It never rains but it pours as a fan of Glasgow Rangers, despite an encouraging display in the 1-0 over Real Betis in the Europa League last Thursday, the critics are out in force again for Rangers manager Michael Beale again this week as we struggled to a 1-0 victory over Motherwell in domestic action on Sunday. There continues to be no tempo, rhythm or an apparent tactical setup in the Rangers team just now as we struggle to find form and the new players have yet to grasp the demands of playing for this great institution. It doesn’t help when one of your coaching staff attends today’s press conference unsure of the teams Rangers have actually beaten in Europe this season.
What will force the board to take action?
There is a similar feeling amongst the Rangers support, that of the same they had with Giovanni Van Bronkhorst last season when performances were as convincing as the manager’s press conferences.
An exit from the League Cup would force the board to take action and tip the Rangers support over the edge in my opinion. Due to the performance on Sunday the Rangers manager now finds is job stability at a critical level. Tomorrow night’s cup tie against a dogged Livingston now becomes the Rangers manager’s biggest game of the season and he can’t be doing with his players getting booed off the pitch at full time again. The players need to stand up and take responsibility and ease the pressure on the manager, a convincing win tomorrow night will ease the pressure off Beale’s shoulders again. Rangers progressing with another unconvincing performance will keep the critics at the point they are at now but the Rangers manager would keep his job. If Rangers are to exit at home to Livingston tomorrow night then I think the Rangers board would set the wheels in motion to relieve the manager of his duties and we would be looking for our 14th manager in our illustrious history.
What market are Rangers shopping in for a manager?
After looking at the list of unemployed manager’s I don’t see any standout candidates, but there are one or two who may interest the Rangers board.
The Austrian is known for his time at Southampton in where he had played with a geggenpressing system, he kept the Saints Premier League status alive and did a solid enough job. For me the question lies in his winning mentality though and is this something he could instil in the Rangers squad. He was linked with Man United at a time when Ralph Ragnick was the sporting director at the club, he has the profile but is he a cert to bring success if Rangers approached him.
The former RB Salzburg manager has not set the heather alight since leaving the Austrian club, he has an unsuccessful spell at RB Leipzig then a mixed spell at Leeds United when the results into his second season weren’t enough to save his job. The American was far from loved by Leeds fans although he would bring a certain degree of passion to the side-lines at Ibrox. He too seems to like a pressing style of play and Leeds always tried to play at a tempo, but his signings in his first summer transfer window were not great and ultimately cost him his job at Elland Road.
The Austrian guided Frankfurt to a famous Europa league title against us a couple of seasons ago, he is currently a free agent. He has also managed VFL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and has a wealth of experience having been director of football in Austria. He prefers a 3-4-2-1 formation and likes to play with a quick tempo. If Rangers could entice the Austrian to Ibrox he could be a good fit with the squad available at his disposal.
The former understudy of Ange Postecoglou was a favourite for the job a couple of weeks ago having had some stylistic success in the J League. He however remains relatively inexperienced and doesn’t boast the best win percentage. He does have a unique fast, attacking brand of football that would get us all looking forward to watching Rangers every week but I don’t think it is timing is right for the former Rangers right back to take the Ibrox hotseat.
Hardly a fans favourite after rejecting the job whilst being Aberdeen manager. He is a different profile of Coach He’s Scottish and knows the league very well having previously managed Aberdeen to a league cup victory. He also guided them to two League cup semi-finals and two finals in his spell in charge. In the Scottish cup he guided them to 4 semi-finals and a final. For a club like Aberdeen this is a very high consistent finish in cup competitions. He also guided Kilmarnock to the semi-final of the league cup last season in their first season back in the SPFL. It’s safe to say he can work with players of a lower calibre on a shoestring budget and get good results. If the board were to decide to go with the domestic approach I think Mcinnes is a solid choice, may not be favourable among the support but with the budget and playing squad Rangers have he should be able to start collecting silverware and provide Celtic with a better challenge domestically. My main worry would be what his playing style would be as his strength with the clubs he has been at is building a solid foundation.
Right now though Rangers have an under fire manager in place and it remains to be seen if he can turn it around. On current performances he can only churn our results for so long before a defeat or losing more ground in the title race will see the Rangers manager lose his job, and with a support craving for success the board would have to get the next appointment correct. Maybe a change of direction in appointing a domestic manager would breathe new life into a lowly performing Rangers.