Rangers finally, finally, finally appointed a Director of Football last night. Only… they didn’t.
In a very interesting twist, Rangers have apparently abolished the Director of Football role, and instead downgraded the position to Director of Football Recruitment, and have appointed Nils Koppen of PSV to that job.
Let’s be clear – this is NOT a Ross Wilson successor. With this new role, the Director of Football idea at Rangers has been seemingly permanently binned.
Koppen will not be the club’s overall football director, leader, dictator etc, which is what a DoF basically is and what Ross Wilson certainly was. He had far too much control on the ground over what the manager did. He basically controlled Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, going so far as to take training with them now and then. Yes, really.
Koppen instead will simply sign players, we think. That’s it. He will head the scouting and recruitment areas of the club and will, we suppose do all the legwork for the actual administration of player signing, and it’s a change.
This is not Mark Allen nor aforementioned Wilson – this is now a lesser role, also dumping the idea of bringing in ex-Monaco’s Paul Mitchell, for example.
“I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious club like Rangers in what is a crucial role for the club’s forward strategy. The Chairman and CEO have both been clear in recent times our player trading model has to function better and on a more regular basis. I look forward to working with the scouting team already here at the club to ensure we reach our goals in the coming years.”
Koppen? He’s arguably a lesser Allen – he’s been headhunted from PSV’s Academy, which, in truth, is a pretty good school to come from, just in the same way Allen was Man City Academy’s equivalent. Sort of – Allen was the Academy’s head, Koppen was just chief of scouting at PSV’s Academy.
And he was only ‘Coordinator Scouting and Scout’ for 7 months at PSV before Rangers gave him this position.
It’s a massive promotion for Koppen, a gigantic one, and if we’re honest, we’re not completely sure what legwork the club did to go from bringing in a DoF aka Mitchell etc, to headhunting a PSV Academy scouting head and making him our complete boss of senior recruitment – and if we look at his quote forensically, it doesn’t even hint at signing senior players, only selling young ones for a profit.
This is obviously with Philippe Clement’s approval, and it apparently leaves him to get on with the job of managing without worrying about player recruitment. Is it a gamble? Yes, it probably is – no one’s heard of the guy and his CV is all with youth players.
We now see how it goes – like everyone else, Koppen will be judged on the players we sign (if that is actually his job), and with a month to go till January, we really hope he’s up to the task of Rangers.