Michael Beale was sacked as Rangers manager following the 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Ibrox in the league, which left them seven points behind leaders Celtic. Rangers have had a poor start to the season losing three Scottish Premiership games and were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by PSV Eindhoven 7-3 on aggregate.
Club legend Steven Davis is in interim charge and his backroom team consists of former Rangers player Alex Rae, current coach Steven Smith, coach Brian Gilmour and goalkeeping coach, Colin Stewart. Beale was appointed manager 11 months ago replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst and started his tenure well winning 13 out of 14 games but finished the season trophyless.
The Englishman was heavily backed in the transfer market signing nine players, but most have failed to deliver and have come under heavy criticism. The Light Blues are on the hunt for a replacement for Beale and with the international break coming up, it’s the perfect time for a new manager to come in and get settled at Ibrox. The question is – who should become the next Rangers manager?
There have been various names linked with the post but the favourite to replace Beale is former Derby County, Chelsea, and Everton manager Frank Lampard. I believe some of the criticism Lampard receives as a manager is over the top and quite unfair. He had a solid debut season at Derby, finishing 6th and narrowly missed on promotion losing the Championship play-off final 2-1 to Aston Villa – a side that had quality players such as Jack Grealish, John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham.
Lampard left Derby to join Chelsea, a club at the time, who were under difficult circumstances with a transfer embargo in place. Lampard gave opportunities to Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham, providing them with game time that they normally wouldn’t have seen before, and he played a key part in their development as players, which has benefited them in the long term.
The Chelsea legend gave 12,545 minutes to players aged 21 or younger in the Premier League during his first spell as manager, which was more than any other club during that period. Lampard is a manager who is keen on giving young players a chance in the first team, and he would no doubt utilise the young talent Rangers have at their disposal.
He guided Chelsea to a top-four finish and an FA Cup final – something that not many would’ve predicted, especially considering the fact they couldn’t make any signings and Eden Hazard left to join Real Madrid. Although he got sacked the following season, Lampard built a squad that went on to win the Champions League final, with seven out of the 11 who started were signed or developed by him.
Lampard joined Everton in 2021, inheriting a mess from Rafa Benitez and was able to keep the club in the Premier League, finishing 16th. Many people will point out that he got sacked, but I think it’s evident the Everton job is a poison chalice as Sean Dyche is currently struggling at Goodison Park losing five out of seven Premier League games.
During his time at Derby and Chelsea, Lampard used a possession-based approach that involved attacking with a strong amount of width, changing from a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3, and enjoys his possession-based football to come with an intense press – with the midfielders heavily involved in that process. This season Rangers have played very narrow with no real width but under Lampard, that would most certainly be different.
Lampard is one of the greatest midfielders to ever play the game, a superstar of football, a serial winner, and a leader who commands respect in every room that he walks into. He’s someone with high standards and understands the pressures and expectations of being at a club with huge demands. He’s similar to Steven Gerrard and would be able to attract players to the club due to his stature and pedigree in the game. I believe he is the best and most realistic candidate available to become the next Rangers manager.
By: Scott Bradley / @ScottBradleyX
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