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Michael Beale can’t be Rangers ‘yes man’ or he’s doomed to fail but 5 wins could change title race – Barry Ferguson – Barry Ferguson

Let me start by saying how disappointed I am to see an old teammate of mine lose his job at Ibrox. Well, maybe the writing was on the wall by Giovanni van Bronckhorst but it was still hard to see the ax coming down when it happened on Monday morning.

I feel for him because I know how much he wants to succeed at Rangers – and there’s no denying he’s given the club some unforgettable moments throughout his 12 months in charge. But even I must admit, the speed with which it all began to unravel made the end seem almost inevitable.

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He will make himself known, the results leading up to the World Cup break are nowhere near good enough and, in the fickle world of football, that only goes one way. With the director’s head on a platter. But things move fast in this game and it now seems almost certain that the new guy’s date will be over and dusted off very soon. Michael Bell is certainly in pole position in what looks very much like a one-man race, so if – or when – his position is confirmed he has a huge challenge on his hands with the team already nine points at the top of the table. . This is the only advice I would give him. If you’re going down, make sure you put up the fight.

Because Rangers fans simply won’t accept anything less or any other excuses. Look, I realize winning the title this season is already a serious long shot. But if you don’t think you can do it, what’s the point of taking the job in the first place? At the very least, he should show hunger and faith to try and pull that off again between now and the end of the year.

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I realize most people have already written off the league this season but that couldn’t be on the mind of the new guy. Rattle from four wins against Hibs, Aberdeen, Ross County and Motherwell – then beat Celtic at Ibrox on 2 January and the picture could be very different. I’m sure that’s the way he’ll look at it because he knows how this club works.

He has seen firsthand what is required to be a successful Rangers manager, and that includes the demands the board must make. He won’t come across as some ‘yeah guy’ who’s just happy to be there and won’t rock the boat. If he had his head on the block, I’m sure he would have already set terms as to what he expects to do over the next two or three transfer windows. Otherwise, it doesn’t stand a chance.

See, there’s going to be a lot of debate about whether or not he’s the right man to oversee such a massive undertaking. He’s only been in charge of QPR for six months and only has 20 singles matches under his belt as manager. So yeah, the number one concern is obviously his lack of experience. But is there a manager out there right now that Rangers can tick every box with? This simply won’t happen.

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So yeah, while Bell has only been manager for a few months, there’s also a lot of upside to his appointment. At the top of that list is the fact that, having spent three years working under Steven Gerrard, he knows the club well and is keenly aware of the demands of the job. He knows the size of the club and the expectations that will be placed on his shoulders.

Obviously, this did not frighten him. I can’t help but wonder if there is a part of him that feels like this is an unfinished business. He saw what it meant for the fans and the club when they won 55. But that was during Covid restrictions and the celebrations had to take place inside an empty stadium.



YEREVAN, ARMENIA – AUGUST 26: Rangers coach Michael Bell during the UEFA Europa League qualifier between Alashkert and Rangers at Alashkert Stadium on August 26, 2021 in Yerevan, Armenia (Photo by Hratch Khachatryan/SNS Group)

If this were me, I’d look around at the craziness in the streets and outside of Auchi and think to myself, “How good would this be if life went back to normal?”. And I will carry that regret with me for a very long time. So maybe that’s part of the motivation Michael is interested in. He’s had a little taste of what it feels like to have success for the Rangers. And now he has the chance to experience so much more. as a manager.

No wonder he can’t say “no” even though he turned down the wolves just a few weeks ago. As I’ve said so often in these pages, when Rangers call, there’s only one answer. And that tells me a lot about how a man thinks. Like many of us have, the club has gotten under its skin. This is a good starting point because he doesn’t have time to get to know what this club means to people. He knows he will have to start producing from day one.

And, to be fair, almost everyone you hear talking about the guy rates him as a great coach. He did the vast majority of the training and tactical stuff during his time under Gerrard, so yeah, I can see why Rangers see the appeal in bringing him back. As much of a GEO supporter as I am, I have to admit that there have been times over the past couple of months when I struggled to see any kind of identity or clear gameplay.

This is a complete contrast to the way things were when Michael and Stevie J were in charge. On this team, each player knew his role and responsibilities. Two backs, wide and high. Two wide players drop into zones to catch the ball. Two dominant midfielders sit behind him. There was a clearly defined style and structure to the way the team played. And Bill was a big part of putting that together.

Do I think he can handle the move to become the main male lead? Yes, I do what it’s worth. He sure strikes me as a guy who will roll up his sleeves and work hard to make it happen. Only time will tell you what is right. And I wish him all the best because, as my old buddy Jiu has just found out, they are in short supply in this city.

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