Well it was eventful. The first Old Firm Derby in the BetBright FM17 Project was played out live yesterday on Facebook and Iain Macintosh’s Celtic secured early bragging rights over Alex Stewart’s Rangers…
Here’s 5 things we learned from their first head to head!
1. Iain wears a suit for important FM17 matches
He tried to shrug it off by claiming the suit was for a prior engagement, but we always suspected that Iain Macintosh dressed up for his biggest Football Manager clashes. He’s a man of class, after all. Perhaps the boldest aspect of the Celtic boss’s attire is that he turned up for the first Old Firm derby of the season dressed in Rangers colours. His sharp blue suit must have caused a stir in the dressing room, but we’re putting it down to mind games. The players already hate him, so if he could only convince them to hate Rangers just as much by donning the club colours, perhaps they’d be extra fired up for the occasion. It worked. An expert lesson in man-management, we’re sure you’ll agree.
2. Alex takes defeat badly
Unlike Iain, Alex Stewart isn’t used to losing. He has never been sacked on Football Manager before. The only time he came close, he won four of the next five matches to shove the board’s ultimatum in a place far too rude to write here. So Tuesday’s defeat will have hurt him. A lot. You could see that at the end of the live stream when Alex’s answers became terse, his demeanour frustrated, his rage…bubbling. The camera captured one withering look at Iain and summed up how the Rangers manager was feeling.
If looks could kill… pic.twitter.com/Oh1rKh9SYE
— FM17 Project (@FM17Project) January 10, 2017
He can just about stomach defeat, but to a man whose Celtic side lost 4-1 at home to St. Johnstone? You certainly didn’t want to be in the home dressing room at full time.
3. Can Celtic now kick on?
Well, we bloody hope so, otherwise Iain will be forced to chronicle his new adventures at Annan Athletic while we parachute another manager into the hot seat at Celtic Park. For now, the board and supporters seem satisfied with the rookie manager’s handling of first-team affairs. Iain has safely guided Celtic into the Champions League group stage, scored a goal away to Atletico Madrid (they scored four, admittedly), and recovered from a shaky start in the Scottish Premiership with a thoroughly dominant display at Ibrox. He may not know his best XI, he has about as much control over Scott Brown as this guy has over his dog…
…but his players are delivering when it really matters.
4. Will Rangers bounce back?
You’d certainly think so. Alex will do what he does best – seethe quietly for a few hours before investigating the numbers and devising an ingenious new tactic to conquer all that stand before him. It’s Falkirk in the cup next for Rangers, and the Scottish Championship side must be fearing a backlash. If Alex can get players back from injury, put a run of form together and perhaps complement his squad with some shrewd signings in January, Rangers should be in for a good season. Like a shot of Absinthe, you can’t keep him down for long.
5. Does Scott Brown have a future at Celtic?
After three red cards in six matches at the start of the season, the relationship between the Celtic manager and captain could be filed under ‘strained’. But Iain recalled Brown to his starting XI for the trip to Ibrox and the 31-year-old delivered, avoiding so much as a caution in the heated derby day atmosphere. If Brown can keep his head, he could prove an enormous influence on the pitch. A somewhat erratic embodiment of a somewhat erratic manager, hurtling around the turf seemingly bereft of all sense of direction, yet somehow producing results. It could be the start of a special friendship.
What are we talking about?
Here’s the Live Stream Replay!