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New Gers boss Caixinha showed greatness in Qatar

Read about how new Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha excelled in Qatar and can do the same in Scotland

Mitch Freeley
by Mitch Freeley
12th March 2017

article:12th March 2017

(Qatar Stars League)
(Qatar Stars League)

New Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has the potential to make a major impact at the Glasgow club.

The 46-year-old has just put pen to paper on a three-year deal to manage the Glasgow giants, and certainly based on my experience with the man, he has the passion and tactical nous to return the side to the very top of the Scottish game.


The ex-Santos Laguna coach came to the Qatar Stars League in January 2016 with the aim of reviving Al Gharafa, a side who had stagnated since last lifting the top-flight title in 2010.

Mired in a relegation dog-fight, Caixinha turned around the fortunes of the club, eventually finishing in ninth place in the standings. This was thanks to new tactics and the signings of Hungary international Krisztian Nemeth and ex-Gers winger Vladimir Weiss.

In the Emir Cup, Caixinha steered his new side to a quarter final before bowing out to eventual finalists Al Sadd. Insiders at the club admitted that Caixinha overhauled the way the players trained at the club, insisting on building a team ethic by enforcing morning training sessions and canteen-style eating.

The changes certainly had the desired effect for Gharafa as this season they have delivered their most consistent displays in years. They played a brand of attacking, possession-based football which was good on the eye.

Electing for a front three and focusing on wingers saw Gharafa gain plenty of plaudits for their attacking style, not to mention an impressive 3-2 win over current QSL champions Al Rayyan. The Portuguese coach, who can count Jose Mourinho as one of his friends, has also often showed flexibility in games changing around in his formation when needed.

Off the pitch, Caixinha is a real student of the game. He has been studying for a doctorate in sports management, which leads to a worldly view of football.

This is further emphasised in a managerial career which has seen Caixinha employed in a host of countries ranging from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Romania either as a manager or assistant coach.

In dealing with the media, Caixinha often reveled in perfect English; insightful, well considered points were made, while also being forceful enough to push away unneeded questions. That could certainly prove useful in the maelstrom of Scottish football and the consistent media battles between the Old Firm sides.

For many, the Portuguese coach could be considered a left-field choice. But I have certainly witnessed first-hand the work of a methodical considered coach who prides himself on delivering good attacking football.

Providing Pedro is given time, he has all the tools to make a success of his spell at Ibrox.


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