Sacred piece for the Union Saint-Gilloise. Karel Geraerts’ men will challenge last Europa League runners-up Glasgow Rangers.
The return to the forefront of a giant
As we know, in Scotland, there are only two clubs: Celtic and Rangers. These two giants have shared every Scottish league title since 1986, after back-to-back Aberdeen titles in 84 and 85. And from the late 80ies to the late 90ies, Glasgow Rangers dominated, including winning 9 titles consecutive from 1989 to 1997. After another decade during which the two clubs of the city of Glasgow will share the titles more or less equitably, it is the drama in 2012. While the Gers remain on three consecutive titles (2009, 2010, 2011), they will be liquidated due to debt and relegated to D4.
Unsurprisingly, Celtic then established its unchallenged domination. Nine consecutive titles, like the rival in the nineties. Quite a symbol therefore when the Rangers, returned in 2016 in D1, prevent Celtic from exceeding this record, and reconquer the throne in 2021. A 55th league title, still three more than the Bhoys. The struggle at the top of Scottish football has resumed. Steven Gerrard is the man to be congratulated on this achievement, and his successor Giovanni Van Bronckhorst had quite a costume to fill.
No title, but…
He will fail in the title race, but Giovanni Van Bronckhorst does not care: under his leadership, the Rangers will seek the Scottish Cup and, above all, a European final. Frankfurt will frustrate Scotland in the Europa League final, but the message is clear: Rangers are back. The Union Saint-Gilloise is also warned: these Rangers now want to find the absolute elite, the Champions League, and a failure in the preliminaries would be quite a slap in the face.
Like a Pro League perfume
Rangers have been coming to Belgium for a few years now when they need to reinforce their line of attack. In January 2020, Ianis Hagi (23) joined the Ibrox Stadium, quickly followed the following summer by Kemar Roofe. Last summer it was Fashion Sakala who landed from KV Ostend and a few weeks ago, Rabbi Matondo, which enchanted our lawns last season, came in turn to strengthen Van Bronckhorst’s group. The qualities of these players, we know them, and Karel Geraerts knows them well too. No doubt this will make the analysis easier…
Tavern! A dice pass!
But the men to follow on the Glasgow side will not necessarily be the “Belgians” (even if Roofe scored 16 goals in all competitions last season). James Tavernier, the team’s prolific captain and right back, is the “main man” of this team. The statistics of the English side are staggering: 58 (!) games last season, 18 goals and 17 assists. Kevin De Bruyne would not blush. And no question of overrevving: in 20-21, Tavernier was shooting 16 assists and 19 goals in 46 games, 15 assists in 46 games the season before again. Quite simply, one of the best in Europe in his position, and a candidate for a surprise selection with England.
The Ibrox Cauldron
We hope that Union Saint-Gilloise will be able to hold their rank at Den Dreef, for the first leg (the opportunity to remember that European matches are not held at Parc Duden), in order to be able to savor the return match as well as possible. Because whatever the final result, a match at the Ibrox Stadium is a special moment. Certainly there will be no Flower of Scotland as with Scotland national team matches. But Glasgow Rangers supporters are world famous, like those of the club rival. Unionists who make the trip will have a great time, and the party will be great in a city known for its choice pubs.