It’s official. The results are in, and Michael Beale has officially made the best start of a new SPL Rangers manager since records pretty much began, with 13 wins of a possible 14, and just one draw.
Let’s get the stats out the way first:
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (November 2021): 14 matches, 10W 1L 3D culminating in the massacre at Parkhead.
Steven Gerrard (2008): 14 matches, 7W 1L 6D culminating in a 1-0 loss to Celtic.
Ally McCoist (2011): 14 matches, 8W 3D 3L.
The Grand Master Walter (January 2007): 9W 3D 2L.
Now, there are a couple of caveats – obviously, Beale has only dealt with domestic football, but even then, he beats Giovanni because he had two ‘friendly’ Europa League matches when all seemed lost under previous manager Steven Gerrard. By a miracle, the win over Sparta gave Rangers passage into the next round and the match v Lyon was a consequent dead rubber and didn’t matter. Otherwise, he dealt with that Parkhead shocker in February last year but, statistically, is the second-best.
And the other caveat is that Walter, Ally and Stevie all had European football mixed in there, Beale hasn’t, aside a friendly win over Bayer. So we’re absolutely not saying Beale is our greatest manager ever.
But it’s hard to argue with the stunning record he’s had, 13W of 14 matches however you spin it is the best record, pretty much, of all time for a new Rangers manager.
It’s only that Celtic have matched this identically that stops Rangers being better than second place in the league.
Let’s be absolutely clear – Parkhead know they don’t have it all their way anymore. That Beale has come in and absolutely destroyed the history books so far and done it with a Rangers team that has a lot less money and ‘assets’ than Celtic do says a lot.
And the upcoming final will be very telling too, even if Beale’s men are low on fit players.
The numbers can’t be argued with – Beale, statistically, bests pretty much all Rangers managers of the past, even our own Walter, and that’s an incredible component to have in your armoury.
The guy can manage alright.