08 April 2014

Ally's 'Emotional Intelligence'


by Alex Oliver | Contributor

For a while I’ve wanted to apply some of my psychology degree to Rangers - it was made harder by the fact I have not done any great deal in the way of sports psychology. I now have the chance, although I’m not exactly pleased about it!

There is a growing notion in psychology that there are multiple intelligences; that is there’s something more than IQ. One of the proposed additional intelligences is called ‘Emotional Intelligence’. In simple terms, it is intelligence for gauging one’s own emotions and emotions of others. Moreover, this impacts upon how an individual behaves- they can behave in an appropriate way and in a manner which will not upset others.

In the past two decades it has come to the forefront of occupational psychology. All successful leaders need to have high emotional intelligence. There is not any escaping it.

The viral karaoke pictures following Sunday’s cup final defeat was a sickener for many. And understandably so, regardless of whether it was a private function or not, you do not expect a Rangers manager to behave in such a way following a woeful performance.

As you can see, emotional intelligence slots in quite well here, Ally is at the helm of Scotland’s biggest club, he needs to think ‘how will supporters react to a knees-up after that display?’ If he had an ounce of sense, the ‘pre-arranged meal’ would have been cancelled. I imagine most players and their families would understand why.

Fans would definitely understand why, and most, if not all, would probably back the decision.

I suppose the issue, to an extent, is gauging the emotions of players; but should players be rewarded for failure? No - it’s an obvious answer!

I think you also need to look at Ally’s relationship with players; he appears to be too pally with them. This can have benefits, yes. But it also comes at a cost; it appears that Ally is too scared to upset players. He needs to remember, he is their manager first and their friend second. Ally needs to be an authoritative figure in the dressing room - just look at Alex Ferguson (Britain’s second most successful manager, after Bill Struth) players were sh*t scared of going into his dressing room at half-time without a lead. And that bred a winning team. They were a team that dominated the English game for almost twenty years.

The players and management need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask, ‘is this what our loyal fans deserve?’ If they genuinely believe this is Rangers standard, then the situation is worse than I thought.

Thankfully for Ally, Emotional Intelligence is something that can be worked on. Whether it is too late for him to salvage his Rangers career remains another issue.