Step forward and take a bow, both Rangers manager Graeme Murty and new Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke, for turning the fortunes of both clubs from zero to hero.
Murty was put in charge following the not-soon-enough sacking of Pedro Caixinha in late October, having already been interim manager earlier in 2017, and now doing a tremendous job for the famous Ibrox club.
Graeme has stabilised the club and players, with all his new signings making their mark on the side he is currently re-building.
Meanwhile down in Ayrshire, on the 14th of Oct ’17, 54-year-old Steve Clarke became the new Kilmarnock manager, who is also transforming his provincial team into a top five or six finish.
At this moment in time, Murty and Clarke are proving to be the best 2 managers in the league!
Brendan Rogers, Derek McInnes, Neil Lennon and Craig Leveine can only stand back and agree that they have both been magnificent for Rangers and Kilmarnock this season.
For Murty this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work permanently as manager and it is obvious that he doesn’t want simply to operate as a short-term-fix until the end of this season. He is exceptionally good and should be rewarded by the success which assures him a long term future at Ibrox.
Like Murty, Clarke got the job because ex-Ranger Lee McCulloch was dismissed for his team under-performing and stuck near the bottom of the league.
Clarke is the 8th boss of Kilmarnock in only seven years and took over a side bereft of talent and consisting of low paid footballers.
This top qualified, unemployed-for-a-year manager, is achieving miracles so far, and if it continues he will become a target for bigger clubs. Kilmarnock look out!
Clarke’s proven track record in British and European football was secured as Mourinho’s reliable and talented assistant at Chelsea. He helped them win two League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup.
His record since taking the job on Sat. 14 Oct ‘17, has been astonishing.
Kilmarnock 2 – 2 Hibernian, Motherwell 0 – 1 Kilmarnock = 4 points
Kilmarnock 3 -2 Dundee, Kilmarnock 1 – 0 Celtic = 10 points
Aberdeen 3 – 1 Kilmarnock, Hibernian 1 – 1 Kilmarnock = 11 points
Kilmarnock 2 – 1 Rangers, Kilmarnock 1 – 0 Motherwell = 17 points
Ross County 2 – 2 Kilmarnock, Kilmarnock 5 – 1 Partick Thistle = 21 points
St Johnstone 1 – 2 Kilmarnock, Kilmarnock 1 – 3 Aberdeen = 24 points
Dundee 0 – 0 Kilmarnock, Hearts 1 – 2 Kilmarnock = 28 points
Kilmarnock 0 – 3 Hibernian, Celtic 1 – 1 Kilmarnock = 29 points
Rangers 1 – 1 Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle 0 – 2 Kilmarnock = 33 points
18 matches played 33 points earned – sensational results for the manager & team. Kilmarnock are Scotland’s top team in the past 10 matches. Truly extraordinary.
Meanwhile at Ibrox Murty has paired up the hard working, talented Daniel Candeias with Rangers’ (permanent?) new captain James Tavernier in a fantastic, skilful partnership attacking with great aplomb down the right.
The boss similarly has to be congratulated for combining the talented Declan John with the outstanding Jamie Murphy who has power, pace and skill and who also scores crucially important goals. Together they are a real handful and are causing havoc in every match.
He has also integrated new guys Sean Goss and Greg Docherty in a very strong midfield and teamed up young 6’3” David Bates with the experienced Russell Martin at centre back.
With Windass and Morelos scoring so many goals between them, it is almost impossible to fit Jason Cummings into this new-look-starting-team.
Murty and Clarke are to be congratulated on their success, but as a Rangers man I think Murty could be in line for manager of the year