Clement must defy his own history to turn Rangers around

Clement must defy his own history to turn Rangers around
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - APRIL 17: Rangers manager Philippe Clement is seen prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Dundee FC and Rangers FC at Dens Park Stadium on April 17, 2024 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While many Rangers fans still back Philippe Clement as the right man for the Ibrox hotseat, we’ve been long-meaning to bring you the reality of what we are dealing with here, and more to the point what he is.

The Rangers Review have published a piece pointing out how Clement took Monaco, the biggest club he’d been at, to third, before crumpling in the final seven fixtures of the season.

It’s why he was let go – he couldn’t handle the pressure the last seven matches gave him and he let third slip and ended up 6th, outside the European spots.

That was his second season, not his first. And he’d had an entire summer window to build his own team, spending £45M in the process – five players came in.

So with Clement’s own setup side, the side he’d built, you know, the one we Rangers fans are to judge him on this summer, he completely crumbled with seven matches to go.

And Monaco ended up empty-handed – and fired him.

This season under Adi Hütter Monaco are a strong bet to finish second. They’re not collapsing.

We know many Rangers fans are reading this spitting with the usual rage and ‘back the manager’-type rhetoric, but the one thing Philippe Clement seems to struggle with is serious pressure when it counts from a big side.

Forget Belgium – it’s barely much stronger than England’s Championship – both Rangers and Celtic are bigger sides than most in the Jupiler. Liege, Anderlecht and Brugge are the biggest clubs there and we’d wager the Old Firm best them all for pure size and pressure.

But more critically, the bit few managers can handle is the Scottish Premiership’s completely unique nature – that is, the fact it’s a two horse race against another titan of the city.

No other league in Europe has this, and it means the manager of either side is under gargantuan pressure to win the title every season.

Whoever doesn’t, the world caves in and it’s all over.

The only sides in Europe with the level of pressure at Ibrox (and Parkhead we suppose) are Man Utd, City, Liverpool, Inter, Milan, Juve, Real, Bayern and probably PSG with a hint of Ajax in there. There might be one or two more, but you get our point.

This is an elite group – we’re not saying Rangers are as good as any of them, we’re saying their fans expect must win, every single match, and anything less is the world ending.

Club Brugge and Genk are not in this group, nowhere near. Monaco aren’t strictly either, but their fans do pressure them and they expect.

And in Clement’s final seven games there having built HIS own team there in Monte Carlo, he completely crumbled.

We know most reading this will just spit in hate at the article and say ‘back the manager’, but that’s a bit of a dumb response when you forensically look at the situation.

If Clement has a history for collapsing under serious pressure at a big club with a team he just built, is he the right man to cope with Rangers?

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