Philippe Clement made it clear on his arrival that Rangers’ myriad problems were beyond quick fixes when he urged fans to accept he's "not Harry Potter with a magic wand". An unhappy, fractured dressing room riven by persistent injuries is a tall order for any new coach to overcome, doubly so when winning every week is a baseline expectation. While it's safe to say the undefeated Belgian has made a good fist of it so far there remains a sense this Rangers squad will inevitably let him down when the going gets tough. It's both imbalanced in terms of quality and for the style of football the manager wants to play.

While some might point to departed managers for this, the issues Clement has been facing have been compounded over the last two years by some very unusual events.  With Celtic in disarray after missing out on 10-In-A-Row, Ange Postecoglou was some way down the Celtic list to replace Neil Lennon and required a last-gasp Eddie Howe volte-face to even arrive in Glasgow. A gamble by almost everyone's reckoning, he quickly showed himself to be a coach of genuine substance. His work over two years in Scotland was of outlandish quality, meaning a side good enough to defeat Bundesliga outfits like Dortmund and RB Leipzig on the way to a European final was pipped to the league title. 

The Greek-Australian lifted his squad to heights far above their normal quality levels, making good players out of journeymen others might have discarded, the likes of Greg Taylor and Tony Ralston, while squeezing the last quality from veteran keeper Joe Hart. With Postecoglou now at Spurs, we are seeing a reversion to the mean at Parkhead. Suddenly the ‘we never stop’ juggernaut that meant no matter how dire the situation, a goal was always around the corner seems to be less forceful. 

Brendan Rodgers has clear success on his CV with Celtic and an FA Cup with Leicester is not to be sniffed at - but does anyone truly bracket him at the same level as a man who won five trophies out of six against a strong Rangers? He will have to prove his case to the contrary with action because while Rodgers' last spell in Scotland was undoubtedly marked by consistent success, he was up against a Rangers team in two years of turmoil before undergoing a complete reconstruction under Steven Gerrard. Against the likes of Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty, he was always going to look every inch the Premier League demi-god. 

Rogers has never felt the heat of a close title battle and it looked as though that situation would continue this term as his men hurtled into a seven point lead early in the season, despite some teething problems. The appointment of Clement has steadied Rangers' form though and suddenly Celtic seem to be faltering. A lamentable second-half display yesterday led to a deserved loss at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock. It's not the first time they’ve flattered to deceive this season but they've often had enough to get over the line. In Ayrshire, they were outfought and overpowered in a defeat that leaves them five points ahead - although Rangers can cut that to just two with a win from their game in hand.

READ MORE: Carter-Vickers Celtic injury update as return timeline set

Some will point to injuries as a key factor in all of this. Without Cameron Carter-Vickers, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate there’s no doubt Rodgers has seen the quality of his first XI diminished. Add in the sales of Carl Starfelt and Jota and a solid core of last year's team is unavailable to the Northern Irishman. That said, a £20m summer spend in the transfer market should have given his side a fresh feel but only Luis Palma can be deemed a success so far. The likes of Tomoki Iwata, Odin Thiago Holm, Marco Tilio, Yang Hyun-Jun, Kwon Hyeok-Kyu and the barely seen £8m pair Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke all have significant work to do. Mark Lawwell, recruitment chief and the son of chairman Peter, is coming under serious scrutiny as Celtic fans look for answers. While nearly a decade at the elite City Group points to a football career of genuine substance, accusations of nepotism were always going to follow any blips.

It’s ironic then that both of Scotland's top clubs are trading blows in the battle for the title suffering from the same issue with haphazard recruitment. Rangers have had two disastrous summer windows in a row, a situation that’s prompted chairman John Bennett and CEO James Bisgrove to make root and branch changes to how the club approaches signing players. Huge sums have been lavished, with £20m paid out to secure underdelivering Ridvan Yilmaz, Cyriel Dessers, Sam Lammers and Danilo.  Such a level of profligacy can’t continue if the club is to function at the level fans have become accustomed to, a reality acknowledged publicly by the Ibrox board. A host of scouts and former recruitment chief John Park have been ousted as the club moves towards a more data-led model that will spread its tentacles far and wide under new recruitment director Nils Koppen.

If Philippe Clement had a single reliable no.9 to work alongside the prolific winger Abdallah Sima, then the Belgian would surely be even better placed right now to add the Premiership to his medal collection. A striker is a priority when the window opens and getting it right would put Rangers in very good shape. Hearts' prolific captain Lawrence Shankland remains a smart, homegrown option that would guarantee domestic goals although the club's interest remains opaque.

And while Rangers will do work, Celtic could do a lot more if they open the purse strings and back their manager properly. With tens of millions in the bank - they could change everything with a spend that nobody in Scotland could possibly match.

And yet, it’s one thing having money and another using it properly. Given the brutal polarisation in football that has left smaller leagues like ours in the dust financially, the reality of the market is that even £10-£20m doesn't bring guarantees any longer. Most Premier League sides see this level of outlay as a punt. It likely creates a ceiling for what can be achieved because no CEO in Scotland is going to feel comfortable spending that kind of cash with the minuscule TV money currently on offer to balance it out.

The notion that Rodgers can go out and get oven-ready stars seems largely fanciful then, even with a huge budget to spend in the context of the SPFL. No, success will only be achieved through clever trading whether the deals cost £10m, £5m or £50,000. And make no mistake, whoever gets their recruitment system right quicker will be the club that has the upper hand when it comes time to dish out the trophies.