The dark clouds are gathering around Ibrox.
Recent results have once again highlighted that things aren’t progressing at Rangers, certainly not to the extent that the board and the the fans were probably expecting.
Now I always said that it was folly to suggest that Mark Warburton’s men would come into the Premiership and challenge straight away for the title. Celtic always had a superior squad and that was only enhanced when Brendan Rodgers arrived at Celtic Park in the summer.
But Warburton’s transfer policy has left many scratching their heads, the way he handled the Joey Barton affair wasn’t the best, his inability to change his systems when things aren’t right is quite telling and his team’s away record against rival sides has been pretty dreadful since his arrival in 2015.
I think finishing second is a reasonable goal for this Gers squad but at the moment it’s far from guaranteed and if Mark fails to secure that spot, then I’d expect him to leave in the summer. Actually I am not 100% sure that he’ll remain in charge for next season, even if he manages to clinch second place.
With that in mind, it would seem likely that the Rangers board will already be looking at possible successors.
So I thought I’d look at five men that might pique their interest:
Ok let’s start with the most ambitious choice.
So few had heard of Mr Silva before he turned up at Hull City just over a month ago (if Soccer Saturday are to be believed).
In actual fact the thirty-nine year old has a fine CV.
At his first club Estoril he helped them to the Segunda Liga title in Portugal. He then had them finishing in fifth and fourth in the Portuguese top flight.
He then took over at Sporting Lisbon and during his one year in charge at the Leões he helped them to finish in third place and the Taça de Portugal (the Portuguese Cup). He was bizarrely sacked due to not wearing the club’s suit during a cup game.
After leaving Sporting, Silva would manage Olympiacos for a season. He guided them to the Greek league title in 2016 and also oversaw his team’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal in the Champions League. He left after that successful season, citing personal reasons. He enjoyed a 79% win rate whilst managing Thrylos.
That takes us to his current club Hull. The Premier League side were struggling under Mike Phelan and a lack of leadership from board level hasn’t helped the Tigers. But Silva has came in and had an instant impact at the KCOM Stadium. In his first eight games, he has picked up four wins and one draw. In his last two Premier League fixtures, Silva managed to secure a 0-0 draw away at Old Trafford with Man United and most recently Hull managed to beat Liverpool 2-0.
His influence has given Hull City a new belief that they can remain in the Premier League, they’re only a point away from getting out of the relegation zone. His approach has been refreshing, he’s very hands on in training and able to get more out of his players. Silva likes to make sure that his squad know their shape and how to defend as well as attack.
His training methods have seen improvements on the park. There’s no doubt that Hull are now a tighter unit and harder to break down. His concentration on defending would certainly be appreciated by those in the Ibrox stands. His tactics are based on getting results and it seems Mark Warburton’s is more about style over substance.
Silva’s footballing contacts go beyond Britain and that is something that could benefit the Gers pool at the moment.
Ok if things are going so well at Hull then how could Rangers persuade him to come to Govan? Well it all depends on where the Tigers finish in the league and then other potential suitors.
If Hull are relegated, after a brave fight, then Silva can walk away with his CV intact. He only signed a six month deal when he took-over. This would mean that he’s free to speak to whomever he chooses without the threat of a compensation package. But his style will not have gone unnoticed in Europe’s top leagues, so Rangers might have to act fast if they want to convince him of their project. They would also have to show that money is available to spend on the squad and allow him to bring in his own men.
Quite probably too big a fish to catch at this stage but would be worth asking.
The former Rangers midfielder could be the manager that prevents Warburton’s team from securing second place. He was heavily linked with the Gers job before it eventually went to Mark Warburton.
He has done extremely well at Aberdeen and has done his very best in trying to make them Scotland’s second force!
McInnes won the League Cup with the Dons in 2014 and they’ve finished runners up to Celtic in the last two campaigns. They were also in the League Cup final again this season, losing out to Celtic in the final.
So far, Derek has managed Aberdeen in 180 competitive fixtures and has seen his side triumph 101 times, that’s a healthy 56% win ratio. His side have not only conceded fewer than Rangers so far this term but they’ve also scored more too. They are both level on points at the moment but the Dons have a game in hand.
