Why Ally McCoist Will Not Leave


On the 22nd of
February 2011, following the official announcement of Walter Smith’s departure,
it was confirmed that his long-time assistant Ally McCoist would be taking the
reins as manager.
It was not an overly unpopular
choice, but it was very predictable. Rangers had opted for continuity, rather
than ripping up the Ibrox rule book and starting again. After all, the last
time the Club brought in an ‘outsider’, Paul le Guen, had been an unmitigated
The hope was McCoist would
sustain Smith’s winning formula, that steely mentality of leadership,
inspiration and the ability to roll heads when needed.
Fast-forward well over three
years since McCoist’s first competitive match in charge of July the same year
and it is fair to say fans have had ample time to judge McCoist’s ability to
carry the job out. It would be unfair to say it has been a disaster like PLG
was, because, being absolutely on the level, Ally has won two of the three
league campaigns thus far contested.
That is certainly how it looks on
paper, but do the facts lie?
Let us break it down a little and
examine the four campaigns he has managed. Firstly was 2011/2012, and his
Rangers team rampaged into a 15-point lead in the SPL. Unfortunately, his
supporters forget how meekly Rangers (endowed with Bocanegra, Goian, McGregor,
Naismith & Jelavic no less) crumpled out of Europe (Malmo
then Maribor)
before that lead was built. Furthermore, Naismith’s season-ending injury
effectively ended Rangers’ season too, as his absence saw that 15 point lead
disappear overnight. McCoist miserably failed to accommodate his absence.
What of the Third Division? Won
by a landslide, yes, but the manner of it was painful. Rangers did not win away
till October and a trip to Clyde, and the
quality of football on show was genuinely turgid. We also saw the beginning of
the ‘McCulloch in defence’ obsession that season, where the new captain, aged
34, played increasingly frequently in defence, while the likes of Ian Black,
Francisco Sandaza, Kevin Kyle and Anestis Argyriou struggled to settle at their
new club. Enjoyable victories were at a premium that season, and, to be
absolutely blunt, McCoist deserves no credit at all for winning that league. If
you put a bulldozer next to a flaking wall, and slam it 4 times before it
eventually topples easily, do you deserve to be applauded for struggling to
achieve what you should have done with total efficiency?
Then we were in League 2. The
football was marginally better, some genuinely good results v Stenhousemuir,
Airdrie United, and Dunfermline were enjoyed
but over the course of the season that form dried up and from February this
year onwards, the quality of fare has become increasingly desperate. Again, the
league was won at a canter, but again how can we truly credit McCoist with it
given the resources he has at his disposal compared with the likes of East Fife? Furthermore the McCulloch obsession became
permanent and Jig was now an absolute in defence, despite his complete
inability to defend.
Then we have this season. Rangers
fans did not believe their squad was good enough, which McCoist agreed with and
thus brought in McGregor, Zaliukas, Boyd, and Miller to name but four. Fans
truly believed the signing of two marquee defenders like Zaliukas and McGregor
would see an end to the comical selection of McCulloch at the back, but as the
season’s start approached that optimism converted to dismay as it became
apparent ‘JiggyMac6’ was staying right where he was, thank you very much. 
that weakness was exposed easily by Robbie Neilson’s Hearts on the opening day,
a well-deserved 3-1 victory at Ibrox for the Gorgie men, before Rangers did put
together something of a run. Indeed, there was an excellent win in Raith,
before finally beating an SPL team for the first time since Motherwell in 2012
when Rangers hosted ICT in Govan and, in truth, won fairly comfortably. Mainly
because ICT offered absolutely nothing going forward, which was strange for a
side coming off the back of a superb run of form.
However, we come to the nub here.
Rangers’ humiliating loss to the other Edinburgh
side Hibernian on Monday at Ibrox highlighted everything that is wrong with
McCoist’s tenure.
1: Pushing a good-quality CB
(McGregor) out to RB.
2: Wasting decent RB’s like
Foster, Faure & McAusland entirely.
3: Continually selecting the
hopeless McCulloch in defence.
4: Continuing selecting the
out-of-form Mohsni in defence and repeatedly castigating him in public.
5: Wasting excellent young Lewis
Macleod on the wing.
6: Continuing to pick Nicky Law
in midfield despite the Englishman’s dismal failure to perform since September
7: Blaming the ‘criminal’
defending when he is the one repeatedly picking a ridiculous defence.
8: Selecting Peralta when it is
fair to say the Honduran has been a joke of a signing.
9: Refusing to ever take any
blame or responsibility when things go wrong.
10: Wasting Zaliukas on the
After Monday’s abysmal result
fans took to social media in their droves. Quite honestly the majority have had
enough of McCoist. I have not even touched on his miserable failures in all cup
competitions, but it is the league defeats fans tire of. Two losses already
this season, both completely deserved, one of which was against the second
bottom team, and the other was against a side playing their first match
together. Both were v rookie managers.
But to the title (I got there
eventually) – why McCoist will not leave.
1: He wants his payoff, and
Rangers do not have the spare capital lying around to pay the man’s contract
off in a lump sum. So the Club cannot fire him.
2: He will not resign as that
would surrender the pay off.
3: By saying ‘We Don’t Do Walking
Away’ McCoist made a rod for his own back – if he quits, that slogan will be
thrown at him for the rest of his life. It was what fans needed at the time,
but now it has become a parody. Whenever anyone leaves Rangers it gets used by
the press. If McCoist did likewise it may be all he would be remembered for.
4: He wants to complete the
Rangers journey. For his faults, McCoist has stuck by the Club, in its hour of
need, and through the lower leagues. To quit now would be to leave the project
half complete. Indeed, former striker Andy Little tweeted his disappointment at
being unable to complete the journey back to the top, so it is no wonder
McCoist would want to finish it.
5: He wants a full season crack
at the SPL – without admin, without any critical players being injured. That is
not even an unreasonable request, but he has shown a staggering inability to be
capable of achieving success at that level.
The signs in 204/2015 are not
good. McCoist continues to make the usual mistakes and then blames everyone but
himself when things go wrong. Two defeats and only two decent performances in
10 matches is not a promising return for a squad which has Kris Boyd, David
Templeton, Lee Wallace, Marius Zaliukas and Kenny Miller in it, and there
appears little indication of a drastic improvement.
It is supposed to be that no man
is bigger than the Club, but with this regime there appears that two are:
McCoist and McCulloch.
It is McCoist’s trainset, and
McCulloch is his favourite toy. Why would either give that up?


