Are these three men Rangers’ worst-ever managers?

 Article by: Richard Fillingham

In my honest opinion, Ally McCoist, Paul Le Guen and Mark Warburton are the three biggest failures that Rangers have ever had in management. If I have missed anyone as inept as those, please correct me.

Ally McCoist failed miserably to take us from the Championship into the SPL because, he signed too many poor players that couldn’t beat average teams – does it sound familiar to Warburton?

He was reputed to earn £860,000 a season by the old board for winning Scottish football’s two lowest divisions – an absolute disgrace! He also took the team to Trump Turnberry on the Friday night on their way to play Stranraer on a Saturday – at what cost to Rangers who were short of money? Idiotic!

He also failed to offer goalkeeper Craig Gordon a deal (signed by Celtic on a free) who was training with Rangers at Murray Park to see if he could get himself playing again at a high level. When Craig
Gordon was asked on STV why he didn’t sign for Rangers, especially as he was training with all the boys, he said, “I wasn’t offered a contract by Ally McCoist” Celtic have just refused a £3m offer from Chelsea for the player – what a howler of a mistake to make as a Rangers manager.

In three years as our manager, his tactics were abysmal and he had us playing dreadful football, for me, he was the worst Rangers manager ever! Will I ever forgive him for being such a complete disaster? No.
He did sign his old pal – the brilliant Kenny Miller – I’ll give him deserved praise for that, and only that.

Paul Le Guen became our 12th manager in June 2006 replacing Alex McLeish, and I have placed him as my second worst Rangers manager ever!

Before arriving he had won three consecutive titles with Lyon and guided them to two Champions League quarter finals in successive years. He felt that Rangers were the right club for him to continue his promising managerial career. And why not? Rangers were a huge club with a vast history, a massive and loyal fan base, and years of success which was apparent with one look in their trophy room.

Despite good undefeated performances in Europe, the domestic situation could not save Le Guen’s job, and he left the club by mutual consent after Rangers had been knocked out of the 2006/07 Scottish League Cup by First Division side St Johnstone and fallen 17 points behind Celtic in the 2006/07 Scottish Premier League.

A public spat with captain Barry Ferguson further isolated Le Guen from the dressing room. Describing the captaincy of Rangers as not being that important caused the fans and the board to lose any patience they may have held towards him – it was over!

After only 7 months and 31 games played, in January 2007, Le Guen left Rangers by mutual consent, which is still our shortest-ever reigning manager.

Some fans believed that Le Guen needed some more time, but everybody admitted he made too many wrong signings to play in the hurly-burly SPL – does it sound familiar to Warburton?

Mark Warburton arrived in June 2015, with high hopes of success after showing good progress with Brentford.

I tried to tell all our readers months ago, that Warburton was another Le Guen. The poll results of my last article regarding the possible improvement of manager Warburton were as follows:

1.    Give Warburton more time to turn it around. 55%
2.    Give him the season and write this one off. 22%
3.    Sack him. 23%

The site poll showed that only 23% agreed with me that he was not the man to take Rangers any further. I was totally convinced that Warburton’s Rangers flattered to deceive and did not have what it takes to earn 3 points at Celtic Park, Pittodrie and Tynecastle. Warburton continued to employ diabolical and naïve attacking tactics resulting with continued losses.

The majority of our readers wanted Mark to change from his 4 3 3 formation and start gaining points to enable the team to be second this season. We have the biggest wage bill after Celtic, so second place should be achievable.

For a fairly small amount of money, we have a substantial squad of free transfer and cheap players who must develop a winning mentality to earn their high wages. Our play is so predictable that opponents know how to negate our system, proving that even having over 65% possession, is not always the ‘Holy Grail’ to winning a match.
I wrote months ago: – For goodness sake – wake up – shake up and make up your mind to change from your plan A to plan B with a fluid 4 1 4 1 or 3 5 2 or 4 4 2 formations, or it will cost you your job.

Warburton’s ‘magic hat’ soon turned into a ‘dunce’s cap’, and he didn’t listen to the advice of experts, journalists or even the fans of the club who had the brains to understand where it all went wrong!
Any diehard fan seemed able to offer him a constructive plan B – why could he not see it for himself?

I know MW, DW and FMc, have made changes throughout the club with a new youth set-up and Graeme Murty was brought in as coach for the U20’s side – in fact – everything seemed to be going OK, except the first team results.

