Alex McLeish’s Scotland form is certainly leaving a lot to be desired. Is it also proving that Rangers dodged a bullet in not going for him last year?
After the sacking of Pedro Caixinha, many supporters were wanting McLeish in to steady the ship. Not all fans were as keen, but there was certainly a large element of support for the former Gers manager.
McLeish’s previous success at Rangers is still widely acknowledged and praised from a Rangers perspective. The Scotsman won the treble at Ibrox during his first full year in charge back in 2002/03. During his first six months in the latter half of the 2001/02 campaign, he managed to bag a double.
It was a trophy-laden spell in Rangers’ history, and McLeish can look back on his tenure at Ibrox with fond memories. But a return? A polite no thank you should be encouraged by all Gers supporters in the future.
Scotland have just come off the back of a shocking 3-0 home defeat to Portugal’s second-string. The defeat marked the sixth defeat in eight games under the former Rangers manager. The Portugal loss came just days after another dreadful 2-1 away defeat in Israel.
Not the same man
McLeish doesn’t have that same gusto and commanding nature he had when he was at Ibrox. These days, he’s looking a tad lost on the Hampden Park touch-line.
Despite being in the Scotland job for nearly three quarters of a year, he still doesn’t seem to know his best XI. That’s criminal at this stage of his Scotland tenure.
Yet, from his poor team selections to his careless mistakes in post-match interviews, it just feels like McLeish’s best days as a manager are sadly behind him. At the time last year when Graeme Murty was appointed, McLeish was a viable candidate. His CV read well, despite an ill-fated last few years in management.
In the end, however, and after watching him closely with Scotland, he wouldn’t have been the right choice at Ibrox. Not that Murty particularly was either, but neither would McLeish have been.
Those Rangers fans who support the Scotland team would join me in hoping McLeish can turn things around with our nation. As it stands, however, it seems like he rumbles on from month-to-month without changing anything.
Steven Gerrard is looking fresh, vibrant, and modern. McLeish, for all of his past successes, isn’t looking anything like that. In fact, it’s like the polar opposite.
Rangers can therefore be thankful that they dodged a bullet in bringing their former hero back.