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Walter and Ally on who's in charge


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TAKE YOUR time before answering this question, it may not be as straightforward as it seems: who is in charge of Rangers today?

Got it? Are you sure? Who is the man who will manage the holders in the first showpiece final of the Scottish season? The answer is Walter Smith. At least I think it is - there won't be any dunce's caps handed out to anyone who thought they should say Ally McCoist. Rangers themselves are the ones who have clouded the issue of who takes the team during domestic cup ties and the end result is that few outside the club are entirely clear about who holds the reins.

When someone asked for clarification the other day Smith sighed, rolled his eyes, hammed it up by pretending he was exasperated, and replied "look, it's not complicated for f***'s sake". In a nutshell, Smith has been letting McCoist, his assistant, take on more of the managerial duties around their games in the two domestic cups. "I've been letting him do the team-talks and, typically of McCoist, he's doing everything now. I said to him the other day have you picked the team' and he said aye'. I said you're taking over!' That's what he's doing. I only allow him a little bit of leeway although, to be fair to him, he's not done too badly. He's not lost a cup tie yet, touch wood. So his place is in the back of me - his normal position..."

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Clear as mud, then. What seems to be happening is that when it comes to ties in the Co-operative Insurance and Scottish Cups Smith cedes some of his responsibilities to McCoist. These duties amount to preparing the team for the fixture, delivering the team-talks and handling pre- and post-match media obligations. None of this is the same as saying McCoist "takes charge for the cups". The fact remains that Smith has the final say on team selection for all fixtures and devises the formation and tactics for all matches. It is a myth to suggest that McCoist is in control of Rangers in any meaningful sense.

McCoist has said: "Regarding team selection, we all Smith, McCoist, coach Kenny McDowall pick the team but the gov'nor has the final say and that's the way it should be. When it comes to the cup he maybe listens to me a bit longer but it still won't be long!"

So why do it? Why let McCoist prepare things his way or allow him to do the team-talks? It is a strange arrangement between the two of them. It isn't like Sir Alex Ferguson pushing his assistant manager forward to do all interviews with the BBC since he stopped talking to them in 2004. On the one hand it might be perceived as being Rangers' way of getting McCoist accustomed to the demands of being in charge permanently, as it is assumed he will be when Smith resigns, moves upstairs or is sacked.

But being an Old Firm manager is like being pregnant (no reference to Gordon Strachan and his "childbirth" comment intended): you either are or you aren't. No-one can know the job until the full weight of supporters' expectations and demands are placed on their shoulders. McCoist can do all the preparations and team-talks he likes but as soon as Rangers lose a cup tie the cry from some will be "Smith must go".

The other curious aspect about all this is what it says about Rangers' attitude to the tournaments. Since McCoist's involvement was upgraded at the start of last season's Scottish Cup campaign Rangers have played 13 ties in the two domestic cups and haven't lost a single one of them (this will be their first against Celtic, mind you). They won the League Cup and Scottish Cup last season and can successfully defend the former at Hampden this afternoon. It is patently obvious that this carve-up between manager and assistant hasn't done Rangers any harm so far.

It does send out a strange message, though. This is the Old Firm equivalent of picking a weakened team (the relentless pursuit of doubles and trebles, and the fear of any tournament being won by their city rivals, prevents the Glasgow clubs from taking that gamble) and openly acknowledging that the cups do not matter like the championship does. Smith wouldn't dream of delegating some of his key duties ahead of, say, the final Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox. Nor did he do it for the Uefa Cup final in Manchester or any of the European ties that got them there. But the message is "ach, the two home cups aren't quite such a big deal, let's give Ally a shot". If Paul le Guen had done it with Yves Colleu there would have been uproar.

It will be held against them by some supporters if Celtic win today, that's for sure. Smith will be accused of playing fast and loose with his approach to an Old Firm cup final. As well as everything else that's at stake at Hampden, today could make or break this odd little deal in the Rangers dugout.

http://www.sundayherald.com/sport/shfootba...doesnt_lose.php

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i know WS and Ally are far from master tacticions, but they are Rangers men and are with us as much out of love as any other reason.

they have my every respect and support.

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i know WS and Ally are far from master tacticions, but they are Rangers men and are with us as much out of love as any other reason.

they have my every respect and support.

Walter and Ally are with us because they have earned the right to be with us.

I have said it before and i will say it again Walter is a tactical genius.

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i know WS and Ally are far from master tacticions, but they are Rangers men and are with us as much out of love as any other reason.

they have my every respect and support.

Walter and Ally are with us because they have earned the right to be with us.

I have said it before and i will say it again Walter is a tactical genius.

Tactical genius :lol:

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i know WS and Ally are far from master tacticions, but they are Rangers men and are with us as much out of love as any other reason.

they have my every respect and support.

Walter and Ally are with us because they have earned the right to be with us.

I have said it before and i will say it again Walter is a tactical genius.

never a tactical genius in his life.

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he is definitely not a tactical genius, and im sure he knows it.

Walter is a working class football manager, but we are playing in the working class end of the business.

WS and Ally are both rangers legends imo, and until we have the money to buy 'football' players, WS is the best man for the job.

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

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Smith is tactically clueless, just ask Everton and Scotland fans as well as fans during the 90s.

