Showing posts with label Alex McLeish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex McLeish. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Management race; Rangers on verge of having new favourite

As with recent momentum, having at one point being 1/7 for Rangers manager, as we suggested in recent days, Derek McInnes has now slipped wildly back to 6/4 to enter into odds against while ex-Rangers manager Alex McLeish has now entered serious territory with only a fraction longer than the Aberdeen chief, at 7/4.

As we brought you recently, the increased support for McLeish has materialised significantly over the past few days, and while many fans would be happy with this appointment, some would not.

This managerial race has been blown wide open and we are starting to get more than a touch concerned at the lack of apparent strategy shown by the board.

In short, their silence on this topic apart from one incredibly vague statement has been conspicuous, and we have noticed more than a few rumblings of discontent among the fanbase over their recent actions and indeed general running of the club.

Meanwhile McInnes’ case to become Rangers manager took yet another dent yesterday with a poor result at Pittodrie against his increasing nemesis Motherwell and the ex-St Johnstone boss reportedly sideswerved the post-match media duties entirely.

The top four candidates (at the time of writing) remain:

McInnes (6/4), McLeish (7/4), Murty (11/2), Frank de Boer (8/1)

It is anyone’s guess.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Rangers legend: "Rangers were never serious about me"

Alex McLeish has confirmed tonight that talks with the Rangers board never went beyond the ‘casual’ stage.

Speaking about his return to Ibrox as manager following the departure of Mark Warburton, Big Eck has suggested that the board were never serious about his appointment and that while he made himself available for further talks, Stewart Robertson et al were not interested in following up on him.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

"Real Rangers Men"

“Real Rangers Men”

“Real Rangers Man”

Over the past few weeks, these phrases have reappeared in Rangers’ fans’ lexicons, to describe the hope that the new manager would be a Bluenose himself, someone who already knew Rangers inside out and knew what managing the team truly meant.

When that did not happen, and instead we received an untried and relative newcomer to British football in Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese manager himself vaunted the serious notion of bringing in his own ‘local assistant’ as he called it; A Rangers man, effectively, an ex-player or manager who could guide him through the nuances and idiosyncrasies of being Rangers, and what it meant.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sky Sources: "Rangers HAVE spoken to this manager"

Sky Sources have tonight confirmed that Rangers have now spoken to Alex McLeish regarding the vacant managerial position, and are seeking to speak to Al-Gharafa’s Pedro Caixinha imminently.

With the managerial slot a massive subject of contention in recent weeks since the departure of Mark Warburton, numerous names have been linked, and indeed placed as favourites, with McLeish, Caixinha, Norwich’s Alex Neil and now-available Barry Ferguson all heading the field at various times.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

46-year old Portuguese installed as new favourite for Rangers job

Portuguese Pedro Caixinha has sprung from nowhere to be the current favourite to take the managerial reins at Ibrox. Following former Hamilton boss and now Norwich manager Alex Neil’s surge to the top spot earlier today, the ex-Nacional coach has now taken joint top place alongside the previous joint favourite Alex McLeish, with Neil dropping slightly out of favour into third.

The 46 year old, who has mostly been an assistant coach over his 15 year-stint in the senior game, has top grade experience at the likes of Panathinaikos and Sporting Clube de Portugal (or Sporting Lisbon as they are commonly known).

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sky Sources: "no contact with this 58 year old for manager vacancy"

Sky Sources have today confirmed Rangers have made no contact whatsoever with former manager Alex McLeish regarding the vacancy at Ibrox.

With interviews reported as taking place this week, there is said to have been zero interest in appointing the ex-Aberdeen, Hibs, and Rangers man who confirmed on Sky Sports last weekend week that he was interested in the job and it would be too hard to turn down.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Vote: Murty till the end of the season?

As time goes on, with every passing day that either Rangers do not make announcements regarding a new manager or the press adds a new name to the growing list, it starts to emerge slowly that the board are very seriously considering the possibility of leaving the first team in the hands of U20s coach Graeme Murty till the end of the season.

With no one outstanding candidate emerging within Rangers’ price range, the predictable selection of contenders has yielded few truly universally accepted names, with the Alex McLeishes, Tommy Wrights, Derek McInneses and Kevin Muscats dividing Rangers fans significantly.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Will Alex McLeish be a success at Ibrox?

The potential appointment of Alex McLeish has thrown up some debate among Rangers fans, with a significant portion expressing major reservations that he is the right man to bring the Ibrox side out of their current malaise back into something resembling the proper SPL Rangers we expect them to be.

