The big picture with Graeme Murty


Let’s get one thing straight, however you wish to analyse it, since January, Rangers’ performances and results, especially the results, since Graeme Murty and Jimmy Nicholl cemented their captaincy of the Rangers side, have been excellent. Two losses all calendar year is a pretty exceptional return for a rookie manager when the previous manager could not even manage three wins in a row in all competitions.

So, we must keep some balance before getting hysterical about yesterday’s result.

And we must also remember that for major swathes of the match Rangers punched at their weight – that we actually gave Celtic some real problems and worries to think about.

A post-match meltdown was inevitable but not entirely fair such has been the clear progress Rangers have made in the past two and a half months.

But this is football, and this is Rangers, and the buck stops at Graeme Murty as Rangers’ manager – when things go well, he gets applauded. When they do not, he gets castigated.

That is the nature of the beast at Ibrox and always was.

Are we fans of Murty? No. We never were. We were against his appointment, and he has defied those expectations, and even managed to get us much more onside with his apparent vision for the club.

We seemed to inexplicably be moving in the right direction and we were happy to have been wrong about Murty.

But, at the end of the day, he is judged on how he does against Celtic – and while his men did indeed make a far better fist of things yesterday, the second half borderline capitulation and his absolute failure to turn things around spoke volumes of his long-term ability to manage Rangers at the highest levels.

He has done amazingly well against Hearts, Aberdeen and the rest of the SPL bar two teams – Hibernian and Celtic. Both have got Murty’s number, and it does not get much easier when bang in form Kilmarnock come to Ibrox on Saturday – we fear the worst for that one given the Rugby Park side’s incredible renaissance under Steve Clarke.

But end of the day, while his Rangers team fought like dogs last year to earn a point at Parkhead twice, somehow Murty took a backwards step with a better team to come away this time with nothing.

His tactics were questionable, particularly his inability to find a useful alteration once Celtic went a man down. For the 10 men to actually bring on a striker and Murty do nothing in reply spoke volumes. It spoke of Brendan Rodgers not fearing Murty and being willing to change things – and it worked.

Murty’s post match comments have been terrible, frankly. From blaming the players over and over again (not entirely wrong but hardly good for morale to publicly flog your charges countless times), he has done nothing to admit any of his own errors which very much reminds me of Ally’s post-match reaction after a bad result. Warburton too was incapable of taking responsibility either, and incredible the only one who ever held his hands up and said he might have made a mistake was the hapless Pedro!

Murty is learning on the job, but he has damaged his reputation and manager credentials quite significantly following this match. We measure our Rangers managers on what they do against Celtic, which is why Murty got a lot of goodwill – two punchy draws at Parkhead as caretaker gave him a hefty chunk of slack, albeit the results this year have been very promising too.

But for the first real time Murty is under pressure – we always promised here at Ibrox Noise that we would not start to judge the new manager until late February. We have completely stood by our word and even waited till mid-March before assessing things.

And they are by no means bad – but for all the good work he has done, Murty has failed at the big test, and has a very hard match against high-flying Killie next week to console himself with.

The honeymoon is well and truly done, and now we will see what Graeme Murty is really made of.


  1. He has done well to create a good atmosphere among the players but this formation is solely to fit in's not a bad thing when josh is performing but we are playing with 10 men when he disappears. Murty must change things far earlier or utilise the squad and change formation for different games.

  2. It is a time for cool heads. It was obvious Graeme Murty was as exasperated as anyone if not more so. I just think he gives far too much away to questions about individual players and the way he talks formations and tactics. So much of what he says should be kept within the four walls of the dressing room. He is under pressure but his and his team's response to the gloating of the Celtic manager and team after their win will define him and his tactics over the next few weeks. If he has a ruthless/nasty side to him he needs to show it. It might save his job. Hopefully Goss and Cardoso have played their last game.

  3. Good article, agree with you 100%. We need a manager who will take us to the next level. Murty hasn't got another level in him! Nice guy, but nice guys won't win us the league!
    I have suspected all along that our Jimmy Nicoll is keeping things ticking over for Michael O'Neill at the end of the season. Just a hunch.
    Regardless, we need someone with the tactical nous that could change games for us when needed, rather just stagnating and wait until it's too late to do anything about it!!

  4. I said i would stand by GM when he was appointed as interim manager and i will stick with that decision. I also said that he was not the man to lead this club of ours full time. He and the team have done exceptionally well under the circumstances. The tattie munchers as a team have far more experience than our GM and team.So the dream of the title chase is over but the chance for silver ware is not. Lets hope Murty and team learn from this past weekend immensely and take us to the final.

