The method to Clement’s Rangers madness amid Killie rout

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The method to Clement’s Rangers madness amid Killie rout
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)

We’ll never understand why Rangers manager Philippe Clement does half of what he does, why he starts Sterling at LB, or Lundstram in the middle or Silva up front.

It strikes to us of the old starting of a slightly weaker XI, then only changing it to a stronger one if/when it doesn’t work.

It screams to us of keeping your cards close to your chest, and Clement, like most of his predecessors, is prolific at it, of only revealing and using your ace later when you need to.

It’s counterintuitive to ‘play your best team’ because clearly Clement doesn’t.

He had a glut of strong options on the bench for Killie but chose to start with another bad XI, and only change it when it went wrong.

Why it’s not better to go on the front foot at the start we do not know.

But in his defence the last 3 matches has SUDDENLY seen the horrific bleeding stopping.

Rangers are 3 wins of 3 with a reduced goal concession rate of just the two. It’s not imperious form but it’s two league wins out of two and a SC final in there too.

The product on the pitch may also be utterly mince but it is getting the job done again, eventually, even if Clement’s method appears madness.

We’re not keen on how he’s doing it these days, chucking out a rotten XI then changing it when it all goes Pete Tong, but it’s hard to totally argue with a 4-1 win over a massive banana skin like the well-organised Killie.

Of course, their red card helped – let’s not be revisionist here – they went 0-1 up with one good attack and only once they lost a man did Rangers start to eke something out of the match.

But the hows matter less than the results.

Is this renewed optimism for next weekend?

The manager has shown little sign of learning from his own errors, and this was a match where his subs made a major difference, but most weeks they don’t.

Mind you, didn’t Ibrox Noise suggest a huge chunk of our poor form was attributable to Ridvan’s absence? Very telling how sturdy we looked once he was on.

Either way, Clement now has to go to the Meccanodome and win. It’s a huge, huge ask.

The good part is Celtic can’t (strictly) win the title next week against us, but it really is a title decider. Fans are upset by the GD but Killie at Rugby Park will be a massive deal for them lot and it may negate it. But yes, we are relying on other clubs as well as ourselves now.

Overall, Rangers are hardly in a sparkling place again but there’s just a fleck of hope now.

Can we win 56 this season?

We couldn’t even guess.

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