Former Celtic boss, Martin O’Neill, believes that Steven Gerrard would gladly sacrifice victory in all the Old Firm fixtures if it meant that he was securing a first Scottish Premiership trophy since 2011 for Rangers.
So what has O’Neill said?
When asked about the impact that the absence of fans in the respective grounds could make on derby day, he feels that it could be a great leveller in the fixture and one that could have an effect on results ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons in recent history but that there is something more important to achieve:
“I actually said to them (Celtic fans) early on in my time that I would take losing all the games to Rangers if those 12 points could be made up and we win the league at the first time of asking.
“And I’m sorry, but in the nicest possible way I got bawled down.
“I thought to myself that might not have been the cleverest thing to have said tonight.
“I think basically you have to do both; win some of the Old Firm games and win the league.
“If you were to ask Steven Gerrard today if he would take the argument I put forward in Perth and take losing to Celtic but winning the league, I think he would take that.
“Then he can worry next time round about winning the Old Firm games.”
So is O’Neill correct?
There’s not often that Rangers fans would agree with a former Celtic manager but on this occasion even the most staunch Light Blues supporter would struggle not to at least nod in acknowledgement.
Silverware is everything at Ibrox just now, and the most coveted title – the Scottish Premiership – requires an immense level of consistency over 38 games, well, it’s supposed to be 38 games anyway, and Gerrard’s men just weren’t able to maintain that over the course of the last two seasons despite showing, regularly, that they are every bit as good, if not better than their bitter rivals.
There isn’t much that Gerrard wouldn’t take in exchange for toppling Celtic and if it meant losing four times to them to win the league then so be it, stopping the much fabled “10” isn’t everything – winning the first top flight league title in a decade almost certainly is.