hatate have had better games, but the idea that our midfield was outclassed is simply not even close to being accurate.

They were flat, lifeless and devoid of any kind of attacking spark until sub Paulo Bernardo shrugged off an exhausted looking Raskin to let fly from 30 yards with a swerving shot which seemed to completely deceive Jack Butland on its way towards goal.

Hahaha it seemed to deceive him did it? No more than he has evidently deceived the whole of the Scottish sporting press, into thinking they are watching an England international here. There is a reason that prior to his free transfer that this guy had been loaned out more than a library copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. See my Joe Hart piece from last night for further on that subject.

Butland moved too far to his right hand side and then, in his panic, managed only to fist the ball into the path of Adam Idah for the goal that won the cup. It was an extraordinary moment given that Butland has hardly made a mistake since he arrived in Glasgow last summer. And now here he was, throwing one in when it mattered most of all.

Hardly made a mistake! Ha! Even if the rest of this column were not filled to the brim with absurd observations this one would have sunk it like a stone. Ridiculous.

Usually, Butland has been saving the rest of his teammates. But, on this occasion, he malfunctioned at the very moment the rest of them were finally carrying out their own duties with impressive efficiency. And yet they did what they always seem to do. They found a way to lose a match they simply had to win. Which is precisely why Clement will have to be brutal this summer when he begins the process of overhauling his squad.

Impressive efficiency. Like I said, I love it. If he was “impressed” by their performance then he’s on another planet. This really is, to paraphrase Jim Steinman, like “looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks.” Trying to find positives here is, to paraphrase another great artist, returning to Oliver Stone again, this is like “picking gnat shit out of pepper.” Long may it continue.

The system he came up with at the weekend was only let down by the quality of the individuals within it. And, in the final third of the pitch, this Rangers side continually comes up short. Fabio Silva, of course, will now become Wolves’ problem again and it remains a matter of mystery why the Premier League outfit shelled out more than £30m on him in the first place.

The system he came up with delivered another loss. And Silva? There are two mysteries about him and Jackson only wants to explore one of them. Sure, we all know he’s not worth £30 million and never was, and never will be … but the “strategical” genius signed him when even the merest glance at his stats showed that there was nothing to the guy. The “strategical” genius and his club only saw the grabby headlines about bringing in someone with that price tag. They did the same thing with Amado Diallo a couple of years ago … they never learn. They chase headlines and bling and only grasp what was obvious too late for it to matter.

Dujon Sterling – not for the first time – made a massive contribution on the other side of the pitch where he bullied Greg Taylor until running out of steam. But Clement’s persistence with playing the Englishman out of position in an attacking role is doing him no favours at all. He should be allowed to start next season as the first choice right back, even if captain James Tavernier is not lured away by the promise of oil stained riches in Saudi Arabia.

If James Tavernier ends up in Saudi Arabia I’ll eat my keyboard. This is a complete fantasy, based on the idea, I think, that Steven Gerrard owes the Ibrox club something and so will gamble his club’s money on a signing that will not progress them one bit. The point about Dujon Sterling is just as mad as the rest of it. This is another triumph of Ibrox hype. That the manager can’t even decide what his natural position is tells you all you need to know.

Tavernier’s time has come and gone. A significant servant and a phenomenal contributor but the poster boy for the culture of close-but-not-cigar merchants that Rangers have become during his time at the club. And Dessers also fits into that category. A man who has scored 22 goals in his first season but who should have hit double that amount. If he had done, then Rangers would not have had to settle for just a League Cup from this campaign.

And if Keith Jackson could write he would not be working at The Daily Record. If I were a stone lighter and played in a rock band, I too would have been in the running to date Sophie Turner. In the running. Not necessarily a realistic shout. But that’s what “if” gets you, you can make it whatever you want, and dream any dream you can come up with.

Now that it’s all over, the truth is that fleeting success was just another battle won in a war that was ultimately lost. It’s a nasty habit that Clement must break before he too becomes collateral damage.

Good God. Since we’re ending for the summer, you might as well end with a bang, Keithy, right? The bang of jaws hitting the floor at how awful that final paragraph is. First, it’s a messy piece of writing. Secondly, it’s stupid. Because there was no “success” to be had here, fleeting or otherwise. And nor, as I said at the start, was there any “battle won.” For the third and final time, whose name is on the cup today? So where was the success? Where was the win? All they have today is a bunch of excuses, another dollop of pain, a hard luck story and the myth that they got less than what they deserved.

Trust Jackson to base an entirely article on something not rooted in reality. The entire piece is constructed around the premise that Clement is a tactical genius, that his midfield was magnificent, that his defence was brilliant and that this translated into some kind of moral victory (they like their moral victories at Ibrox; we prefer actual ones with actual honours, as silly as that sounds) … and as mad as that is, he does understand it because his more general point is that the squad needs to be torn down and rebuilt and that Clement himself has a lot to answer for.

