BBC man Tom English dissects paper thin CV of Michael Beale as Rangers take major risk
Michael Beale has a “paper thin CV” for taking on the Rangers manager role at a difficult time for the club, according to BBC journalist Tom English.
Steven Gerrard’s former number two from the 55th title-winning regime is now back at Ibrox in the top job, after being officially announced on Monday (28 November), but is very inexperienced as a manager in his own right.
The QPR side that he has just left were in bad form prior to the World Cup break, but now Beale has to lift Rangers out of their own slump ready to renew the Old Firm rivalry, and English has highlighted just how big of a gamble the appointment might be.
In his BBC Sport column after the appointment was announced on Monday (28 November) he said: “In bringing Beale to Ibrox in the hope of sparking a revival, the Rangers board know he can coach, based on his years at the club with Gerrard, but can he manage? The two jobs are entirely different, one existing in the margins, the other in the full and unforgiving glare.
“Laying on imaginative training sessions and devising clever game plans is a coach’s lot and Beale has a fine reputation in that world, but 22 games – including an EFL Cup exit to League One Charlton – is a paper thin CV in the world he’s about to move into.”
There’s no getting away from the fact that anyone other than Beale, with his Gers history, wouldn’t have been given this job based on their experience.
The Light Blues did take a risk on Gerrard as an unproven manager, but being known as one of the Premier League’s greatest captains at Liverpool, before leading England as well, gave him a unique standing at the start of his management career.
Bears supporters will back Beale because they want nothing more than to see the club revived from the weary side they had become by the end of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s reign.
But until he has a few games under his belt and there are visible signs of improvement there will be plenty with nagging doubts in the back of their minds.
If he lifts the players he knows and finds a way to integrate the ones he doesn’t then he can win games in the SPFL, and his reputation on the training pitch suggests he has the ability do that.
But once the major pressure of the Old Firm derby comes around in his fifth game in charge, and all the focus that comes with it falls on the manager as the figurehead of the club, he will face a unique test.
If he wins that game on 2 January and shows his time at the club previously prepared him to handle the scrutiny then the board and the fanbase can start to relax, but until then the jury is out.