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Rangers: Ibrox side should have hired a different manager in 2017

The vast majority of Glasgow Rangers supporters will have forgotten about the terrible six-month spell under former manager Pedro Caixinha back in 2017.

The Ibrox side was at arguably its lowest ebb since arriving back in the top flight the year before, with Old Firm rivals Celtic being in a relentless mood domestically, going undefeated in all competitions.

Rangers had a nightmare by hiring Caixinha and it could have been so much better, especially with some of the candidates that were being touted before the 51-year-old took over at Ibrox.

Rangers had a mare on Neil

Current Stoke City manager, Alex Neil, was linked with a move to Rangers following the acrimonious departure of Mark Warburton and assistant David Weir in February 2017. Former Gers boss Alex McLeish and Gary Rowett were also shortlisted and looking back, the club certainly appointed the wrong man.

Neil took over as Norwich City manager in 2015 at just 33 years of age following his stint as player-manager at Hamilton and led the club to the Premier League just four months later via the Championship playoffs.

He was sacked by Norwich less than two years later, but the 41-year-old has impressed in spells at Preston North End and Sunderland since, before joining Stoke in August, compiling a 43% win percentage during his managerial career.

Neil guided Sunderland back to the second tier following a three-year spell in League One and his move to Stoke certainly came out of the blue, especially with Sunderland on the rise.

Former Sunderland player Michael Gray described Neil as “fantastic” when discussing the start to life Neil had at the club, while also claiming the 41-year-old can get a “reaction” from his players.

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard reacts after the match

How many signings did Rangers make in the last summer window?

With Caixinha managing just 26 matches as Rangers boss – winning 14, drawing five and losing seven, picking up a measly 1.81 points per game – the board didn’t exactly make the best move by bringing him to the club and they might have done much better by hiring Neil.

Steven Gerrard eventually guided the Ibrox side to their 55th league title in 2021, but it would have been interesting to see how Neil would have done in place of Caixinha.

Article title: Rangers: Ibrox side should have hired a different manager in 2017

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