Football / Scottish Round-Up: Week of misery for Rangers

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The Independent Online
IF WE are to hold true to the maxim of Graeme Souness that Rangers are only ever two defeats away from a crisis, the alarm bells must be ringing around Ibrox, which has hosted two abject performances from the incumbents this week, writes David McKinney.

The Scottish champions were laid bare by AEK Athens in the European Cup on Wednesday and ripped apart by their fierce rivals, Celtic, on Saturday.

For the Rangers supporters, the manner of defeat was as hurtful as the results. Rarely over the last six years of domination had their favourites been so comprehensively beaten.

For the first time in that period, there are real doubts over Rangers' ability to retain the championship, with a squad of players many see as having peaked two years ago when performing so well in the Champions' League.

The ease of Celtic's victory will eat deeply into the aura of invincibility Rangers have constructed on the field of play. Like Celtic, other clubs with ambitions towards the title, such as Aberdeen and Dundee United, have to seize the chance to benefit from Rangers' problems.

Having played his part in Celtic's triumph at Ibrox, Andy Walker is set for an international recall. The striker with one cap to date recently returned to his former club from Bolton for pounds 550,000, and has started the season well with two goals in three League games. He should be included today in Craig Brown's squad for next week's European Championship qualifier in Finland.

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