What a difference having a manager makes…


“And to that end, Rangers fans could not have a better way to judge new Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha than by focusing on Saturday’s hosting of Hamilton. The last time Rangers played Martin Canning’s side at home in the league was the opening day of this season; and that performance and result set the tone for how life would pan out in Scotland’s top tier under Rangers’ ex-boss. On his debut in the SPL, he failed, miserably, as Scotland’s worst top-flight side (give or take with Inverness) gleaned a point in Govan.

On Pedro Caixinha’s debut in the SPL, he faces the same opponent, with mostly the same squad, at the same ground, in front of the same expectant fans, in the same tournament, with the same exact ramifications of the result.

It is the perfect litmus test for our new manager to begin life in Britain, and the best way for Rangers fans to see, even at this early stage, what we may be able to expect from our new gaffer.

When Walter Smith returned in 2007, his debut was a 5-0 tonking of Dundee Utd at Ibrox. That set the tone for his dominance over those following years. Naturally we do not expect similar dominance this time round (would be nice though!), but more often than not, how a regime starts is pretty much how it continues. Very rarely will a bad start by a Rangers manager be turned round to be a success.” Ibroxnoise.co.uk 14/03/17

Yesterday, Rangers made Hamilton Academical look like Hamilton Academical. That sounds like a truly odd evaluation, but my praise could not be higher; let me explain. For the first time in as long as we fans can remember, a Rangers team went out against a rubbish diddy team (with all due respect to Accies) and made them look exactly what they were. There is no higher compliment than that to start this article off.

One of the tragic failings of the ex-manager and even initially his temporary successor was to make rotten teams look good. On countless occasions Rangers would find themselves struggling against Hamilton, County, Dundee or Killie, failing pathetically to make their obvious on paper superiority translate to the pitch.

That sits squarely at the door of our arrogant and foolish ex-coach who knew better than anyone, including Rangers men, how Rangers should play and how his methodology had nothing to do with any opponent and was solely about how Rangers played. His way.

Yesterday, for the first time in arguably years, a technically excellent Rangers took the field and strolled their inferior opponents, under the tutelage of a new manager who had said pre-match how, yes, what we do is very important, but you must scout and analyse your opponents, studying them, respecting them.

Indeed, Ped the Ted even gave a little insight into the depth he went to, noting that Hamilton’s other matches against top four teams this season had always been played by Martin Canning setting out with a back five, but for facing Rangers it had been with a four, and he expected the same again.

And that level of research paid stunning dividends as Rangers crushed the Accies frankly with the kind of ease Rangers fans are used to from yesteryear.

The opening quote from this piece focuses on what this site said earlier in the week – that the best test for Ped was to face, on his debut, the same team his predecessor had in the same circumstances. The difference was not just night and day, it was earth to moon.

Caixinha elected a 4-2-3-1 formation, with gasps of disappointment initially about the personnel selection. It seemed in every sense like his predecessor was still picking the XI, but from the first whistle it was evident everything else had changed.

Rarely have I seen, certainly since 2012, a Rangers side working like a completely autonomous machine, smoothly clicking together and functioning completely in harmony. Every single player knew their exact role, and how to execute it. It was as if each man in blue was running like a computer program, all within one large software application which was remarkably bug-free.

The technical proficiency especially was truly exemplary, with extremely thrifty use of the ball, some excellent passing, efficient running and well-drilled off ball movement, as well as a level of pressing which has been alien to recent displays.

This was truly a Rangers team playing like how we expect our side to deliver, and Caixinha simply could not have produced a better start than this.

From Jason Holt’s tireless work in the middle of the park, to Jon Toral’s MOTM passing and awareness, to Martyn Waghorn running like a bull at every ball, this was Ped’s gameplan being executed to a level he will have been delighted about.

He even discussed the Portuguese iteration of square pegs in round holes and how that was absolutely at odds with how the game should be played. Caixinha literally expressed how it was basically idiotic to play players out of position – they should be playing where they can be happiest, he said. And going by how the players fit into the formation he set out, they were clearly all very happy indeed.

Sure, it was ‘only Hamilton’ but that is exactly the point. Rangers need to be rolling these teams over, and if this is a sign of things to come, if such a good display is possible with a pretty mediocre squad by Rangers’ standards, then one hopes our manager can not only continue this level against Motherwell and beyond, but get the budget to invest in better players and make a serious fist of next season.

Continue this way and Ped the Ted will head Rangers to second.

