Michael Beale to embark on his European Rangers debut

Michael Beale to embark on his European Rangers debut
Michael Beale is good at talking for sure....

One thing may have been overlooked by Rangers fans against Servette – that this is, as a manager, Michael Beale’s first-ever European match of football.

Michael Beale, as assistant, may have worked under Steven Gerrard during multiple Europa League campaigns but as a solo manager this is his first-ever attempt in serious competition against a team not from his club’s domestic division, aside from Raith Rovers.

No, this is his debut in Europe, and that is definitely worth some perspective – of course it was the same for Steven Gerrard as manager back in the original Europa League qualifying campaign, but he had won at the top levels of football as a player and as a leader on the pitch. Different as manager, of course, but he was able to bring that experience through, to draw on his own past. And he commanded respect on that basis. Rangers, under Gerrard, were incredible in Europe.

But Beale doesn’t have experience to draw on, he’s a failed footballer who quit the sport as a player at just 20 because he wasn’t good enough, and as manager he was QPR and their low pressure before taking over at Ibrox.

It’s quite a different ball game beating Charlton in the cup or the like at Loftus Road compared with facing Swiss ‘giants’ Servette in the Champions League qualifiers, so Beale doesn’t have precedents to draw on here.

As assistant, he did the training ground drills, constructed the systems, and gave Steven Gerrard the options – but Gerrard was the aura, the decision-maker, the executive, and he lived or died on the sword.

Beale didn’t have to tolerate that pressure at all, and he’s finding it a tougher ask than he realised.

Whether he sinks or swims tomorrow night for his European debut will tell a lot about what chance he has of really cutting it as Rangers manager.

No posts to display