Ex-Rangers hero ditches management for good

Ex-Rangers hero ditches management for good
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 02: Hearts assistant manager Lee McCulloch and manager Robbie Neilson react during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at on December 02, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Former Rangers striker and captain Lee McCulloch has dumped coaching for good after suggesting the game has become too data-driven and not focused enough on ‘what you see with the eye’.

The recent Hearts assistant coach to Robbie Neilson was speaking on BBC Radio Scotland about Neilson’s new gig, and how he was asked by Neilson to join him, but Rangers’ ex-player turned it down and admitted the coaching and management world isn’t for him any more.

He said:

“The invite was there but I’ve chosen not to go down that path again. I can’t see myself going into coaching, assistant managing or managing. I just don’t think it’s for me. The coaching side of it has changed a little bit, it’s quite laptop-y and not enough on the eye. The environment has changed.”

He’s not wrong.

Only yesterday Ibrox Noise ran an article about the nonsense of Ianis Hagi bigging himself up via xG and xA – or ‘expected goals’ and ‘expected assists’ and how utterly intangible such tot is – Jig is saying pretty much the same thing.

That instead of actually looking at a player and what he’s physically doing on the pitch, managers and coached are looking at metrics, stats and data almost too much, and ignoring what a player actually does ‘in one’s eye’.

Now, of course there’s nothing wrong with using data, as long as it’s only a tool that’s being employed as part of the job – any tools helping the manager and coaches is not to be sniffed at.

But the amount of tech and data being employed these days does rather threaten to overtake the old-school approach of managing players and watching them do their thing.

And we don’t blame Jig for choosing instead to stick with punditing.

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