With Michael Beale putting the final touches together on his management staff, and his ideas upon the squad, what can Rangers fans expect from the new boss when action gets back underway in earnest later this month?
Fans looking at Rangers under Steven Gerrard are already in the right ballpark – this was Beale’s system, his tactics, and his playstyle – yes, Gerrard had final say and it was generally his overall vision, but Beale constructed it, and as he is now, was hands-on in training doing all the work.
Just like what Beale made at Ibrox with the ‘Joe Aribo model’, his formation, generally, at QPR was a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3. Beale was adaptable, and generally had the 4-3-3 at home with the 4-2-3-1 away.
In short, Beale, as he said about QPR and has said now about Rangers too, wants to take the handbrake off – this is his favourite epigram for now, about the idea of attack attack attack, and that’s something we’ll see a lot of at Ibrox.
Away from home is a bit different – Beale, if we go by his modus operandi at Loftus Road, is a bit more cautious away from home, using the two sitting midfielders behind a four, meaning less gung-ho.
And it’s also worth noting QPR outlets were gushing with praise for him after 10 matches saying it was the second-best start by a QPR manager since 1980, and it only got better after that before that final horrible post-Wolves run gave his detractors a tonne of fuel to attack him with.
So the style is effective, and it works. He’s all about attacking at home, and he’s a little more thoughtful away, which is generally wise.
Rangers’ system under Gerrard was much the same, it flitted between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 but it took Beale two years to figure it out and how to make it work. Once he did, 55 was ours. It needed more investment that summer, and didn’t get it so it fell apart.
But equally Beale spent £0 at QPR in the summer and his record was excellent with that budget.
Rangers fans can be cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead under Michael Beale.