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Pedro Caixinha has been appointed the new manager of the Scottish Premiership side Rangers. The Gers, who had endured very difficult four years, having been relegated to the lower leagues, earned back promotion to the Premiership this season under former manager Mark Warburton.
However, having made it back to the upper echelons, Rangers did not improve much, with issues at the management level. Towards the end of his reign, Rangers had started looking sloppy. The situation at the director of football level is still unresolved. However, the club have moved forward and have made a managerial appointment.
Caixinha, in all ways, is a left-field choice, considering that the names of well-known managers like Alex McLeish, Alex Neil and Alan Pardew were all in the mix as well. But the Rangers board has decided to roll the dice and go for a relatively unknown quantity.
The Qatar Sports League, for all its qualities, doesn’t have the reputation for churning out experienced managers. Yet, it is where the board has gone ahead to find the man to take the club forward. Someone who has taken up the managerial duties since his late 20’s, the 46-year old has managed in Portugal, Mexico and Qatar, and has achieved decent success.
With Mexican club Santos Laguna, he led them to three major honours between January 2013 and August 2015. Having moved to Qatar in 2015, Caixinha has had a mixed result at Al Gharafa, with a win percentage of 42.8 so far in the Qatar Sports League.
However, what will please the Rangers fans is the way Caixinha sets his teams out. He is someone who wants solidity at the back and believes in building from the back. This makes his teams hard to beat. The Gers haven’t had the best of defences in recent times, with cracks appearing across the backline.
In his time at Al Gharafa, Caixinha has managed to turn them into a tight and solid defensive unit. A team that plays with simple tactics, looks to move the ball out wide quickly and builds up from the back.
In Caixinha, Rangers will be getting a tactician; a manager who has studied the game thoroughly and knows how to solidify teams. He has shown a defensive mindset at all the clubs he has managed and it is his main strength.
The biggest question that remains is if the Portuguese would be able to adapt to Scottish football once he is unveiled. The way the game is played in Scotland, it is much more physical and way faster than what he will have witnessed in his career; especially with Al Gharafa. So, on the face value, his appointment seems like a huge risk. But given the turgid performances at the end of Warburton’s spell at the Ibrox, it seems like a risk worth taking.