McInnes is a thinker, he doesn’t just have the same tactics for every game. If something needs to change, then he’ll change it. Results are obviously important to him. Like Warburton, he has contacts down south and can get young prospects up on loan.
The fact that Aberdeen have been able to keep a good amount of their star players is testament to the job that he’s doing at Pittodrie. Plus he’s now under pressure to finish ahead of Rangers this term, that’s down to the good work he’s done in the past.
Might not be a big name that excites Gers fans but if Aberdeen pip them to second place this season, then surely McInnes becomes an attractive option.
His deal with the Dons runs until 2019, so that will mean compensation. Also don’t be surprised if he needs convincing to take up the post, he has a good relationship with the Aberdeen hierarchy and he’s also got a decent squad up there too.
Again he might not be the big name that the Gers support will be wanting but it’s time to be realistic.
The Northern Ireland manager has worked wonders with his national side. Not only did he succeed in getting them to the Euros in 2016 but he also managed to get them through to the knockout stages. During the qualifying campaign, Northern Ireland only suffered one defeat and topped their group ahead of Greece, Romania, Hungary and Finland.
As a manager he gets the best out of his players and many of them usually play beyond their potentials. He has even made Kyle Lafferty look like a world beater and the Gers fans know that’s no mean feat!
His sides always try their best to grind out results and are well drilled in what’s expected from them. The Rangers traditions show that getting the positive result is the main thing and it doesn’t have to be done by playing pretty football.
At forty-seven years of age, I’d imagine that O’Neill could be ready to make a return to club football and could be tempted to make that step at Ibrox as he’s already based in Edinburgh.
Northern Irish managers have a pretty decent record in Scotland (Usually at Celtic) and look what happened the last time Rangers tempted an international manager to take their hotseat.
Any deal would be dependent on agreeing a compensation package with the IFA and if O’Neill would walk away from his nation when they still have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup in 2018.
Rowett is a young English coach that has been linked with various jobs since his surprising dismissal at Birmingham City in mid December.
Starting in England’s League Two with Burton Albion, he soon became noticed as the Brewers vastly improved under his guidance.
After two and a half years at Burton, Gary would find himself accepting the managers job at Birmingham in the Championship in October 2014. At the time Birmingham were in dire straits both in the league and in the boardroom. Rowett took charge with the Blue’s lying deep inside the relegation.
The manager would quickly turn things around and would finish the season in a healthy tenth position. He would repeat the feat in 2015-16. All with a shoe-string budget, where loan deals were important. But his delves into the transfer market have worked out well.
This season saw Rowett getting more improvements from his squad. But with his side a point off the play-off positions and after a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town, he was unexpectedly given the boot and was replaced by Gianfranco Zola. Birmingham have since dropped further away from the play-off places, with Zola only managing one win in eleven matches.
Not many managers see their stock rise after getting the sack but his diligent performance at St Andrews and his dignified response since his sacking has seen Rowett linked with various jobs including Hull City and more recently with Nottingham Forest.
A promising boss that has done well in the English Championship, does it sound a bit too familiar? Would the Gers board and support prefer a man with more winning experience?
Well he’s a free agent and has done well in the transfer market with little resources. That could be enough to see Dave King take an interest, if he’s looking for a new gaffer.
Another unemployed boss who has plenty of experience down south.
Steve Clarke impressed when he was West Brom’s head coach in the Premier League. He seemed to get his players up for the games against the bigger sides.
In his only full season in charge, he would see his club beat Liverpool (twice), Everton and Chelsea. Clarke would also use his connections with Chelsea to good effect by bringing in Romelu Lukaku on loan, the Belgian would score seventeen league strikes for the Baggies. That 2012-13 season would see West Brom finish in eighth place in the Premier League.
He was sacked in the following season following a poor run of results. Steve would spend a year at Reading in the English Championship and helped them to an FA Cup semi-final appearance. But he was sacked the following campaign after being interviewed for the Fulham job and then seeing his Royal’s side go on a slump.
Has worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and under Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. He’s also coached at Aston Villa, West Ham and Newcastle Utd so he’s built up plenty of respect and contacts within English football.
Steve Clarke was interested in taking the Celtic job last summer, so it seems likely that he’d listen to a proposal from Rangers if they decided to give him a call.
Posted on February 8th, 2017 by scott
Filed under: Article