Like I said, if you go into a Jackson piece expecting consistency, logic, common sense or insight or even just basic facts, you’re in the wrong place right off the bat. This is classic Jackass. This is why, in my own way, I am going to miss him until next season starts.

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  • Michael Collins says:

    I had a look at the statistics, at one point in the first half, it had The Rangers at 21% and Celtic at 79%.Was that me just dreaming?

  • Mr Magoo says:

    They dreamed a dream of times gone by.

    Don’t you just love the shite they come out with.

    It’ll be the same shite on the park nxt season.

    Sevco won the best grass pitch in the UK trophy plus 50k cash .

    They win it every year with 5 million quids worth of shite on it every game.

    I know we will get brendans players in come the transfer window.

    Just watch is push on for treble and a fantastic champions league group.

    The zombie huns will not qualify for CL , more debt and I foresee another extinction level event for them .

    If they go bust (again) ? Can we as a well run club put them thoroughly to the sword and convince the other clubs in the SPFL to bin them completely from Scottish football ..

    I.ll dream that dream James

  • Daffy Duck says:

    James , have you no respect for the writer’s great insight and wisdom?

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      A hurting JacksHUN….

      Tell me why I DO like Monday’s –

      Thanks for flagging up his severe pain James…

      Otherwise I’d obviously never have known !

      Apart from feeling sick with a hangover from Hell – Just how beautiful does life feel today then !!!

  • Board Out! says:

    When we SAIL BY their FICTITIOUS 118 Trophy Haul count the HORDES of Knuckodraggaz will begin tae wane! Make mine a Treble nxt yr lads & in the words of Boaby the Batman tae Stevie the Bookie FEEL THE BURN LOL!!

  • DannyGal says:

    Great analysis James, both of Keown and Jackson’s articles. I’d previously read Keown’s piece and somehow didn’t spot the obvious point that you’ve uncovered. Those are undoubtedly the words of frustrated rangers’ fans, pointing out the flaws they need to improve on for next season as though that’s what everyone wants to happen. I also found it vey strange that Clement was given 7 out of 10 in the match ratings, against Brendan’s 6 out of 10. His nomination as manager of the year when Brendan is not is also astounding.

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for wading through his sh1t in order that we don’t have to. I can’t remember the last time I gave that rag a click. Your absolutely bang on. Apparently they won that battle, but lost the war? If you use that analogy, then there are three bases to win. They only succeeded in capturing one base, the least important one. This “battle” he says they won they in fact lost and Celtic won the most strategically important won. It’s exactly for that reason that Celtic won the war

  • SFATHENADIROFCHIFTINESS says:

    James, I think you missed the whole point of Whackoff Jacko’s piece.
    If you accept the old saying that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ I think maybe he was trying to pay homage to you.
    I base this conclusion on the fact that if you read his copy it does appear as if you’re actually reading, in full, one of your piss take Jackson articles. Art(sic) mirroring reality in a sort of way.

    Anyhoo the guy is a plonker. As long as der hun keeps believing there is little or no gap then they are done for.
    They will remain forever in our wake.

  • Tony Carmichael says:

    This clown needs to be called out. Journalists should provide objective, balanced reporting, not biased bile. He’s obviously from the Trump school of reality!

  • Tony says:

    New Rangers fans crying in their beer again. More excuses from Philippe Complain. lol!

  • John says:

    Jackson’s piece is atypical for the Daily Ranjurz. It only serves to placate their gullible & deluded readers. I think Clemente has only 2 more Glasgow Derby games left before being shown the exit door.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Had tae laugh at his deranged, severely hurtin, article. Only a complete moron, would claim tae have ‘won the battle’, when his favourite team have been almost clean swept by their closest rivals. In all, 4 defeats and a draw. And for all their obvious ‘class’ on Saturday, how many saves did Joe Hart have tae make ? Reality is, it was a scrappy affair with very little football worth braggin about and even at that, ah’ll go as far as tae say (again), it’s their best game against us all season and they were still losers. The guy’s a fkn idiot.

  • Big Wolf says:

    We should not be surprised, Sevco lose again and are in no position to address their ill’s due to their financial shortcomings. So, the press talks them up and try to convince themselves that they were the better team on the day.
    Mr Clement’s claimed that they had six attempts on target, to our two, this can easily be checked and verified. I watched the game again for the 8th time, (I Just Can’t Get Enough) with a notepad and a sharp pencil, my notes revealed.
    Celtic 6 attempts in total
    1 Hatate shot blocked Davies.
    1 Kiogo weak shot saved Butland.
    1 Johnston shot saved Butland.
    1 Forrest shot blocked.
    1 Bernardo shot saved Butland.
    1 Idah GOAL

    Sevco 3, maybe 4 attempts in total
    1 Silva shot saved Hart.
    1 Dessers shot blocked O’Riley
    1 Sima shot saved Hart ‘trundler’.
    1 Sima header saved Hart. It was ‘Going Wide’ so may not merit being called an ‘attempt’.

