Michael Beale has taken major responsibility for Rangers’ dreadful showing against Morton at Ibrox today, by admitting ‘it’s on me’ and that he changed the shape for this match.
The manager, who sprung a load of surprises in the starting XI which indirectly confirmed his assistant manager Neil Banfield is as much full of porkies as he is, opted to give a bunch of fringe players, aside Robby McCrorie of course, starting shirts, and the expectation they’d step up.
Unfortunately a bizarre formation which was rather hard to translate and saw Matondo as left winger and Sterling as right meant that the system absolutely didn’t work, and while Jamie MacDonald did have some great saves to make, well, it’s Morton for goodness’ sake.
Morton, midtable in the Scottish Championship, who spent absolutely nothing this summer and like Rangers rebuilt their team with a bunch of new players, came to Ibrox and gave as good as they got in all honesty.
And Beale has confessed he tried a bewildering new shape, and that the performance was significantly on him.
Meanwhile an Ibrox Noise poll (sample size 1300 and growing) confirms Rangers fans trust the manager by around 2-1, meaning for every two fans who trust the manager, one does not, which does not bode terribly well going forward.
So what does all this mean?
The bottom line is Rangers won – we progressed, and that is what Beale will be judged on. But we can rarely remember a less popular manager who was not trusted by around 30%+ of the support this early into the season. Unlike Gio, Beale doesn’t have Sevilla or a cup trophy to lean on.
But equally, it’s not a popularity contest, it’s a winning contest, and if Michael Beale wins every match via a deflection off the ref’s backside, that’s the ticket at the end of the day.
We’re just not sure he quite has the ability that Walter did to keep grinding results out even when the team wasn’t playing well.
That’s a craft, a true master at work. One+ years into his fledgling managerial career, Michael Beale probably doesn’t yet command that respect.
And only he can turn that around.