For the past five weeks, Rangers have been looking for the perfect replacement for Pedro Caixinha. Current Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes seems to be the club’s first choice, but is he the right man for job? Perhaps not, writes Paige Beresford.
It is understandable why Rangers are taking their time in appointing a new manager. After a horrendous start to the season under Pedro Caixinha, which saw a first home loss to Aberdeen in 26 years, a record Ibrox defeat to Celtic and the club’s worst ever European defeat to Progrès Niederkorn, this time, the Gers cannot afford to get it wrong.
This appointment could decide the course of events at Ibrox for the next three years, but the pressure is starting to hone in on the Glasgow club.
What Rangers need is a manager ready to galvanise and unify the club going forward, so to find the perfect candidate, they should exhaust every avenue and look at the full spectrum of available options.
But it’s Bookmaker’s favourite, Derek McInnes, that everyone is talking about.
After the amazing work he has done at Aberdeen, McInnes was labelled the club’s top target. But does he really tick every single box for the Ibrox directors? Perhaps not.
One of the main differences between Aberdeen and Rangers are the squads. At Aberdeen, most of the players are from the UK and Ireland – something that the club has been very much about. However, at Rangers there are a lot of international players as well as British players.
What the Gers need is a manager who has the ability to bring out the best in both. McInnes doesn’t have much experience with international players. Would he be able to handle both international and British players and then be able to bring them together to galvanise the team?
McInnes has previously said that he has always had a close-knit group of players with a good team spirit. This is something that has been clearly lacking at Rangers. If Derek was to go on to be the next Rangers manager, this alone would cause him numerous problems that he perhaps hasn’t faced in the past. That is before he even tries to get over his philosophy of how to play and how to improve.
Money will also have a large impact. Rangers will need to prove to any new manager that they have money to spend, especially with the January transfer window coming up, giving the new manager a chance to improve the team.
So, if Rangers are looking for players that will take them to the next level, then it will likely be the case of spending £2 million or more on a player or target. Has McInnes ever been in a position to spend that kind of money before?
It’s not hard to imagine that he’s ever had to deal with that much money on a single player, neither will he have dealt with players who are earning some of salaries being paid at Rangers, which needs careful handling. Especially when those earning these salaries aren’t doing their share of the work.
It’s not a case of McInnes not being able to find talented players – he definitely can. Just take a look at Stevie May, Ryan Christie and Gary Mackay-Steven this season to start. But at Rangers, it’s different. The expectation is much higher.
Aberdeen is a massive club in Scottish football, but it doesn’t bring same the expectation and pressure as Rangers does. This is a completely different dynamic, one that McInnes has never worked in before.
The things Rangers need more than anything is stability and experience. With McInnes never having worked in the level of experience Rangers need, plus not being certain he’s be able to bring sustainability to the club, it’s hard to say he would make an excellent Rangers manager.
Not to mention that Rangers – relatively managerless – have just beat Aberdeen in two back-to-back consecutive games. Why would any Gers fan want their club to go for a manager who’s team they just overtook on the table?
That’s not to say McInnes wouldn’t rise to the challenge – he probably would. But there might be more to it than what it seems at first glance.