Ibrox Gets Its Quick Fix Man As Celtic Waits In Mocking Amusement.

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So it’s Phil Clement, not Kevin Muscat.

Let’s first give Ibrox some credit for once for not going for the easy option.

Not that it wasn’t an easy option in the end, because Muscat was not leaving Japan for Scotland before the end of December and they could not afford to wait.

In the end the “choice” was no choice at all. Still, this is a more interesting option than we thought.

That does not make it any less crazy.

Clement has titles in Belgium, at two different clubs.

That’s to be respected if not exactly feared. He has spent some time at Monaco. They fired him. Rodgers has a higher profile, and a better CV, by far.

Any manager who wins things is due respect. Muscat would have been due it. Van Bronckhorst had won things in Holland, a much more high profile league. He had won Dutch titles.

The pressure at Ibrox, the pressure to win every week, was crushing for him as it proved crushing for so many others. Clement has certainly never worked at a club where that pressure is so intense.

His best career win ratio was in Belgium, with Genk.

At 57% that would get him sacked at Ibrox and put him miles behind Rodgers.

He will be expected to start winning at once.

I know that his personality is supposed to be laid back and friendly, even low key.

Good God. The last type of man I’d want in the dugout in Scotland is a guy who is those things.

I dreaded Ange being revealed as a genial man who was a little soft. I was much more disposed towards his appointment when I realised that he was charismatic and tough and would not tolerate nonsense.

This will be interesting.

Monaco is the only time he’s dealt with big, big personalities, the sort who think they are better than they are. We will see how he handles it.

The Record was doing its sales job on him earlier in the week; one article talked about how he is “used to working with big budgets” and was trying to sell that as a positive.

I don’t know how that applies here, because there is no way in the world that he’s going to have one of those here.

Another editorial says he “knows how to get a tune out of his front man” because his striker at Monaco was doing well.

When the striker in question is Wissam Ben Yedder, with over 200 career goals and a ratio of one every two matches that is much easier to do than when your options are Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers.

The idea of him being used to working with a big budget is laughable for more reasons than one. He has never been responsible for buying players.

None of his European clubs let him, personally, loose with the cheque book. Right now there is nobody at Ibrox who will do that job ahead of him, and if I were in his shoes I wouldn’t have moved without that being in place.

And yeah, they have until January for that … still.

Even then, he has a key decision to make.

Is he going to take this responsibility for himself or is he going to leave his destiny in the hands of someone who will not fall on the sword if the whole thing goes wrong?

He is believed to want to play a 4-4-2.

Right there is a difficult task, because their squad doesn’t have the wide men for that unless he’s going to transform some of their current stars. That will also do what I said the other day that they could not afford to do; it will nix the creative abilities of Barisic and Tavernier, who assist the bulk of their goals.

Otherwise, he’s stuck trying to make something out of the players he has at the moment. Their board is banking on his winning the League Cup and getting off to a good start. But their club has tough games in Europe coming up and after this month will go straight into a tough run of fixtures in the league that will take them to the grounds of all the biggest clubs.

The media will alibi him because he’s working with The Mooch’s team.

The Ibrox fans, who want to see some evidence that their previous boss was the real problem, will certainly not accept a bad start or permit him to get away with that excuse. So the honeymoon might not last, if he even gets one in the first place.

He’s their man now … but they made their minds up about the new signings in a matter of weeks and he will be subjected to the same merciless judgement.

They better hope this doesn’t unravel fast because those lunatics over there have given him a long term deal and guaranteed that he’ll get every penny of his salary for the duration of it if they decide to terminate him early … which can’t be ruled out because of how febrile the atmosphere is over there.

You’ll notice that a mere fortnight has elapsed between the Aberdeen game and now; it is exactly 14 days since The Mooch was sent back to England.

They were supposed to “take their time” with it.

The result in Europe took care of that, and they’ve grabbed the first guy who had a semi-decent record who would take the job.

They have bet big on him by offering him that contract and they will probably have to scramble together some kind of budget.

The Record is claiming that The Mooch got “significant funds” to spend, but they had to wheel and deal and get players out to enable that.

