Michael Beale to Rangers: A gamble worth taking? Weighing up the pros and cons of Ibrox frontrunner

Michael Beale is the favourite to become the next manager of Rangers following the sacking of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The current Queen's Park Rangers manager is no stranger to the Ibrox club, having spent three years on the coaching staff under previous boss Steven Gerrard. He was credited as the brainchild behind the tactics employed under Gerrard which helped deliver the Premiership title for the first time in a decade in season 2020-21, as well as twice reaching the Europa League last 16. The 42-year-old Englishman followed Gerrard to Aston Villa in November 2021 but went his own way at the end of last season, taking his first steps into management when he took over the reins at QPR.

Knowing lie of land

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This recent experience of working for Rangers is what puts Beale ahead of other candidates for the vacancy. He has already coached most of the current squad, knows the players inside-out, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as having a pre-established relationship with the club heirarchy, including sporting director Ross Wilson. He is aware of the Scottish football landscape and is well aware of the demands that come with the Rangers job, while the club will also know exactly the type of person they are hiring without any need for references, safe in the knowledge that Beale is well-liked by the Ibrox support. He is highly-regarded as a progressive coach, who likes his team to play a 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1 formation with an emphasis on attack, which is exactly what Rangers fans will be looking for after becoming fed-up with the more pragmatic approach of Van Bronckhorst.

Michael Beale is the favourite to become the next manager of Rangers following the departure of Giovanni van Bronckhorst. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
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Lack of experience

However, while Beale undoubtedby ticks a lot of boxes for Rangers, he could be viewed as nothing other than a gamble for the Ibrox board given his lack of managerial experience, which amounts to just four months in the hotseat. He is more experienced than coaches of the same age having quit playing football at 21 to focus on his coaching career, which included a decade spent in the youth ranks at Chelsea before a move to the Liverpool academy, where he crossed paths with Gerrard. His coaching credentials are unquestionable, but a good coach does not always make a good manager, and the sample size is small. Taking charge of 21 matches in the English second tier, winning nine, losing eight and drawing four, to sit seventh in the table, would not normally qualify you to become the manager of Rangers.

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Recent form and compo

The more recent form of QPR would also be a worry after three successive defeats capped a five-match winless run prior to the World Cup break, although the recent approach from Wolves, which was turned down, and noise around Rangers could be a mitigating factor in the downturn. Money could also be a stumbling block with a fee of around £1.5million believed to be required to prize Beale away from Loftus Road, on top of the reported £3-4million severance package for Van Bronckhorst and his backroom staff. Out-of-work candidates such as Sean Dyche would come free of charge, however, if Rangers feel Beale is the right man to take them forward, then this will be viewed as cash worth spending as they look to close the gap on Celtic.

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A glowing endorsement

There are undoubted pros and cons for Rangers to weigh up over the prospect of appointing Beale, but the words of Gerrard regarding his former right-hand man would suggest he is a gamble worth taking. Speaking to The Robbie Fowler Podcast earlier this year, the former Rangers boss said: “It would take me 15 to 20 years to become as good as Michael Beale as an on-pitch coach, delivering sessions on a daily basis, so I let Mick be Mick because he's the expert. What I'll never do is try to do someone else's job when they are better than me at doing it. A lot of people won't have a clue what Michael Beale does on the training pitch, but what he does is really quite special. I haven’t had the luxury of retiring early from the game or not being a player, in terms of having that pitch time to really become a coach for the past 20 years like a Brendan Rodgers, a Mourinho or a Michael Beale."

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