Will Alex McLeish be a success at Ibrox?


The potential appointment of Alex McLeish has thrown up some debate among Rangers fans, with a significant portion expressing major reservations that he is the right man to bring the Ibrox side out of their current malaise back into something resembling the proper SPL Rangers we expect them to be.

Indeed, in yesterday’s piece, the argument was made that overnight success as a result of his appointment is extremely unlikely, and as such the man deserves a little leeway, itself a rare commodity with Rangers supporters.

But why will McLeish be successful this time, in a wildly different Rangers climate to that of nearly two decades ago (count ‘em), especially in light of the near-certain absence of financial backing that would assist his endeavours a great deal?

There are a number of factors which make this potential tenure (it still is not 100% confirmed as being Eck) significantly different to the last one, and which point to a greater chance of its success by comparison.

Firstly, the basic passage of time. With time, comes wisdom, knowledge and experience. McLeish is older, wiser, and has managed at a great number of levels, low and high over his career. When he arrived at Rangers first time around, he had only managed two clubs, with reasonable success. This time around, he is a well-travelled manager who has a greatly enhanced level of wisdom. He has had some bad jobs, good jobs, bad mistakes, good calls; it all adds up to the spectrum of experience to learn from.

Secondly, one of his biggest career successes outside Rangers was the Scottish national team, where he took the Tartan Army to an all-time high of 16 in the FIFA rankings and some truly memorable results; and indeed he was a Gianluca Zambrotta dive away from making Euro 2008 in the playoffs. The point here is he could not ‘sign’ anyone for the national team – he was limited to the pool of players he had at his disposal and yet managed miracles, surpassing even his predecessor Uncle Walter. So for those arguing about some of the poor signings he made at Ibrox first time around, it is a fair point, but he did show during his time in charge of Scotland that he can work with what he has as well, which appears to be a new string to his bow.

Thirdly, he ticks the boxes Rangers fans need – a true Bear, inside knowledge of Rangers, and extensive knowledge of Scottish football and the SPL as a whole. Add all three/four of those up and while he still is not quite Walter, he is not a bad selection regardless in light of Rangers’ difficult circumstances.

In short, it is a different Alex McLeish now, one with experience and quality he simply did not have last time, and he can apply his well-travelled profession to a stage he can say is home but look at with a much wiser pair of eyes.

Of course, it would be churlish to ignore the reservations fans have. The fact is in club football he has always struggled without funds, and had very few at Aston Villa and was frankly a total failure after a promising start. And this is a strong criticism most observers have of his ability – he is regarded as a short term fix who can repair damage to a team quite well but is unable to build long-term and signs duds instead of wise acquisitions who have a future. He is known as a bit of a chequebook manager in club football who can only achieve success through signing new players. Although re-reading that back, very few managers can do otherwise in truth. Even Uncle Walter had to sign a glut of players in January 2007 to reverse the bleeding the PLG era caused.

Another issue many cite is it appears a step back – instead of a bold forward-thinking signing which goes in a new direction, perhaps a Frank de Boer or a Derek McInnes, it instead returns to a past regime some Rangers fans would rather move away from. And that too is valid.

But, the truth is the board makes the final call, and if it is to be Alex McLeish, he should get everyone’s support. He will get criticised as Warburton did if he gives fans reason to be unhappy, and he will be praised for what he gets right. That is what all managers of our Rangers should experience – they are at the helm of the most important institution in Scotland and this site and Rangers fans in general will hold them to account, with non-wavering support, until they start to lose the right to receive it.

We can only get behind the new manager whoever it is and hope they repair our ailing side and restore the pride that comes with Follow Following Rangers.

survey hosting


  1. I choose undecided because I think he would steady the ship, as for taking us to a different level not so sure. Will he be able to challenge the manky mob not sure? I was more looking for a manager thats got the waw factor n gets us xcited for seasons ahead this doesn't do it for me. In the beginning he ll prob install some fight bck in to team n as I said steady the ship getting us playing more consistently. But will he be able to challenge Brenda Rodgers again not so sure. My no1 target wud b harry redknapp n his nephew lampard as no2 this is the way I would like to go the whole world wud b interested to see wat they would do bring some wow factor n attention to our fine club.

  2. Alex McLeish a manager who knows Rangers but can he work with very little money yes he can,could he make those players better yes he can will he or any other manager come in at this time with another Selltic game coming up and may be another meeting in the Scottish cup now if he or any other manager gets beat in them how long are they going last?i would like Alex McLeish as manager but not yet.

