Uk news Kris Ajer ducking Celtic duty said it all writes Keith Jackson PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Rangers are now so dominant that it's embarrassing for their city rivals and the Norwegian sums it up.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Six feet five inches standing in his little white socks. But when he jumps he’s six feet two. That’s the thing about big Kristoffer Ajer. That’s always been the thing about this Norwegian high-tower who managed to shrink once again at vital moments yesterday in what became yet another humbling Old Firm experience for a Celtic side which cannot shake off its own inferiority complex. That they went out with a whimper and on the back of thumping 4-1 score-line, came as no great surprise. They can point to the red card which left them with only ten men for most of the match but that would be to ignore an obvious truth. Read More Related Articles I hope Eddie Howe to Celtic is already done or he might have second thoughts after Rangers shocker - Chris Sutton Rangers are a stronger, smarter, sharper, superior side and their dominance in their own city is now so complete that it’s become embarrassing for their crestfallen neighbours. And when caretaker boss John Kennedy picks through the bones of this latest roughing up, he will still be wondering how on earth a man mountain like Ajer managed to go missing right in the thick of the battle. Yes, there were a couple of trademark charges out from the back, the sort of show pony gallops that appear to have convinced Ajer that he belongs on a bigger and better stage. But if he was even half the player he appears to think he is then he’d be twice as good at carrying out even the most basic of defensive duties. Celtic's Kris Ajer and Ryan Christie (Image: SNS Group) Of course, he may soon be someone else’s problem. Ajer has been itching to get out of town for some time now but he’s kidding himself if he believes his game is really cut out for the highest level. So if he does end up hanging around in Glasgow’s East End beyond the summer then it might be Eddie Howe’s job to make a proper central defender out of him. Yesterday’s performance suggests Howe will have his work cut out. Because when Celtic needed Ajer to stand his ground and maybe even take an Alfredo Morelos cannon ball square on the chin, he ducked down and watched it ripping into the roof of Scott Bain’s net. And there, right at that very moment, Celtic’s last hopes of somehow summoning up the courage to land a meaningful blow on their tormentors in chief vanished in a little puff of powder. Sign up to our Record Celtic newsletter Get all the latest Celtic news sent straight to your Inbox every day by signing up to our newsletter. We cover every morsel of information regarding your favourite club in the form of articles, videos and podcasts. The newsletter will arrive every day at 12pm, giving you a round up of the best stories we've covered that in the last 24 hours. To sign up, simply enter your email address into the link here. And if you aren't already, make sure you join the conversation over on our Celtic Facebook group and Record Sport Instagram. That Ajer then allowed Borna Barisic’s cross to float over his head before Kemar Roofe got up to power home a header in the second half and put Rangers into a 3-1 lead, just summed up another horrendously sloppy day at the office.
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. Rangers, of course, went on to rub yet more salt in the wound when veteran sub Jermain Defoe climbed off the bench to do what Jermain Defoe always does. The truth is, Rangers are stronger than their rivals in every single department. In men like Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson, James Tavernier, Steven Davis and Ryan Kent they possess the five most consistent performers anywhere in the country never mind on either side of the city divide.
(Image: Getty Images)
Once again it was Davis who ran the show from the middle of the pitch, picking passes like chess moves as he darted in and around all manner of holes in Celtic’s midfield. And yesterday they also had Roofe, Morelos and Defoe gobbling up the kind of chances which seem to come and go at the other end without ever really looking as if they might end up in the back of McGregor’s net. That Kennedy tried to pin the blame for this one on a single decision of ref Nick Walsh was evidence of a man scraping the bottom of the big barrel of managerial excuses - and not least because the match official was actually spot on. He flashed a yellow card at Callum McGregor for cynically cleaning out Kent after the winger had popped the ball between his legs in typically impudent style.
The McGregor tackle that led to his red card
(Image: SNS Group)
And Walsh had to do it all over again just three minutes later when McGregor carelessly clattered into Glen Kamara just moments before Kent’s miss-hit shot set up Roofe’s cleverly improvised opener. Again, it was undoubtedly the correct call and Kennedy ought to have aimed his own frustration at McGregor for leaving the ref with no other option rather than take a cheap shot at the man in the middle. It was another job audition gone horribly wrong for Kennedy who must know for sure now that this will not be his team to turn around when the bigger summer rebuild finally gets underway. He may even have fancied his chances of becoming the first man to put a black mark on Steven Gerrard’s immaculate league campaign because, before kick-off, it did seem as if some momentum might have been swinging in Celtic’s favour.
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Jack Simpson thrown into the deep end of a rejigged Rangers defence as a result of Filip Helander’s season ending injury. And James Forrest in from the start on Celtic’s right wing, having spent almost all of the campaign on a treatment table at Lennoxtown. A derby day novice getting his first taste of this fixture. And an Old Firm specialist with an insatiable appetite for winning them. But, as a matter of fact, Simpson settled quickly into his stride, winning headers, making tackles and going about his business with an impressive sense of composure. He too copped an early booking from Walsh but Simpson was able to see his own derby debut out without ever really being made to feel under any sustained pressure. Of course, it could have been different had the other McGregor not come up with yet another save for his collection, finger tipping Mohamed Elyounoussi’s drive flush onto the face of his crossbar.
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But then that just sums up the difference between these two sides this season. In the big moments, Gerrard’s biggest players stand at their tallest. Celtic’s have developed a nasty habit of ducking to get out of the way.
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