Rangers’ recent 1-0 home defeat against Celtic left many fans questioning whether manager Michael Beale is the right man to take the club forward.

Beale’s coaching reputation was largely built on the work he did behind the scenes when Steven Gerrard was in charge at Ibrox. He jumped ship to join the former Liverpool midfielder at Aston Villa, before accepting an offer from Queens Park Rangers to manage them in June 2022.

After posting an unremarkable record of nine wins in 22 games, Beale was approached by Rangers to take charge of first team matters last November. Since then, Rangers have won 27 of their 38 outings under Beale. Unfortunately, that has not been good enough to win silverware.

Their start to this season has been underwhelming, with the club already trailing Celtic by four points in the Scottish Premiership after four games. They were also unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by PSV Eindhoven – a huge disappointment given the backing Beale received in the summer transfer window.

The defeat against the Hoops sparked inevitable talk about Beale’s future, with his questionable tactics raising major concerns about his suitability for the role.

Former Chelsea manager Graham Potter was linked with the club, but the chances of him moving north of the border are fairly slim. Birmingham City boss John Eustace has also been touted as a possible replacement, but you would be hard-pushed to argue his CV screams ‘future Rangers manager’.

A more intriguing option is Kevin Muscat, with Rangers reportedly making initial contact with the former Australian international defender. The club subsequently dismissed the rumours and backed Beale – an inevitable reaction given the league campaign is only four games old.

However, sports bettors clearly believe there is no smoke without fire, backing Muscat in to odds of 7/2 to become the next Rangers manager. Several betting sites with free bets saw a flurry of activity, forcing them to slash their prices.

Having snapped up generous odds with their free bets on Muscat taking over at Ibrox, punters will be watching developments at Ibrox with keen interest.

While fans will be hoping Beale can turn things around, a strong argument can be made to say Rangers should cut their losses and deliver a winning return to punters eagerly holding on to free bet tickets by appointing Muscat as his replacement.

The current Yokohama F Marinos manager has received some noteworthy support from a man who is familiar with his talents – former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou. Muscat previously worked under Postecoglou at club level, while he was also part of his coaching staff with the Australian national team.

In a recent interview with talkSPORT, the Tottenham Hotspur boss backed Muscat to become the next Australian coach to bag a top managerial job in the United Kingdom.

“Kevin’s a good man and he’s doing very well in Japan,” Postecoglou said. “Watch out for him - he'll be another one that comes across. He’ll be another Aussie that comes across here and breaks down some barriers.”

Having witnessed what Postecoglou achieved with their bitter rivals, Rangers fans could be forgiven for salivating about what Muscat brings to the table.

He has a reputation for building teams who play attractive football, taking elements from Postecoglou’s successful style and adding his own stamp through smart recruitment. Muscat is also adept at man-management, extracting the best out of players who may have underachieved elsewhere.

The parallels between Postecoglou and Muscat are unquestionably important where Rangers are concerned given what the former achieved during his time in Scotland.

Many people questioned his credentials before he arrived at Celtic, dismissing what he achieved elsewhere due to the pre-conceived biases they held about the leagues he had managed in.

However, his winning mentality made Celtic the scourge of online bookmakers, and he has continued in the same vein since taking charge at Tottenham. Muscat possesses the same traits. He already has silverware on his CV as a manager – an achievement that has eluded Beale up to this point.

The 50-year-old is familiar with Rangers have briefly played for the club just over 20 years ago, so understands what the organisation means to the blue half of Glasgow.

Given the success Celtic enjoyed under Postecoglou, appointing someone with similar credentials to replace Beale seems like a no-brainer.

It will be intriguing to see whether the club eventually wise up and get Muscat on board.

Discuss this article

Enjoyed this broadcast? Disagree entirely? Found an obvious mistake? Whatever your opinion, it's welcome on our popular and friendly message-board.

Visit Gersnet Forum