    Fouls committed
    Celtic 13 fouls and 7 Bookings
    Sevco 22 fouls and 5 bookings
    These stats do not support any of the Sevco press claims that they ‘were clearly the better team on the day’ its complete tripe. James, these stats confirm your view that Sevco ‘barely registered a shot on target in the whole game’.

    Dejection, Despair and Delusion in equal measures

  • Big Wolf says:

    Apart from Jackass, Andy Newport and Co in the Daily Ranger are vying to be the leading contender for the ‘Jackass’ treatment ‘James’.
    In the ‘Monday Jury’ article today Newport states, ‘Rangers were the better team for once this season’, in complete contradiction to his middle page article where the Man-by Man ratings out of ten shows Celtic player rating totalling ‘74’ and Sevco’s Player ratings totalling ‘71’. Unbelievable.
    Furthermore, the Celtic Player ratings show two players with the top score 8/10 and Sevco ‘the better team for once this season’ have one player with 8/10.
    Reading the evaluative statements for the players in each team is more hilarious.
    CELTIC
    Joe Hart
    Signed off with clean sheet.

    Alistair Johnson.
    Relished the fight with Silva, made tackles as well as driving forward to support Forrest.

    CCV.
    Centre back was a rock in defence, strong in challenges and timely interventions.
    Liam Scales.
    The Irishman stayed strong in his position and did his job.
    Callum McGregor
    Captain was the driving force again. Found acres of room in the opening period.
    Daizen Maeda
    Escaped three times in the opening stages. Kept Tavenier on the back foot.

    SEVCO
    Butland
    He’ll have to take the blame for a horror spill.

    Tavpen
    Again, the target as Celtic sought to release Maeda. Looked unsure early on.

    Nico Raskin
    His push on Hart cost Rangers so dear.

    Cantwell
    Again, failure to snuff out McGregor allowed Celtic to escape press. Petulant push on Taylor.

    Silva
    Another game that makes you wonder if Wolves were scammed when they paid £35m.
    Dessers
    With 22 goals will still be viewed as hugely frustrating figure.

    Secvo ‘the better team on the day’ Mr Newport ‘hoisted by one’s own petard’.

  • Stewart says:

    Like u said wot game he was watch is beyond what we all saw,,, clements tactics where that of a Livingston set up when they play us,,, packed defence and blooter and run,, piss poor really from supposedly top European manager,

  • JimBhoy says:

    I don’t think Jackson watches games he just gets a tea boy to summarise then he adds all the nonsense around that summary. Jeez he wrote of a game that didn’t even take place this season. He has stolen other works in the past too. Just shows what his paper thinks of their customers.

    He is teetering on Clemente must do better it will soon be pitchforks and torches when the board send out the memo to part with the Belgians services. Same old story. Still it will cost them……

    I can’t see much come in on transfer business. For tavs to move to Saudi even if a remote possibility would be more to get his Sal off payroll.

    They will get some money for their keeper but not as much as they think.

    We are set for a better season next season.

  • Chris McDougall says:

    He’s obviously not all there, James. Or hes on drugs. Just a fan(ny) with a keyboard. He and that toilet paper he works for deserve each other.

  • John mcghee says:

    Scumhun jackawank must be in pain how the f… can this kid on jounralists get away with writing lie after lie but surely the sevco fc fans that buy that hun paper knows jackawanker is writing shite just for they huns to buy and believe what he’s saying eh..how can anyone buy that paper daily scumhun record i wouldn’t even wipe my arse with it and i cant wait untill that record goes for good and they scumhuns jounralists cant get another job dirty lying scumhun paper..CHAMPIONS AGAIN AND SCOTTISH CUP WINNERS YET AGAIN GET IT UP YOU MR JACKAWANKER..HH

  • scousebhoy says:

    it really just sums up the dire situation of the press in this sectarian cesspit. what on earth is the editor if there is one thinking about allowing this to go to print. this imposter has previous with his every new club player attacked and spat on. it is long past time that we should take a lesson from the decent folk of merseyside regarding scotlands sevco media shame. i would be all for crowd funding some sort of display at televised games to highlight the lies and bias.

  • Th says:

    James this is only my opinion but I do think we stole the cup final at the weekend.
    We played extremely poorly and I had nightmares of sevco beating us.
    But in saying that if sevco couldn’t beat us on Saturday when we had beet at our worse,then I don’t know when they will.

  • The Joker says:

    Lol let them think they are running us close because they will keep the sane shitey players there for next season,only to fail again.

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