It’s back to the Rangers drawing board for Philippe Clement

It’s back to the Rangers drawing board for Philippe Clement
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Rangers manager Philippe Clement is seen during the UEFA Europa League match between Rangers FC and Aris Limassol FC at Ibrox Stadium on November 30, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So it’s the day after the night before, and it’s patently clear Rangers supporters are far from happy with the ‘return to Mick Beale’, as things have felt the past two matches.

Ibrox Noise was, and is, a huge fan of Philippe Clement, but we have no answers for why he has behaved this way in the past two fixtures.

Atrocious selections for two matches in a row, bizarre substitutions, then last night, having the audacity to blame the players and the fans for the performance despite his own patent errors being a part of it.

This guy is clearly a career manager, he has been a magnificent success in football and has three titles in a row in Belgium to boast, as well as a strong spell in Monaco.

But at Rangers, despite that very impressive ‘everything is fixing’ start, the past two games are right back to square one with horrendous selections, bad tactics, weird quotes, and talking rubbish in general.

Ibrox Noise and Rangers fans in general were completely buying into Philippe Clement, but only he can tell you why he started Lammers in the 10, why Cantwell was wide right, and why he sticks with the off-form Sima.

And to top it all off, he has the incredulity to whine at Todd Cantwell for not doing what he told him to, which was to be a winger, which Cantwell isn’t. His treatment of the ex-Norwich is just bizarre, and to take him off early is scapegoating him. Brave to make a change, but it was of his own making, and then he blames him for not ‘making the runs’ because, of course, Cantwell’s forte is speedy wingplay and finding space behind the fullback…

No, we’re never going to pull the wool over your eyes on Ibrox Noise – we called Clement out after Aberdeen to a torrent of abuse in response, and we’ll put our neck on the chopping board again and say he got it wrong once more.

We don’t think the dissenters will be quite as vicious this time.

This is miles off saying the man is the wrong man, we think he’s the right man – but this learning process of his is as much on him for figuring out the role he needs to be, because blaming players and fans for the result and taking nothing on himself isn’t the kind of grown-up conduct we need from the manager.

Clement needs to wake up. He is much better than the last two matches. Selecting Lammers, wasting and scapegoating Cantwell, sticking with Sima, and, yes, Tav and Goldson (in general) is just some of the stuff that he got away with when this team was winning under him, but it’s lost that sparkle now.

New manager bounce and his honeymoon are well and truly over, and he needs to make major changes, or he will be looking for a new job just like his predecessor did.

And let’s not act like his hands are THAT tied. If he dumped Tav and Goldson, changed much of the team and made fans excited by new faces getting chances, then even if it didn’t fully work out we can still applaud him for trying, and no one would blame the boss – because he’d be changing things to try to make a difference. We’d be whining at his predecessor for leaving such a mess.

But no, still Lammers, still, Tav, still Goldson, still Sima etc – still the same stuff that wasn’t working at Beale’s final days, and Clement sticks with them.

We do need a new squad, a Rangers Standard squad. We’re miles off it. But the basics of football tell you Tav and Goldson aren’t good enough and neither is Lammers. Yet starting Sterling, Balogun, Souttar, Ridvan (yes, we’re aware of injury/ineligibility in UEL) Lawrence and of course McCausland seems to be beyond him. Our best players never get a sustained chance at this club, whoever the manager is.

Clement? He’s sticking with the same mince that got Beale fired.

On his head be that.

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