As the heat around Graham Murty increases, some of Scottish Football’s biggest names have had their say on the managerial situation at Ibrox. As we told you on Thursday, The Board of Directors are opting for a Director of Football and Head Coach philosophy moving forward.
This is a model which former Director of Football & one time Rangers striker Gordon Smith thinks will prove prudent. Smith, 62, held the role for ten months during Craig Whyte’s ill fated time in charge of the club. “It works provided everyone involved in the club is willing to get behind it,” said Smith, “I feel it’s the right way ahead.”
“It’s a continental strategy,” Smith explained. “We’ve been a bit reluctant in Scotland to apply it but you have some clubs now who are doing it, and Hearts are a good example. It’s working well there so I think that’s exactly what Rangers need to do to take the club forward in a very positive sense.”
“If it’s something that comes in from the higher echelon then there’s more chance of it working.
“When I went in six years ago, there was no, I would say, good feeling about it in terms of the people that were already there. They didn’t think it was required and I found it very difficult to do my job even in terms of the reports I had done, the changes that needed made.
“The person who goes into that job actually has to operate the strategy of the club. I was trying to put a strategy in place at that time that was uniform and that everyone could adhere to but I had difficulties with it.”
Former Aberdeen & Scotland legend Willie Miller also commented, “I think it’s a good model but there are question marks in Scotland about whether coaches and managers would buy into it, older managers in particular. I thought it worked well at Aberdeen. It’s working well at Hearts.
Managers or head coaches need that help behind the scenes. There’s an awful lot of work, particularly in negotiating contracts, that can be taken out of their hands and they can focus fully on coaching the team.
I know how Gordon Smith feels, it is a very difficult job to implement, particularly when you’ve got a bit of negativity going about in terms of whether it actually is the right way to go or not.”
Current Motherwell manager Mark McGhee had this to say on looking within Scotland for the next permanent head coach :
“I would love to see one of these guys get the opportunity,” McGhee said of Derek McInnes and Tommy Wright.
“We all do these courses, the pro-licences, and we all work hard with the resources that we have and I think it is good when these guys get that recognition.”
The view from the East End of Glasgow is hardly surprising. Given Celtic’s handsome lead in the SPFL Brendan Rodgers can be excused for wishing Mark Warbuton had stuck around longer. It seemed he was rubbing his hands together from the beginning. A manager with no previous League or Cup glories now has a procession to the title :
“In the first year, I don’t think anyone would have argued with that. The step coming into the Premiership was always going to be difficult in that first season, no matter the budget, but everyone saw after the Celtic-Rangers [2016 Scottish Cup semi-final] at Hampden [which Rangers won on penalties] what a really good job he’d done.
So I find it disappointing that after this period of time, he ends up losing his job. I know his passion for Rangers was making them the very best that the could be under the circumstances they were in.”