Stuart McCall Appointment Makes Sense But Is Underwhelming


Rangers have parted company with caretaker boss Kenny McDowall and given nine in a row legend Stuart McCall the role until the summer.

Both moves make sense for the Glasgow club.

McDowall never wanted the manager’s gig and hasn’t been able to motivate the players. The whole saga of administration, liquidation and all the boardroom regime changes have certainly taken their toll on Kenny and he has looked extremely stressed whenever he gives a press conference, as of late.

McCall has experience of managing in Scotland and in the main had a very good stint as Motherwell manager, helping them to two consecutive second place finishes in the Scottish Premiership. Just knowing the players at Murray Park, will be a big plus for Stuart in the short-term.

The former Scottish internationalist knows the club inside out and will be desperate to make a positive impact in the Ibrox dugout and secure the role on a permanent basis.

But question marks still hang-over McCall’s credentials as a manager.

For instance, he had an unsuccessful time of it managing his beloved Bradford City. Even though they were favourites for promotion at the time, McCall couldn’t get his side promoted from League Two. He would leave after two and a half years in charge at Valley Parade with a 34% win ratio.

After his departure from Bradford City, Neil Warnock (who had managed McCall at Sheffield United) stated that he felt that it was the wrong job for McCall and that the Scotsman had let his heart rule his head when he joined City.

There could be parallels between his time managing the ‘Bantams’ and what’s happening now at Rangers. Rangers are in turmoil, much like Bradford were in 2007. Plus it’s another club that’s close to his heart.

I’ve said previously that I believe the Gers gaffer’s job could be better suited to a newcomer rather than a coach perceived as a Rangers man. That said after recent results its hard to see things getting any worse for the Govan side. Plus the whole place needs change and in the short-term McCall might just give the place a lift and certainly get the fans back on board.

We also have to look at the way Stuart left Motherwell FC earlier this season. After a run of poor results, McCall decided it was best for all concerned that he left and someone knew could take charge at Fir Park.

He told Motherwell’s supporters in a statement on the clubs website…

I struggled to sleep after Friday’s game with St Johnstone then woke up again during the night Saturday into Sunday, thinking about the Dundee United game and I just couldn’t come up with any answers.

Now the fact he fell on his sword and did all he could to help the club, should be applauded. But its also telling that the stress got to him and that he couldn’t find ‘any answers’. Hopefully for Stuart’s sake the questions at Ibrox are different because the Gers team have plenty of problems that McCall needs to try and solve.

How will McCall do? 

Well firstly he needs to instil confidence in a squad that has been void of anything good for a long time now. He also needs to impress the fans with creative, attacking football and by getting points on the board that get the club into the play-offs, come the end of the season.

Should he do that, well then he needs to secure promotion via those play-offs, if he stands any chance of securing a longer contract as Gers manager.

The fans will ultimately back him, he’s one of them and gave his heart and soul to the club as a player. But the appointment will be viewed as very short-term and won’t have supporters jumping for joy with enthusiasm.

Stuart McCall has acknowledged a big task awaits him at Murray Park and he needs to hit the ground running. He’ll see this as a dream job but his own history at Bradford tells him that the dream can easily turn into a nightmare. If he’s forgotten that, then he only needs to pick up the phone and call Ally McCoist.

5 Responses to “Stuart McCall Appointment Makes Sense But Is Underwhelming”

  1. Scott, your article is completely one sided and unbalanced mate. You forgot to mention the good job Stuart McCall is doing as a coach with Scotland.

    You also didn’t mention the fact that in three years at Motherwell he, guided them to 3rd place one year and then two second place finishes in a row. Not to mention he took them into the champions league.

    If you are writing an article about the guy, at least try to be balanced!

  2. Jason – Little known fact in primary school I got a name & number on the back of my Rangers strip… I got 2. McCall. That was before they had names on the shirts up here.

    I really like the man but he does have a mixed record as a manager. I also mentioned his two consecutive runner up places.

    Maybe I should have mentioned the Scottish job but he’s the coach not manager. McCoist also held that spot. Don’t think CL is relevant as they got put out on each occasion.

  3. What I’m trying to say is, he achieved a lot with Motherwell with practically no money. And he also had his budget cut every year!

    Also Gordon Strachan picked him as part of his coaching team, and look at how well the national team has performed under Strachan and his coaching team.

    So surely the positives out weigh the negatives!

  4. As I said in the article he has chance to keep job & if the positives do out weigh the negatives then he’ll do just that.

    Just giving my take on it.

  5. What a turn around. This man could not hack it at Motherwell with a team with a little bit to coal to burn can anyone tell me how he is going to manage a load of “dross”? Desperation time!

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