Ally McCoist is Not to Blame


He does not do walking away, but
an increasing number of fans would like him to. Ally McCoist, after being
nigh-on God-worshipped in the weeks and months following administration, a man
who offered to work for free in one of the club’s darkest hours is now
increasingly being invited to vacate his tenure.
A clamour is now starting to
build in favour of his P45 after a truly hideous display in Dundee saw a
justified 3-0 reverse for the Ibrox men who found themselves out of their depth
after just 17 seconds at Tannadice.
Is this bandwagon justified? Has
McCoist bitten off more than he can chew?
The one big problem that, even in
February, remains massively on the horizon is the defence. In attack the side
is not too bad if not infallible and midfield is average but the defence is
arguably every bit as poor as any other in the league. Only 4 less goals
conceded than nearest rivals Queens
Park is a damning indictment
of how feeble the back four is. Yes, it is ‘adequate’ for the third division
but only because of how many goals are scored at the other end.
Saturday was not the third
division and the two times SPL sides have tested Rangers’ defence this season
have conceded 6 goals to the higher-tier outfits. The folly at the first on
Saturday was truly hopeless and the fears many fans had about what might happen
when this fragile back line was tested by far superior opposition bore the kind
of fruit which was decidedly undesired.
So, was the final scoreline the
responsibility of manager Ally McCoist, and likewise the recent home draws in
the league to late goals?
Many would argue it is. There is
a growing criticism of McCoist’s ‘football philosophies’ as some label them,
citing a lack of tactical incision and organisation. The argument seems to be
that the system is too retrospective, and lacks balance in the modern day; that
it is backward and not progressive.
There is certainly clout to this
position; his tutor Walter Smith certainly never produced the most expansive
footballing machines, always favouring results over free-flowing creative play.
The fact that the first thing Smith did when returning in 2007 was freezing out
‘trequartista’ Thomas Buffel highlights the style he used – and the style
McCoist has learned.
However, for all the criticism
this concept draws, McCoist is not Cribari or Perry’s father – he cannot hold
grown men’s hands and spoonfeed them defensive duties when they are out there
on league business. Basic errors players make while on call cannot be due to
the manager.
Few blamed Neil Alexander when he
made a horrible error against Elgin,
quite rightly – it was one of those things. Yet in the weeks following, someone
has had to be the target of ire when things go wrong, and that someone is Ally
This article is not a defence or
condemnation of McCoist – it is just trying to highlight the way many supporters
think, rightly or wrongly.
There is also another problem
Rangers are suffering, and it has nothing to do with the players, manager or
tactics. It is the level of opponents. If Barcelona
were put in the Scottish third division, their standards would go down too.
They would win the league by a landslide, of course, but psychologically
speaking when you are reduced to a lower level of competition by default, your
own standards will degrade uncontrollably as a result.
It is a ridiculous example but
the classic movie Trading Places is an illustration of what I mean. Put 2
metaphorical fish out of water and slowly the air becomes familiar. And their
own attributes will change to adapt to it, willingly or otherwise. The Stanford
Experiment by Zimbardo is another example – when an individual or group find
themselves in a particular environment, they will adapt to it and become it.
This is all a bit highbrow for a
football blog, I concede, but Rangers are
now a third division outfit, whether we like it or not. The club is the
best in the division, but against genuine SPL clubs, despite having a number of SPL players in the ranks, the club
still plays like a third division side.
McCoist’s sole fault? No. He has
certainly made errors, no denying that – but I find it very hard to hold him exclusively
responsible for the current football quality emanating from Ibrox.
This season has not been a fair
one to judge him on. Fans always suggested writing off last year, and judging
him on the following one, but it was on the basis that McCoist would at least
get a fresh untainted SPL season to wrestle with. This third division
‘adventure’ has been a skewed reality by comparison and McCoist has had his
hands tied not only with the division but the ridiculous and illegal embargo
preventing him from strengthening the side.
He has not been perfect, but
Rangers’ football problems do not end at Ally McCoist.

