Rangers Manager – On a Hiding to Nothing?
Updated Wednesday, 24th August 2005
It was with only the slightest hint of tongue in cheek back in late July, that I asked some of my fellow Bears to open a book on when the first ‘McLeish Must Go' thread would appear on the Follow Follow messageboard.Suffice to say it didn’t take long for the minimal pool
of goodwill to dry up and, after McLeish’s second European away victory
in numerous attempts, the vultures began to circle over the bones of a
great result that masked a pretty poor performance.
Let me put my cards on the table here, I am very much aware of the
lengthy charge sheet against the current incumbent of the managers’
chair and I was upset with both the team selection and (lack of)
tactics displayed in the heat of Nicosia. I must also say, however,
that after Easter Road last year I was prepared to wipe the slate
clean, accept title 51 had afforded a stay of execution for at least a
year and perhaps try getting behind the manager for the season instead
of the constant carping, character assassination and almost exclusive
focus on the negatives of his tenure.
It seems these days a manager of the Rangers is on a hiding to nothing.
Walter Smith, for all his domestic success and European Cup
semi-final, is remembered by most fans as a tactical novice, Euro flop
and financial wastrel. Alex McLeish, despite his illustrious playing
career, Rangers supporting family, BB and Craft upbringing and
excellent man-management skills is still the most maligned Rangers
manager since Davie White.
Is it really just a coincidence that guys like Dado love playing for
the club or is perhaps a little bit of credit due to a manager who
seems to have created a genuine esprit de corps that has become a
modern day ‘No Surrender’ attitude.
The season is barely a month old and already I’ve read that Hemdani is
out until Christmas, Nieto (after one half at Love Street) is ‘fucking
awful’, Julien Rodriguez, a Monaco player for eight years who captained
his side in a CL final and was bought for less than Adam Virgo, is ‘a
coward’ and all this after a month where our wildest dreams are almost
a reality! Sellik have been gubbed, again, by both Rangers and the Dog
& Duck Bratislava, we have one and a half feet in the promised land of
CL football and financial results that seem to suggest the ‘bread and
water’ days may soon be over.
You’ve got to ask yourself what you want from a Rangers manager.
Compare and contrast with the filth across the city – bizarre signings,
a split dressing room, senior players revolt and a new clause in the
managers contract that insists dress on the trackside must resemble
that of one of the chavs who serve you in Sport Soccer. I know Alex
McLeish has flaws, I’m not blind to baffling decisions and the
occasional poor quote, however I also believe we have seen improvement
year on year and that, with the ball on the deck and a first choice XI,
we are capable of some excellent, exciting football.
You’ve probably guessed that this season I’m determined to be a ‘glass
half full’ supporter, Marvin asked us to keep believing and it worked –
lets try it for 52 and the Champions League as well.