Who should be Rangers’ new manager?

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It’s safe to say the 2017-18 campaign hasn’t gone exactly
according to plan for Rangers. The legendary Scottish side are currently
sitting just fourth in the league table on 24 points through 12 games played.
Despite having signed Pedro Caixinha to a three-year deal to manage the club
back in March, Rangers dismissed their new manager after just 229 days on the
job.
Caixinha was sacked after a discouraging 1-1 draw against
10th-place Kilmarnock, in late October, and he became the shortest-tenured
manager in the decorated history of the club with his firing. Surrendering a
1-0 lead by coughing up a goal five minutes into second half stoppage time was
the final straw for Caixinha with the club.

Graeme Murty, who had previously been serving as the head coach of
Rangers’ development squad, was tabbed as Caixinha’s interim replacement. Murty
also took control of the club late last season after the previous managers,
David Weir and Mark Warburton, were sacked.
Rangers went 3-1-2 in his six-game stint last season, and they
have won both games so far this season with Murty in charge.
While the 42-year-old is certainly a candidate to get the job on a
full-time basis if he’s able to keep stringing results together, the team’s
brass is still expected to sift through a number of managerial candidates
before making a final decision. Who would be the best fit
to turn Rangers’ season around? Derek McInnes may be the
early favorite with top betting sites, but there are a number of names worthy of
consideration.
Derek McInnes
At first glance, Derek McInnes makes plenty of sense as a man
capable of steering Rangers in the right direction. The 46-year-old Aberdeen
boss has already drawn plenty of praise, including some from former Rangers
manager and current Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat. Advocaat, who coached
McInnes while the latter played for Rangers in the late-1990s,
said, “He did a great job at Aberdeen and he’s the right age.”
McInnes currently has Aberdeen at second in the SPL on 27 points, just behind
first-place Celtic (30).
McInnes is young, but he has quite a bit of coaching experience
already. He also knows what it takes to win in Scotland. McInnes was in charge
of St. Johnstone from 2007 into 2011, where he posted a record of 71-53-53. He
helped get that club promoted into the Scottish Premier League in 2009
following a seven-year absence. He was a candidate for a number of jobs in
England, but opted to stay in Scotland until 2011, when he was appointed the
manager of Bristol City.
Bristol were near the bottom of the Football League Championship
when McInnes took over in October of 2011, but an eight-game unbeaten run
toward the end of the season secured the club’s status in the league that
season. However, he was sacked in January of 2013 before taking the Aberdeen
job two months later.
Through 218 matches with his current club, McInnes has posted a
record of 127-36-55. Under McInnes’ watch, Aberdeen have made three consecutive
appearances in the Europa League, and they appeared in the finals of both the
League Cup and the Scottish Cup last season. Aberdeen also won the League Cup
in McInnes’ first full season at the helm.
Given his previous links to Rangers and his success rate early in
his managerial career, McInnes makes all the sense in the world to be the next
man up at the struggling club.
Tommy Wright
While McInnes may be the clear favorite for the Rangers gig, let’s
not overlook Tommy Wright, who is currently in charge at McInnes’ former club,
St. Johnstone. Wright, who is also reportedly a favorite to land the vacant
Dundee United job, has been managing since 2003 after his playing career came
to a close in 2001.
Wright has been on the job with St. Johnstone since 2013 after
successful stints in charge of Limavady United, Ballymena United and Lisburn
Distillery. In 200 matches with his current club, Wright has posted a record of
86-40-74. He led Lisburn Distillery to an Irish League Cup crown in 2010-11,
and he won the Scottish Cup with St. Johnstone in the 2013-14 campaign. His
side toppled McInnes’ Abdereen club in the final of the latter.
Dundee United have been interested in Wright’s services for quite
some time. Dundee approached St. Johnstone for the rights to discuss a deal
with Wright back in October of 2015, but they were rebuffed. He instead inked a
new deal to remain with St. Johnstone, with whom he was named Premiership
Manager of the Season in 2015-16. The team has qualified for the Europa League
in four of his five seasons in charge.
Wright (53) is a bit older than McInnes, but he has plenty of
skins on the wall and seems primed to take a more prominent job at some point
in the near future. Whether that will be with Rangers remains to be seen, but
Wright is certainly due for a promotion of some sort before too long.
Alex McLeish
This is a familiar name, no? Alex McLeish has been bouncing around
the managerial ranks in Europe for the better part of the last two decades. The
Glasgow native got his start coaching Motherwall in 1994, and he’s since made
eight stops at various clubs all over Europe, most of which have come in the
United Kingdom.
The 59-year-old has a career managerial record of 383-213-231.
That includes a 235-game stint in charge of Rangers from 2001 through 2006. He
posted a stellar record of 155-44-36 with the club during an incredibly
prolific stretch. Rangers made three appearances in the UEFA Champions League
with McLeish on the touch line in addition to a pair of Scottish Premier League
titles.
Rangers also won three League Cups and two Scottish Cups with
McLeish at the helm. The club’s winning percentage of 65.96 with McLeish in
charge is the fourth-best mark in the history of the club among those that
managed for at least three seasons. He hasn’t found as much success since then,
and he was most recently seen coaching Zamalek of the Egyptian Premier League.
He went 6-2-2 with Zamalek before getting canned in May of 2016.
Do Rangers really want a 59-year-old retread? While McLeish’s
tenure with Rangers was certainly stellar, it’s probably best for the club to
go with a younger candidate with a brighter future. Hiring McLeish would feel
like a band-aid rather than a real cure-all for what currently ails the side.
Michael O’Neill
Upon Caixinha’s firing, one of the first names to pop up as a
potential replacement was Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill. With Gers
languishing in fourth place in the league, a fresh face like O’Neill would make
plenty of sense as a replacement. Despite currently coaching Northern Ireland,
O’Neill calls Edinburgh home. He has been linked with a number of Scottish jobs
in the past.
Despite the rumors, O’Neill has been adamant that he doesn’t
really have much interest in taking over at Rangers. He’s focused on the task
at hand, which is helping Northern Ireland qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
When asked about his interest in Rangers by
Sky SportsNews, O’Neill
said, “It’s not a distraction for me at all. It’s (speculation) constantly been
there but it’s not something that I pay much attention to. My attention is here
(Northern Ireland) and trying to get my country to a World Cup Finals…It’s
always nice to be linked with jobs but it’s not something I have given much
thought to at all.”
To be fair, O’Neill certainly has plenty on his plate already.
Northern Ireland are set to play the first leg of a World Cup playoff against
Switzerland on Thursday, 9 November. If they manage to get through both legs
against the Swiss, Northern Ireland will qualify for their first World Cup
since 1986.
O’Neill’s coaching record is fairly hit-or-miss but the job he’s
done with Northern Ireland can’t be ignored. If he’s able to get them to a
World Cup finals, his status as a hot commodity in the managerial ranks will
only increase. He’s still only 48, and his work with Northern Ireland has to be
impressive to any prospective club looking for a new manager.
Among the candidates listed, we’ll rank our preference for the new
man to lead Rangers as follows:
  1. Derek McInnes
  2. Michael O’Neill
  3. Tommy Wright
  4. Alex McLeish

3 COMMENTS

  1. We have the right man in place how can we not see that,each time he took over and the players played for him keep him for the rest of this season and then judge him,but the board will pick the next manager who may or may not cut it then what.

  2. My Choices for our New Manager would Be (In No Specific Order) –

    1. Graeme Murty
    2. Tommy Wright
    3. Slaven Billic
    4. Michael O'Neil

    But Come On The Rangers! …WATP! …#OnOurWayBack

Comments are closed.