Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the new Rangers manager, but is he the right man to replace Steven Gerrard at Ibrox?
The club’s former striker and Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd discusses the Dutchman’s appointment, the squad he is inheriting and the targets for this season.
Van Bronckhorst has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, Sky Sports News has been told, taking him up until the summer of 2025.
The former Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona defender returns to Ibrox, subject to receipt of a work permit, to succeed Gerrard, who left to manage Premier League side Aston Villa.
He will take training for the first time on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game against Sparta Prague.
Former Netherlands striker Roy Maakay will join the Ibrox coaching setup after the pair previously worked together at Feyenoord where van Bronckhorst led the Dutch side to the KNVB Cup in his first full season in charge, before sealing the Eredivisie title the year after – the club’s first in 18 years.
Van Bronckhorst said he is “absolutely delighted to be returning to Rangers” but how will he fare at Ibrox?
Is he the right man for the job?
“You can understand why the club have taken their time, this appointment has to be the right one,” Boyd told Sky Sports.
“Gio has been here as a player and understands what the fans want and that’s to win games. If you can do it with style that’s an extra bonus.
“Knowing him and what he will bring to Rangers, the appointment fits. The players here play a system he knows and he has shown in Holland he can take teams to the next level.”
What type of a coach is he?
“When I was doing my coaching badges he was kind enough to let me go over to Feyenoord for four or five days.
“He is a coach who wants to be on the training pitch, he wants to be out there making the players better.
“That is really important as well because there are a lot of talented players at Rangers and if you get them firing on all cylinders the club can be a real threat.
“His style, philosophy and vision is aligned with the club’s and that is vital. It’s clear he has a plan Rangers buy into and having seen him in action in the Netherlands it is a great move for both him and the club.”
What must he deliver this season?
“Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is coming into Ibrox with a good squad and will be expected to challenge in every cup competition and win the league as well.
“First and foremost you need to win the league, especially with what’s at stake this season. The winners are all but guaranteed to go straight into the Champions League next season and the finances are crucial for any Scottish club going forward.
“People will say Gerrard’s exit was is bad timing, but if you look at it the other way, a lot of people have mentioned he has only won one trophy in nine.
“Well, Gio is six weeks away from actually lifting a trophy that Gerrard failed to do, in a cup, if the side win two games. The opportunity is there for Gio.”
Does he have the squad to win the title?
“Steven Gerrard has done an excellent job and left the squad in a healthy position. It’s not often a manager leaves a football club when it’s in such a good place.
“I don’t really think there’s much needed to be done with the squad. There have been performances that haven’t been at the level expected, but you’re four points clear at the top of the table so there’s not a big upheaval needed.
“Sometimes with someone new coming in, a new voice on the training pitch can get an extra few percent from the players.
“I will always say that you are not in control of results, but what you are in control of is making the environment you are working in a better working environment for players to come to work and people to turn up and represent Rangers. Steven definitely did that with the help of everyone else behind the scenes.
“He’s left the team in a good place. It’s up to Giovanni Van Bronckhorst to carry that on and move the team forward.”