The mantra that the ‘gap is closing’ between Sevco and Celtic seems to get louder and more repetitive the bigger the points difference between the two is, and the more times that Celtic win a New Glasgow Derby.
The latest stage in the ongoing process to reclassify the Grand Canyon as a ‘hairline crack’ revolved around the ‘thoughts’ of James Tavernier, and was featured in several newspapers, including the Evening Shark-Jump:
JAMES TAVERNIER insists Rangers are getting closer to Old Firm rivals Celtic on the pitch as the Light Blues look to narrow the gap in the Premiership during the second half of the campaign.
Mark Warburton’s side return to action tomorrow when they face RB Leipzig in what will be their first outing since the Hogmanay defeat to the Hoops. Celtic have won all three derby duels so far this season and are 19 points clear at the top of the Premiership standings.
But Tavernier reckons the Gers should take heart from their performance at Ibrox as they strive for further improvement in the coming months.
He said: “Whenever you lose an Old Firm game, it’s not a great feeling. We’re still disappointed about it. We felt we had chances to wrap up the points. Celtic finished strongly and managed to take one more opportunity than us. But we had plenty of chances to finish them off. Kenny (Miller) hit the post and we could have won it.
“It was disappointing but compared to where we were when we lost 5-1 at Parkhead – we’ve come on leaps and bounds since then. The gap has definitely shortened. We were only a step away from beating Celtic at Ibrox.”
Others have questioned quite how ‘close’ a contest the recent Celtic victory at Ibrox actually was, so I won’t go over that issue. However, I will laugh heartily at the roundabout suggestion from ‘Tav’ that “Aye we keep getting pumped, and are a mile behind even though we were ‘going for 55’. But we missed a late chance for a draw which would have shown that there is no gap.”
It is of course absolute nonsense, and I wonder whether he, the authors of newspaper articles or any readers actually believe it? Whatever the truth of the matter, the ‘gap minimisation’ programme – which began early last season when Premiership St Johnstone knocked Championship Sevco out of the League Cup – seems here to stay.
What will it bring next?
Well, I am already hearing that henceforth all Sevco and Celtic stories will appear back-to-back on different sides of the pages of printed newspapers. And they will be printed on specially-engineered micro-thin newspaper to quite literally narrow the gap between the two. If that isn’t worth Sevco having an open-top bus parade I don’t know what is.
And as for stories, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some or all of the following appear in the near future:
- “Wallace: Almost no gap to Celtic. We lined up in the tunnel six inches closer to them than last time”.
- “Rangers’* Tailgating Triumph: team bus follows Celtic for 200 miles. ‘There was no gap between us at all’ says driver. ‘Shame we missed our fixture, though'”.
- “Sevco fans call for ‘vile and offensive Watford Gap Services’ to be renamed ‘What F*cking Gap'”.
- “Gap down to less than a quarter of a millimetre as Record Sport publishes world’s smallest league table”.
Keep an eye out for these delights, and other – far less believable – ‘stories’.
And, of course…