Is Ally McCoist the Right Manager for Rangers?

Thanks to the dismal nonsense of
the past 18+ months, Rangers supporters would have been forgiven for thinking
their job was in-fighting, disagreeing on club politics, and shareholder/AGM
meetings. In fact, lest we forget, Rangers are about football. It is why we exist, why any club exists, and in among the bureaucratic rhetoric and
takeover threats there has been the fundamental tenet underneath of 11 men
kickin’ a baw.
We cannot forget this, nor do we
want to. Without tooting my own horn, I consider myself one of the few bloggers
around who actually concentrates on 4-4-2 or individual players. Yes, I do also
focus on the ‘other’ stuff too but it would be naive to ignore it completely.
That said, in line with
discussing football this entry
focuses on Ally McCoist. Specifically, how he compares with his predecessor.
It is a long-running saga which
began the moment the club announced McCoist would be the new boss. The debate
is simple; ‘is Ally McCoist good enough to be Rangers manager’? He is
frequently derided by a great number of fans unconvinced he has what it takes, and
who yearn back to the days of Uncle Walter.
As we know, McCoist was Walter’s
protégé. They began their managerial partnership under the Scottish national
team, and famously in January 2007 transferred it directly to Rangers. So if
anyone knew Smith’s regime well, it was his apprentice.
Now we are into McCoist’s third
season, and the debate about his merits continues. Is it valid? Is it fair to
question whether he has the mettle for the job? Of course it is. Every employee
of Rangers has to justify having such a lucrative job. If you are not up to it,
you tend to have your contract terminated (Darren Cole being a fine recent
example). And yet after over 24 months McCoist remains on board.
Let us take a look at his record.
For a start McCoist has had to manage under radically different circumstances
to Walter, so that already skews any likeness to his time at Ibrox considerably. It is also worth noting that prior
to Steven Naismith’s injury in October 2011 Rangers were 15 points clear under
McCoist. That injury derailed that season completely, and administration
compounded it. Remember, admin did not start till February, and while McCoist
was completely unable to replace Naismith’s influence on the team or compensate
for its absence, until his injury Rangers were owning the SPL. 15 points in 3
or 4 months. With a full-strength Rangers.
So while Rangers lost that
league, it owes as much to losing the club’s best player as it does to any failings
on McCoist’s part. Admin only added to that misery. I have not forgotten Malmo, and I blame
Jelavic missing a sitter in that one. I have also not forgotten Maribor. The team just
did not perform over those two legs and a massive portion of blame there goes
to McCoist.
Domestic cups were ghastly, and
again, McCoist takes his share of the blame there.
Following season, despite
horrendous football catalysed by a shoddily put-together team at short notice,
Rangers still won the league with plenty room to spare. Again, woeful in the
domestic cups and kicked out early doors. 
This season, however, has been
quite a different tale. Blip at Station
Park aside, Rangers have
won every match comfortably. This is a side McCoist has put together himself
and has not inherited from someone else, and it is also a side containing
signings McCoist did not have to panic into acquiring. The manager planned
these ones.
In total, in fact, Ally McCoist’s
13/14 Rangers have conceded 3 goals. 2 of those were in that league cup horror
show against Forfar. And the other was a ridiculous Ugo Ehiogu-esque overhead
volley scissor kick at Ibrox. 14 goals scored in 4 matches tells its own story.
Yes, there have been questionable
decisions and fans will never 100% agree on everything the manager does.
Supporters are aghast at the concepts of Cribari or McCulloch in defence. The
idea of Barrie McKay constantly on the bench disquiets them similarly.
Furthermore, Faure as right back V Berwick attracted considerable ire pre-match
from supporters demanding McCausland. Curiously, Faure had a fine match and the
angst at full-time was far less than it had been at the announcement of team
I am not especially pro-McCoist.
I just feel the man maybe attracts more criticism than he particularly
deserves. He is no Guus Hiddink. I am the first to admit that. But then, Guus
Hiddink did not have to contend with Kyle Hutton and Ian Black last season.
With Nicky Law (a McCoist
signing) on board this season, Black has been frankly a different player.
Others have also been vastly improved this season, including aforementioned
McCausland, Faure and we are also getting even more out of Lee Wallace.
What I am saying is Ally McCoist
is what we have right now, and currently the side tops League One by 2 points
already after only 3 matches.
My personal stance is McCoist
deserves the right to have at least one full season as Rangers manager in the
SPL without losing his best player to injury or almost losing his club to
administration. If McCoist cannot manage a respectable campaign (winning the
SPL would be glorious on initial return but being realistic top 4 would be the
target) when he finally has no erroneous factors to derail him, then yes, his
time would be up.
So, that all said, let us finish this
with the stats of McCoist’s time at Ibrox as manager:
Played: 98 matches
Won:     63
Drawn:  15
Lost:      17
That is in all competitions. 64% win ratio.
By comparison with a much better
team in the SPL Smith’s final title winning season saw:
Played: 56
Won:    36
Drew:  10
Lost:    10
That is in all competitions. 64% win ratio.
Are Rangers actually doing so
much worse on the pitch than they did under Smith? Numbers suggest otherwise.
In fact, the numbers suggest the club is doing exactly the same.
Food for thought eh?

