Many Rangers fans have cited their reasoning for wanting Michael Beale gone is his inability to get his team right for the big games. Wether that be the formation, play style or even just the 11 selected, he’s failed at the most important hurdles.
As much as no Old Firm game is ‘meaningless’ the 3-0 win at Ibrox had the least on the line. The season was over and Celtic had already taken their foot off the gas. It was a great day and brilliant performance, but it also looks to have been a one off.
So, let’s look at what happened in the ones that really mattered to the outcome of the season;
Rangers 2-2 Celtic 02/01/23
This was actually a promising start to Old Firm management for Michael Beale. Rangers really should’ve taken all three points in this one. Fans knew the club had to win all the remaining Old Firm fixtures to stand any chance of winning the league.
Despite the positive performance, we failed at the first hurdle. Celtic didn’t show much going forward but were gifted possession in the midfield and Maeda was sent through to make it 1-0 early on.
It stayed like that till half time when Rangers came out flying and got two quick goals from Ryan Kent and a James Tavernier penalty. The Gers were well worth their lead at that point in the game.
Unfortunately, Celtic equalised through Kyogo as he was left unmarked in the box and smashed it home. Rangers should’ve won this one and stuck pressure on them, alas, that didn’t happen.
Minus the aforementioned 3-0 win this was Rangers best performance against them under Beale. Celtic had 2 big chances and scored both.
Rangers missed 2 big chances and hit the woodwork. A positive performance but disappointing result.
Rangers 1-2 Celtic LC Final 26/02/23
Despite January signings Todd Cantwell and Nico Raskin looking promising in their first few appearances, they were benched for this one. The manager overthought his team selection and stuck with players who had experience in the fixture like Kamara and Sakala.
Kamara had a poor game and never hit the level required and Sakala had that miss. Kyogo goals either side of half time had them 2-0 up. Then Morelos got a rare OF goal and had Rangers back in it.
The Colombian looked the most likely to get another goal and was baffling taken off for Antonio Colak when fans might’ve expected them to play together, considering we were a goal down. It was a tentative performance that wasn’t deserving of a trophy.
Beale got the team selection wrong and it cost Rangers the first silverware of the season.
Celtic 3-2 Rangers 08/04/23
With one more Old Firm to go after this game, a win at Parkhead would’ve taken Rangers within 6 points of the league leaders. This would’ve added pressure going into the split with a game at Ibrox to come.
However, Rangers shot themselves in the foot in this game. Another relatively close one that was lost because of individual mistakes. Ben Davies not being strong enough to head the ball clear allowed Kyogo to make it 2-1.
Then a slack John Souttar back pass allowed Jota to nip in, round McGregor and make it 3-1. James Tavernier scored a superb free kick to make it 1-1 at half time and scored another good finish from a Borna Barisic cross made it 3-2.
Rangers couldn’t get anymore than that though, it wasn’t a great performance but it was a close game that shouldn’t have ended in defeat. Again, Celtic scored their big chances and Rangers missed one, a similar story to the whole season.
This defeat confirmed the league was over (although it wasn’t mathematically, yet). That made it 3 Old Firm games without a win for the rookie English manager, a poor start indeed.
Rangers 0-1 Celtic 30/4/23
The last chance for Rangers to get some silverware and retain the Scottish Cup. Another chance missed and this made it 4 with no Old Firm victory for Michael Beale.
A defensive lapse where the players stopped for a free kick, Celtic played on and a cross found Jota in the box to make it 1-0.
Fashion Sakala missed another open goal in this one and Rangers had chances to get back into it. This game wasn’t played with the intensity and passion of a game that represented the last chance to secure silverware. It was another disappointing defeat.
*Deliberately skipping the 3-0 Ibrox win due to its lack of importance in the quest for silverware*
Rangers 0-1 Celtic 03/09/23
Honestly, this is the most disappointing one for me. There was so much hope and optimism during the summer. The club went out and got the players that Beale wanted after Rangers ended the season well.
We were finally going to see his team and his play style. Then Rangers lost to Kilmarnock on the opening day, looked slightly better game after game, then got hammered by PSV in Eindhoven and were out of the Champions League.
This was a must win game, Celtic had injury problems and hadn’t won or scored in 2 games. They were never going to be more short of confidence and they had to come to Ibrox.
The team was announced and fans seemed generally happy with the selection (apart from maybe Dessers ahead of Danilo). Then the game kicked off. What unfolded in the first half was baffling.
Rangers sat off of Celtic, particularly Callum McGregor, and let them dictate the play. Then when going forward it was just long ball after long ball, it was awful. Then, to make it worse, the defence failed to react to a header coming back from the half way line and Kyogo fired home a half volley just before half time.
Rangers had nothing in the first half and weren’t much better in the second. AGAIN, the manager made no half time changes. Then when he did make changes, he brought of Kemar Roofe to a chorus of boos from the support.
Everything he could’ve gotten wrong on Sunday, he did. Rangers now sit four points behind our rivals after only four games. Four games, two wins and two defeats, pathetic.
This is Michael Beale’s record against Celtic;
- Played 6
- Cup Final and Semi-Final loses
- Scored 8
- Conceded 9
That’s an awful start, Rangers have one rival in the league and his only domestic victory was in a dead rubber game. Every one that’s mattered, he’s failed.
How do you feel about this record? Does he deserve up until the next Old Firm game to turn it around and prove he can beat them?
Will that be too late in the season? I think, he needs to win every domestic game up to and including the next Old Firm. That has to go along with progression in Europe.
Those are huge asks, is Michael Beale capable of providing these results? Recent evidence suggests no but we’ll soon find out.
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ICYMI read what I think needs to happen next at Rangers here.