Everyone expects The Rangers to romp the Third Division but their stuttering start to the season has surprised everyone. They have yet to win away in Scotland’s bottom tier having drawn against both Peterhead and Berwick Rangers, which is an embarrassment for him, the club and the supporters.
The Ibrox club are playing against part-time footballers. Professional footballers against builders and decorators. Every game should be like David vs Goliath. Instead, three games have been played, two games drawn, one game won. Those statistics are shambolic and for The Rangers supporters, worrying. They’re playing like they’ve found their level at the foot of Scottish football.
McCoist’s managerial record has been woeful and his performance as manager last season was undoubtedly overshadowed due to the financial crisis the old club suffered.
Last year, his new-look team was out of Europe before the kids returned to school. Rangers emphatically exited the Champions League to Swedish outfit Malmo before being knocked out the Europa League by Slovenian minnows Maribor.
His team were then dumped out of the League Cup by First Division side Falkirk and the 49 year old later admitted he had underestimated his youthful opponents. It was a costly mistake as from October onwards, the Gers form declined dramatically.
Within 3 months, he then blew a 15-point lead over Celtic and was replaced at the top of the SPL by their bitter rivals before New Year.
Then, their participation in the Scottish Cup was cut short when Dundee United strolled to a 2-0 victory at an empty Ibrox stadium.
Moreover, the signings he brought to Glasgow fell way short of the level of quality that was expected at the Ibrox club. Players like Alejandro Bedoya, Juan-Manuel Ortiz and Matt McKay were bought in the summer and made little impact, so little that the latter two were shipped out the door in January. His misjudgment in the transfer market was blatant.
And all this occurred prior to Rangers entering administration on Valentines Day. From then on, results became an irrelevance as the club concentrated on staying alive before failing and eventually being forced into liquidation.
Now in the Third Division with relaunched Rangers, he has yet to win away in the league and currently sits fourth in the table with 5 points. It’s simply not good enough and it’s time the media do as they did with McLeish and Le Guen and question whether ‘Ally’ is the man to lead The Rangers into the SPL within the three year timescale predicted.
With his poor signing policy last year, do The Rangers fans trust their manager will bring in the right players that will serve him well for the next 18 months given their transfer ban? Judging from current results, I’d guess not.
The Ibrox faithful idolise McCoist and rightly so. They can relate to him because he regards himself as one of them and undoubtedly deserves credit for standing by the club through the liquidation process. But many must surely be questioning whether he is good enough to take their beloved club forward and that’s what really matters.
If their stuttering form continues, maybe McCoist should consider his own position. He might feel he’s hindering the rehabilitation of the club and ask himself whether it would be best if a more experienced head was appointed, someone in the ilk of Terry Butcher for example.
Outspoken owner Charles Green recently proclaimed, “There is no chance we would want Ally to leave the club, I want him to be here for the next 25 years.”
Although this was clearly a PR stunt to get the Rangers fans on his side, he shouldn’t have come out with such a categorical statement because results dictate a football manager’s job security and McCoist is no different.
The harsh realities are, football is a results driven business and Green knows the future of the club is more important than the sentimental value of McCoist.
Celtic fans will be cartwheeling at the thought of McCoist being given a contract for life at Ibrox given his current record and it’s time the Rangers legend improved things drastically otherwise he could soon be rejoining Sue Barker at A Question of Sport.
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