Somebody needs to check on Charlie Nicholas after the Rangers-inflicted trauma of the last 12 months appears to have left the former Celtic striker either salty or wonderfully deluded.

The former Arsenal striker isn’t the most popular man in Glasgow’s eastend at times but the ex-Celtic hero has just named six Parkhead stars in his Premiership XI for 2021.

Yes, he named six; but the madness doesn’t end there.

Nicholas also named only two Rangers players in a quite remarkable XI which is either designed to troll Gers fans or delude himself about the reality of the last year in Scottish football.


But whether salty or genuinely deluded, Charlie Nicholas’ ridiculous team of the year – written for the Scottish Daily Express – is just plain wrong.

GK – Joe Hart, DR – Tony Ralston, DC – John Souttar, DC – Calvin Bassey, DL – Stephen Kingsley, CDM – Callum McGregor, CM – Tom Rogic, CM – Joe Aribo, RW – Martin Boyle, ST – Kyogo Furuhashi, LW – Jota

Drink it in ladies and gentlemen.

Rangers are a team who’ve been beaten once in a calendar year and are six points clear in the Scottish Premiership. They’re a team who haven’t been beaten by Celtic in over two years. They are by a substantial margin the strongest in the country.

A covid-ravaged Rangers beating Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox should’ve been an early indication of this.

Whilst there have been some top performers for Celtic this season, Charlie’s credibility has taken a doing here if we’re claiming this is the best XI from the last 12 months.

The fact Charlie Nicholas has put Tony Ralston ahead of James Tavernier and Joe Hart ahead of Allan McGregor is a quite remarkable take from 2021, for starters.

Charlie Nicholas Premiership XI smacks of delusion over Rangers’ strength

Between the weekly analysis of the masonic lodge refereeing conspiracy to the brass neck of dodgy combined XIs, perhaps it sums up a Celtic support increasingly deluded by the reality of what happened this year.

It’s a coping mechanism for sure and above all else, consistent delusion over the Rangers squad suits, well, it suits Rangers.

For all of Celtic’s ‘progress’ under Ange Postecoglou – the club were a point worse off after 19 games than they were under Lennon last season – Rangers continue to make ground in the title race.

Olympique Lyon v Rangers FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

The winter break has come at a good time for our rivals, Rangers increasingly impressive under Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Celtic ravaged by an ever-increasing list of hamstring injuries, and the transfer window will be a big one for both clubs.

But the fact that Rangers will be crossing their fingers over retaining their top players, whilst Celtic will be trying to sign some of their own, is symbolic of where both clubs currently find themselves.

No matter how much Charlie Nicholas tries to delude himself otherwise.

In other Rangers news, the Ibrox club have been offered Hampden hope after announcing a special Weekend of Legends match at Ibrox.

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