By George Overhill

21st Nov, 2022 | 8:45pm

Rangers: Tom English clashes with Kevin Thomson on BBC over Celtic deficit and Giovanni van Bronckhorst replacement

Kevin Thomson and Tom English have clashed over the managerial situation at Rangers following the club’s sacking of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The Dutchman’s year-long time in charge at Ibrox came to an end on Monday (21 November), with Celtic nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, and with an ageing squad struggling to cope with injuries and integrate summer signings.

BBC reporter English is adamant that January recruitment is going to be a key consideration for any prospective appointment, while former Gers player Thomson insists that they would be the wrong answer if that is what they were focusing on.

Speaking on the BBC’s Scottish Football Podcast on Monday (21 November, 20min 15sec) English suggested a candidate would likely ask the club what he has to spend in January when Thomson cut in: “Tom, can I just interrupt you? If I was at the top of Rangers and somebody had their doubts and wanted to know about the budget, they’re not the man for the job.”

“But they have to find those questions out,” English replied.

Thomson continued: “No, I disagree. The mentality to succeed at Rangers, you get the opportunity to go back and work at Rangers or Celtic, these big, massive clubs, you ain’t knocking it back.”

English then asked: “Are you saying when [Steven] Gerrard took over Kevin, that he didn’t ask about budgets?”

“He’ll have known the budget, but he took the job over knowing Celtic had won four quadruples… he would have seen that as a challenge and gritted his teeth,” Thomson argued.

“In my humble opinion, if you’re bothered about budgets and Celtic being nine points in front of you, Rangers ain’t for you.”

But English disputed that stance, saying: “Any manager who goes into that job and says, ‘I don’t care about the budget and I don’t care how strong Celtic are’, I think they’re doomed, absolutely doomed.

“They need to get new players into a team that is desperately lacking in energy, in youth, in pace, in goals, in defensive stability. Any manager that goes in and says, ‘I’m going to go into Rangers, and because it’s Rangers I don’t need any new players’, forget about it.”


There’s elements of truth to both these perspectives, because Rangers are indeed a big enough job to attract plenty of managerial candidates, but they won’t want to be set up to fail.

The proof is in the league table and the recent Old Firm results, so improvements are obviously needed, and while the current squad has had success it looks past its best.

Clearly, things had gone stale under Van Bronckhorst and a new boss could get more out of the same players, but few fans would dispute the need for new signings still.

Some candidates might back themselves to turn things around at Ibrox whatever the situation, but having seen the previous manager removed for failing to get the better of Celtic they are sure to want some assurances that they will be armed with more.

Despite the money that has come into the club over the past 12 months it is unrealistic to expect all the problems to be solved by spending, so there has to be an element of improved coaching and squad management as well.

But much as been made of how Ange Postecoglou’s side have done better in recent transfer markets, and Ross Wilson isn’t popular with supporters as a result.

So whoever comes in needs to be backed, and there need to be far more hits than misses compared to the previous two windows.

In other Rangers news, one player who struggled under Van Bronckhorst liked the announcement of his sacking on social media.