BRIAN LAUDRUP: Rangers need a manager who comes in with his chest puffed out and is ready to hit the ground running… as the next couple of transfer windows will be among the most important in their history
- Van Bronckhorst’s body language had been a bone of contention this season
- Steven Gerrard is the bookies’ favourite to make a stunning return to Ibrox
- Rangers need new players who will strengthen the starting XI not the squad
Rangers have made the right decision by sacking Giovanni van Bronckhorst. I’ve said before on numerous occasions that it’s terrible that we were talking about him leaving Ibrox six months after a tremendous end to last season with a Europa League final appearance and winning the Scottish Cup.
Having taken over from Steven Gerrard 12 months ago, with not a lot of time to implement his ideas on another manager’s team, I thought he did very well initially.
And when last season ended on a high, we went into the new campaign expecting Van Bronckhorst to really stamp his vision on things so we could see exactly what he wanted to do. I’d have loved to have seen him flourish in the job.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s body language had been a bone of contention this season
However, it’s just been about regression this season, to be honest, and it has gone too far now. And, in that respect, the Rangers board have made the right decision.
All football players and managers have experienced difficult spells where your team can play all right but not get results.
The problem for Rangers, especially in recent weeks, has been that they have just not performed.
They have lost points everywhere while Celtic keep getting results and now they are nine points clear going into this World Cup break.
And when it came to Europe this season, Rangers finished with statistically the worst group-stage performance ever with zero points and a goal difference of minus 20.
The Dutchman was sacked by Rangers on Monday after a year in charge
We all know the Champions League is a different animal and my old team were placed in one of the toughest groups you will ever see.
But having played in a European final against Eintracht Frankfurt a few months before, you would expect Rangers to have put up more of a fight than they did.
That was the most disappointing thing and it was not helped by the manager coming out and saying Rangers couldn’t compete and that they didn’t have enough financial muscle.
I have spoken a few times now questioning Van Bronckhorst’s body language this season and he reacted to that, which he is completely entitled to do.
But, for me, if you’re the manager of Rangers Football Club and your body language is like that and your comments are like that, will your players think they have a chance?
Van Bronckhorst leaves the club with Rangers nine points adrift of league leaders Celtic
When you hear it often enough, you must think: ‘Oh my God, here we go again.’
Then it becomes a massive struggle and that has been the case for Rangers. What they need now is a manager who comes in with his chest puffed out and is ready to hit the ground running.
The big question now is who that manager is going to be? And what kind of manager will he be?
I’ve seen candidates mentioned like Kevin Muscat, Michael Beale, or a return for Steven Gerrard, and I’ve also read a Danish manager being linked to the job, Bo Svensson, who manages Mainz in the Bundesliga in Germany.
But the thing is with Rangers if you look at their history, there have not been very many successful foreign managers apart from Dick Advocaat.
If you look at Paul le Guen and Pedro Caixinha, they were both foreign managers who lasted very few months.
Steven Gerrard has been installed as the favourite to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst
NEXT RANGERS MANAGER ODDS
Steven Gerrard – 2/1
Michael Beale – 4/1
Kevin Muscat – 6/1
Sean Dyche – 8/1
Kevin Thomson – 11/1
Rafa Benitez – 16/1
Chris Wilder – 16/1
Odds courtesy of Betfair
Van Bronckhorst is the third shortest-serving permanent Rangers manager but he definitely does not belong in a bracket with Le Guen or Caixinha after the job he did last season, reaching a European final and lifting a Scottish Cup.
But some would argue that a new manager coming in should know Scottish football or British football and not need to adapt himself to his new surroundings.
Then, when you look across the city at what Ange Postecoglou has done, that would speak to the benefits of having a foreign manager.
Also, do you go for a manager who is used to working with teams usually at the bottom of the league?
Or do you try for a manager who has won things or is known for a particular style of play?
All these things have to be taken into account and it will be interesting to see what direction the Rangers board travel in.
Rangers finished bottom of their Champions League group, losing all their six games, conceding 22 goals and scoring just twice
They have put a lot of pressure on themselves. They put Van Bronckhorst in place a year ago and now they have decided to sack him.
Whomever Rangers do go with next, there is a bit of a luxury time-wise with the World Cup being on.
That means if there is a speedy appointment then the new manager has time to work on his team which is usually not the case halfway through the season. That’s a good thing.
The coming weeks will be fascinating. I feel the next couple of transfer windows will be among the most important in the long history of Rangers.
First, there’s a transfer window coming up in January which will be a delicate one because we all know how hard it is to get top quality midway through the season. Nevertheless, that transfer window will be essential.
There have been question marks over the Rangers recruitment this summer and theirs is an ageing squad with key players like Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos also nearing the end of their contracts.
The Light Blues suffered a historic 7-1 humiliation at home against Liverpool
Another of the things behind Van Bronckhorst’s downfall is he has always seemed to be on the lookout to find his ideal starting XI.
He knew the players better than anybody but it’s been strange watching from outside as some of the most experienced players have not been used as much as they had been.
Whether they are not fit enough, or whether they are not good enough any more, that’s another question, but it seems odd from the outside. The new manager will need to address that immediately.
He will also need to be spot-on in every signing he makes in the next two transfer windows.
Rangers need new players who will strengthen the starting XI and not players who only strengthen the squad — and that will cost a lot of money.
With Rangers already nine points behind Celtic, what would constitute a successful season under the new manager?
And lost to Napoli 3-0 at home and away (above) after losing 4-0 to Ajax in Amsterdam
For the supporters and the club going forward it’s about giving the new manager the idea that he has to refresh this team and then giving him the time and the money to do it.
When the Scottish season starts again the new manager needs to get results immediately. The next Old Firm game is at Ibrox on January 2 and that’s a must-win game.
That’s a game where Rangers can measure themselves to see how far they are from Celtic.
Will the new manager be able to show he is capable of working wonders already or will that take more time?
For it to be considered an okay season for Rangers from here on in, winning some of the Old Firm games coming up, narrowing the points gap with Celtic and winning a cup are all required.
It is a terrible shame that Van Bronckhorst’s time as Rangers manager has ended like this but it’s going to be interesting to see what lies ahead for my old club.
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