New Gers boss Caixinha showed greatness in Qatar

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(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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European round-up: Spurs, Man City & Atletico all win

In the goals: Spurs, City and Atletico.

Harry Kane extended his hot streak with a blistering brace as Tottenham beat Everton 3-2 to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to seven points.

Kane opened the scoring with a thunderous first-half strike at White Hart Lane and netted again after the break to take his goal tally to 24 in 28 games this season.

Everton forward Romelu Lukaku, Kane's closest rival in the race to finish as Premier League top scorer, got one back before Dele Alli struck for Spurs in the closing moments.

There was still time for Enner Valencia to score Everton's second, but Tottenham held on for a third victory in their last four league games. Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane both scored as Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 away victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in Sunday's late game. LA LIGA A smiling Fernando Torres watched just four days on from a sickening blow to the head as Antoine Griezmann struck twice in Atletico Madrid's 3-0 win over Valencia. Torres, a lifelong Atletico fan, was knocked unconscious during his side's 1-1 draw at Deportivo la Coruna on Thursday and spent the night in hospital, although thankfully suffered no serious injury. He was serenaded with a banner reading "the Calderon loves you" before kick-off and was soon on his feet in celebration as Griezmann finished off a fine team move after just 10 minutes. Kevin Gameiro's deflected effort doubled Atletico's lead three minutes into the second-half before Griezmann completed the scoring seven minutes from time. SERIE A Leonardo Bonucci's second-half leveller saved Juventus's blushes a day after Roma virtually conceded the title as the champions were held to their first Serie A draw in over a year at Udinese. Juventus, aiming for a record sixth consecutive scudetto, were given a push in the right direction on Saturday when Roma's 2-1 home defeat to Napoli gave the Turin giants the chance to pull 10 points clear. But in a cagey performance at the Dacia Stadium, filled to the brim for the visit of the 32-times Italian champions, Juve failed to capitalise, settling for their first draw of the campaign and their first in Serie A since drawing with Bologna in February 2016.

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INTERVIEW: McCoist on Rangers and Murty

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The 54-year-old, who is one of the most decorated stars in Ibrox history, offered his views on why Mark Warburton left the club and the task facing current interim boss Graeme Murty.

McCoist was on the winning side on Friday as the Tartan Army defeated England legends 8-4 during the annual match held at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence.

Do you agree with the former Gers great?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.



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