It was never officially announced, but Alex Rae is Philippe Clement’s ‘Rangers man’ assistant, with Steven Davis and Steven Smith both stepping back from those roles.
Indeed, Rae, whose announcement as assistant may come at some stage (or not at all) has been reliably present with Clement at every match the Belgian manager has been boss for, being in the dugout every time and Ibrox Noise sources confirm he was given the job the first week Clement arrived.
Davis was present for the first couple but stepped back thereafter. Smith disappeared after Hibs.
We’ll discuss the Davis stuff later today, but Alex Rae has remained in post and has been putting the players through their paces since.
How do we feel about him as the man in situ? There were calls for Neil McCann, some for Graeme Souness, a few for Kevin Thomson – Alex Rae was regarded as a bit of an outlier for the role.
He is 100% a Rangers man, he’s about as dyed in the wool a bluenose as you’ll find, and if you want a ‘localised’ coach who gets Rangers and what the club is all about, Rae is about as good as there is.
His managerial career has been odd – manager at Dundee and St Mirren and assistant at Genk and Blackpool, he’s definitely not a failure as a boss in truth, but maybe not a shining success either, although circa 40% win rates at those clubs is about normal and acceptable.
In all honesty, Rae only ever wanted to be in the position he’s in now – part of the setup at Ibrox, his team. He’s not stupid, and while we wouldn’t profess to agree with everything he’s ever said in his punditry days with-then BT Sport and more recently Rangers TV, he’s clearly got the club’s best interests at heart.
Clement has clearly made his choice in Rae, and that’s how it will go forward.