Scottish Premiership side Rangers did not have the best of times under former gaffer Michael Beale, despite a fair bit of player turnover, they just did not hit the 2023/24 campaign running and after some very poor results, Beale’s services were dispensed with the other week and on Sunday, their board went for a little more experience in the shape of Philippe Clement.
The 49 year old former Belgian international defender has so far managed five clubs since stepping into the interim role at Club Brugge on two occasions back in 2012 and 2013, and he makes the move to Glasgow having parted company from AS Monaco back in June of this year.
Rangers fans will certainly pay attention to his record at Brugge though during his second spell, as in three years with them from 2019 to 2022, he had a 55% win record and having picked up the Belgian Pro League in 2018/19 whilst with Genk, he went one better and added two Pro League’s to Brugge’s record, as well as a Belgian Super Cup.
With Rangers interest in him known, there has been plenty of support for his appointment, as former team mate and one time Ibrox striker, Thomas Buffel, feels his mate is the perfect fit to get the club back on track.
“He has proved his abilities, winning titles with Genk and Bruges. In Monaco he had a good spell as well, leading them to a top-three place. He has different skills. He brings structure and clarity. His teams play good football but don’t lose the physical side of the game. It’s important you have that combination. The pressure will be similar because at Club Bruges they expect to win every game, every title and qualify for the Champions League every year. It’s going to be the same expectation from the Rangers supporters, although a stadium of 25,000 and 50,000 is a bit different. Sometimes players collapse under that pressure. As manager you have to protect the players and coach them so they are able to perform at Ibrox.”
Whilst his spell at Monaco was short, fans will also be interested to know his win record with them was 51.3%, and his spell at Genk was a whopping 57.3%. Rangers fans would do well to give him time, as his record suggests he could well be the man they have been searching for, for the last number of years.
Buffel knows it will take some time, but he seems pretty confident Clement will still have a notable impact this season.
“He proved that at Monaco by taking them from ninth place to the top three. In Genk in the first year he reached the cup final and in the second year they became champions. He had to work with young players who needed another year to get the experience to be able to deliver the prizes.”
Rangers are not Genk or Club Brugge though, there will be an adjustment period.