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.
Walter Smith’s woeful inadequacy post-’93 in Europe was an issue of huge contention, and his general tactics were rarely applauded – only the results and will to win. While individual flair from the likes of Gascoigne and Laudrup lit up Ibrox, the collective team was far from a free-flowing football enterprise. But it knew how to win. All of this found itself questioned now and again by supporters.
Le Guen’s refusal to adapt to Scottish football attracted constant ire, as did ‘it is my choice’ to explain everything.
Alex McLeish struggled with low budget and bizarre media performances, and found himself in third place domestically, while Advocaat lost the dressing room after 18 months.
The point is many of these managers, rightly applauded as greats, were still questioned by fans occasionally. Yes, even the great Uncle Walter.
However, with 10 wins of 10 and 38 goals under his belt, Mark Warburton is growing into possibly the most trusted Rangers manager of my lifetime, maybe more.
Whatever the man says, does, selects, or even wears; ‘In Warbs We Trust’ has become a truly sincere mantra. After less than a dozen matches, Rangers fans are, under entirely fair grounds, willing to subscribe to everything he does, such is the astounding reliability and approach he has adopted since taking over.
That Warburton’s Rangers’ worst matches have been a 1-0 win over Hibernian with 59% possession, and a 3-0 job on Livingston at 66% possession gives some idea as to why fans have implicitly bought into Warburton’s vision and methods, and why they literally will not, and have no grounds to question any of it.
While individuals might say they would choose X player over Y player, it always follows up with ‘In Warbs We Trust’ because of the amazing trust he has earned in such a short space of time.
Mark Warburton has overhauled Rangers drastically – he has brought back almost everything fans expect by standard, and it has all been summed up with public apologies all round for winning 3-0 v Livingston.
This is why fans trust him. This is why fans trust the players.
In Mark Warburton We Truly Trust.