I predicted and compared Mark Warburton to Paul Le Guen who never fully understood the mind-set of Rangers. I knew that unbearable media and fan pressure would simmer the moment he lost important results. It panned out and boiled over and Ibrox became a pressure cooker of discontent for Warburton.

He didn’t use his loaf with Brentford, Rangers or the interest shown by Nottingham Forrest, so now he’s toast (see what I did there)?

Here’s hoping the board make the right appointment this time so our Club can finally move on and be what it should be.


  1. "He was reputed to earn £860,000 a season by the old board for winning Scottish football’s two lowest divisions – an absolute disgrace" … I think you may find his contract was in place long before the old board got anywhere near the club and unlike King…they honoured his contract….but the biggest joke of all was his imaginary 'pay cut' down to a stinking 440K per anum….of all the managers you mentioned, he above all else was the one who knew what was expected and knew what the fans wanted….the board at the time were only guilty of funding him…mainly out of fear stirred up when things weren't going his way…. many people still have the knife wounds in the back to prove how bad McCoist was for everyone connected with the club….apart from his bank manager that is.


  2. A very interesting and comprehensive analysis. I have searched my memory and cannot think of any worse managers. When, if ever, will the board get some common sense, pick a better, more experienced
    manager and get us out if this mess?

    Frankly, we have to go back to grass roots especially with the powers that be. Then, encourage the players by making sure that they are exceptionally fit and also confident through the set pieces which are currently lacking in every game we play.

    players and Iast create a confident atmosphere where

  3. Your comments are completely spot on, we are all aware of recent MW events – I was saying it wasn't good enuf when Hamilton showed on day 1 how easy it was to stop us – but your AMcC comments are the main points I agree with, and you are being kind by only mentioning the points you have = if I ever saw him in the street I would cross the road, which is a very sad reflection considering what he did as a player, but Ladbrokes are at least showing him up for what he is, a clown who is willing to do anything for the money GTF McC

  4. obviously who ever wrote this has their coaching badges and managerial experience at a very high professional level to be telling managers they know better.If you don't have the qualifications to manage then why not. surely rangers would be in a better place with you in charge.

    • No one needs managerial qualifications, badges or experience to know that MW was one of this clubs worst managers! It was plain to see for months and the guys at Ibrox Noise have said it for longer than most were thinking it. They took enormous amounts of abuse only to be proven right. If you think any of the 3 mentioned in the above article were any good then I think it's yourself that needs to go back to school.

  5. I think you are being harsh on McCoist. You have to look at it in the context of without Ally there would be no Rangers today & he stood his ground and refused to let Green & co sell the jerseys and let the SFA strip us titles won fairly on the football pitch.

    • Not looking for conflict here,dexter,but what influence did McCoist have as to whether titles were stripped or not? I'm serious, you'd be doing me a favour here if you could educate me in this matter.

    • At the time McCoist was the only significant connection to the club and Green and the new regime needed him to convince the fans to turn up and buy tickets – it is well documented that McCoist refused to play ball unless Gers rejected the offer to relinquish the titles to remain in the top flight.

    • I have been a true blue for 55 years and I remember when legend John Greig was our manager and didn’t manage to win too much in his five years in charge. He didn’t guide us to any league titles, but he did take Rangers to the quarter-final of the 1978–79 European Cup, defeating Juventus and becoming the first club to win in European club competition at PSV's Philips Stadion, before eventual elimination by Cologne. Greig had Rangers playing skilful football and we won two Scottish Cups and two League Cups during his reign. He was also responsible for signing Rangers' greatest ever goal scorer Ally McCoist from Sunderland.

  6. McCoist had an impossible task because of Whyte and we still have our titles, because McCoist fought to save them. He made mistakes, but he is still Super Ally to me!

    Le Guen and Warburton are definitely the two worst manager's we have ever had! I just hope that we give the job to someone decent this time.

    • I agree with this. Yes, he made mistakes and wow, he made some money doing his job, but he stayed when other "Rangers men" were running for the hills. I still think he missed a glorious opportunity to build a team of strong youth, but even with all the logical thinking fans, the media still pander to the "WIN NOW, WIN ALL, WIN WIN WIN" philosophy that dogs the OF, he had to deliver something and turned to what he knew.
      Too early for him. It's all very well lauding young managers but when it comes down to it, without resource, which ones have done well?

