Rangers need a no-nonsense manager who demands high standards like Walter Smith did, claims former Ibrox hero

The ex-Light Blues striker is adamant standards have slipped at Ibrox both on and off the pitch.
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Kris Boyd reckons it is “imperative” that the Rangers board learn from past mistakes and appoint a manager who can display the same beliefs and principles as Walter Smith did during his time in the Ibrox hotseat across two spells.

The former Light Blues striker believes the end of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s brief 12-month tenure in Govan earlier this week is similar to the way Paul Le Guen’s ill-fated spell in charge fizzled out as he called on the next boss to use the upcoming two transfer windows as a rebuilding period.

Boyd pointed to the club’s poor recruitment and failure to build on their Premiership title success two years ago as a reason behind Van Bronckhorst’s demise. He is adamant Rangers don’t possess enough players who understand what it means to represent the club.

Former Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match against HibernianFormer Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match against Hibernian
Former Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match against Hibernian

Writing in his Scottish Sun column, Boyd said: “Two summers ago, Steven Gerrard pleaded with the Rangers board to build on title No 55. Gerrard got another job at Aston Villa - but Giovanni van Bronckhorst was not so lucky. The Dutchman paid the price for poor recruitment and his team’s poor performances.

“Rangers needed to push on after stopping Celtic’s charge towards ten in a row, but you need to improve from a position of strength. If you don’t you run the risk of players going stale and that is exactly what has happened. There has been a litany of bad call and, if the club doesn’t get the next one right, it could be a long way back. It is imperative the new boss is the correct fit and it’s vital he uses the next two transfer windows astutely.

“At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, I reckons Rangers need to choose someone with vast experience of our game. They need a manager and players who understand the demands of the club. I’m not one for second claiming you have to be a supporter, but you need people with a strong mentality. Van Bronckhorst’s demise reminds me of Paul Le Guen’s era coming to an end when I was at Ibrox.

“Once the fans turn on a manager, it is hugely difficult to get them back on side. When the Frenchman was binned, the club turned to Walter Smith. They now need to appoint a manager of similar stature. I say similar because there is simply no way anyone will ever come close to Walter. But there are managers out there with the same beliefs and principles.

Walter Smith talks with Nacho Novo of Rangers during the Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on October 20, 2007 in GlasgowWalter Smith talks with Nacho Novo of Rangers during the Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Glasgow
Walter Smith talks with Nacho Novo of Rangers during the Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Glasgow

“As well as being a terrific coach and tactician, he was all about standards and discipline. He commanded the respect of everyone and also ruled with fear. There is simply no way Alfredo Morelos would get away with his current antics under Walter. Standards have slipped since Gerrard’s departure a year ago and that has to be addressed. Rangers must learn lessons. They cannot afford to keep making the same mistakes as there is a huge rebuilding process ahead.

“The first thing Walter did after replacing Le Guen was bring in players with huge personalities. He signed guys who would fight like dogs to get the club where it needed to be and he was successful on the back of that. The fundamentals have to be right, there also need to be a lot more aggression from the players. I don’t mean slamming into tackles and smashing people. There is a way to make sure the opposition knows they are going to be in a battle.

“Far too often this season, Rangers have been weak - physically and mentally. The club must sign players who can handle the expectations. This isn’t an ordinary football club where you turn up for work and go home. You need to live it and breathe it. You have to understand what it means to the millions of fans around the world. They are toiling at the moment but it can all change quickly if the board gets the right man and he recruits the correct players.”