Comments by Kris Commons have caused quite the stir in the build-up to Sunday’s Old Firm clash, after he claimed Rangers cannot be ‘true Invincibles’.
The ex-Celtic midfielder told the Daily Mail [via the Daily Record] that Brendan Rodgers’ 2016/17 side were “true Invincibles who won every single domestic trophy available to them without losing a game”, after Steven Gerrard’s side crashed out of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
He said “these results should shatter any possibility of this Rangers team being referred to as ‘Invincibles’ in years to come.”
Speaking on talkSPORT [11:30, 30/04/21] ex-Arsenal player Perry Groves and broadcaster Bob Mills debated the merits of Commons’ argument.
Here is their exchange in full.
Groves: “Yes, they can be called the ‘League Invincibles’ if they want to, but if you look at what Celtic did under Brendan Rodgers they went unbeaten in the league, unbeaten in the Scottish Cup, and unbeaten in the League Cup over 47 games.
“They did the treble and were Invincible, so they are the ‘real Invincibles’.”
Mills: “Be very careful where you’re going here, Perry.
“If you’re top of the league in any country you’re the champions and that’s it. I think if you go through a season unbeaten in any country the Invincible thing would stand.”
Groves: “Just in the league.”
Mills: “Well hang on a second. Any team that goes unbeaten is entitled to call themselves the Invincibles.”
Groves: “Yes but what Kris Commons is saying is that it’s not as big of an achievement as Celtic when they won the three trophies and went unbeaten.
Mills: “It may not be as much of an achievement but what Commons is saying is you can’t call them Invincibles.”
Groves: “You can.”
Mills: “Well exactly.”
We got there eventually, then.
The benign point Commons was trying to make was that this Rangers side cannot claim to be on par with the Celtic team who did the domestic sweep unbeaten during the 2016/17 campaign, or even have the word ‘Invincible’ attached to them.
That’s all well and good, but the circumstances are incomparable.
Who were Celtic’s competition during that campaign? It was our first season back in the top-flight since 2011/12 after battling back up the divisions after our demotion.
We certainly weren’t in any financial or football position to apply much pressure on them back then, and thus their success was already diminished somewhat.
No one is denying that it still wasn’t a respectable achievement, but to use it as a way to besmirch the sensational season we have enjoyed this season is embarrassing and, quite frankly, wreaks of jealousy from Commons with Celtic in disarray at the moment.
It’s just pure semantics. If we remain undefeated in our final three fixtures, we will quite rightly crown ourselves Invincibles, and we’ll crow about it for as long as we like.
In other Rangers news, Ally McCoist accuses Alan Brazil of ‘throwing toys out the pram’ after baffling Old Firm claim.