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  1. apart from aluko, mcoist signings have been a joke black, sheils, sandaza and last season mckay, ortiz and bedoya the list goes on and on, sorry i just cant see him signing any quality, or getting a decent return on what hes signed

  2. Yes,here we are again,slagging off Rangers players,try and remember the situation gers are in,young men playing together for less than 6 months,no experience,playing against established teams,and as has been mentioned,when you play at a lower standard,you tend to play to that level.When I was in the Army,I loved playing snooker,some of my mates were very good,but some were dire,and those games used to take twice as long to finish because I could not string together more than two pockets.That is what is happening to Gers,wait till the embargo is finished,when Ally can buy some experienced players,then watch them go.

    • So what has changed since the same inexperienced Rangers outplayed and defeated an 'established'and top of the league at the time Motherwell team, even earlier in the campaign??? Instead of improving,subsequent performances have clearly deterioated and with a record of being eliminated early from the last ELEVEN cup competitions,(from 2011) its time to remove the McCoist tinted spectacles and realise that he cannot and will never cut it as a manager.

    • Apologies, my reply above is incorrect in that the number should be SEVEN and not eleven,however I still consider this fact to be completely unacceptable and were it the record of any other person, then they would no longer be manager of Rangers !!!

  3. Yeah !! So do I. The spl were making sure we were not competitive in whatever league we were going to be in at the start of the season. whether it was the first or the third. The players that left the club had ally relying on babies to survive the business of getting rangers back up the leagues. And theyv at least done their job. Give ally time to buy players then you can judge HIS TEAM .

  4. McCoist is to blame for the poor standard of play, the poor tactics and the poor football on show. 1 up front at home in the 3rd division is laughable to everyone bar us Rangers fans. Ally bought Cribari, Faure & the Greek guy who have all been absolutely atrocious how could they have passed a trial? Ally could have went to the Partick Thistles, Mortons and QOS and got better defenders for a quarter of what the 3 amigos are on. The team isn't going forward under him and he just hasn't got what it takes to get us back to the top of the Scottish game.

  5. do not agree with this is it is mccoist fault he picks the team no one else he blew 15 point lead in spl he buys people and dont play them he picks the players and tactics constantly plays players when they aint performing drop them
    and bring in the youngsters bud he doesnt do this the coaching staff and scouts need a overhual yet mccoist cant see this and doesnt do it mccoist is the one that needs to motivate these players and he can not do it simple black sandazza sheilds cribari faure the argyiou do u think these players deserve there high wages mccoist thought the did and same goes for our keeper he aint good anuf top wages for rubbish players we didnt need them to win division 3 or second didvision we have youth players that are capable of this we struggle for a striker yet hemmings is out scoring goals on loan mccoist decsions are be wildering at best

  6. as true blue as mccoist is he is not manager material
    give him a job in ibrox by all means but not manager he is out of his depth without walter to back him up
    sentiment is no good in buisness

  7. The fallacy that is continually propogated as fact, is that Rangers have a team made up of youngsters. Against Dundee Utd, the Rangers average age was actually older and more experienced than the SPL team. Hutton and Perry were the only Murray park graduates playing on the day.

    I would hate to see Ally leave the club, but move him upstairs to PR, or a similiar role. He has had the best part of 80 games as a manager and as yet, we have seen no evidence that he has it in his locker to be successful. Rangers is not a club where you serve your apprenticeship.

  8. TBH I think his tactics of 1 up front is wrong but WHO else has he got to play CB ???? Perry is a donkey and I've said this from day 1 !!!!!!

  9. Good balanced article about time the fans breathed the same air as the players we are not CL Material at the moment but that will change as we climb back-But we have to be real and win the Division we are in at any given time as the competition gets stronger so we strengthen our team to adapt.

    • Hear hear Euan,my sentiments entirely,there is no need to di-sect the team or manager,win this league and hopefully we will move up a division,and the embargo will be finished and we can improve some areas of the team,probably defence,which will allow Lee Mac to go up through the middle,with young McKay on the left firing in balls for big Lee or temps

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