‘How long do you give him?’ - Sky Sports pundits debate Michael Beale’s Rangers future after latest big-game setback
and live on Freeview channel 276
Chris Sutton and Kris Boyd have cast their verdict on the direction Rangers are going in under Michael Beale after angry fans voiced their displeasure at the end of the first derby of the season against Celtic.
A controversial first-half in which Rangers had two goals ruled out was settled by Kyogo Furuhashi’s stunning volley just before the interval sealed maximum points for the injury-depleted Hoops at Ibrox.
The decision of the Rangers players to applaud supporters after full-time didn’t go down too well with many furious onlookers as Beale’s side were booed off the pitch. It led former Celtic striker Sutton, who was on commentary duty for Sky Sports, to question where the club go from here under the Englishman’s leadership after his latest big-game failure.
Sutton admitted: “Celtic were worthy winners. In the final third, Rangers recruitment must come under scrutiny. They haven’t clicked, they haven’t connected and that’s a big, big problem for Michael Beale.
“I’m glad Kris (Boyd) touched on the defeat to PSV in midweek. Over two legs they were founding wanting and now - Michael Beale doesn’t need me to tell him - you heard the boos from a lot of angry bears in here at the end, he is under pressure. I’ll throw this one back to Kris, how long do you give him?”
Boyd replied: “I said after the first day of the season you’re under pressure.” Sutton responded: “How many games? If he comes back in the month after the break and things don’t go well, what happens?”
Boyd with a wry smile, repeated: “The pressure is already there. The objective was to get to the Champions League - failed. You then look at today’s Old Firm game at Ibrox, you’ve got to go and win it or at least not get beat. It’s very difficult if you lose you’re first home Old Firm game to win the league, statistics tell us that.
“You’ve now got two games at Celtic Park where it’s very difficult to pick up points. There’s a lot of unhappy fans and I personally don’t see signs of improvement.”
Sutton continued: “There’s this notion doing the rounds that this is a new team for Rangers and Michael Beale, new players coming in. He had 23 league games last season - Ange Postecoglou schooled Michael Beale. He won a Treble last season, so I get the frustration in the stadium. I think he (Beale) needs to liven up quickly.”
Boyd added: “In terms of this new team it’s been established for a number of months now. I’m not buying into that. These and the European games are the big ones that matter.”