“Don’t start to create…” – Rangers boss Clement bares his teeth

“Don’t start to create…” – Rangers boss Clement bares his teeth
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: Philippe Clement, Manager of Rangers, looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If there is one thing we’ve learned about Rangers manager Philippe Clement, it’s that he will defend his players whatever they do.

Having backed up and praised James Tavernier and Connor Goldson for their ‘defending’ in recent weeks, he then offered a strong rebuttal in favour of Fabio Silva over his ‘simulation’, which was especially bad at Ibrox at the weekend regardless of the penalty.

Now, before we go on, Silva already has history of this – even that friendly in January v Hertha he spent most of his starting debut throwing himself around and trying to con the ref.

It’s not been AS bad since then, but it certainly was on Sunday, but Clement defended him:

“So don’t start to create now (a false narrative of him as a cheater) – and this is what people on the other side try to do – a sort of narrative around him because he’s not been doing that in other games. He was in the beginning an emotional young guy. Yes, he’s 21, but it’s getting better and better. He has two actions that I was not happy with him. I spoke to him about it so it will not happen in the future.”

In fairness, he does add a gentle criticism there, that he wasn’t happy with a couple of the dives, but overall he backs the player up and in all honesty, while it’s frustrating for fans who want to see such and such player dropped and for Clement to be honest about said player, at the same time players won’t play for a manager who doesn’t have their back.

The greatest managers know to publicly defend their charges, borderline defending the indefensible, because a player will not give their all to you if they don’t trust you to be on their side.

And Clement sussed that out long ago.

Does it make him look silly? Sometimes, but he is happy to look ‘silly’ in the media as long as the player is giving him 100% on the pitch.

In short, Clement takes the hit on the chin for the player, and the player knows the boss has his back.

That’s team spirit for sure, and helps build more.

Clement definitely knows how to make his players run through bricks for him.

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