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Old Firm Feud: It's wrong to say the Celtic-Rangers gap is small - and really, neither side is the force they once were

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Football pundit Graeme Souness locked horns with Simon Jordan on TalkSport about the gulf in class, or lack thereof, in the opinion of the Scot, between Celtic and Rangers.

Speaking after Celtic’s third victory of the season over bitter rivals Rangers put them six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Souness said that the gap between the two sides wasn’t particularly big and that Celtic’s attacking options were the main factor as to why they have been the more dominant of the two sides in recent times.

This raised some eyebrows and fairly so. Celtic have won the league 12 out of the last 13 seasons.

Admittedly Rangers weren’t in the league for some of those earlier triumphs due to them going into administration but the facts are there for all to see.

Whether the former Rangers player-manager can stomach it or not, Celtic are without a shadow of a doubt clear of Rangers.

Despite Rangers’ outlier season where they won comfortably under Steven Gerrard in 2021, and their run to the Europa League final the following campaign, they have found themselves coming second best to their Old Firm foes too many times to be put on a par with them.

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Jordan also said in the debate that the two sides of Glasgow would both struggle to succeed at the top of the English Championship table.

Once two teams that would’ve been fancied to make a fist of things in England’s top tier, it is now not unreasonable to say neither team would flourish in the Premier League with the players they have at their disposal today.

Not to disregard the current teams but when you consider that James Tavernier has never been in the conversation for England, it makes you wonder how good the standard in Scotland is.

The Rangers captain isn’t anywhere near the top five English right-backs currently playing the game and has been one of, if not, the most important player for Rangers in the last decade.

When you look at Celtic, Joe Hart is the most well-known player they have at the moment and he had to drop down a level to the Scottish league due to him no longer being able to play at the top level in England.

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Kyogo Furuhashi has been tearing it up for Celtic but again is a player who would struggle to make an impact in the Premier League.

England will always have the advantage over Scotland when it comes to the standard of the league.

Celtic Rangers Old Firm Derby

Mohammed Diomande of Rangers battles for possession with Callum McGregor of Celtic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Despite that, it has been a dramatic fall from grace for a league and two teams that have previously been able to boast the likes of Henrik Larsson, Virgil Van Dijk, Paul Gascoigne and Brian Laudrup.

For Larsson and Van Dijk, Celtic was a stepping stone they used to move on to bigger clubs. Gascoigne and Laudrup however, came to Ibrox when they were still in their twenties, after playing for some of the most famous European clubs.

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It is hard to imagine any of the top players in the world today making the move to either side at such a young age in the current footballing climate.

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