Is Ally McCoist getting enough credit as a manager?


The Ibrox side sit nine points ahead of second-placed Motherwell and twelve points ahead of their rivals Celtic in third, albeit with a game in hand.

However, ask yourself this one question have you heard or seen much praise for Rangers manager Ally McCoist for leading his team to the top of the table and remaining unbeaten in the process?

My opinion is that most, if not all of the Scottish have been very silent in offering any praise to McCoist.

As we all know McCoist’s predecessor at Ibrox was Walter Smith, a man who was rightly revered in the media as he led Rangers to three titles in a row and a Uefa Cup final amongst other things, whilst there were massive off-field issues at the club.

Whilst Smith was manager, for most of his time in his second spell, the club was run by Lloyds Banking group who controlled the transfer dealings at the club. At one stage every player was up for sale and some top players were sold to make the club money.

At that time Rangers players were coming into work each day and didn’t know if they had a future at the club. That’s how bad things got at the club, yet Smith managed with very limited resources to win three titles in a row, three league cups, two Scottish cups and reached a European final in a four-year period. A truly heroic achievement. This saw many gushing and at points even over the top tributes to him by the media and Rangers supporters when he stepped down on the 15th May 2011.

However, they were largely deserved as Smith instilled a spirit in the dressing room that made the players focus and fight on the pitch rather than become distracted by boardroom matters.

Arguably this season the situation at Rangers has become even worse with the threat of administration a very real possibility, which would bring a 10-point deduction. There is also the possibility of HMRC winning their tax case and Rangers being hit with a £49m bill, which would be ruinous for the club.

But do the media sing the praises of McCoist and his man-management skills of keeping his squad focused on the job in hand? Not from where I have looked.

Maybe I am looking in the wrong places, but the press are focusing on the off-field matters at Ibrox (and I know they have to do this) much more than praising Rangers incredible unbeaten run.

Despite crashing out of both the Champions League and Europa League early on his managerial career as well as suffering a shocking defeat in the League Cup to Falkirk, in the SPL McCoist has picked up a possible 35 points out of 39. That is some going in anyone’s books.

Away from home he has racked up seven consecutive victories, only conceding one goal in the process. And to those who have criticised his tactics in these games, Ally has got the balance spot on between defensive solidity and counter attacking football.

Another example is the Old Firm game which Rangers won 4-2, I put that victory largely down to McCoist. I remember sitting in the Copland Front and listening to folk shouting over at McCoist in the dugout saying he had messed it up to put it mildly.

By full-time, they loved him again in the fickle world of Rangers. And so did I. He didn’t panic when his side went 2-1 down at half-time. Instead he fired them up in the dressing room and sent them out to attack Celtic and get the win. His players delivered for him big time in a great second half display.

So I say, let’s start giving some praise to McCoist. Because Super Ally the player, is doing a pretty super job as manager.


About Author

Ewan is a third year Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. A Rangers season ticker holder, he is interested in all things related to Scottish Football, but also writes about the English Championship.

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