Indeed, in yesterday’s piece, the argument was made that overnight success as a result of his appointment is extremely unlikely, and as such the man deserves a little leeway, itself a rare commodity with Rangers supporters.

But why will McLeish be successful this time, in a wildly different Rangers climate to that of nearly two decades ago (count ‘em), especially in light of the near-certain absence of financial backing that would assist his endeavours a great deal?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Reprogramming the Rangers

If today’s hard-fought victory over stubborn Morton taught us anything, it is that it will take a fair while for any new manager, likely Alex McLeish, to imprint their philosophies on a squad which has been borderline programmed into playing the way it does.

The majority of this squad has known nothing but Warburton’s generally impotent 4-3-3 tiki-tika for the past 20 months, and that psychologically has been completely imprinted onto the players’ DNA in a way today’s win demonstrated.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

POLL: Who would you replace Mark Warburton with?

The candidates to replace Mark Warburton are coming in thick and fast, so with tonight’s confirmation that he will no longer manage the Famous (with the latest that he is apparently consulting his legal team), who do you want to see replace him?

For now, the best of luck to Graeme Murty who will take the side for the cup on Sunday v Morton, but it is unlikely to be a permanent appointment. But if he does well, who knows? But we throw it over to you guys; who do you want as long-term manager for the next two years minimum?

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Is Warbs the most trustworthy manager in Rangers' history?

There can be no questioning the true greats of Rangers’ past – the William Struths, the Walter Smiths, the Wallaces, Waddells, even the Dick Advocaats of this world wrote themselves into the Club’s history as truly epitomising what Rangers stand for and emphasising its visions and drive.

However, whether it is due to what fans have suffered in the past three years skewing judgement or otherwise, there is an implicit level of trust being aimed at Mark Warburton I can rarely ascribe to any other era in my lifetime.

Most fans of a certain vintage can remember questioning all managers, from Alex McLeish, to Le Guen, to the older generation such as Souness, Smith and Advocaat – for as well as some of them did, and as badly as others did, fans often raised eyebrows regardless.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Rangers' management saga set to go on

Rangers have today cast doubt on when a new manager will actually be appointed by admitting ‘hope’ rather than ‘expectation’ on the announcement being within the seven-day window Dave King expressed on Monday.

Speaking at the Club’s EGM, chair in King’s absence Paul Murray could only say:

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Rangers fans confirm who they want as manager

Yesterday ran a poll to investigate who Rangers fans want as their new manager. With chairman Dave King confirming the announcement of the new man will not be for a week or so, supporters voted in their near-thousands here yesterday to choose between Mark Warburton, Ian Cathro, Stuart McCall, Billy Davies, Vitor Pereira, Alex McLeish and Derek McInnes.

To say there was an overwhelming winner would be the understatement of the year, so, without further ado, here are your results (at the time of writing):

Monday, 3 December 2012

Barrie is the Real McKay

In the past decade and beyond, the most famous Barry at Ibrox has of course been Ferguson. The former captain played for the Govan club during two lengthy spells in Glasgow, under a total of 5 different managers (one on two occasions); Walter Smith, Dick Advocaat, Alex McLeish, Paul le Guen, caretaker Ian Durrant (albeit only for a week) then Walter Smith again. He is undeniably one of the most discussed players in Rangers' recent history, but these days in this new era it is a different Barrie (spelling notwithstanding) who is the name on the lips of Rangers fans.

With the staggering changes which took place following the plunge into and exit out of administration, a sterling talent has emerged from deep within Auchenhowie's youth regime. While promising young players like Lewis MacLeod, Kal Naismith and Robbie Crawford have begun to bloom, one player has stamped his authority on the first team like no other this season, and has blossomed magnificently.

That player is of course Barrie McKay.

Paisley-born McKay actually began his career at Kilmarnock in their youth ranks, but in the summer of 2011 after 6 years in Ayrshire made the move to Rangers aged 16. Now at a still tender 17 (a matter of weeks separate him from his 18th birthday), McKay would be the first to admit that he, like his fellow youth players, probably would not have been afforded this opportunity had the notorious Craig Whyte not plunged the club into administration, costing Rangers so many first-team staff. This is not to pour cold water over his ability, but merely to observe that it is very hard even for the absolute cream of the youth crop to break into the first team when it is a club the size of Rangers. Even the aforementioned Barry Ferguson did not manage to appear for Rangers in the first team till he was around 20. And Ferguson's emergence was under ordinary circumstances. McKay's has most certainly not.