He did an excellent job with Scotland. He in fact done an incredible job considering the mess Vogts left.

He did well to steady the ship at Everton during his time there. The club had all sorts of problems financially at the time. Walter had several first team players sold off behind his back. The club had been in dissaray for years drifting from one manager to the next. Davie Moyes has openly stated that Walter layed the foundations at Everton.

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

Very rarely has he got it right for me, even in the European run i felt his tactics relied far too heavily on the luck to be called strokes of genius. I think he's a decent man manager but tactically he's inept and as i mentioned the same opinion is shared among fans during his previous jobs.

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

Fans are the most baffling to be honest m8.

Some fans will never be happy and will just constantly moan as they ALWAYS know best don't they.

I can't guarantee you this forum had the same negative discussions during the Eck years and the Advocaat years.

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Smith is tactically clueless, just ask Everton and Scotland fans as well as fans during the 90s.

He did an excellent job with Scotland. He in fact done an incredible job considering the mess Vogts left.

He did well to steady the ship at Everton during his time there. The club had all sorts of problems financially at the time. Walter had several first team players sold off behind his back. The club had been in dissaray for years drifting from one manager to the next. Davie Moyes has openly stated that Walter layed the foundations at Everton.

Get me a link for that and I'll give £20 to the Rangers Charity Foundation!

Ps. http://www.toffeeweb.com/club/managers/Smith.asp - Quite the piece...

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

Very rarely has he got it right for me, even in the European run i felt his tactics relied far too heavily on the luck to be called strokes of genius. I think he's a decent man manager but tactically he's inept and as i mentioned the same opinion is shared among fans during his previous jobs.

He took a team of average players to a European final, our first in over 30 years. This achievement was just 18 months after the PLG debacle in which time we couldn't even beat St.Johnstone in the league cup ffs. That alone is enough to back up my opinion never mind the countless trophies he has won.

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

Very rarely has he got it right for me, even in the European run i felt his tactics relied far too heavily on the luck to be called strokes of genius. I think he's a decent man manager but tactically he's inept and as i mentioned the same opinion is shared among fans during his previous jobs.

I'll give Wally the credit he deserves as he got it spot on in Europe last season - bar a few personnel selections in some of the games, the final being one of them.

It's also the same in some of the domestic games, again the choice of personnel let him down.

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The thing that gets me about Smith is, although I wholeheartedly agree that he is tactically inept, I've never heard any player that has played under him have a bad word to say about him. Apparently even the Man Utd players from his time as no 2 speak highly of him.

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Wally has got it right but he's also got it horribly wrong. He never has plan B and he struggles to out think and out battle mediocre SPL managers. We see baffling team selections most weeks and the majority of the time his substitutions are awful.

Very rarely has he got it right for me, even in the European run i felt his tactics relied far too heavily on the luck to be called strokes of genius. I think he's a decent man manager but tactically he's inept and as i mentioned the same opinion is shared among fans during his previous jobs.

He took a team of average players to a European final, our first in over 30 years. This achievement was just 18 months after the PLG debacle in which time we couldn't even beat St.Johnstone in the league cup ffs. That alone is enough to back up my opinion never mind the countless trophies he has won.

he also managed to throw away the title with his negative tactics.

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The thing that gets me about Smith is, although I wholeheartedly agree that he is tactically inept, I've never heard any player that has played under him have a bad word to say about him. Apparently even the Man Utd players from his time as no 2 speak highly of him.

He's a well respected figure within the game, nobody is arguing that.

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He's not a tactical genious but deserves much more respect than he gets on this board.

Also if we'd gone for it in the UEFA cup final we would have been torn to pieces. Too many people forget that had Barry or Novo buried those chances we could have won the trophy. Also had Cousin not gotten himself suspened we would have been better placed. Tbh I wouldn't change much from the tactics or personnell from the UEFA cup team but then some people are never satisfied.

Oh, and before someone replies saying "I'm never satisfied with second place" well welcome to reality, we have no-one in our team that we can sell to Arsenal for £20 Million. They were the better team but they beat us by a baw hair and wee Dick knows it.

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He's not a tactical genious but deserves much more respect than he gets on this board.

Also if we'd gone for it in the UEFA cup final we would have been torn to pieces. Too many people forget that had Barry or Novo buried those chances we could have won the trophy. Also had Cousin not gotten himself suspened we would have been better placed. Tbh I wouldn't change much from the tactics or personnell from the UEFA cup team but then some people are never satisfied.

Oh, and before someone replies saying "I'm never satisfied with second place" well welcome to reality, we have no-one in our team that we can sell to Arsenal for £20 Million. They were the better team but they beat us by a baw hair and wee Dick knows it.

Well said chief!

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Smith is tactically clueless, just ask Everton and Scotland fans as well as fans during the 90s.

He did an excellent job with Scotland. He in fact done an incredible job considering the mess Vogts left.

He did well to steady the ship at Everton during his time there. The club had all sorts of problems financially at the time. Walter had several first team players sold off behind his back. The club had been in dissaray for years drifting from one manager to the next. Davie Moyes has openly stated that Walter layed the foundations at Everton.

Get me a link for that and I'll give £20 to the Rangers Charity Foundation!

Ps. http://www.toffeeweb.com/club/managers/Smith.asp - Quite the piece...

Still waiting for that link....

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