written by – Ian Dickie
With the imminent (maybe?) departure of Ally McCoist from the Rangers dugout the betting sites are going into overdrive as to his successor and every Rangers fan and non-Rangers fan alike also has an opinion.
The first Rangers manager I can just about remember would be Willie Waddell, although if I’m honest probably Jock Wallace is more active in the memory. I remember being told of Scot Symon being sacked when Gers were top of the league just because they lost a Scottish Cup tie to Berwick Rangers – it makes you wonder what the then board would have made of Alloa!
Rangers had always been managed by ‘Good Rangers Men’ and this was the case until the arrival of Graeme Souness who only pretended to be a Rangers fan after Liverpool, Sampdoria et al. Graeme was shrewd though and brought in the services of one Walter Smith, the rest as they say is history . Souness became the legend he is and Walter became immortal.
The arrival of Dick Advocaat heralded a new direction for Rangers, our first foreign manager and with the seemingly bottomless pockets of David Murray the club embarked on a spending spree that was later to bit us very painfully in the backside. However, these were good times to be a Ranger until wee Dick lost the plot slightly and among other things we ended up spending £12,000,000 on Tore Andre Flo.
More frugal times lay ahead and Alex McLeish really did a fine job as the budgets tightened and he went head to head with Martin O’Neill and was largely successful. Let’s not forget Big Eck also became the first manager of a Scottish club to get out of the group stages of the Champions League.
Next up was, prior to the current gaffer arguably the most disappointing. How we bought into hype of Paul le Guen and the promise of a whole new style of football ala Lyon, sadly it seemed Scotland wasn’t quite ready for this particular revolution. Indeed the only revolution was of a different nature and player power was to gain a victory at Ibrox all too often not on the park however.
With the club in disarray and going into recession long before the country Sir Walter of Carmyle was summoned and duly left his Scotland post to return home and once more deliver the trophies. In many ways this could be considered a more productive spell for Walter as this time round there was no Laudrup, Gascoigne, Amoruso, Gough, Albertz etc. (what memories!). He did have Ally McCoist with him but this time in the dugout. As Murray’s Empire crumbled the monetary pressure on Rangers increased until the slippery slope of Whyte and the £1 purchase.
With Walter deciding he’d done his bit, Ally would take over as boss in what was to become the most trying time in the club’s history of which I have no desire to go into again, you all the know the pain.
Nothing would have given me more pleasure than to praise Ally for his managerial skills but of course that wouldn’t be true. Fact is his tenure has been an unmitigated disaster even allowing for off field influences. We have witnessed an awful brand of football with no tactical nous, no drive and no vision. The opportunity to bring forth a fresh approach has been missed, our young players are disillusioned and the current squad quite frankly look like they don’t care. The latter part of that last sentence maybe more than anything is an indication of why Ally has to go because if they don’t care and don’t want to play for a club legend then the game’s up. Not everything can be leveled at the board these are his players.
Who then to replace Ally? We all have an opinion on this and you know what they say about opinions but for me we have to move away from the ‘Rangers Men’ mentality. The world has changed, the game has changed and more importantly
Rangers have changed whether we like it or not. We need someone with a bit of vision who knows how to coach players and is not hampered by the expectations of the past. Rangers must drag themselves into 21st Century. We know our history and it is intact despite what others say but it is now time to close the book on the past and build a new future.
Quite how we do that I’ll leave till another day but a start would be to revolutionise the playing side.
Ian Dickie is new to the Rangers Report team. He just set up a new Twitter account so give him a follow @iansy2243