When Louis Moult’s stunning lob crashed into the net behind Jak Alnwick on Sunday, it not only killed Rangers’ hopes of reaching the Scottish League Cup final but also destroyed the last remaining slithers of credibility Pedro Caixinha had as boss of the Ibrox side.
Stumbling from crisis to crisis and spending plenty of cash in the process, Caixinha has done little to bring back success to the Light Blues. It’s arguable that he has in fact worsened a situation borne from his predecessor Mark Warburton’s reign in Glasgow.
When he was sent to the stand with his side in crisis against Motherwell at Hampden, it typified everything that’s gone wrong for him so far; public outbursts, controversy, spats with other managers and ultimately a poor Rangers result.
It was always a risk to appoint the Portuguese, who was plucked from obscurity in Qatar to usher in a new era at one of Britain’s most recognisable clubs. In many ways it was an ambitious experiment given his contacts around the world and his previous success with Santos Laguna in Mexico. However, enough is enough, it’s an experiment that needs to end, especially when the man to lead to success has been staring them in the face all this time; Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.
McInnes has been a leading light on the Scottish management scene for years now and has consistently provided the kind of results and put together the kind of seasons that Rangers fans have been envious of. It’s time for the powers at Ibrox to make the bold decision they should have made initially; end the Caixinha misery and make a major play for the former Light Blues midfielder.
Ever since his arrival in March the pressure has been on Pedro Caixinha. While some of it has been unfair, he has had to endure a level of media scrutiny beyond most managers past or present in Scotland, it’s his result history that tells the true story behind his leadership of the club so far and reveals that much of the pressure upon him has been self-inflicted.
Rangers have failed to win three matches in a row once since he took over, which for a club like Rangers is simply not good enough. Even if they compromise their ambitions and settle for second place, the inability to string together any semblance of decent form is inexcusable. When you factor in that during the summer he had a transfer spend greater than other manager in the country, it’s a record that becomes completely baffling.
In between his inconsistent results, which have brought failure not just in the league but in cup competitions and Europe, he’s made headlines for all the wrong reasons, falling out with players and getting dragged into embarrassing exchanges with rival teams and managers.
Even if there is inaction within the Rangers hierarchy and he stumbles on for a while longer, we’re at the beginning of the end for Caixinha, there is no way back from here.
The truth is that Derek McInnes was the man that should have taken over from Mark Warburton to begin with. He may not have been as exciting a choice as an unknown manager who had one a couple of trophies on another continent, but his record in Scottish football is inarguable and his history at Aberdeen alone points to a man who knows how to rebuild an underachieving club.
It’s easy to forget now, but the Dons were a mess when the former Rangers man took over. In the four seasons prior to his arrival they finished eighth once and ninth three times in the Scottish top-flight. In the four seasons since, he’s finished second three times and third the other. He even won a trophy with the club in 2014, the Scottish League Cup, and while it’s perhaps less trophy success than Aberdeen fans would have liked, it’s still something that Light Blues fans themselves have not experienced in quite some time.
This season again he is keeping pace with Celtic and his side sit six points ahead of Caixinha’s Rangers despite having a lower budget and having to massively overhaul his squad in the summer.
When you also consider that McInnes understands the ethos of Rangers and was with the side as a player during some of their most successful years in the 1990s, it seems nonsensical that we’ve gotten to this stage without the Ibrox side having made a major move to appoint him. What more evidence do the decision makers at the club need to see he is right man to lead them forward?
They got it wrong in March, but there’s still time to salvage a floundering season and it begins with showing the ruthlessness to end a directionless manager and appoint one that knows the path to success.