For this moment in time, we’re only going back to April this year. Graeme Murty was the Rangers manager after being appointed in December 2017 by the board until the end of the season following Pedro Caixinha’s sacking. The 43-year-old had been the caretaker boss since Caixinha’s sacking in October but officially took up the reins on 22nd December and it was a shocking decision.
Including his spell as the caretaker boss that season, Murty took charge of 29 games in all competitions. Of those 29, 25 came in the Scottish Premier League and Murty did well to win 15 of those. The stand-in boss had a couple of spells in late November to early December and then again in February where he won four consecutive games and there was a time where some fans wanted to see him given the job past the end of the season.
A moment in time: Rangers’ mauling at the hands of Celtic
From there, though, things quickly fell apart. In March, fresh off the back of winning every league game in February, Rangers faced Celtic at Ibrox and were narrowly beaten 3-2 by the Hoops, despite the fact that Brendan Rodgers side had ten men for 35 minutes. After that narrow loss, the fans believed that Murty could take their side to the next level, but they were so wrong and din;t realise that disaster was just around the corner.
After scoring 13 times across three Scottish Cup games against Fraserburgh, Ayr United and Falkirk, the Gers believed they had a chance of preventing Celtic’s impending double-treble by beating them in the semi-finals. What happened instead was a heavy 4-0 defeat after Murty got his tactics all wrong, leading to a verbal onslaught from experienced pros Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace directed at the 43-year-old which saw them both suspended.
After that heavy defeat, Murty never recovered and looked a shadow of the man who had once been favourite for the Ibrox role. He went on to manage just two more games for the club, beating Hearts 2-1 before suffering another dubbing against Celtic, losing 5-0 at Parkhead as the Hoops revelled in what was going to be the double-treble success. In truth, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Murty but the way the Ibrox board threw him in at the deep end and effectively ended their season before January, with the 43-year-old now having a black mark against his name.