In a way, this really did remind me of the impact Uncle Walter had in 2007. And if this level of quality, work, technical class and general organisation continues, Rangers really are on the right path at long last.

There is SO much work to do, and the next fixture could be a disaster, but we can only judge on what we have seen so far. And it was very, very impressive.

Excellent stuff!


    • He's more of a leader of men than the pussy W will ever be.I really think we're onto something. I know there was rumours about him servicin back boilers but he can copulate with dugs if he wants as long as he does the business for us.

  1. Are you a rangers man or a Tim he will lead us to second. Second has and never will be good enough WATP God save Queen f××k the unwashed scum

    • Hi Robert,

      I know Ed personally and he is a life-long blue nose and works very hard to run an excellent IbroxNoise.co.uk, which we all love. Our jobs are to keep the site all things Rangers and to keep it real. Do you want him to lie? 2nd is the best we can get this year, but next year will be very difficult to become champions – and that my friend – is the truth!

      In saying that, all Rangers fans will be hoping that Ped the Ted can turn us around, to the extent that we are at least competing for the No.1 position, but it will also take a lot of money to be spent by the board.

  2. What a useless comment you made Robert Ritchie. Do you not realise that when he said 2nd place he was talking about THIS season. How do you expect us to win the league when we are over 30 points behind. As for the sectarian bile you are spouting, isn't it time to let that go.

  3. haha the only change at rangers is the pressure has been taken off the players and they can again play without fear.As this page hates the vast majority of its current squad assembled for less than 4 million over two seasons i will be looking forward to the clear out this page wants. I will judge the manager when he assembles his squad.

  4. Yes, Robert, please please let's move on and away from the sectarian comments. I suspect Pedro is the same religion as was Lorenzo Amoruso and even Don Kichenbrand (34 goals in 40 games). Who cares if they deliver results for Rangers.

  5. Hi Ed, Brilliant article and a very long piece for you to get your teeth into. I loved when you said, " A rubbish diddy team (with all due respect to Accies)", keep up the good work.

  6. While I agree completely with your comments regarding Warburton (the signs were there last season & confirmed by flawed summer recruitment), I think including Murty is unfair. Caixinha had a much easier task picking up the reigns from Murty, than Murty had from Warburton. And did Murty not make an ordinary team (Hamilton) look ordinary just two weeks ago?

  7. What did u say that was sectarian was it WATP don't think so. Was it God save the Queen are national anthem or the unwashed think you will find there was no sectarianism in my post cause WATP and God save our Queen

    • What the Rangers supporters didn't like, was asking if Ed was a Rangers man or a Tim. We have a load of catholics working for Rangers now and some of our captains have been catholics and the days of sectarianism are thankfully over and against the law. We don't ask any staff or players what religion they are and we are living in 2017 & not in 1690.

      WATP & God save the Queen seems to be ok but f××k the unwashed scum is not.

    • Well said Richard…We certainly dont need that anymore…I think most of us at some time in our lives have embraced that attitude but now we need to put our great club back to where it belongs for football reasons…keep up the good work and good article Ibrox Noise.

  8. As pedro said if u dont beleive ur players then what's the point. The boss rattled a few cages wth his comments about 144 & 54 but i like that. The reason they r 30 points clear is down to the magic twat who dissapeared. F*** their 60m, were coming after them next season. As brucie used 2 say points make prizes. Let's make every home game a carnival atmosphere with horns red white & blue confetti and allsorts to lift the tempo as that will spur them on.We r and always will b simply the best.

    • Agree Scrooby…the Rotten Mob are not that good really …the back four Tierney apart are pish …Gordon saves their arses every game WATP

  9. For the first time in a very long time we were organized on Saturday and Pedro has got off to a good start. This summer is going to be so important in getting the personnel right to challenge next year. I hope Warburton comes in with a joint offer of 5 million for Kiernan and Tavs I think that would go some way for the mess he left behind

  10. It was so refreshing and uplifting to be at Ibrox on Saturday . Agree same players same opposition and obviously same venue …but OMG what a difference in application and delivery ..Very good loved the way they attacked at all opportunities loved the drive and determination Onwards WE WILL OVERCOME in Pedro and King we trust !!! Good articles guys

  11. You are right, great articles and response until your last 3 words "King we trust" you are totally misguided if you believe in he who will turn out to be one of the biggest crooks to walk through our doors!! J

  12. Well done Gaspodesm8 – let's make a fresh start and get rid of this sectarian garbage. Fresh coach – lets move on!

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