Countdown is on at Ibrox but Light Blues can’t rush Allen into huge decision..
IT is a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t for the Rangers board at the moment. Their actions must speak louder than their words, though.
Almost three weeks have now passed since Pedro Caixinha’s reign as boss came to an end. It was a moment that should have surprised nobody inside or outside of Ibrox and, in truth, one that had been a long time coming.
On Friday evening, a statement confirmed that the Gers board have yet to begin the interview process, while it was revealed that they are holding off until the end of this week in anticipation of receiving further applications for the position.
The international break, the gap between the win over Partick Thistle at Ibrox and the visit of Hamilton on Saturday, appeared to be the obvious time for Rangers to make their move and appoint Caixinha’s successor.
But it is interim boss Graeme Murty that is in line to take charge against Accies as the Light Blues look to finally achieve what Caixinha couldn’t and win three games on the spin.
The update that the club provided the other day received a mixed response from supporters. For many, it raised more questions than it answered.
In an ideal world, Rangers would have had their next manager in situ by now, he would have had a couple of days to work with his squad and he would be preparing to receive the kind of warm welcome that Caixinha did when he kicked off his ill-fated tenure with a 4-0 win over Martin Canning’s side back in March. That isn’t the situation that the Gers find themselves in, however.
The process to replace Caixinha shouldn’t have started the day he was sacked. A couple of names could have been jotted down after the defeat to Progres Niederkorn, while a few more could have been bandied about at board level almost on a weekly basis as the Portuguese stumbled through the opening rounds of Premiership fixtures.
And director of football Mark Allen would surely have had a profile, in terms of nationality, age and experience, in mind when he was appointed in June. He wasn’t around to play a part in the hiring of Caixinha but he will have a key role to play this time.
If Rangers had made their move within days of Caixinha being sacked last month, it could have been said that all options hadn’t been assessed and that due diligence hadn’t been fully completed.
It is a fine line, in terms of public perception, between jumping in too soon and it looking like proceedings are dragging on, though. That tipping point will arrive in the not-too-distant future.
NOW Dave King and his board are being accused of dillydallying on the matter, of taking more time than is needed. Once again, their football decision making credentials are being questioned. It is only when the deal is done and the next manager is unveiled that fans will be able to cast judgment on the search as a whole and whether it has been a success or a failure.
With Murty continuing to impress at the helm, there is no rush in a football sense for Rangers to name their man in the coming days but the double-header with Aberdeen is looming large at the end of the month. So, too, is the Annual General Meeting on November 30.
King and his board will be fully aware of the cost financially and competitively of mak- ing a wrong call here and this is the first chance for Allen to make an impression following his move from Manchester City.
There are no guarantees of success whoever Rangers ultimately go for but they need to be as sure as is reasonably possible that they have the best candidate available to them.
If that takes a few more days, supporters won’t mind too much. As the search goes on, the expectation levels rise, though.
For Rangers’ sake, this one has to be the right one. The name is more important than the timing at Ibrox.
Rangers director of football Mark Allen will have a big say in who is handed the hotseat at Ibrox, but the board should take time to decide