Steven Gerrard has been installed as the bookmakers favourite to complete a sensational return to Ibrox and become the next Rangers boss as pressure continues to mount on Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
The Ibrox side rounded off their pointless Champions League campaign with a 3-1 defeat to Ajax last night, which resulted in an overall goal difference of minus 20 to leave them with the unwanted record of the worst ever group stage team.
Following heavy defeats to Liverpool, Napoli and the Dutch champions in Group A and with poor performances having a knock on affect domestically, Van Bronckhorst has received strong criticism from large sections of the Gers fanbase.
According to Betfair, the Dutchman is now odds-on (4/7) to leave his Ibrox post next year, with former Aston Villa boss Gerrard the 2/1 favourite to return to Govan for a second spell after he was sacked by the English Premier League outfit last month.
Other contenders for the job include Michael Beale (4/1), Sean Dyche (8/1), Gary McAllister (10/1) and Kjetil Knudsen (12/1), while former Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill (14/1) and Chris Wilder (16/1) also feature in the betting.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Rangers officially became the Champions League’s worst ever team after Tuesday’s defeat to Ajax, having lost all six group stage games with a -20 goal difference. It has heaped the pressure on manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who is odds-on at 4/7 to leave next year and 4/1 to go in the next two months.
“Van Bronckhorst’s predecessor, Steven Gerrard, is the 2/1 favourite to return to the Ibrox dugout, with Michael Beale 4/1 and Sean Dyche 8/1 to be the next Rangers boss.”
Van Bronckhorst’s future hinges on next three games
Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker believes Van Bronckhorst has three Scottish Premiership games to save his Rangers career after enduring a horrendous European campaign.
The Light Blues face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, before hosting Hearts the following Wednesday and ending the month before the World Cup break with a visit to St Mirren in Paisley.
Asked if there were question marks over Van Bronckhorst’s future, Walker told Sky Sports: “Of course there is. If you are second in Glasgow it’s useless, it’s a two horse race. I think when you look at the way Rangers are playing, I mean I speak to a lot of Rangers fans and season ticket holders and they don’t enjoy what they are seeing. It’s a bit of a slog, it’s not great to watch.
“They had a lot of respect just a few months ago when they reached the final of the Europa League with some really stirring performances, but that respect is gone now. They have been well beaten, outplayed and have lost heavily. They have not been good enough to compete in the Champions League. It has been a sorry tale.
“There are questions over one or to of the players and their commitment and attitude, and clearly that has to change. They are four points behind Celtic in the title race. Every game is so important. They have three games before the break for the World Cup and it’s essential they take maximum points.”