Written by – Derek from Aye Ready Podcast
No, I just can’t do it. I’ve left writing this for a good few days after the Ramsdens Cup final for a reason. I’ve even stopped and started several times in the vein hope of trying to write a balanced article but it’s just not happening. My problem – I just can’t bring myself to want to have Ally McCoist as our manager any longer.
The dust is still settling after the shambles of the Ramsdens Cup final against Raith Rovers. Undoubtedly there was going to be strong opinions after the game as to how we are going to move forward. The one resonating statement coming from many areas of the Rangers support however is ‘Ally must go’.
Gone are the adverbs ‘sadly, possibly and reluctantly’ that have been prefacing the aforementioned phrase over the last number of months. These have been replaced by more defined words such as ‘definitely, now and has to’.
The major hang-up everyone has with this is the fact that Ally is a legend. Nothing and nobody can take his achievements and accolades as a player away but we need to stop thinking of him as the player he was but as our manager that he is.
Yes, he has had horrendous circumstances to work with since starting his tenure. Yes, he has had his hands tied behind his back more than any other Rangers manager before him. And yes, there is nobody else we would have rather had over the last two years to steer us through the issues both on and off field over the last few years. However, off field issues aside, what we have seen on the pitch since he took the reigns draws great concern.
Time and time again we have witnessed bizarre team selections, playing players in outlandish positions, players left out when in good form, players kept in when in bad form, no scouting system, dud signings, no footballing ethos, no footballing plan, overly defensive play, disastrous results in cup games and this is all before we get to arguably the biggest bug-bear of all, the performances.
I have previously written, that if you looked at our stats on paper this year, you would be forgiven if you thought we had been immense . However, for those of us who have watched us this year be it in person or on TV/RTV, we all know the story is much much different.
The simple fact is, bar a handful of games at the start of the year, we have been poor in most of the games this season. There has been a lack of spark, movement and creativity throughout the team. We are one-dimensional to the extreme and you would think our club motto is “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” with the way we want to play the same move time after time in any given game hoping that the outcome will be different. Long diagonal to Daly, fail, repeat. Long diagonal to Daly, fail, repeat.
We all know that these same players have the talent to produce some fine and creative football. After all, a majority of them were classed as some of the best players in the top tier of Scottish football prior to them signing for us. This leads me to one conclusion…..they must be being instructed to play this way. If this is the case, then it’s proof that Ally hasn’t got it as a manager. If it is not the case, then it’s proof that he does not have the respect and influence over the players as their boss which again leads to the fact he hasn’t got it.
I’ll admit, I was one of the fans who was pushing to give Super more time earlier this year and was giving him the benefit of doubt, but I’m afraid he is not a football manager and it’s plain for all to see.
Take for instance the team selections and formations. It’s clear to see he was Walters protege with the way he sets up the team to not lose the game rather than go out and win it. Walter got away with this to an extent as we were playing some of European elite at the time and given we all know it proved fruitful. However what Ally doesn’t seem to realise is we are playing part time Scottish teams. Teams that are a world away from Barcelona et al.
Now for player positioning. I have absolutely no clue what natural positions half of our players are meant to play in. Another Walter trait he has copied. Stevie Smith is a prime example where I believe his natural position is left back. But he has played nearly every position bar that one. Admittedly this will be down to Wallace being in the LB position however he went off injured in the Ramsdens Cup final when Smith was on the park. Instead of moving him to his natural position, Ally moved him to cover right back and moved the right back into centre and brought on another player to cover left back when it wasn’t his natural position. Baffling to say the least.
Now before this becomes another Jerry McGuire style rant if it’s not already, I want to make one final point, even though there is a plethora of other major issues at the door of the gaffer. At the time of writing we are 32 points clear of second in the league with five games to play. Now would be a great time to give the youngsters a good run out. In fact, ten games ago we could have done this. However due to the ‘unbeaten record’ still on target, our gaffer wants to stick with our ‘best and strongest’ team despite the fact they have been woeful for the past 10-20 games.
However, it’s inevitable that Ally with be in charge for the foreseeable simply for the fact that it’s hard to see anybody wanting to take on the job, and we have no money. Billy Davies has departed Nottingham Forest and is clearly a good manager and has made it clear in the past he would want the job. He does come with his own baggage however and would likely command a six-figure salary. Stuart McCall is arguably the best bet in my eyes given I believe he is out of contract at the end of the season and has proved he can manage in the Scottish leagues. But again, would he want the job?
Unquestionably, we all want Ally to succeed and be able to turn it around, but with that now iconic line ‘we don’t do walking away’, I feel he has to go back on his word and walk away for the good of the club.