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Short-term Fix, Long-term Strategy


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Much has been written about the abrupt departure of Mr PLG and the reappointment of Mr Smith and the possible reasons behind PLG�s departure, but nothing is going to change the fact that Walter Smith (plus Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowell) has replaced the much lauded (well, before his arrival in Govan) Frenchman.

 

For sometime now, probably since Dick Advocaatââ?¬â?¢s departure, it has been obvious that Rangers needed a period of stability, whilst David Murray downsized our ambitions as we were in uncontrollable debt. In retrospect, Alex McLeish gave us a period (2 years) of stability where he appeared to have steadied the ship, won us trophies (albeit both Championships were won on the last day of the seasons) whilst the ââ?¬Ë?top earnersââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬â?? hence the ââ?¬Ë?decentââ?¬â?¢ players were sold and replaced with inferior ââ?¬Ë?talentââ?¬â?¢.

 

Last season was unbearable for most of us, the record run of defeats, horsed out of both cups in the early stages but we had have a decent run in the Champions League and were in truth, very unlucky to be put out by a very good Villarreal team. When it was revealed in these very pages (thank you Mr KPTB) that PLG was going to be replace AM we were all delighted and after the ââ?¬Ë?official announcementââ?¬â?¢ we all looked forward to ââ?¬Ë?moonbeams of successââ?¬â?¢ and ââ?¬Ë?substantial financial investmentââ?¬â?¢ Ã?© David Murray.

 

Now, it is safe to say that most of us were unimpressed with PLG�s dealings in the transfer market (partly blamed of the miserly transfer kitty he was given) but we all thought that PLG would mould them into decent players and therefore, us into a decent team. The first signs were encouraging, then, well, it went tits up. Knocked out of the CIS cup by St Johnstone, the first time in our history that we had lost, at home, to lower league opposition and a woeful 17 points the beggars in the SPL and struggling to cement even 2nd place. The arguments for sacking and retaining PLG were fascinating, the reasons for his eventual sacking clouded (depending on what version of events you believe).

 

However, as I said above, that is all history and we have WS, AMc and KMc in charge and they have been installed to act as a stabilizing team. Now, whether you agree with their installation, I donââ?¬â?¢t think any Rangers fan can deny that we need stabilization and I am sure that the current management/coaching team can deliver this. What I am not so sure is if they are the team to project Rangers in the ââ?¬Ë?long-termââ?¬â?¢.

 

On my humble opinion, what David Murray has done, as he had done with the AM and PLG appointments, is bought himself some time. No-one, even Murrayââ?¬â?¢s greatest detractors, which I am one off, can deny that Murray can manipulate and buy himself time. He has effectively bought himself a further 12-18 months by appointing ââ?¬Ë?Rangers legendsââ?¬â?¢ knowing the fans are unlikely to turn on them if things go bad, we are more likely to support / give more time to them.

 

If DM thought that appointing the ââ?¬Ë?dream teamââ?¬â?¢ was a long-term solution, he would have put another ââ?¬Ë?layerââ?¬â?¢ of management in place between Smith and McCoist. Someone like Billy Davies, Gus McPherson or even Stuart McCall as they would be better place / more experienced than Ally McCoist to take over from Walter Smith. Now, this may happen in the summer, I sincerely hope that it does.

 

PLG ââ?¬â?? Right Manager, Wrong Time

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I remember talking to a few guys on our supporters bus who had reservations about PLG�s signing. Their biggest concern was his lack of communication skills and the fact that he had been out of football for so long. I didn�t agree with them, but in hindsight, they may have had a point. Whether this affected his ability to be a success in Scotland is up for debate, but it certainly didn�t help (neither did his signing nor Barry Ferguson, depending on who�s side you are on! Lets be brutally honest here, we�ll never know the real story that�s for sure).

 

My thoughts that PLG was the right manager for Rangers, but was given the job at the wrong time. I would have loved to have seen PLG as Rangers manager when we had financial stability and money to invest in the squad and when the Youth Set-Up was properly funded and run. In saying that, that is all hypothetical, as under David Murray�s leadership, that is never going to happen.

 

Willie Gardiner

 

Ex-Rangers and Boââ?¬â?¢ness United player Willie Gardiner sadly passed away a few weeks back. Willie signed for Rangers from the ââ?¬Ë?BUââ?¬â?¢sââ?¬â?¢ in 1950 and played under the legendary Mr Struth. He managed a total of 31 appearances for Rangers, scoring 19 goals before being sold to Leicester City where he went on to score 34 goals in his first season for The Foxes.

 

 

Cammy F ââ?¬â?? We Are The Peopleââ?¬Â¦.

