Tomorrow night, The Mooch will take his first game as the boss of the Ibrox club. We will kick off on Saturday knowing whether he’s had a good start or not. It shouldn’t bother us either way; almost every Ibrox boss gets a honeymoon before the wailing starts.
Soon enough, everything will change. We’ve heard all this before.
In fact, The Mooch bears more than a striking resemblance to another ex-Ibrox manager, and curiously enough it was the one he replaced at QPR. I refer, of course, to Mark Warburton.
All the same honey was being poured on him when he breezed into Ibrox as English football’s “next big thing.” Remember all the talk that he would one day be prowling the technical area at Wembley as England manager? Seems long ago, right?
But it wasn’t that long ago. He, too, was hugely inexperienced.
He had one year as the boss of Brentford on his CV and, like The Mooch, a lot of time bumming around as an assistant before that. He, too, had scoured the globe visiting clubs to build his “knowledge base.”
But it all fell apart when he had to actually put a winning team on the pitch.
Warburton was hyped about as much as I’ve ever seen a manager get hyped.
He arrived at Ibrox not so much on a wave of hope as a wave of hysteria. I could not see then, as I cannot see now, any justification for it whatsoever. He hadn’t done anything in the game worthy of note up until that point, and he was unemployed at the time at having left Brentford, who had let him go remarkably easily and without putting up much of a fight.
You’d think a “future England manager” would have been worth fighting for a bit, right? Not at all. His contract ended and they let him leave so quickly you would have thought they were shipping toxic waste off their hands. He was never as bad as all that, but nor was he the managerial genius the Scottish press would have had you think.
He arrived at Ibrox with a win ratio of just over 50%. That, actually, is better than The Mooch is arriving with, and that should give some Ibrox fans pause. Indeed, The Mooch took over QPR from him; Warburton’s win ratio there was 37% … the Mooch managed 40%, which, considering the small number of games he was there isn’t that much better.
Much was made of his innovative training ideas. Much was made of his revolutionary tactics. Much was made of his “contacts book” and his “eye for a player.” The hype machine was in full flow, and when he won Scotland’s second tier – and finally the Challenge Cup at Ibrox’s fourth attempt – it was soon being upped to insane levels.
He joined the Ibrox operation on 15 June 2015. He “resigned” – in the way so many of those ex-Putin dissidents “suicide” – on 17 February 2017. He lasted longer in the job than Van Bronckhorst, but only because he had a year in the second tier where he didn’t have to keep up with a club called Celtic. That all changed the moment his side were in the top flight.
By the time he left, his side were 27 points behind us in the league. The Mooch is one third of the way there before he even gets his foot in the door. He should reach for the sky and try to emulate that at the very least!
Warburton was the guy we’d never heard when the media anointed him the new saviour.
But The Mooch is in a different category entirely. If you had polled the Celtic fans when Van Bronckhorst was sacked – not the Ibrox fans, us – you’d have found a strange thing; he was the guy we most wanted them to hire.
I’ve given you just one of the reasons for that.
December 14, 2022 at 3:00 pm
Scouse bhoy says:
December 14, 2022 at 3:09 pm
John Copeland says:
December 14, 2022 at 5:05 pm
Kevan McKeown says:
December 14, 2022 at 9:32 pm
Couldn’t care about him or that club, but when wee gio was in charge he turned up at one of their games, rubbing salt into the wound what a pure dishonest snake of a man.
A lot of grown men have a magic hat tattoo to remind them of the future england manager. Fozzy the goalie and tav pen were also future england caps we were told.scotlands sevco media shame.
They are most likely plotting Beale’s replacement now ,behind closed doors ! If he does not win a cup competition ,he’ll end up like Warburton ….Toast …Oops ….
Yeh the ‘magic hat’. Right up until Celtic utterly destroyed them 5-1 in the first meetin of the season. All bets were off.
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