  5. utter shambles i thought you start your team from the back he forgot he weakened the defence letting wilson go looks like were left with alves, cardosso what a mess what we got 20 midfielders .murty has had 3 gos at coy athletic seltic by the time season is over he will have had 5 gos at sellic .if you cant do it after two attempts you should be shown the door ,lucky murty has going to get five tries to beat them .dont fancy him

    • Wilson had decided to leave before January. Murty couldn’t help that, plus we had 3 center backs missing…

  6. What to do about Murty is a real dilemma. While I was against his appointment as I think the Rangers job is no place to be learning your trade – he has improved things dramatically since the the complete farce that was Pedro. On the other hand Celtic do have a top manager right now who does make a difference and can change things to his advantage during the game. If we are to go toe to toe with Celtic and stop 10 in a row I have to say that we need an experienced manager in the dug out that match Rodgers. You can see the total difference san experienced coach like Clarke has made to Kilmarnock. If Murty can beat Celtic and win the Scottish Cup then it is difficulty to deny him a further season to see what he can do – otherwise we need to bring in experience – maybe with Murty as his assistant.

  7. Sorry over reaction is exactly what this is, Murty is the best we can get atm, and will only improve. Anyone saying him not being on subs quick enough is an arm chair manager, even smith has admited he did the exact same thing during the UEFA final but we don’t see people saying he shouldn’t have been rangers manager. What we needed yesterday is someone in the middle of the park to push the team on when they went down to 10 men. Sadly we didn’t have that leader and I was really disappointed murphey didn’t do it, but dorrans would have. That’s the only difference between the two teams and it’s sad to say it’s a player like brown who pushed his team.
    And our defence is at the bare bones atm, Bates now out, Martin and McCrorie is out too… those 3 would start before Alves or Cardoso.

    • Bang on Stuart – major over reaction here. When you look at the shambles Pedro created I'm astonished that this rookie manager has managed to drag the club into a position of respectability from what was beginning to look like a laughing stock. No transfer budget – compare that to Celtic- and getting a level of performance out of the likes of Candeias, Windass and Tav that many thought was impossible. You want experience? You need a budget and you need to rip everything up and start over. Again. Can't learn the trade at a big Glasgow club? Tell it to Lennon – much as it pains me to say it……I really fancy the two remaining games against Celtic – no fear at all.

  8. I’ve stuck by Murty since he stepped into the void and kept us going. I will continue to do so he’s brought stability back to the Team & Club. Everybody forgets it’s not just Celtic who had players missing but Rangers too. Can remember countless games under Walt when he’d make a substation with 15/10 minutes left in a game by then to late…

    Typical shite is get the knives out, look back at this stage last season and now. The difference is night and day by any stretch lads. I could see the point if we was humped 5-1 6-0 try and be positive eh..

  9. Perspective people. So we are measuring him against selic…did you see how relieved Brenda was when the 3 goal went in. He know he got out of jail. Remember also this is a seasoned manager of clubs Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool and selic. How many games as a mangers…maybe 1000. Our guy made Manager on 22 nd Dec and including yesterday he's been a manager for 11 matches! Yes 11 matches so he is leaning on the job.
    Then look at our team Tav, Wes and a little bit of Windass were at Ibrox last year the rest are new. Two useless centre backs from Pedro's time and the rest are Bates and Docherty ( under 20's) and the others only started to play regular football when they came to Ibrox in January! Then we have Morelos…twice he has done us against them now. He is not a great striker despite scoring 17 so far. Our big guys in the summer Dorrans and Jack out, Wallace out and then young McCrorie out..

    We lacked a ton of experience yesterday but we rattled them and Brenda was worried.

    Lets back Murty, he's done more than the last two did and deserves our support. All that said he need to move forward and 'manage' by dropping Morelos for Saturday. He also need to reconsider how much he believes in Windass as he did nothing after scoring again.

    So on Saturday lets see if he makes the management changes require but cut the guy a bit of slack. He's miles, miles, miles better than anyone in years.

    • Yeh last season the result against Celtic was embarrassing. To push them to only one goal difference is such an improvement

    • Agree with your statement it’s a knee jerk reaction once again regards Murty.. Morelos brings more than just goals to the Team but.. Who would you play instead Cummings? He can’t hold up play like the Buffalo and Cummings plays better with a partner

  10. Wasn't a fan of Murty being appointed but have to admit he has done a lot right. We are far better now than we were under Pedro.
    Also look at the "candidates" before he was appointed. McInnes, Allardyce, Pardew, Wright etc have all gone backwards. MCLeish has just taken the Scotland job and O'Neill has signed a new contract with N Ireland.
    I can see us going to great lengths to get someone in then wishing 6 months later that we'd stuck with Murty.

    • "I can see us going to great lengths to get someone in then wishing 6 months later that we'd stuck with Murty."
      agreed a bit of realism is needed, we cant take another risk with another pedro it would be suicidle.

  11. Agree with a Lot of the Comments on Here 👏
    Yeah murty is learning his trade and will make mistakes.
    The improvement though has been phenomenal!
    And despite 'them' winning on sunday it was no walk in the park and it wasnt a win they deserved

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