After six long, boring, speculation-filled weeks, it appears that Derek McInnes is in line to become our new manager. First off, let me say I am glad that the whole saga is coming to an end. But I have to admit, I am dubious of this appointment.
Being blunt, I expected better from the club. I expected them to go big. However, it’s clear from their point of view, that after Caixinha, they knew another managerial project failing would not go down well with the fans.
I can see it from that angle. They have to play it safe to keep the heat off themselves, and I understand that. But do they want to be remembered as the board who handed Celtic nine and ten in a row on a silver platter, I doubt they do.
My opinion at the moment is that McInnes will solidify second place, and steady the ship, if you wish to use that term, but I have my doubts on whether he can take that step to win us a title in the time that he will be in the Ibrox dugout.
In the two matches against Rangers as Aberdeen manager recently, he has failed twice to come up with a way to combat a diamond midfield. I think it was even worse on Sunday when he played what effectively was a 4-2-4 against Murty’s diamond, which was ludicrous. With the speculation being as rife as it was I watched Aberdeen’s gameplan quite closely in both matches.
I didn’t see any pattern of play. It was all very direct and one-dimensional and they played what was percentage football. That was a major worry from the get-go. On the other hand, when he comes to Ibrox, he will have a better quality of player at his disposal. Therefore, it’s only fair that he then gets judged tactically as a Rangers manager and not as the manager of Aberdeen. Having said that, his tactics against us in the last two games hardly filled me with gargantuan levels of confidence. Is he as tactically naive as the two games suggest? We will soon find out.
The biggest thing that will go in McInnes’ favour is that he is a Rangers man. He knows the club, he knows what the expectations of the club are and he played in many successful Rangers teams under two great managers. But like every manager before him, he will be judged on results – and so he should be. It’s that simple.
It’s going to be interesting to see if he can handle the pressure of being the Rangers manager and how exactly he performs. He has looked like a man under pressure in the past few weeks, and being at Ibrox that will increase one-hundred fold so he will have to deal with that. I would like nothing more for him to come in and be our Diego Simeone; I am worried that he will become our version of Tony Mowbray – full of promise and he falls flat on his face. Obviously, I hope that doesn’t happen because if he is doing a good job that means the team is successful and that’s all that matters at this point in time.
Furthermore, he more often than not as Aberdeen manager regularly managed to beat the league’s cannon-fodder. That’s been an issue for us since our return to the top flight, so I am hoping he can get us beating these teams consistently; history has proven that he is more than capable of doing so. I’m hoping it continues during his spell at Ibrox. It’s in the bigger games where he will be judged. He can’t be having any 5-1 defeats at Parkhead on the 30th on his CV. Losing games regularly against them, as he did with Aberdeen will not be accepted. He will not need me to tell him that.
I hope he comes in and does things his own way. He cannot come in and replicate what Ally McCoist did and try to be Walter Smith-lite. Whether he is a success or a failure, will depend on recruitment and trophies. It’s up to him to prove the doubts wrong and deliver. He’s certainly split the support in terms of whether people believe he is the man for the job.
For the board, they have to hope this managerial appointment one pays off. I don’t think they can afford another failure. As for McInnes being a success, only time will tell. And time isn’t something that’s given in spades at Ibrox.