    • yes no reason why we shouldn't. Plus before he was even on the board when Murray was in charge he gave rangers 20 million as a gift. so in rangers history he is the biggest investor we've ever had outside sponsorship's. All Murray's investments where loans from the bank using the clubs assets as down payments. so Murray invested debt And we all know what that caused.

    • Yes why not? The club should have went bust but hasn't. The wage and spending budgets have been x's more than anyone except Celtic. Plus we're debt free, since no one calls celtics soft loans as debts so why should ours be debt

  3. I think he would be a good choice until the end of the season unless he goes on a long run of games unbeaten, maybe wins the Scottish cup and atleast beats celtic once. I think the club should go for a modern coach like Warburton but someone who plays attractive football but the same time recognises we need to be more solid at the back and signs better players

  4. I hope the board splash the cash for Frank de Boer.
    Get rid of half this team and get some Dutch talent in and build for the future.
    You get what you pay for.

  5. I believe that the next manager will have an even more difficult task to change this current Ger's squad style of play than uncle Walter had as Warburton and Weir have had nearly twice the time to brainwash the team as Le Guen had. We have to be realistic.Currently we can't afford to employ a Frank De Boer or his ilk. Alex Mcleish is available and has proved to be a winner in the Rangers environment,with less money to spend than his predecessors. I said that on this blog weeks ago (it seems like weeks) that I'd be happy with Mcleish with Kenny Miller as his assistant, but whoever gets the job has to be given some slack. The 27 points deficit is real and truly indicative of the gulf in class which has been shown on the pitch this season. We now have to be consistent and overtake Aberdeen and Hearts and draw away from them in the league, and be confident of further improvements for next season. We need big baby steps. It's taken Celtic 5 years of guaranteed league success to produce the team they've got now. As of next season we'll be back properly and be in a position to expect success

  6. I voted undecided this morning, but I am coming round to the idea of him as interim manager. Considering what King has said this morning, it looks like McLeish will be coming in to steady the ship. He should be a massive improvement on Warburton in the short term. Hopefully he will only be an interim appointment, because his signing track record is poor at every club he's been at apart from Hibs.

  7. would love to see butcher there until end season but don't think he's got a chance .big neck until end of season if he wins scottish cup or stops septic unbeaten run give him job full time

    • Fook Butcher!Sitting sookin that Sutton prick's ringpiece!You're screaming at the telly"get that w**k told Terry" and he just nods with that glaikit dial.Not for me purely on those grounds.What kind of ex Gers skipper sits and listens to that fae Sutton with impunity?I'd have Mcleish til the end of the season.The initial buzz of the players trying to impress and a different perspective should be enough to clinch second.

  8. I voted no not because I don,t like big Eck he did give us some good times back in the day but is he really a long term answer? I didn't think MW was the right choice at the time however I applauded the idea of a complete change from the old Rangers men managing the team. Ultimately MW was a gamble that did not pay off and we are now looking at going back to the people who brought us previous success. Mcleish will as has already been said steady the ship but I to want a wow factor manager to get some vitality and energy running through team. We need to challenge Celtic otherwise what is the point? Is second place every season our new aim? I agree that we need to seek out talent in countries other than England. Surely there are players we can afford in a lot of countries with a similar standard of league as in Scotland-Netherlands,Denmark, Sweden etc.

  9. I would like to see it being Alex. I think he'll be given enough leeway from fans because he's a good Rangers man that brings his passion to the game and so if things don't go our way straight away he'll be given some slack. Also would much much it was rather him than Billy Davies.

  10. i don't want him long term but to come in and steady the ship for now sure. After all he was the 1st manager to take a Scottish team to the last 16 of the champions league and he did it on a budget. Long term shows a lack of ambition from the club in my eyes.

  11. Yes I do trust king,
    In the press it seems to be a more director of football role the club wants to go down I said earlier redknapp as manager way lampard as his under study but then HR could be the DOF with FL taking to with the day to day stuff the many is a 110% no nonsense type of guy and in my opinion this wud b outstanding n wud get everyone buzzing n a real feel gd factor bck And FL could always put his boots on n lead from the front.

  12. Big eck till end of season he will be a ideal quick fix to get us second.

    De boer or Michael laudrup for me, I know he is in Qutar making good money but the lure of Rangers might just swing it, sure Brian would be in his ear..

  13. no, he wont be. he already said that without financial advantage over rivals he would not have been as successful as he was. so with this mess, there is no way for anybody. we have to build the team with proper foundations and catching celtic will be possible in some 10 years time. sad, but true.

