Part 3 – 20 Games in and a New Year

Welcome back! we are now 20 games into this challenge and things are starting to heat up with the Strength v Technique Challenge. 20 Games in and we have the tightest race I have ever seen.

Ladbrokes Premiership_ Overview Profile

As you can see Rangers and Celtic have virtually identical records. Celtic have drawn 1 more game than Rangers however what is interesting is the goals for and against. Celtic have a goal difference of 27, goals for 40 and goals against 13. Rangers meanwhile have a goal difference of 25, goals for 37, goals against 12.

Now if you cast your minds back to the original post of this series, we have the teams playing extremely different formations. Celtic with their wide 4-3-3 and Rangers with a much more defensively oriented 3-5-2.

What this means however is that neither strength nor technique is shining particularly brighter than the other.

So how best to decide which policy is doing better so far? Well I think the smartest move here is to firstly look at the managers, and then the players that have been signed to fit into the assigned systems.

Managers

Ladbrokes Premiership_ Awards Award Winners

According to the managers we have Mister Muscle performing slightly better in his role with 2 manager of the months to Tixi Taka’s 1. However Decembers has yet to be revealed so things could be evened up soon.

 

The past 10 league fixtures of the teams have Rangers being slightly less consistent (W8, L2, D0) than Celtic (W8, L1, D0) however Celtic have managed to get their glorious victory over Barca reversed into a 7-0 thrashing. This fucking game just can not let you have any long lasting joy can it?

Players Signed

Celtic

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane_ Overview Profile

Geriatric Robbie Keane is proving to just as immobile as advertised however with a average rating of 6.89 and 5 goals over 16 games (6 as a starter) we cant be too unhappy with his performances. Leigh Griffiths is throwing tantrums that would make a two year old jealous and so having Keane as a backup to Dembele has been extremely helpful.

Speaking of Dembele, he is my boyfriend, he has scored an outrageous 25 goals in 29 games and hasn’t even hinted at wanting to leave. If only Griffiths had an ounce of that loyalty.

Carlos Martins

Carlos Martins_ Overview Profile

This man has been truly stealing a living. He has 1 assist and 1 goal in 17 games for the club. You may think that isn’t terrible for a 34 year old DLP but both of those occurred in a frankly ludicrous debut which he has been living off ever since. Somehow scraping an overall rating of 7.00 that I am truly in disbelief at. His attribute are getting better however so I cannot quite put my finger on why I hate him so much.

Rangers

Jose Goncalves

Jose Goncalves_ Overview Profile

Whilst reports that opposition strikers have taken to calling him “Daddy” go unconfirmed, what can be confirmed is that this man is Rangers signing of the season.

A ludicrous 7.26 rating over 26 games is completely deserved. He has been just outstanding, signed on a free transfer and an ever present, Goncalves has even chipped in with 2 goals. I’d marry cheat on Dembele with him to be honest.

Elimane Coulibaly

Elimane Coulibaly_ Overview Profile

A decent target man, 6.96 rating, 3 goals and 4 assists. Would probably be my first choice target man if he could hold him self away from the physio room.

Mason Bennett

Mason Bennett_ Overview Profile

Whilst still young Mason Bennett has been inconsistent even by youth player standards. Signed on loan from Derby he scored from his own half in his second game for the club and has been on holiday ever since. Don’t let the 7 assists fool you. 4 game in his last game.

Ousman Manneh

Ousman Manneh_ Overview Profile

Now here’s a wonderkid for you! Signed on loan from Bremen, Manneh is Rangers top goal scorer with 12 goals. Whilst he has 7 goals from two match, it is his all around player that is most pleasing. A 7.20 rating is completely deserved and he seems to be much happier when played with a run of games, an impact sub he is not.

What’s next?

So there we have it, we are two days away from the transfer window and improvement is needed in both teams squads. Celtic are in dire need of a right back and new goal keeper. Rangers however require a few more signings. A Cb and LWB are the priorities however we would not say no to a couple of new CMs and even a prolific goalscorer (to be fair who wouldn’t?).

The interesting part is this though. Celtics board have just randomly gifted a new 6.5million transfer budget injection, Rangers board are hoarding money like Coulibaly does pain pills. The next month’s transfer window could prove to be the swinger in the title race.

Oh and the eagle eyed viewers out there may have noticed, the next fixture is the big one, Celtic v Rangers…

 

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