      PLG by far the worst, without question.

      Warburton hung himself by his stubborn pig ignorance.

    • Always amazed at PlG. I know all about the 'not buying into the culture' etc. but he had a phenomenal record in a much more challenging league..

    • That's the reason I'm not sure if de Boer is a good fit for us. He was a magnificent defender and has a good record as Ajax manager, but I would prefer a manager with a knowledge of Scottish football. Le Guen was a disaster for Rangers and I hope we don't go down the foreign route again.

  7. Instead of us all going on about who was the worst manager in our history,we should be looking more towards who the important,next manager is going to be!We continue to look back,even regarding some bears wanting us to bring back old manager's!!Not for me,we have to look further guys!More importantly we should be wondering on when,we are likely,to appoint our new DOF and our new manager/head coach!I hope this is very soon,although i do understand,that we have to appoint the right men,even if the guys we identify,can't or won't come,until the start of next season!My top 3 choices for our head coach position were always,frank de boer,garry monk and billy davies!My top 2 for our DOF job were-1.Paul mitchell & 2.Ross wilson!Thoughts fellow bears?Ibrox noise i always like your posts and value your opinion!So who would you want for these 2 crucial appointments,for our football club??I still think barry ferguson will be some part of our new structure!!Rightly so IMO!!

  8. Apart from the odd cup win, Rangers were truly dire in the early to mid 80s. The league was over by for us by Xmas, 8000 at Ibrox on a Tues night against Dundee, Davie Cooper the only shining light. John Greig and Jock Wallace second time round just didn't cut it…great men though. Different game these days, we actually play some good football BUT no spine whatsoever. The manager has done sfa to address what all the punters can see so deserves to go.

  9. Apart from the odd cup win, Rangers were truly dire in the early to mid 80s. The league was over by for us by Xmas, 8000 at Ibrox on a Tues night against Dundee, Davie Cooper the only shining light. John Greig and Jock Wallace second time round just didn't cut it…great men though. Different game these days, we actually play some good football BUT no spine whatsoever. The manager has done sfa to address what all the punters can see so deserves to go.

  10. A bit unfair on mcoist. He wasn't a bad manager except for results. Maybe it was to early for him to take control of the team. He was great as a player and a coach. He did a lot more for the club when everyone else was trying to kick us, and he took a lot of abuse from the media(don't forget the BBC that twisted one of his interviews) but he wasn't ready for the 1st team yet but that wasn't all his fault

  11. Artile is good and thought provoking, perhaps finding what has made a good Rangers manager, there has been many, might be the first view the board take, wait a minute, there is our answer, find out who is the worst and best chairman and sort from there, I will start, worst Whyte then Green although King might shade them both. We have one or two on the board who would make better chairmen right now without looking to hard. J

    • Murray by a mile…when that man walked in the door we sold our souls to the devil…we are where we are thanks to him, alongside him, the others pale into insignificance, our woes begun the day he darkened our door, such was the damage he has caused we will never be the same….


  12. Little point arguing about past failure, let's ALL hope that our next manager is our BEST Manager. We sure need it to be.

  13. Would you want Ranieri as our Director of Football or as the next Rangers manager?
    Claudio Ranieri has been sensationally sacked as Leicester City boss and just like Frank De Boer – he is available for work, as of now!

    Just nine months on from lifting the almost impossible feat of winning the Premier League trophy.

    With the Foxes hovering just one point above the relegation zone, the Italian was relieved of his duties after the team returned home from Wednesday night’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to Sevilla. A 1-0 win for Leicester would put them through to the Quarter Finals.

    Leicester paid tribute to his achievements as the club’s “most successful…manager of all time.”

    Last season, Leicester defied 5000-1 odds to lift the Premier League trophy just one season after a late escape from relegation under Nigel Pearson.

    The shock sacking came just 16 days after Leicester gave Ranieri a vote of confidence, declaring the club’s “unwavering support” after what he has achieved in so little time.

    Do you want him at Ibrox as our new manager?

  14. No Ranieri for me thanks good man , obviously good coach too , but not what we need . De Boer is the best candidate but he will need 3/4 years and backing , but he is aware of the task and club , we might struggle to pay him . I would like to see the DOF role filled by someone who has a track record like the guy Pochitino took to Spurs I think he is available a he doesn't see eye to eye with Daniel Levi ( mind you not many do !)

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