Graeme Murty has never looked further away from being appointed as Rangers’ permanent manager.
The popular former youth team coach took over from Pedro Caixinha back in October, initially on an interim basis but, after an impressive start, he was handed the reigns until the end of the season.
Results and performances have taken a turn for the worse of late. And Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing at Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals has raised plenty of questions about Murty’s tactics, his man-management and his ability to bridge the gap between the Gers and the rampant Hoops.
Supporters may look to the fact that Ajax dispensed Keizer this season after just 17 games and write the 49-year-old off straight away as a gamble simply not worth taking.
But if Rangers lack the funds to compete with Celtic in the transfer market, they need a revolutionary, open-minded and modern tactician to keep the pace with Brendan Rodgers, and Murty certainly is not that.
Keizer, however, could be. The Dutchman worked wonders with the Jong Ajax reserve side in 2016/17, guiding a side containing prodigious talents like Justin Kluivert, Frenkie De Jong and the tragic Appie Nouri to second in Holland’s second tier, scoring 93 goals in just 38 games and a massive increase on the previous season’s tally of 59.
Keizer is a true ‘tactical nerd’ – a manager who drills his players on the importance of shape and positioning on and off the ball. But his philosophy is soaked in Ajax influence, from the fluid 4-3-3 to the relentless high press and the desire for thrilling, mind-spinning attacking football.
In fact, you could argue that the main factor behind his failure in charge of Ajax’s first-team is that his tactics took a little too long to become ingrained in the minds of the players.
If Rangers did take up Keizer’s offer, they would have to be patient in pursuit of results. But if he can do to Rangers what he did to the Jong Ajax, success would be worth the wait.
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