  1. Disagree with comments about McCulloch. Yes, granted he's not the best defender at Ibrox and maybe should be deployed in midfield but a team without him scares me. The more games I watch the more I get the impression that McCulloch has to tell clueless players exactly what to do and where to be. It seems to me that if McCulloch wasn't there telling them what to do they would quite simply crumble. The players I'm talking about here aren't even younger players (which you'd expect the club captain to be talking to throughout the game). The likes of Law, Mohsni, Daly, Peralta, Smith, Foster to me look completely lost. Yes, I understand the manager has to take the blame for some of that but I think you've already covered that!

  2. I have to agree with the first comment. Never been a great fan of Jig's ability, notwithstanding his loyalty and commitment.But look around that team for leaders and it is woefully short.
    Without Macleod there is no creativity. Templeton and Shiels blow hot and cold. But, while I suspect at least 75% of fans see Macleod as our best midfield player, and I don't think the manager disagrees, he is punted out to the wing to make space for Law and Black, neither of them capable of replacing him. I have no problem with Law, thought he was a good signing, but he has failed and should be benched with Macleod sitting in the middle. Let Law scrap for a slot on the wing for a change.
    If Black is the answer, and he is not our worst midfielder, why was Hutton resigned?
    I could go on, but I am too depressed at the managerial incompetence of a hero I will always love, for his goals, his devotion to the club, his smile and his "I don't do walking away".
    Please Ally, for your sake and ours, it is time.

  3. If McCoist is such a "huge Rangers Man", he waive any rights to a payoff or reach an agreement regarding a reduced payment.

  4. Rangers would be worse off without mcculloch his experience is invaluable the goalkeeper simonsen is terrible, playing a centre half ie McGregor at right back is scandalous why buy him to play out of position foster although not great would be better in there midfield is poor only lewis macleod is capableof being the middle man punt black waste of space temps should be given a long run in the wing kris boyd wont score if he dosent have service the long ball game to him is rubbish as for nicky clark 5 injuries since signing is a waste of time miller same old story never fit mccoist needs to be more direct and drop his big players not his easy targets all the time play attacking football for once and cut out the high ball game. but I don't think he will.

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