There are mixed emotions this morning with Rangers manager Philippe Clement’s declaration that he is going to win the title for this club.
It’s a bold claim, and the boss is making a rod for his own back by stating it, and offering a massive promise to Rangers fans in doing so.
And we’re not unfamiliar with our hearts being broken by managers who spoke big but delivered little.
But that said, the overhaul that’s happened at Rangers since Clement’s arrival speaks volumes.
We don’t judge a manager by what he says, but what he does, and on those criteria he’s already been a mega-success given what he’s accomplished with ‘this’ squad in just 9 weeks.
But it’s still such a big statement.
“I know we are going to bring back the title. We will try to do it as fast as possible. It will be hard work. But I know what the road is to take with this club. This was one of the reasons to come here. One moment we will take it, because we will work really hard for it. Winning titles is like winning marathons. I won a few marathons together with other teams, with other staffs, with other player groups so I know how to get there. And we will go hard for that. But, of course, there are also opponents with a lot of qualities and we have no control about how other teams are performing.”
Philippe Clement is yet to face Celtic – while they’re abysmal at the moment, they are a wounded animal, and that’s a dangerous thing when you go into their den.
And with Wednesday night’s visit of St Johnstone to come, and the players (and fans) still on cloud 9 following Sunday, we are absolutely vulnerable to dropping points here, and losing so much of the feelgood factor that’s arrived with Clement the past two months.
What we’re saying is we’re wary of such a major claim.
However, there are three big caveats to his statement.
Firstly ahy would a three-time title-winning manager like Clement come to Rangers if NOT intending to win the title?
Secondly, he did not say ‘this’ season, he just stated that’s what he believes will happen at some point.
And lastly, there’s no question his Rangers team has delivered on his confidence already. The last 16 in UEL and a trophy is a big piece of currency.
So Philippe Clement has already earned a bit of right to say certain things, and not be ridiculed for them.
He has an incredibly steely determination, and clearly doesn’t take sh*t from anyone. His CV remains outstanding, in a 6-year managerial career starting when he was just 43, he’s won 5 trophies including 3 league titles. All with 3 different clubs.
But that said, we will always be cautious over big promises.
We do think, however, that this guy can deliver on them…