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Totallly agree that his communication was a big problem, and i don't think we should ever sign a coach again who does not have an understandable grip on the English language. Although i don't think BF was squeaky clean and think he has been a whisper in the corner of all the managers he has played under. Possibly he did not even realise he was was doing it and possibly he did think he was doing it out of his love for Rangers.

I do now however have strong suspicions that with the speed that PLG was swept up by PSG, that his leaving was a total setup.

As for Murray that is my feelings totally that he has bought himself time by appointing Smith and his masterstroke McCoist. Smith would have bought him 6 mths tops but with Coisty on board that has become 18 months and maybe more.

 

Willie- RIP

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However, as I said above, that is all history and we have WS, AMc and KMc in charge and they have been installed to act as a stabilizing team. Now, whether you agree with their installation, I donââ?¬â?¢t think any Rangers fan can deny that we need stabilization and I am sure that the current management/coaching team can deliver this. What I am not so sure is if they are the team to project Rangers in the ââ?¬Ë?long-termââ?¬â?¢.

 

 

Totally agree with this point and said it myself when they were appointed.

 

This is the main reason i think they were the right appointment. We needed Rangers men in charge who will command automatic respect - and nobody else will get that more than Walter Smith and Ally McCoist.

 

Taking Walter Smith back 2-3 years ago would have been an absolute no-no but after his Scotland performances his stock has raised hugely again and he is respected 110% again.

 

They will install stabillity in the right way. They have already curved out 2 wins. If PLG was in charge i wouldnt have fancied us to get anything at Dunfermline.

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I dont expect Walter to build us a wonder team cammy, but i do expect him to get us back on track as far as the league is concerned. my expectation levels for Rangers have frittered away to nothing so I will forget about europe and concentrate on the spl.

 

I cant see walter staying in the hotseat for more than three years. after that i expect him to take on a director of football position with McCoist as manager if everything goes according to plan.

 

As far as the quality of football goes dont expect any moonbeams over the remainder of the season. Our victory over Dunfermline or rather the nature of it will probably be the the way most of our games go from now to May. winning ugly is going to be a phrase you hear quite alot from now on, but i dont mind that at all as long as we secure second spot.

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I dont expect Walter to build us a wonder team frankie,

 

Frankie hasn't even posted in this thread, lol ;):P

 

I am with you though on having WS make us more competitive domestically. I think many of our fans have dilusions of grandeur - saying that we should be competing better in Europe is one thing but if you can't compete domestically you may not even get the chance to prove yourselves in Europe.

 

We need to be more competitive in the SPL and pushing the Tims all the way, and actually beating them, making us a more attractive club to join once more (I don't think it is too much of a coincidence that the quality of players being signed by them vs us has happened during this period of dominance that they have - there are other factors but that is most definitely one too).

 

If we make ourselves the #1 force in Scotland again then there will be more of a willingness for players to sign for Rangers and we can hopefully consolidate our position and THEN look to Europe for progress.

 

I just find it strange that we have fans that expect us to be challenging in Europe when we, right now, can't even challenge in the SPL. Maybe it is downsizing of ambitions - but I am a believer in setting the foundations right, and that starts at home in the SPL.

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We need to be more competitive in the SPL and pushing the Tims all the way, and actually beating them, making us a more attractive club to join once more (I don't think it is too much of a coincidence that the quality of players being signed by them vs us has happened during this period of dominance that they have - there are other factors but that is most definitely one too).

 

If we make ourselves the #1 force in Scotland again then there will be more of a willingness for players to sign for Rangers and we can hopefully consolidate our position and THEN look to Europe for progress.

 

I just find it strange that we have fans that expect us to be challenging in Europe when we, right now, can't even challenge in the SPL. Maybe it is downsizing of ambitions - but I am a believer in setting the foundations right, and that starts at home in the SPL.

 

Yeah totally agree Craig.

 

Walter was the master at beating the Tims and keeping us No.1 in Scotland. And i dont necessarily believe it was down to money. He had a squad with the highest belief and spirit.

 

I honeslty think that the SPL teams will be worried about playing Rangers again. For the last 18 months they have taken advantage of a poor poor Rangers team and everyone looked like they enjoyed coming to Ibrox and thought they could get something. Also Celtic's record against us is good especially at Parkhead. I havent been confident of going to Parkhead and getting anything since Advocaat was in charge.

 

Slowly but surely Walter will turn these things round.

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I honeslty think that the SPL teams will be worried about playing Rangers again.

 

Just as i typed this I got an email from a colleague in UK who supports Celtic and he says that things are looking up for us with WS and we will give them a tough time again!!!

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