FOOTBALL OPINION: Caixinha failed lamentably in the ‘Old Firm’ clashes

Rangers' Pedro Caixinha
Rangers' Pedro Caixinha

So Pedro has gone – and with him goes the Ibrox backroom staff recruited in March.

It can hardly have been a surprise given Rangers’ results this season – but where does the blame lie?

A decent and honourable man, his departure comes as no real surprise except perhaps in its’ timing given that Caixinha has been in charge for just seven months.

The manager of Rangers has one task above all others – the defeat of Celtic – and in that Caixinha failed lamentably.

Three ‘Old Firm’ clashes - two of them at Ibrox – all ended in comfortable wins for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

By no means should one restrict any analysis of the Caixinha era to just those three ‘Old Firm’ clashes of course – of 26 games played since his appointment only 14 have been won, a poor percentage for a club of Rangers’ standing.

He inherited another manager’s squad of course – and whilst many of his own signings on paper at least appeared impressive there have been just too many questions raised over Pedro’s man-management, an essential quality for any British coach.

Too many player’s fell foul of the Portuguese – was it necessary to treat so harshly Kenny Miller, Harry Forrester, Barrie McKay, Joe Dodoo, Martyn Waghorn, Andy Halliday and Michael O’Halloran?

There are many who believe that the end for Caixinha should have come three months ago – in Luxembourg – when the Light Blues suffered arguably the worst defeat in the club’s long and proud history with elimination from the Europa League at the hands of Progres Niederkorn.

Hope springs eternal of course in the mindset of the football fan – and there were times when Pedro’s Rangers impressed.

There were also times when luck eluded the Ibrox boss – appalling refereeing decisions in key games against Neil Lennon’s Hibernian and last Sunday’s League Cup Semi-Final at Hampden ultimately proved critical, although there were many Ibrox teams of the past who would have dealt in their own inimitable fashion with the strong-arm tactics of Motherwell.

His appointment was in the eyes of many observers an outrageous risk given his management CV that incorporated spells in Portugal, Mexico and most recently Qatar.

Many believed that what the club required at such a critical time in its’ history was an experienced British manager – and there were several available and interested candidates that fitted exactly that criteria.

There was nothing wrong with the appointment of a European coach of course – provided the successful candidate was someone of stature with an impressive track record. Pedro could hardly be said to qualify under any criteria.

Not that any of this was Caixinha’s fault – responsibility surely lies with the Board of Directors that appointed him. It is believed that chairman and largest shareholder Dave King delegated responsibility to a sub-committee of three – including Chief Executive Stewart Robertson and Director Graeme Park.

Park it is believed was the driving force behind the hiring of Pedro – the Rangers director is someone who believes that the best coaches in the world are Portuguese and all cut from the same mould that produced Jose Mourinho. The fact that another Pedro – Mendes of that ilk – was Caixinha’s agent just added to the attraction.

Too often the Rangers manager baffled with bizarre statements – at first many put it down to language interpretation and a difference in cultures, but in the final analysis there were just too many.

Graeme Park for one must surely be considering his position given the events of the past seven months.