  14. I would have big Eck as interim, and get him in quickly as Murty looked really out of place at our dug out on Sunday, poor guy. We need to stay away from "jobs for the boys", it has never worked and it never will. Look at the interview by Frank De Boer, his ego is as big as his head. He said that other clubs are chasing him at the moment, money chasing mercenary! I've already stated Jurgen Klinsmann for our next manager, someone with the knowledge and experience to compete with Brendan Rodgers. If not Jurgen, then someone with the same stature and clout to attract better players to ibrox, as well as ensuring our youth policy is thriving. We need some excellent decision making by the board! However they will need some time to choose the right manager.

  15. Warbs: Points per match as manager: 1.98. Rangers spell – 2.18 points per game.
    McLeish: Points per match as manager: 1.44. Rangers spell – 1.53 ppg.
    But most of you want him as a successor of Warbs. This is nonsense – change manager who get us promoted and use modern 4-3-3 system which dominate aboslutely mosy of SPL clubs with absolutely shite players to the old man who failed everywhere else and was fired from Zamalek (seriously?)
    But he is a TRUE BEAR, right?
    People who want to get Warbs fired is completely misguided. Yes, his recruitment was poor. Yes, his size is out of job. But just think about it – with Kiernan who always lost his players and Tav who simply cannot defend, with Andy and Holt in the middle (it is a heart of 4-3-3), without DM – who can do better?
    2.18 points per game. Mourinho – 2.16 ppg. Ancelotti – 2.02. It's all about distance.
    We need Hanley, not Kiernan and Hoorihane, not Windass.
    We've lost good manager (he made a lot of mistakes, it's true) and it will slow down the development of the club.
    Russian Fan. WATP.

  16. Well said tam burns. Butcher is just a big pee heein f*** and has let the people down big time . He might have been one of our best ever players but never a true Rangers man at heart. If we could afford Frank Lampard he,s the man as it would be a good apprenticeship for him before he moved on to a smaller club than ours

  17. The only way 'Big Eck' is even getting a mention for the job is because he is unemployed and would cost nothing to employ….no transfer window or budget to worry about for a few months…that is what Dave King is thinking and that is exactly what will happen….if its the cheapest option….we sack a whole management team and try and get out of compensating them, then look to fill the void with someone who would love the job for a number of reasons….my guess why it hasn't been announced already is because Eck is holding out for some kind of guarantees' that he is not just there to hold their hands until the end of the season….Good luck with that one Alex, make sure anything said, recorded or promised is signed by two independent witnesses as he will try and shaft you the same as everyone else.

    I see people saying things like get in De Boer and the likes, wow we used to be able to attract managers of that quality and calibre….but NOT now. No manager with any self respect will look near us after what has just happened to W&W, unless he is a dyed in the wool 'bluenose' and would bleed blood for the club…aka Big Eck. Isn't that what everyone wants? I mean where do you draw the line? We want 'Real Rangers men' owning the club…despite them being as crooked as a 9 bob note and worth about the same…yet we don't think a 'Real Ranger man' is good enough to manage us …on a budget so pathetic its laughable.

    People have to realise and understand, hard as it is, we are NOT the big Baws Club we used to be…we are not the big draw we used to be and while we have a pisspot chairman we never will be…wake up guys … read outside the box, look at what people who know football and business are saying…..


  18. Another name i wud like to throw out their for the managers job is former Alex fergusons right hand man but most recently at hull went in ther n turned things around way I think it was 13 players in the total sqaud, mike phelan. really gd coach cud pos wrk under a director of football not seen this one mentioned any wer.

  19. Eck won't work with a Director of Football so if he comes it will be as caretaker.

    I'd like to see Sir Alex brought in as Director of Football to build the structure and the standards needed throughout the club. He could do two years and leave a lasting legacy at his boyhood heroes.

    As for his Head Coach….Ryan Giggs.

    • alex ferguson has never had a good word to say about rangers onlyy person i see helping rangers is dave king .just hope wee can get back on top in the next few years .sicken a few people .thats running football in this country .

  20. Dave king is not the man to run rangers we are a laughing stock once again and I fear we are heading for administration again so hope I'm wrong

  21. To not so frustrated fan, it's only an opinion no need to be a Timmy about it. The guy is a gd coach n out a job , thinking out the box rather than going with the majority, mcliesh wont get fans excited n bums on seat that is a 100% fact.