What Makes Clement a Good Leader at Glasgow Rangers FC?

What Makes Clement a Good Leader at Glasgow Rangers FC?
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 21: Rangers manager Philippe Clement is seen with Hearts manager Steven Naismith during the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Rangers and Hearts at Hampden Park on April 21, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Can an Old Firm match make or break this manager’s career? In his short time at Rangers, Phillipe Clement has seen two losses and a draw against Celtic. Twice, Rangers went down to 10 men, so it’s clear that something else is needed, but is Clement the man for the job? The signs are promising, but we’ve all been there before.

Since Steven Gerrard’s departure, Rangers have lacked stability. The club sought out someone with a track record for winning and hired Philippe Clement. Let’s take a look at Clement’s management style to understand why he’s the man to lead the team to victory in the Scottish Cup final and beyond.

The Need for Domestic Success

All eyes will be on Hampden Park for the Scottish Cup final this Saturday. Celtic have secured the Premiership title, but can they do the double? Clement has set the team’s sights on the trophy, knowing that some additional domestic silverware will be a huge boost to the club.

As the dominant force this season, it’s no surprise that the bookies are picking Celtic as the favourite in the pre-match odds. However, once things get underway in Glasgow, the live odds will reflect how tight this game really is. There’s everything to play for, and Clement has had more time to make his mark on the team culture.

Philippe Clement: Track Record

Clement joined the Ibrox side back in October 2023. The former central defender played for several Belgian clubs and Coventry City and has 38 caps for Belgium. While he had years of experience at Club Brugge on the pitch, he didn’t let that trick him into thinking he could do it all as a manager. He worked his way up as part of the backroom staff and the academy, moving into management six years later.

He started his first management role at S. K. Beveren, and then went to his old club Genk, where he won his first of three straight titles in 2019. His two other title wins came with another former side of his, Club Brugge. These were clear signs that Clement has a winning mentality and that he can get the job done.

After that, Monaco snapped him up. Following a promising start, where he took them from ninth to third, things went wrong, and he was sacked at the end of the season in 2023.

Now at Rangers, Clement has led the side to some promising match results and a League Cup win, but it hasn’t been enough to finish top of the table.

Making an Impact

A track record is well and good, but what makes Clement a good leader for the Ibrox side? It’s all in his style. One of his first moves at S.K. Beveren was to hire a psychologist. It’s a sign that mentality and communication are hugely important to him as a manager. The move also shows that Clement is open, willing to learn, and sees success as being a team effort.

Sources close to the manager have described him as demanding, but that he uses a personal approach. He doesn’t just see players; he sees them as people, which gives him a better understanding of the team’s strengths, weaknesses and mentality.

Focusing on interests and issues in players’ lives means he knows who needs a break and what motivates them beyond just wanting to win.

While making an impact with his League Cup win was crucial, it’s also clear that Clement is committed to the long game. It’s said that when he was interviewed by the Ranger’s board, he focused on his second and third title wins. For him, the biggest challenge is in winning again. Building a team that can win and keep winning is exactly what’s required at Rangers.

Right Man at the Right Time

Clement’s ability to get results quickly meant he came in at the right time and won the players over. The fans are on his side, too, which matters at Rangers. While league success isn’t one of his wins this season, there are plenty of positive changes to be seen, and we should expect that to continue.

Rangers need someone who can deliver consistent wins to take the title next season. It’s also a time to look ahead as the side could face challenges in Europe. There’s a chance for glory, but the path there won’t be straightforward. With Clement at the helm, this ship should have discipline, motivation and, of course, attacking quality.

Clement’s possession-based game and his proven track record of delivering improvement in underperforming teams are exactly what’s needed. If he can continue to bring out the quality in individual players, we should expect more wins that count.

The Work in the Dressing Room

Clement himself admits that there’s a lot more work to do. A lot of it will take place in the dressing room, but it’s clear that he’s also looking ahead to big changes for the club in general. The summer will reveal new approaches to recruitment, and once players are back on the pitch, we can expect positions and tactics to have advanced, too.

Even though Clement focuses on the individual, he frequently speaks about his big picture vision. He cares about the club and plans to make changes across several departments to get improvements and marginal gains wherever possible. How he executes those plans in the coming weeks could make or break Rangers’ performance next season.

Time to Walk the Walk

As a manager, Clement is convincing. No one is perfect, but he has all the right attributes to lead the club to success if given the opportunity. After missing out on the Scottish Premiership title win, it’s fair to say he’s facing criticism. Comparisons to what happened at Monaco are sure to be drawn, but one sacking shouldn’t overshadow three title wins.

It’s time for Clement to prove what he’s capable of. It won’t happen in one win or loss. However, over the summer and in the first few weeks of next season, he’ll need to walk the walk and deliver results.

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