This is what has afforded McKay this gilt-edged opportunity, one he might not have enjoyed otherwise - with the departures of so many senior players, an unprecedented emphasis was placed on the youth setup and the reality faced the club that many players would be used in the starting lineup who normally would not be given that chance.

But how McKay has taken it!

McKay causing his usual havoc.
Prior to the season's start I was dubious as how a 17 year old would manage to break through even in the third division. I felt his chances would be limited due to his age. How utterly wrong I was. Manager Ally McCoist saw something in young Barrie and selected him for the club's maiden fixture in division 3, a trip to Brechin in the Ramsden's Cup. It was clear after an incredibly confident reverse floated pass, not entirely un-Ronaldinho-esque, which evaded the entire defence and set up an attack that McKay was potentially an utter gem.

More incredible was his level of polish for such a young player. With pace, skill, vision, and an impressive shot, he has taken the bull by the horns and stamped his place in the side. He even scored the club's first-ever Third Division league goal with a fine finish at Balmoor v Peterhead. With around 8 starts this season, he has become a thoroughly justified fixture in the squad, albeit McCoist rested him briefly for a few matches to preserve him.

What strikes fans about McKay is his maturity for such a young player, and the conduct he carries with him. When fouled there is no petulance or irritated reaction, and when attacking defenders he oozes self-belief. Sometimes it does not work out, most of the time it does. And increasingly we are learning of his versatility - initially featuring heavily on the left wing, McKay has featured on the right hand side as well, showing his flexibility and ability to adapt to different formations and requirements.

His display yesterday against Elgin City was unquestionably the highlight of the match, with run-after-run at the backline and an impressive ability to link up. He would have scored too but for the post saving Elgin's blushes. And he gets credit for an assist at Kyle's goal, having supplied the corner leading directly to the finish.

He is of course, however, not the finished article - let us not get too carried away just yet. He does have a slight propensity to sometimes try a little too much, and while his vision is excellent when he uses it, now and again he does not look up.

But this is clutching at straws and nitpicking regarding such a young player, and is very unfair in itself! In my humble opinion he is the brightest prospect at both the club and in the division.He is a real talent in the making and if he can be steered correctly by the club's greatest ever striker then in the future this team will be built around Barrie McKay.

David Templeton on one wing, Barrie McKay on the other. Not bad is it?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Abolition of the Home Nations

In a break from the usual, I have decided to change my focus this entry from the normal subject of Rangers, and focus on something on a grander scale; that of the 6 home nations; Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Team GB. It is a very topical area to look at right now, with Euro 2012 a distant memory and the performance of our home athletes at the London Olympics being so stunning, bar the football teams, and as such it really does throw up a great deal of debate.

Let us start by profiling, briefly, the position of each team before making a radical proposal; the concept of abolishing the national teams of these isles and putting all our energy into club football.

Scotland. As a Scot, I am fairly familiar with the activities of the national team, and even more so of the association which governs it. Quite simply, the state of the national game, and strictly speaking the national side which represents it is absolutely chronic. Diabolical does not begin to cover how poor the condition of Scotland's national team is.

Having failed to qualify for a major championship in the last 14 years, despite a temporary rise under the mercurial management of Walter Smith and then Alex McLeish, the national team has been in terminal decline for well over a decade. The Brown era (which included qualification for Euro 96 and World Cup 98) ended with sights on radical change and the descent into turmoil began. Berti Vogts transformed the team from average to aghast. His successor, Walter Smith, saved the team and achieved miracles, as did Alex McLeish following him, but since the truly pitiful George Burley regime, the team has deteriorated. 

The Stewart Regan of international football management.
Admittedly current manager Craig Levein has not quite achieved a level of laughing stock, but his side is stuck in a rut of no growth - the former Hearts player does not seem to know what he is actually doing, and compounds it with regular contradictions and hypocrisy. His latest oddity is admitting he would not pick Rangers players if he had a fit squad. In other words, Lee Wallace and Lee McCulloch, after having been capped for their national teams several times, are suddenly inferior players now they are in the Third Division. Call me mad, but is Carlos Bocanegra now suddenly not fit to captain the USA? Is Dorin Goian suddenly not good enough for a similar role with Romania? He has picked Ian Black but then insults him by saying he would not get in if others were fit. Classy work Craig!

I am not even going to touch on the atrocities that are the SFA, it has been said all before too many times.

