Daunting career challenge ahead of new Rangers boss Warburton
When former Glasgow giants Rangers endured a stunning domestic decline, being sent down the Scottish divisions due to off-the-field troubles, it was a dark period which was expected to be recovered from instantly, but that struggle has continued and several managers have failed to turn the fortunes at Ibrox.
Mark Warburton is the latest managerial acquisition at the dauntingly demanding Scottish club, as the 52-year-old aims to achieve what former bosses Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowell were unable to do, and guide Rangers back to the country’s elite top tier division.
Although, with the job at hand seemingly a make or break position in the indifferent career of this English boss, will Warburton’s latest role eventually cost him his gradually constructed reputation and managerial status?
With the unnerving eye of part-owner Mike Ashley constantly being cast over proceedings and results at Ibrox, Warburton faces possibly the toughest test in his career to date (even-money with Coral for promotion), with the former Brentford boss claiming his role is about a lot more than just steadying the precarious Gers ship.
“Whoever comes in must appreciate the size of the task in terms of the history of the club and where they have to be,” stated the ex-Watford youth coach upon his arrival. “This is about making significant progress in a designated period of time.”
The key word outlined in Warburton’s comments is ‘time’, after himself and new assistant David Weir were handed three-year contracts at the club, but as everyone knows in this current footballing climate, that means nothing. Failure to deliver what the Rangers hierarchy crave so bad, and have done so for a while, will ultimately end in yet another managerial casualty.
Weir’s arrival alongside the new man at the Ibrox helm, though, will undoubtedly boost his attempts to achieve the club’s promotion goals, after a bitter blow this term during the play-offs, with the assistant coach having captained Gers in the past.
However, despite much speculation, there will be no place on the managerial staff for highly-rated former Valencia coach Ian Cathro, who was heavily tipped to obtain a position alongside the former Griffin Park duo.
Cathro left his position at the La Liga outfit recently due to family reasons and was linked with a role in Glasgow, after returning to Scotland, but Warburton must work without him as Rangers hope to better rivals Hibernian (7/4 for promotion) and St Mirren (10/3) next term by securing their Premiership return.
The new Rangers boss took charge of Brentford following the sacking of current Leeds United manager Uwe Rosler in December 2013, while Weir became his assistant soon after the appointment with the Championship club.
Warburton’s contributions to helping the Bees progress was commendable, as he took them from League One to the Championship during the 2013/14 campaign, their first time in the second tier since 1993, and watched his side beaten by Middlesbrough in the play-off semi-finals this past term.
Within his two years as a coach at Brentford, Warburton also oversaw the opening of their new academy and was the co-founder of the NextGen series, a European club event for Under-19 level that ran for two terms between 2011 and 2013.
With such experience and guile, despite scuppering recent play-off hopes for Brentford, Warburton will now seek to achieve promotion back to the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, a task which would prove to be the determined manager’s sternest career challenge in a division where there is no margin for error.