Is Graeme Murty the right man to take Rangers forward?
The question has been pondered for the campaign's duration following Pedro Caixinha’s dismissal. Ebbs and flows in results sway the argument one way then the other. Rangers’ latest defeat at home to Kilmarnock was, in the eyes of many, the final nail in the coffin for Graeme Murty.
There is no doubt the Englishman was up against it from the start as heir to Caixinha’s mess. Sadly it hasn’t worked out the way supporters would have hoped. At the weekend, Murty presided over Rangers’ seventh home league defeat of the season, setting an unwanted record in the process. You have to go back more than a century to find a Light Blues team that lost as many games in a season as the current squad and there are still several more matches to be played.
Less than a month ago, it appeared feasible the Bears might close the gap on leaders Celtic. Last Sunday’s Old Firm derby put paid to that. Rangers fans were hoping for a positive reaction to the defeat and expected, at the very least, to secure second in the Scottish Premiership table. Even that doesn’t looked guaranteed now. If Aberdeen win their game in hand they will leapfrog Murty’s side once again.
The 43-year-old admitted his side’s home form is of serious concern.
That seems to be a theme of this stadium this season and it’s one we’re keen to break. I don’t have harsh words for the boys though. If anything they’re more disappointed than me.
They know that this place needs to be turned into a fortress. We haven’t managed to do it. But the message to the support is still to believe. I have a changing room in there who keep believing.
What a difference a week can make. Prior to Celtic’s visit to the west of Glasgow, Gers fans did believe. In fact a large section of the support base allowed themselves to consider the implications of a victory over the Hoops. At a minimum, Rangers would have been very much involved in a title race for the first time since 2012.
A few days later the optimism has been drained. That’s not to say it’s all Murty’s fault. It isn’t. But it’s difficult to argue results have improved proportionately to the January investment that was made in the squad. Like it or not in today's game, it is all about instant results.
Since the winter break Rangers have lost three times in the league. Extrapolate that across the entirety of a season, they’d be looking at a dozen Premiership defeats. That is miles off being good enough to win the title.
Again, the blame cannot be laid solely at Murty’s door. It was a massive ask for a rookie to come in and steer Rangers through the most recent phase of what feels like an everlasting crisis. He’s given it his best shot, unquestionably. The outcome has just not matched supporters' expectations. The fans may not know best but they speak loudest. The time for experimenting is now over.