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Rangers should look no further than Graeme Murty

March 14, 2018

By Garry Carmody | Guest Contributor

The furore following a Rangers-celtic game is usually as fierce as the game itself. The raw emotion following a defeat is tangible and intensified by social media - anyone who hasn't said something post-Old Firm that they regret by the next weekend hasn't lived this game.

This has been evident following Sunday's game. As ever, endless comment has been made from the Rangers support on the manner of the defeat, the personnel and the tactics. However, one thing I'm struggling to deal with is the opinion that Graeme Murty is no longer fit to take Rangers into the 2018-19 season.

I don't think it's difficult to argue that Sunday's game was winnable. Rangers went into the game with the momentum and scored after three minutes, but ended up losing 3-2 with a man advantage. Whatever way you want to look at it, that's difficult to take. 43,000 fans left Ibrox on Sunday fully aware that a very good chance had been blown. 

The tactical battle was lost by Rangers following the sending off, and this has been summed up well by a number of writers, however, in my mind a number of variables outwith Murty's control conspired against him on Sunday: 

- Losing the regular centre back pairing, one in the run-up to the game and one ten minutes in, and being forced to play Fabio Cardoso who Murty evidently has no faith in.

- Having the exact players required to protect a lead - Ryan Jack and Ross McCrorie - missing through injury.

- An Alfredo Morelos miss that no manager can take responsibility for. That makes the game 3-3 under just about any other circumstances.

- A lack of options on the bench to shake up the team going forward. Jason Cummings remains the only viable card the manager has to play off the bench in order to change the game, and it isn’t quite enough.

Murty's game management was lacking at the key moment on Sunday while Brendan Rodgers' was evident. He'll have left the game with a tough lesson to learn, but let's not get too down on ourselves or our manager. 

In the run-up to the game, Rangers fans had a belief that we haven't had in years. That belief has been instilled into the players by Murty and this has channelled through to the fans. A fine run of results and free-flowing goals has had the support believing a sense of normality has been restored. The consensus from Sunday is that was a "proper" derby - there was a different form of dejection from the home fans and a sense of relief in the jubilation in the away end.

The reason for this can only be credited to Murty. He has taken the remnants of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha's sides, added his own element, and created an actual team. The only area you could argue Rangers lack depth is down both wings, and that can be addressed in the summer. 

At some point, Rangers require continuity. If it's not Murty who takes the job this summer, it has to be someone who buys into and understands the roots Mark Allen began to put down in the winter. Rangers cannot afford to have a third consecutive summer of signing ten or more players to suit a new style of manager. And what manager fits that mould? And what happens if the next manager is tactically out-boxed by Rodgers in the first game of next season? And then the next one? 

From the minute he was first brought in as a very raw caretaker manager, Murty has shown signs of improvement. His development has went hand-in-hand with an improving Rangers team. Since Murty was appointed, Declan John looks like an all-round improved player. Josh Windass has grown into the team and cannot stop scoring. David Bates is developing into a fine young centre back. James Tavernier has taken on the captain's armband and continues to grow into the role.

It is also impossible to overlook that every player signed in January is having an impact on the team. That's not a positive you can suggest about any transfer window in recent memory. This is a young, hungry Rangers team that Graeme Murty deserves to mould during a summer transfer window. His management style is rough around the edges, but no managerial appointment in the summer will be perfect. The simple reality is that we do not have the funds to attract a manager that we can guarantee will hit the ground running and match a celtic team that still has over double the budget.

At one point we need to be pragmatic and give a manager a proper run at this, and – barring a collapse of epic proportions between now and May – I do not believe we have had a better chance to do that than now. Murty lost out at the weekend, but let’s not forget this is a manager who managed a point in both his first two games against celtic, and arguably deserved to win one of them.

If Murty is “learning on the job”, he’s doing so quickly and is showing signs that he will continue to do so. This is an ongoing project and Murty has taken us down the first step on the road. Let's have a bit of faith that he is capable of pushing us to the next step.

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Maybe I'm in the minority here but I agree with a lot of that article. I think Murty is growing into the job and would be happy with him staying on.

The boards outlet of choice in letting us know that Murty will be here next season 

Not for me at this moment.  In the next 2 OF games he has to show he’s tactically flexible and has learned from his poor judgement.  And he has to win the Scottish Cup.  Any other way a

21 minutes ago, Virtuoso said:

The boards outlet of choice in letting us know that Murty will be here next season :sarcasm:

It’s an opinion piece by a guy who thinks Murty deserves next season. 

they have an opinion piece going out tomorrow saying the opposite. 

The level of paranoia/over-thinking is hillarious. 

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2 minutes ago, eskbankloyal said:

It’s an opinion piece by a guy who thinks Murty deserves next season. 

they have an opinion piece going out tomorrow saying the opposite. 

The level of paranoia/over-thinking is hillarious. 

They could always have put the other piece out first.

Or is that a speedy response to the adverse reaction this one is getting?

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