Of course nothing is yet official, but it is starting to look like Philippe Clement will be announced as Rangers manager in due course.
But what should fans expect from this manager, what ‘style’.
We’re not going to sit about and pretend we’ve been close followers of Genk, Brugge and Monaco the past 5 years, but we have done some digging into Clement’s style, and it’s very interesting indeed.
This is an adaptable coach who doesn’t so much have a style of play as a way to manage.
He can defend with a 3-4-3, he can attack with a 4-3-3, he will be versatile in the systems he uses because he alters his methodology based on the competition, the need to be flexible.
But tellingly, he flourishes with dynamic, hard-working attacking football which takes a few risks and rewards hard work with results, and even more definitively, he has a fixation for systemic application of attack and defence and working specifically in styles which link both.
In other words, if his team is working hard in attack, it’s already got defence in place to counter any loss of possession – the organisation of defending is as important to Clement as the flow of attack, and the midfield is a major part of putting that together.
Unlike too many Rangers managers, Clement focuses on defence and its importance – he isn’t a defensive coach, not like Walter was, and we shouldn’t look at trying to recreate the great Walter.
But Clement has an excellent understanding of both football expansively, and, even more usefully, the players in his squad and how to make them work to defend while ensuring attack is smooth.
From what we’re looking at, Clement has the unique knack for making his players all feel important even if they’re not playing, and he’s excellent at man-management. This is definitely something our club has lacked in recent years – last good man manager we probably had was Steven Gerrard but we’re not sure we’re that convinced by that claim in itself.
And from the testimony fans of Genk and Brugge, not to mention Beveren, he plays some of the best football they can remember. He is highly regarded by those supporters indeed.
Either way, Clement isn’t perfect – no manager is. He’ll probably still play Tav and Goldson (kidding) and be fired inside 8 months as well, but being serious, this guy is a top-quality boss with an excellent record in both domestic and UEFA competitions.
He’s a top manager and if it is confirmed, Ibrox Noise will give Clement our fullest backing.