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  1. 64% win rate is neither good or bad.
    I fully expected Rangers to march through last season's league campaign unbeaten and was disappointed they didn't.
    During many games our tactics were suspect to say the least.

    My reason for this being due to having huge advantages over all our league rivals, size of squad, being full-time, best facilities and stadium in the Country, several experienced coaches, huge support home and away.

    While McCoist had arguably the highest wage in Scottish football, I have to ask if he was just their to keep the support "onside" with the regime running the Club!
    Personally I would have preferred an experienced manager, but then, someone else might not have bought in to what the regime wanted.
    That is, having a fully successful team as opposed to a well liked and trusted Rangers legend to ensure as many season tickets as possible were sold.

    Having said that, Ally did win the League comfortably playing poorly AND help sell 40k season tickets.

    I'll settle for Gus Hiddink anytime soon.

  2. You can cook the numbers all you want. Walter won the league in his last season. This last season any punter could've won the league with the resources McCoist had, giving a much added boost to his win ratio percentage. Ally is a great man but no manager, we should be going up the leagues with kids not paying a fortune to achieve it! Celtic are banking millions while we squander the last of what we have. I fear for the future, we should have been brave and appointed someone who could have done the job without having the luxury of resources McCoist has had. I thank Ally for all he has done but he has earned a fortune also from all of this, if he REALLY cared for Rangers he would see this and do the right thing!

  3. What a ridiculous comparison, i really dont need to go into why since anyone other than real pro Ally fans will get it. And i certainly do not need to remind anybody of the completely boring unattractive football watched with one man up front against teams that should have been routed.

  4. Ally has got to go. His record is appalling in all cup competitions and had embarrassed the club in some shocking league defeats. The club has the second highest wage bill in Scotland and should NOT be losing against any team bar one.

  5. McCoist panders to the support, says things that he thinks will make people like him and show him to be a 'rangers man', but he just isn't very good at his job.

    You are trying to push the idea that the current rangers team has been put together by McCoist so only now can he be fairly judged? He's put together a team by signing players way above the division he is managing in, of course they will look good! If he was a good manager then his focus should have been on building a strong team with youngsters, supported by the occasional experienced head. Build a brand of football.

    His claims that he's just there to manage and doesn't know about finances is a joke – it was obvious there were problems at rangers before, and it looks like there are new problems now. It is his responsibility to ask the questions of the board, and sign people who won't endanger the club. But instead he takes a massive salary, signs people on inflated wages and then plays the joker. "Don't ask me, I'm just the manager".

    And as for you saying that he should be given one year in the SPL? So he will have been assistant / manager for 9 years? That's hardly giving someone a bit of time to prove themselves! So let's say he flops in the SPL and he gets sacked, will you not think that he should maybe have went years earlier and given someone the opportunity to build solid foundations? If he goes to the SPL and finishes bottom half, gets sacked and someone else rushed in then the club will be back to square one.

    Rangers imploding again. Haha.

    • Ally is building a team which by the time we are back in the SPL will have played together for two years and will be ready to challenged for the title.Ally is the man free the job

  6. Are the above comments from Rangers fans. Mccoist is building a team that will, by the time we get back to the SPl, have been together for 2 years and be capable of challenging for the title.
    Ally is the man for the job and we will be back to where we belong

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