If there’s one thing dead clear about Michael Beale’s Rangers regime so far, it’s that he is a 100% ‘second half manager’, as one of our readers put it.
Indeed, as we observed against Dundee United, a slow first half with a lot of ponderous and ineffective passing led fans into mild meltdown at half time, only for a barnstorming second half and two goals in around two minutes won the match, as Rangers stepped up the performance.
That first half v Utd saw a ridiculous 70% of the ball, but just 5 attempts on goal, and only 2 being accurate. But in the second? 68% of the ball with a massive 15 attempts and 8 of them hitting their mark.
It was a much better second half, and saw a slow first half from Ryan Jack, for example, turn into a dominant and effective display in the second (second-best passing behind on-fire John Lundstram) including an assist. He and Lunny compliment each other very well and are clearly the best duo right now.
But as another observer pointed out, it seems like Beale takes the first half to figure out opponents, then the second half puts it into practise.
It’s a strange one, it’s just over a year since he was actively watching and analysing these same teams, so it’s a little odd that he may have forgotten a lot of the styles, but equally a year is a long time and teams change.
For now, it seems like Rangers fans are destined to suffer a bit in the first 45 while the manager figures the opponent out, so it’s probably wise, for now, to hang fire before slaughtering the team, as most did at half time yesterday, given the pattern of the boss to suss the opposition out.
Indeed, almost every match under Beale has been the proverbial game of two halves, a slow start, a bit stodgy, and a little clueless, until a second half siege on the adversary’s goal following half time changes and tactical tweaks by the boss.
In fairness, Gio was the same, early on anyway, where he wasn’t afraid to make half time changes, but Beale has got into a pattern here and we hope as he eases more into the role of Rangers manager that the first halves start to look more like the second.