This is Rangers manager Philippe Clement’s time to shine

This is Rangers manager Philippe Clement’s time to shine
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)

Philippe Clement came to Rangers as a three-time title winner in Belgium, a very high standard of division which, these days, has massively surpassed Scotland in the co-efficient.

It’s no slouch, and it saw the former Brugges defender win three titles in a row with two different clubs.

That’s hard to do, no matter the circumstances and no matter what your budget is.

Clement is a proven winner.

When he came to Rangers, the barometer changed. He was no longer a ‘new young manager’ showing promise by winning a ‘modest’ league; he was now a pressured boss expected to win.

And it’s safe to say the pressure got to him the final three months of the campaign and he made some utterly shocking decisions which caused, in part, Rangers’ collapse in the league.

This is, for example, the manager who thought the best way to get to the quarters in the Europa League when 2-2 on aggregate v Benfica was to set up as if we were 0-3 down, with suicidal defending at Ibrox when we had everything to gain with caution.

He was clearly flawed, and his press conferences demonstrated the same thing, with some bewildering comments and a few downright falsehoods.

The initial point though stands – he was a winner at a fairly high standard in Belgium and he got the job at Ibrox (he applied, incidentally) on the basis of those convictions in northern Europe.

This means two-fold:

Clement is an experienced winner, who has been there and done it.

But it also shows he’s flawed, and that was demonstrable with his utterly bonkers management in the final few months of Rangers’ season.

What does this all mean?

It means we have a dichotomy of a boss – a manager who has been an experienced winner in his homeland, but who has shown a complete lack of understanding overseas.

At Monaco he was initially decent, but then collapsed – at Rangers, very much the same.

And this means fundamentally that the summer we’re going into relies on him learning.

He has every single tool now at his disposal. He has budget of around £25M (inc. £700,000 Jefte), and he has time to build what he wants as a Rangers team next season.

It really is very much a case of his blank canvas and his opportunity to build his Rangers picture.

It’s early days in the window, and, true, much of what Rangers sign is more on Director of Football Recruitment Nils Koppen, but ultimately, the results rest with Clement.

He has to show, next season, he is the right man.

He will now be judged on ‘his’ team, because he’s green-lighting the additions Koppen brings in.

It is such a crucial time for our club.

Either Clement and Koppen produce a squad which challenges Celtic properly, or it crumbles horribly and the Parkhead lot equalise our 55.

There is massive pressure on this manager.

And it’s his time to shine under that pressure.

We really all hope he does.

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