Should Rangers Approach Killie’s Steve Clarke?

When Rangers lost to Kilmarnock at the weekend, it didn’t take a genius to work-out that Killie boss Steve Clarke would soon be linked with the Gers managerial hotseat.

Current boss Graeme Murty is only holding the post on an interim basis and he’s just watched his side lose their last two home games. Being that the other game was against Glasgow rivals Celtic, you knew people would start to debate if he was really the man to take the team forward in a long-term basis.

The loss of form at Ibrox has allowed Hibs and, in particular, Aberdeen back into the race for second place in the Scottish Premiership.

I was very complimentary of Kilmarnock’s appointment, when they brought Clarke to Rugby Park back in October, but even I’ve been surprised by how well things have gone for him and the Ayrshire club. When he took-over the side were looking like relegation candidates but they quickly turned things around and are now lying in fifth spot and looking up the way.

The former West Bromwich and Reading gaffer is now in the running for manager of the year, his current win ratio is at a very decent 52%. He has also masterminded two wins over Rangers and home victory over champions Celtic.

He has managed all this with a modest squad that has a mix of experienced pros and young guys determined to prove themselves. They have a strong work-ethic and are very disciplined in what they have to do.

Clarke has also managed to get Kris Boyd to stop thinking about his punditry future and the hitman is scoring goals again. The former Scotland international leads the scoring charts with his fifteen goal tally.

The winning feeling at Rugby Park has seen fans return in their droves. The feel good factor certainly seem infectious down there at the moment.

The fifty-four year old boss has plenty of coaching experience at top English clubs like Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool. So it’s hard to imagine him being intimated by the Ibrox gig, if he were offered it.

In fact, he’d probably relish the opportunity to manage at that size of club and show his credentials in that kind of atmosphere.

I’m not buying into the stuff about him being a Celtic man. He’s a professional and others have had an affinity with one Old Firm side before having a successful career with the other team.

Yet we still need to ask some pretty big questions.

Would he want to leave Killie after less than a full season in charge?

I’d personally imagine when he took the job it was to put himself bak in the shop window. That being said, he has been burnt in the past, so maybe that will come into play.

Do Rangers want him? 

In fairness, Mr Murty has had a good spell in charge of the first-team. He’s lifted a lot of the gloom and managed to get them back to second spot in the Premiership. In his twenty-four games in charge, Rangers have won sixteen times.

It will probably depend on what happens between now and the end of the season. If the Light Blues finish second and win the Scottish Cup, then I’d have money on Murty getting the job on a permanent basis. If they don’t do either then he’ll be going back to work in the academy.

Ex-Gers midfielder Alex Rae has come out and stated that it would be astonishing if Steve Clarke isn’t in the frame for the Gers job:

“Steve Clarke has done a remarkable job with Killie — taking on and beating the Old Firm with a fraction of their resources.”

“I’d be surprised if he wasn’t on their radar. In fact, if he isn’t, they’re not doing their jobs properly.”

I tend to agree with him, the Rangers board need to have a Plan B up their sleeves for all scenarios come the end of this term. Steve Clarke seems to fit the bill after his fantastic start to life at Kilmarnock.

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