What makes a Rangers manager? Of all the questions that John Bennett and James Bisgrove put to their prospective appointments this week, that is the query that they must ask themselves.

The long list of names has become a shortlist of candidates. Over the course of a series of meetings in London, the next Ibrox boss will be chosen and the process that started with the sacking of Michael Beale will come to a conclusion with the appointment of his successor.

It was in the aftermath of the decision to remove Beale from office that Bennett made it clear that Rangers would take their time and consider their options. The need for the next man to be the right man is obvious and Rangers have to be sure – or as sure as they can be in a game where nothing is certain and nothing can be taken for granted – that they are backing a winner after putting their money on too many losers in recent times.

Bennet and Bisgrove will put their recommendation to the Ibrox board and investors in the coming days. Before they do so, here are the boxes that must be ticked.

Track record of success

A Rangers manager that cannot win big matches, that cannot lift league titles and domestic cups, will never last. The ability to deliver sustained silverware successes is the main prerequisite for the man that will become just the 19th to hold office at Ibrox. Rangers legacies are not left by single triumphs. Having blown the opportunity to build on their 55th league flag, Rangers are now at the beginning of another era and trying to lay the foundations for not just the next triumph but a series of glories as they seek to re-establish themselves as a force.

Even the most heralded boss of recent times, Steven Gerrard, was unable to win more than one honour but the next man must follow his lead and bring the main prize in our game back to Ibrox. If it does not arrive this term, then there is no margin for error next season.

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The process of appointing a boss cannot simply be a case of ‘show us your medals’ but a history of winning as a player or, more importantly, as a coach cannot be overlooked and those achievements must feature prominently in any decision. Not only does it prove a candidate’s mental fortitude, it shows their aptitude for building successful teams.

Weighing up achievements between prospective candidates can often be difficult given the strength of the respective leagues and factors such as budgets. Being able to win in one division is no guarantee that the methods will translate to Scotland but assessing previous goals that have been attained does provide a useful barometer. Rangers is a club that is built on standards and success. This is not the time nor the place for a rookie to be thrown in to lead a club and an institution.

Defined style of play

At the end of the season, it is all about the substance for Rangers. Yet the style must also come into consideration and there is perhaps more emphasis than ever before on the way in which a manager sets his team up.

The entertainment factor is not the be-all and end-all. Supporters naturally want to watch a more pleasing on-the-eye side week in week out, yet a team that excites but does not win is pointless and smiles earned from an attacking philosophy will be wiped off faces if results don’t match performances. For all of the talk about Beale’s approach and credentials on the training pitch, his reign ended with Rangers operating as a collection of individuals rather than as a sum of their parts. It was not cohesive, and it certainly wasn’t compelling.

The issue that Beale’s successor has is that the squad has been assembled in the image of the former manager. A coach that seeks to utilise wingers to attack with width and pace and to press from the front could well struggle given the limitations of the group, even when the treatment room is cleared and all of Rangers’ forward options are available for selection once again.

The transition from old to new will not be instantaneous in terms of the look and feel of the side. Yet supporters must be able to buy into a way of playing that they believe will be good to watch and that will win considerably more often than not.

The demands of Scottish football are unique in many ways and a manager that cannot crack the code will quickly fail. If you do not have a plan for overcoming well-organised, committed teams that defend deep and in numbers, you are destined to come up short and Rangers must have that tactical astuteness and flexibility in mind throughout.

Maximising a transfer budget

This is no doubt where the candidates will be turning the tables and asking questions of Bennett and Bisgrove. It is only natural that each will be seeking assurances of what level of resources they will have to recruit their own players and what the ramifications are in the aftermath of Beale’s rebuild.

Rangers invested heavily over the course of the summer but are not getting value for money right now, especially from those players – in particular Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers – that commanded the biggest fee. If Beale’s successor seeks to move them on, Rangers will surely be staring at losses on what was paid just a few months ago.

The size of the transfer kitty often dominates the conversation around Rangers but the reality today and tomorrow is the same as it always has been. It is not how much you spend, it is how you spend it. Beale and Giovanni van Bronckhorst were not short-changed but their eye for a player was called into question. No signing is risk-free and a sure thing but the record in the transfer market has simply not been good enough for too long now and Rangers’ fortunes will not change until that strike rate does.

The player trading model is one of the ‘four pillars’ of Rangers, yet it is one that has not been fully established to date and the Ibrox board doesn’t need to look far to see the benefits of being able to recruit players with the required quality for here and now but a resale value for the future.

If a boss can prove his strengths in terms of recruitment and show he has the contacts book to match, that would be a significant plus point for his job chances. Any manager will live or die based on the players that he signs and the players that he picks.

Ability to improve players

It is one thing being able to spot a potential rough diamond. Yet it is quite another being able to polish the edges and turn a low-cost recruit into a multi-million-pound asset. And, of course, a serial winner.

Some managers have their strengths in motivating those around them and revel in the role as a figurehead of a club. Others see themselves having a greater impact on the grass and in preparing a team tactically for each respective challenge.

The squad that the next manager will inherit is not without its faults but there are players in there that should be capable of being part of a group that challenges for domestic honours. The first months of the new era will be about getting the best out of what is in situ and finding the marginal gains that are required to put together a sustained run of Premiership victories.

A change of perspective and a fresh voice often has the desired effect on a squad. Indeed, that was evident this time last term as Beale replaced Van Bronckhorst and was able to raise confidence and performance levels in many matches before the stumbles against Celtic.

But there are few, if any, who have really come on as a result of their time working with Beale and his successor must prove more adept at being able to develop the individuals as well as the collective.

Rangers managers are never going to be in a position to secure the services of a handful of ready-made Champions League stars and the benefits of a coach who – either through man-management in terms of mentality or technical and tactical tweaks on the training ground – can bring out the best in his players are clear at Ibrox. That process feeds into the drive for silverware and the rewards that Rangers can reap in the transfer market.

Mentality to handle Old Firm life

This is a factor that simply cannot be overlooked yet it is one that is not measurable by any metric and cannot be judged in black and white. Until a manager is in situ, you simply do not know for sure how he will react to the various situations that are part of the daily life at Ibrox.

It is one thing being a respected coach and being able to put together a training session or undertake analysis work. But it is quite another having the gravitas and wherewithal to lead from the front behind the scenes and in public at a club, and in a city, where the demands and the pressures are so intense.

If you do not ‘get it’ then Glasgow will chew you up and spit you back out again. The history of the game here is littered with big names who arrived with big reputations only to find that this unique environment is not for the faint-hearted.

An affiliation with the club is so often seen as a significant selling point for players or managers yet it is no guarantee of glory. Van Bronckhorst was a decorated player and Beale immersed himself in the way of life during both of his stints at Ibrox.

A look across the city shows that individuals with the right qualities are more important than those with a previous connection to the game here. It can never do any harm, but it is certainly not a must, especially when it comes to players or a position such as a sporting director.

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In managerial terms, it comes down to the make-up of the man. Standards must be set, respect must be given and earned and all the noise – be it from Press or punters – cannot be allowed to burrow deep into the mind. It takes a unique kind of individual to be Rangers boss. The man is just as important as the manger.