Michael Beale has the best win percentage of almost any Rangers (or Celtic) manager in the modern era, shock new stats confirm, and yet they indicate just how useless a statistic can be when it comes to truly judging performance.
Beale, with a staggering 71.5% win percentage, tops Smith, Advocaat, McLeish and every other recent Premiership manager of Rangers FC, with second place going to The Little General with his 67%, while even treble winning Brendan Rodgers only mustered 69.8% in his first spell at Parkhead.
And yet here Rangers fans are calling for theoretically and statistically the greatest manager Rangers have ever had, to go.
So what is the real deal here?
There’s a major new manager bounce effect in place here – when Beale took over he went on a run of 5 straight wins, but it fell apart immediately when he hijacked the Celtic 2-2. He then went on another massive run only to slip up again, against Celtic, this time in the League Cup Final.
And this sums up Beale – aside Killie, Michael Beale has not lost to anyone (and fact beats) in Scottish football not called Celtic or Aberdeen, which saw a single loss.
But it’s those repeated bad results to Celtic that he is judged on, not beating St Mirren and Hearts every other week.
Michael Beale is expected to beat the cannon fodder of the league, but he has to beat Celtic. Falling to them repeatedly, aside a single draw, is how he gets judged, not his overall win percentage.
See, we demand he wins, he has to do that – he knows that, and in his defence, against all SPL teams generally he has.
But the key matches are against ‘them’ lot, and in all big matches in general, and sadly, he’s fallen well short in those ones.
Tommy Burns famously won just about every match in 95/96, a fair few draws in there too, but the one loss? Rangers. And it cost them the league.
Those are the ones which an Old Firm manager needs to win above all others, and beating St Mirren and Ross County doesn’t make up for failing to do so.
Lies, damn lies and statistics here.