Reports have suggested that Rangers will choose from a four man shortlist for their next manager. That list includes Kevin Muscat, Frank Lampard, Pascal Jansen and Philippe Clement. Until this list was released, Clement’s name hadn’t been mentioned and he’s probably the most interesting prospect of the four.
The 49-year-old former Belgian international has been managing since 2017. He took over as Waasland-Beveren after being the assistant at Club Brugge.
From there he moved on to Genk, then back to Club Brugge, to be the main man this time, then his last job was at AS Monaco. He’s had good success in his relatively short managerial career and is very highly thought of.
Could he be the man to take Rangers forward?
Managerial Career so Far
Rangers fans want a serial winner, well, Philippe Clement won the Belgian Pro League title three seasons in a row. With two different clubs.
In the 18-19 season, Clement won the Pro League with Genk then left for Club Brugge the following season. He then won back the title from his former club in 19-20 and won it again in 20-21.
As fair as ‘serial winners’ go, you can’t do much better than that. It also shows he didn’t just have the best team in the league to do it. He won it with Genk and then went and regained the title for Club Brugge the next season, an impressive feat.
Then he took over at AS Monaco in January 2022. In that season he won 10 of their last 12 matches, drawing one and losing the other. This led them to a 3rd placed finish in Ligue 1 and the Champions League Play-Offs the following season.
However, they failed to get to the group stages and were knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen in the first knockout round of the Europa League. In the 22/23 season, despite spending most of the season in the top 5, Monaco only won one of their last 7 and fell to 6th.
This meant that they missed out on European qualification and, ultimately, led to Clement being relieved of his duties in the summer.
These are his managerial stats so far in his career;
- 309 Matches
- 166 Wins
- 77 Draws
- 66 Losses
- 53.7% Win Rate
Apart from the end of his last season with AS Monaco, he’s had an impressive record of winning in his managerial career.
Clement set up his Monaco side to invite pressure by playing from the back and picking holes in the opposition team. He used the centre backs and deeper midfielders to invite a press and then play around it and into the space.
This was mostly used to create space for wingers and creative players to then break forward. If this wasn’t an option they were happy to go over the top to a pacy front line which could be an issue at Ibrox.
When it comes to formations, he’s not afraid to change it up. Often starting in a 433/4231 but is comfortable going 442/4411 or even three at the back at times.
Drawing pressure from opponents may be an issue in Scotland, considering how deep teams sit against Rangers. He does like his players to play quick, incisive passes to help create the space, which could be nice to watch. Would it be effective though?
It’s difficult to tell but he’s had success in a league similar to the SPFL and could hopefully translate his playstyle into wins and trophies.
Philippe Clement is a very exciting name considering his recent successes. The only worry, for me though, is if his style would translate to Scottish football.
I don’t doubt that he’s adaptable enough to make it work. However, he tends to operate with a pacy front line and, minus Matondo and Sima, isn’t something Rangers possess.
He got the best out of his players for Genk, Club Brugge and that first season at AS Monaco. If he is to come in, he’ll need to get instant buy in from these Rangers players. Contrary to popular belief, this Rangers squad isn’t terrible, they just need a good manager that can actually implement some kind of style and philosophy.
Is Philippe Clement a name which excites you? How far up your list would he be?
ICYMI you can check out yesterdays article which focused on Pascal Jansen here.
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