It’s looking increasingly likely that either Phillipe Clement or Kevin Muscat will be in the Rangers dugout by the time Hibernian make the trip to Govan in just over a week’s time.
Almost two weeks on from sacking Michael Beale after his third defeat in the league before the end of September, it appears as though the board have taken their time and done some level of due-diligence when it comes from appointing his successor.
The fact that there has been no clear runaway favourite for the role throughout the process would be testament to this.
And they really had to, as their two previous managers really didn’t cut the mustard.
With the gift of hindsight, both men – Beale and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst – have a clear path put in front of them to take the job the minute it became vacant.
Yes, Gio got us to a European football, but when it came to domestic football, he was never able to establish a formula that wasn’t just horseshoe passing football across the back and crossing from deep.
When it came to Beale, his promises of taking off the handbrake always seemed to be one step away, especially towards the second half of last season.
But when he was able to get in his own players and mould the squad how he wanted it, it quickly became a case of one step forward, two steps back, with fluent football seemingly sacrificed quickly for wins at all costs, until the winning dried up.
This results over performances mentality is something that can be sourced back at Rangers even to the days of our demotion to the third division back in 2012.
Ally McCoist is a club legend so was given some level of benefit of the doubt for a long time as the team worked their way up the divisions. However, he had the chance to completely reinvent how the team looked, both in terms of tactically and in regards to bedding in youth, and ultimately choose to bring in aging players who, whilst giving a tune in the lower leagues, were never going to provide a base as we got closer to the Premiership.
Mark Warburton was essentially a carbon copy of Beale. A good coach who was initially able to get a bounce from the squad but at the end of the day, didn’t have the experience to be able to make the right decisions tactically, whilst Pedro Caixinha just wasn’t good enough to hold the role.
The club’s most successful manager of the last decade, Steven Gerrard, was also on the verge of getting the boot just before COVID, and had it not been for his profile in the game, then he surely would have. It took the extended break from games that allowed the team to get a set style in place that would eventually lead to 55. But the minute he left, the script seemed to pretty much be ripped up and set to reset when it should have been built upon for years to come.
It’s now up to Muscat or Clement to take it upon themselves to do exactly that right now. Yes, results could be shaky or on the edge the first few weeks. But it’s vitally important that the support see a style developing in that time, ideally a high intensive attacking system.
This is the exact scenario that happened with Celtic and Postecoglou, and look what he went on to do. The league is seven points down, but it’s still in October. Get a coach in that knows how to walk the walk, then it might not be as far off as it seems now.