The odd ‘rude’ gesture won’t put Philippe Clement off Rangers

The odd ‘rude’ gesture won’t put Philippe Clement off Rangers
Rangers Belgian manager Philippe Clement looks on prior the UEFA Europa League last 16 first leg football match between SL Benfica and Glasgow Rangers at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on March 7, 2024. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers manager Philippe Clement’s admission about receiving the odd middle finger from rival fans now and then is, curiously, a reason he is loving life at Rangers so much.

While we won’t all agree on everything the man has done as Ibrox boss, on every decision, that is, there is little doubt from every fan that not only is he a serious manager and a fine manager, but he has poured his soul already into the club.

And those rude gestures from rival supporters are an example of just what football means to fans in this country, and while hardly pleasant, they show Clement the passion both for his club from our fans, and against his club from rival fans.

Clement has never really managed at a club where the level of passion was like Glasgow. In fact, nowhere near it.

At both his Belgian clubs, the rivalry was… modest at best, while Monaco don’t have any at all. Sure, competition, like Marseille, Nice and PSG, but no proper football rival.

And now he has that, and he was quick to say a huge reason for Rangers for him in the beginning was the passion from the fans compared with the sedentary support Monaco has.

He said:

“The worst thing is that you get the middle finger from people or something, but I don’t mind. I would not recommend it to my children, but if people feel better doing that then it’s their thing, not my problem.”

But he alludes to kind of appreciating this mentality:

“I love the way it is here, though. I really love it here, the passion for football from everybody. I don’t want to escape that. You just need to make sure to be careful not to get stuck into ideas when you are always thinking about the team. I think about what to say to this player or that player, and what options we have and how to make them better.”

While no one wants someone chucking abuse at them, it only emphasises for Clement that what he’s doing matters, Rangers matters, and it’s the lives of the fans 24/7.

Ibrox Noise sees the passion daily, one look at our social media channels sees passion, both well-used and not so well used, from fans who just want Rangers to win.

Clement grasped it quickly, and while he’s still a relative rookie to Scottish football, he does know the one basic thing:

We have to win.

Second is nothing.

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