It must be said that Rangers fans and the board owe a major debt of gratitude to club legend Graeme Souness for the invaluable role he played in bringing Philippe Clement to Govan.
As has been officially confirmed (but we reported ages ago) Souness was part of the interviewing delegation which went through all the candidates with a fine toothcomb and he was a major part of why Frank Lampard dropped out of the race so quickly.
More importantly, Souness is a major reason Rangers’ board went with Clement.
His wisdom, his knowledge of what it takes to manage Rangers, how pressured the environment of ‘must-win’ at Ibrox actually is told him immediately that Clement’s presentation was absolutely the most convincing and of the right stuff, while his CV of course spoke for itself.
Naturally, the likes of Chief Executive James Bisgrove and Chairman John Bennett had the final call, but they absolutely listened to Souness, and they owe him a pint to say the least.
Souness quickly sussed Frank Lampard was not the right man, and basically steered Bisgrove away from that appointment, while convincing he and Bennett of the merits of Clement. He also knew Muscat wasn’t the right man.
See, Souness wanted a role of major influence at Ibrox, he rejected the rather feeble ‘ambassador’ role the board gave him, but we’d say the board’s appointment of him as main ‘consigliere’ in this managerial hunt was about as good an influence as we could have hoped he had.
Graeme Souness, in major part, effectively chose Rangers’ manager, and what an excellent choice he made.
Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, in the performances, the results, but on no level could any criticism be levied at the club or Souness for the choice they’ve made – on paper this guy is perfect, and the right stuff for Rangers.
We hope that translates to the real world, and that’s where the judgement calls live or die by their sword.
But we’d say he made as good a choice as Rangers could have enjoyed based on the information they had at their disposal.