An old friend of Ibrox Noise said this many months ago, a painfully underrated comment, and it’s only we firmly agree with, to the point of pain.
That since Walter Smith, Rangers have done nothing but appoint, generally-speaking, managerial newbies without a hint of winning mentality.
‘Experiments’, is a way to put it – guys who had never been in the hotseat alone and didn’t have any experience at that level.
Of course, many will point the finger at Walter himself, who began at Rangers as a rookie manager too, but equally, he was a miracle, a one-off, a man who learned how to manage under Jim MacLean with the greatest Dundee Utd team there’s ever been, then learned yet more about marquee football under Graeme Souness.
He was ready, and he was absolutely unique.
Promoting Ally McCoist, a man many thought to be his protégé, turned out to be a bit of a fail. And every manager since then has been the same, because we all want another Walter Smith.
Celtic have had a few great/experienced managers – experienced managers who know how to win – Deila was a winner in Norway, Lennon a winner in Scotland, Rodgers who got promoted with Swansea, then nearly won the Premier League with Liverpool, and now Stavros.
These are all experienced managers, aside admittedly Lennon who benefited from 2012- Rangers, but apart from him, Celtic have only appointed managers who win, or who have been at top levels.
Rangers? Graeme Murty, Mark Warburton, Ally, Kenny MacDowall at one point – almost all of our managers have been newbies to the managerial game, all expected to be ‘hidden gems’ who could crack the SPL rubix cube. Exceptions would be Gio, given he’d won a bit in Feyenoord, but he was young, and Stuart McCall, but he only managed at a low level.
Michael Beale? He’s another. He’s got talent, and his (brief) record for QPR was good, but a winner in management he isn’t.
Rangers fans have to put faith that this 42-year-old newbie is the right stuff to make Rangers winners again.
But nevertheless, it’s a repeating pattern, not to bring a wise hand with experience, but to go the cheap option with someone cutting their teeth on the management game. How are they meant to make the players winners when they’re not one themselves?
Is it the right path? After 11 years and two trophies, it’s hard to say that it is, no.