Alex McLeish is, probably, the most underrated Rangers manager of all time given the club’s situation when he was in charge and the trophies he won.
Add this to an expensively assembled and strongest Celtic squad since the ‘60s and his achievements are even more impressive.
McLeish had three seasons where he won at least two trophies and won the league title twice whilst the club was undergoing serious financial restructuring.
Rangers were the first Scottish club to get to the last 16 knockout stages of the re-modernised Champions League with a squad that had Francis Jeffers in it under Big Eck’s watch.
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When asked about putting together a new squad, Alex McLeish explains that it takes more than just quality to succeed at Rangers:
“People said it wasn’t a great Rangers squad in 2004/05 and we were getting criticism. Marvin was prancing about the dressing room the last four or five weeks saying ‘Believe!’ and getting the players laughing and up for it.
“I knew what we had in terms of quality, but I knew what we had mentally as well.
“The treble team had world-class players in there and Martin O’Neill felt that the Celtic team was the best after the Lisbon Lions.
“It was quite a feat for us to beat them and it came down to getting the right players in that summer.
“If you look at Michael now, he needs more to come from his signings this summer.”
Alex McLeish had to contend with losing key players like Craig Moore, Lorenzo Amoruso, Barry Ferguson, Peter Lovenkrands, Shota Arveladze and Ronald de Boer when he was Rangers manager.
All a bigger loss than the likes of Filip Helander and Ryan Kent.
The current Celtic squad isn’t as strong an opposition as the one that McLeish faced either and Michael Beale is on borrowed time.
He has his squad, now it’s time for him to repeat the feats of Alex McLeish and bring success to Rangers against city rival with much deeper pockets.