I wrote the other day that they are facing a four transfer window rebuild to get their squad anywhere near up to par.

That still stands, and they’ve brought in a guy who has exactly zero experience of buying his own players.

If they hire a director of football tomorrow, he will still have a mere two months to prepare for a do-or-die transfer window, which I think already looks like a complete write-off for them.

No swift appointment hides the mess they are in.

This guy comes in with one Hell of a lot to do and in a short time.

He comes in seven points behind us, in charge of a side that an accomplished conductor would struggle to get a tune from. The fan base is rabid and lunatic and won’t forgive a single slip. There is no obvious source of funds to let him stamp his mark on a dire playing squad.

If he loses early games, the media will tell us that he’s just finding his feet.

If he wins a few he’s a world beater in their eyes.

But over the distance of a campaign Celtic’s class, our size, our quality, is going to be the thing that tells. The challenge he faces is massive, and all under our gigantic shadow. We have a settled squad of winners and can outspend them if we have to. I know who I’d have my money on if I had to bet on it.

They’ll get a week of good press for this guy and then he’ll have to start winning. Immediately and well and with an absolutely awful squad of players.

I would wish him well if he were inheriting this task at any other club.

I hope, and suspect, he’ll flounder within a year. The manager was not the only problem over there. Replacing him won’t fix anything.

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  • Martin says:

    He seems a decent enough guy and would probably be a moderate success at a well run European club. My take is his appointment shows the board want to see how much the current squad can improve/develop for at least this season, rather than throw good (non existent) money after bad. Which is good news for us this season.

    I suspect he will improve them. Perhaps even just enough to convince our board to buy the quality players Rodgers wants. So this could backfire big time on them.

    Unless he goes uber hun, I’ll hold no ill will against him when he is sacked, and will hope he can pick up his career again. Due diligence is one thing, but really understanding that cesspit may be difficult for people from outwith the bubble.

    • James Forrest says:

      That’s a good point about going uber.

      Most of the managers over there get caught up in that.

      I seriously hope, for his own sake, he doesn’t.

  • John L says:

    Perhaps they will be as lenient as they were with Stevie G and give him three seasons to get lucky? We could have another pandemic and play behind closed doors, look how well they coped then without that poison spilling out of the stands . Only time will tell him how much brown stuff he is swimming in. Bon Chance, NOT.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Interesting appointment – as I thought he’d be one of “they’em“ – That he’s not won’t go down well with the rank and file that wanted one of “they’em” –

    Could go either way I suppose, but dearie me – He has some nutcase and very demanding fans to overcome, satisfy and please…

    The poor people that buy papers – if not Sevco oriantated, they will have to suffer weeks of sheer hell –

    Clyde Superscoreboard is gonna be a definite no no for me until they lose again…

    Good luck to him – NOT – (Only because of that new club he’s joining) –

    Hope he – and his rabid fans – ‘Phlip’ very soon !

  • Scud Missile says:

    The first slip up in the league or Europe or if they lose that semi-fina,l his first interview he will spew out the Gerrard line that people have it in for his klub.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Well, the culture shockat ibrox is going to smack Clement like a four by two,

    across the back of his noggin! 🙂

    Yes, at Monaco last year his club spent c.£40M on buying players,
    [and c.£72M during this summer].

    Come January, Clement [or whoever?] will be searching in the same bargain

    buckets as Beale was: freebies / loans / cheap buys: i.e. unwanted players.

    But the immediate problem is to endear himself to the bears,

    by winning most of his games with a squad full of d!ddies!

    To be fair, Clement could just surprise us all, but winning the LC might be all he

    can reasonably be expected to deliver this season?

  • Scud Missile says:

    Lol let’s see how long it takes before the media are lickingbhis arse and comparing him with Guardiola or even getting the backing of him.

    Now get ready for another BIG ROUND OF TRANSFER BINGO,it’s a cert.
    Watch how he is linked with players he has worked with previously at other clubs and said players will be WORLD beaters once again,just like Beale’s BARGAIN BASEMENT BUCKET BUYS.

