Giovanni van Bronckhorst's management style revealed but new Rangers manager not 'a pupil of Pep Guardiola' or 'obsessed with tactics'

Rangers have landed a ‘people person’ as manager and not a tactical obsessive, according to a journalist close to Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has signed on at Rangers and will bring Roy Makaay to Ibrox as assistant (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has signed on at Rangers and will bring Roy Makaay to Ibrox as assistant (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Guillem Balague grew close to the new Ibrox boss during his time as a player at Barcelona, and Balague has monitored the Dutchman’s coaching career through Holland and China before his move back to Scotland.

After cementing his name as a club legend in Rotterdam by leading Feyenoord to their first Dutch league triumph in 18 years, Balague believes van Bronckhorst’s man-management is a key attribute and will bring the best out of players – regardless of system, formation or tactical style.

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“He showed at Feyenoord he could use quick transitions or keep the ball, but he was always, always thinking of scoring more and being offensive and was always depending on the players that he has.

“He won the league [there] for the first time in 18 years and the following few years weren’t so great for him after that, but he has been learning from Pep Guardiola and he went to China.

“The thing I take from his time at Feyenoord – as well as winning – is how he won. It’s not about the style, he changed the culture of the club and made it more competitive and took them to the last step that was hard to get.

"That is a sign of someone who deals with people and gets the best out of people, that's the kind of manager he is.”

Balague grew close to the midfielder in Spain where the Dutchman played under Frank Rijkaard while future managerial great Pep Guardiola took his formative coaching steps in Barcelona B. The pair briefly linked up again following van Bronckhorst’s return from Shanghai and although Rangers’ new manager has links to some of the biggest boss names in his country – he leads a humble life according to the Spanish journalist.

"He likes the normal life,” Balague added on BBC Radio 5 Live Football Daily. “He always discussed football in detail but it never seemed he was obsessed about the game. Now as manager he has brought a normality to his decisions, he’s not obsessed with tactics.

“I think he thinks that it is very important to deal with what you have got and deal with personalities.

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"The managers that he has had can tell you what he has been learning from Dick Advocaat, to [Guus] Hiddink, [Frank] Rijkaard and obviously Arsene Wenger, but [Ronald] Koeman perhaps a little less.

“These are Dutch managers who are versatile and not obsessed with using 4-3-3 or a certain style of play and I think he is flexible as a coach and as a manager.”

van Bronkhorst also spent time recently at Manchester City studying the club within CityGroup and Balague added: "He had the opportunity to watch training and talk with Pep Guardiola but no-one should make the assumption that he then became a pupil of Guardiola – I think he’s a different type of coach.”

The Dutchman signed a deal until 2025 – one year longer than Steven Gerrard’s agreement.

He will watch this weekend’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final with Hibs at Hampden but van Bronckhorst’s first match in charge will be against Sparta Prague, at Ibrox, next Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.

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