Ex-Rangers defender Kevin Muscat has been one of the favourite for the job since day one. As a player he was famed for not always following the rules. He was previously branded a ‘low life’ and a ‘nobody’ by former England striker Ian Wright. Then, in 2000, Martin Grainger of Birmingham branded Muscat the ‘most hated man in football’. His explosive temperament was so bad that he wasn’t selected for Old Firm games in his time at Rangers due to the fear that he would incite a riot.
Is he the type of personality that Rangers need? Someone that won’t accept low standards and below-par performances. Someone who doesn’t have any favourites or previous relationships to the playing staff?
He’s someone who knows what it means to play for Rangers and won a treble in his only season here. He’s an experienced ex-international, who’s won titles in Australia and Japan, who plays an expansive and attacking style of football. Could he be the man for the job?
MANAGERIAL CAREER SO FAR
For the majority of his managerial career, Kevin Muscat has followed Ange Postecoglu and built on what the Spurs manager started. He took over at Melbourne Victory and in his first full season at the club managed an A-League Premiership-Championship double.
Then came his worst spell in management, the Australian joined Sint-Truidense and only lasted six months in charge. The clubs best players were sold from under him while giving him little to reinvest and since he left in 2020 the club are now onto their third manager in that period.
Then he replaced Ange Postecoglu at Yokohama Marinos. Again, in his first full season, he guided them to the J-League title. Currently they sit 2nd behind big spenders Vissel Kobe with 5 games remaining in the season. They are also preparing for a League Cup Semi-Final and are currently competing in the AFC Champions League.
Muscat had to rebuild the team after losing stars like Daizen Maeda, Tomoki Iwata, Teruhito Nakagawa and Yohei Takaoka. He’s proven to be able to successfully lead a rebuild and get the best out of the players he has.
These are his managerial stats so far (as of 29th September 2023);
- 334 Matches
- 167 Wins
- 68 Draws
- 99 Losses
- 50% Win Rate
He currently has a 56.73% win rate at Yokohama and they still have a chance to win a second J-League title in a row.
Unsurprisingly Kevin Muscat sets his teams up similarly to Ange Postecoglu. His teams press high and are relentless when it comes to attacking. They like to hold the ball in the final third and use full backs to create overloads while the wingers cut inside.
It’s the type of style that fans would love, when was the last time there was exciting football at Ibrox? They are currently the top scorers in the J-League with 52 goals in 29 games which averages out at 1.8 goals per game.
His Yokohama side keep the ball very well and average 58.6% possession Per90 along with averaging 84.2% pass accuracy. This season they have averaged 13.7 shots Per90 with an average of 5 of them being on target. Also, Per KeepUP, since he took over his team average 33.9 penalty area entries per game, which is more than any other J-League club.
A relentlessly attacking Rangers is something fans haven’t seen for years, could Muscat’s style be the breathe of fresh air the team need? Could the excitement also bring results?
Many fans are trepidatious over this potential appointment. Not just because they don’t want to be seen as copying Celtic and Ange Postecoglu but also just because it worked out for them, doesn’t mean it will work out for us also.
Kevin Muscat is a manager who will demand high standards and plays attractive, attacking football. Another worry is though, do Rangers currently have a squad capable of playing that style? How much of a rebuild would be needed in the next two windows to get a team capable of playing this way?
Is Muscat high on your list of potential candidates? If not, who do you want to get the job now?
ICYMI read our article on what you could expect from Phillipe Clement should he be given the job here.