  • Captain Swing says:

    Le Guen arrived with a better CV and lasted 6 months after coming up against a brick wall of arseholery in their dressing room and the stands. I suspect this fellow, if he is a “nice guy” as you suggest, might encounter similar problems there. It took the blessed cardigan himself to get them rolling again, the epitome of someone who “gets the club”.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Aye Capt. But The Cardigan used millions and millions of ultimately taxpayers (Banks) money to buy these three titles aided and abetted by ‘honest mistakes’ especially in The Mowbray season who himself was an ‘honest mistake’ by Lawwell…

      The Cardigan (or The man with no surname) as I prefer to describe ‘Walter’ was a cheque book manager just like Martin O’Neill up here – The big difference was in England where O’Neill won major silverware a few times with (then) provincial club Leicester City where as The man with no surname left Everton – actually I think he was sacked – for leaving them in the relegation zone, which the replacement manager came in and saved them from !

      • Captain Swing says:

        For the avoidance of doubt, Clach, I wasn’t really praising the cardigan – behind the scenes he’d be more like that infamous Chic Young interview when the mask slipped than his normal TV demeanour – and you are quite correct in your assessment of his craven complicity in the EBT years as well as his dreadful period in charge of Everton, where without being able to call on the assistance of the men in black he left them in serious jeopardy before David Moyes came in and saved them from the very real threat of relegation. The point I wasn’t making very well was that the Huns and now Sevco seem to do far better with some Jock Wallace type gibbering about bayonets and ‘battle fever’ than they do with any coach trying to play expansive or sophisticated fitba’, Advocaat was the exception although we didn’t realise it at the time, of course creating that team was the beginning of the end for the Huns…. the first step on the road to jelly & ice cream.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Never heard of him and nice men like GVB will never get a chance at rangers. Le Guen was supposed to be very tactical and a very good coach he didn’t last a season, wee Baz and the boot boys didn’t fancy him, too Kafliky maybe. We could be seeing a repeat here.

    Most clubs with a new manager will get a boost as players strive to impress and I expect that from him.

    Be interested to see how quick he turns and becomes one of the no surrender crowd before it’s back to the pitchforks and torches. He’ll be out by Xmas 2024.

    In the mean time I wish him well. He has to be a step up from beale.

  • Johnno says:

    So the scum have finally got a new turd polisher into the shit hole?
    Pepe le poo is an appropriate appointment as a skunk trying to work with the massive heap of shite he’s left to work with.
    Even as a potential skunk, will he be able to stand the stink within that vile club, or actually increase it?
    Would be a near impossible job to increase the stink, but with a new skunk added and already an old skunk in souness lined up to take the blame when the shite on display continues to stink to high heaven’s.
    Anyone who associates themselves to such a rancid club deserves all the misery that goes with it.
    The scum still remains a breeding ground for skunks as Pepe le poo will find out quickly enough

  • Jimmy R says:

    I had to laugh this morning as misser Miller, writing in the Mail seemed to diss Clement’s previous successes as “. . . with the greatest of respect. All of his success has been in Belgium.” In misser’s brain (I know. I know.) Belgium can be written off as some footballing backwater. Not worth comparing to the SPFL. I wonder how much the Mail pay him for (low) quality insight? To quote Yosser Hughes, “I can do that! Gi’es a job!” I am no journalist. I don’t even aspire to be a journalist. But I am light years ahead of misser. Mind you, so is that lettuce that lasted longer than Liz Truss.

  • SSMPM says:

    Never really heard that much about him until last week tbh, that’s how much of a significant signing he is and it won’t be too long before I won’t really hear too much of him again.
    As for the transfer market funds; they’ve been giving up a lot of money paying off managers signed on long term contracts, coaching staff, etc, since their conception 11 yrs ago so no wonder there’s no banked money for the transfer of players that can properly kick a ball. I’m sure Mason Bong and the brotherhood of white robes will find a few bob from the KKK magic money tree. I suspect it won’t be long before he proves to be another Clement Fraud and finds himself the victim of a good Rodgering too. HH

  • Johnny Green says:

    I offer Mr Clement my condolences.

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