England. They are often called perennial underachievers, that they let their country down at the big events. The problem is England were never very good in the first place. They won the world cup in 1966, but the best teams in their history were that one, then 1996 under Venables, and 1990 under Robson. Since then they have been in a similar state of mediocrity as Scotland albeit on a higher scale. If that makes sense. Every tournament they go in as big-hitting England, and then proceed to fail every time. Indeed the Euros this summer was the first time there was little expectation - and even then the side could not deliver. The problem with England probably coincides with  the growth of their premier league. 1996 was the last time England were good, and that around coincided with the Premier League and Sky's big TV money bursting onto the scene. The league became saturated with quality foreign big-money buys, and home-grown talent of the standard of yesteryear faded into the scenery. The league became more important and valuable than the national team. Examples supporting this are Spain and Italy, the Euro finalists. Arguably the strongest 2 other European leagues historically, their big teams are mostly dominated by native talent - Barcelona and Real Madrid have plenty of world class Spanish players, and Milan and Juventus had many many representatives in Ukraine's Italian contingent. 

This is not to say these leagues do not have foreigners in their ranks, they do; plenty. But there is not the saturation of England's top sides. Chelsea and City - the CL and EPL winners respectively - the key England players here are Lescott, Richards, Hart, Barry, Milner, Terry, Lampard, maybe Sturridge, Cole and Cahill. Not all of these always play, and the rest of the teams are entirely big money continental purchases. There just is not a depth of world class talent for Roy Hodgson to get his teeth into. And every new tournament is another failure for them.

Poor Roy has no chance.
Ireland. Their embarrassing showing this summer was pitiful. Since records began, their results were the worst ever at the Euros. Trapattoni did work miracles getting this side to Ukraine, but they were horribly out their depth. There is a mitigating factor that their group was vicious, with Croatia, Italy and Spain alongside them, but since their impressive showing in USA in 1994, Ireland have achieved the grand total of 1 win at a championships; that being Japan in 2002. They did manage to get there at least, but departed with only a 12th place finish to their name. Despite some decent players such as Robbie Keane, Damien Duff and Shay Given (now retired), they are another national side going nowhere.

No wonder he retired.
Northern Ireland. Quite simply this nation has achieved absolutely nothing of any note in national football, pretty much in its entire history. It has made the world cup 3 times, but not since 1990 have they qualified for any significant championship. It is a small nation, and a proud one at that, but not one which produces many great footballers.

Wales. Have achieved even less than Northern Ireland, with 2 qualifications for the championships in their entire history, and absolutely nothing since 1980. Whatever you think of Ryan Giggs as a man, it is a shame for his football career that he never got to represent his country on the bigger stages. Despite actually having a reasonable current squad with the likes of Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey and Robert Earnshaw, Wales are just yet another home nation going around in circles.

Team GB. Contrived for the purpose of representing Britain at the Olympics, they were the very symbol of the underachieving home nations. Struggling against Senegal, they went onto struggle against UAE despite the flattering scoreline, before scraping a win over Uruguay then eventually losing on penalties, as usual, to South Korea. A team with the likes of Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Craig Bellamy and of course Ryan Giggs could not overcome a fairly ordinary South Korea team.

If she'd played for the womens' team they might have had a chance.
What does all this teach us? It suggests to me at least that the home nations are saturated with players who utterly underperform at national level - who do not produce when it counts. Even given home advantage, the football team could not even come close to emulating what the England '66 or '96 sides managed. The massive number of gold medals hauled by British athletes was mindblowing; even Andy Murray, normally just off overcoming the big 3 in tennis was able to do so this time, thrashing the mighty Roger Federer to win Olympic gold. Ennis, Farah, Wiggins - incredible athletes who did it when it counted.

But the footballers this country have produced do not seem to be able to do likewise. As I alluded to, a strong reason for this is the influx of foreign talent, a problem which does not apply to most other sports. But it also does not excuse the superb home-grown players who do make it - and then fail to achieve anything with their national setups.

Great Britain made its choice in the 90s - club football is what every fan on these isles lives for. There is the pride of their country too, but Britain is just better at club football than national - and for that reason I stand by my proposal of abolition of the national teams. They are going absolutely nowhere and that is never going to change. Scotland is a backwards football nation, England struggle to achieve what they feel they should, Wales are way better at rugby, ditto Ireland, and Northern Ireland should have low expectations anyway given its size. As for Team GB; a complete waste of everyone's time.

I cannot bring myself to support Scotland such is the shambles of the national game, and the rest of Britain, as mentioned, also has reason to be disappointed by their national sides.

Maybe time to give up?