HomeFeatured ArticlesThe Clement Era Begins: Rangers' Fresh Start

The Clement Era Begins: Rangers’ Fresh Start

A New Dawn at Ibrox: Philippe Clement Takes the Reins

When one door closes, another, they say, opens. Rangers fans have certainly had their fair share of roller coaster moments over the last decade. With Michael Beale’s abrupt exit earlier this month, they had to brace themselves for another new face in the dugout. And so, Ibrox will soon echo with the chants of a new name – Philippe Clement.

From Monaco to Glasgow: Clement’s Journey

Philippe Clement, once the defensive stalwart of the Belgium national side, finds himself back in a position of leadership, this time at the helm of the Rangers’ ship. The 49-year-old’s managerial CV boasts some impressive stops, most notably at Monaco and Club Bruges. His latest appointment sees him penning a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Scottish giants.

Though Clement’s tenure in the glitzy streets of Monaco saw a rather unceremonious end just this June, the former Belgium defender wasn’t jobless for long. His 18-month stint at the club, which ended with a sixth-place finish in Ligue 1, might not have been the fairy tale many anticipated, but Clement’s reputation remains largely unscathed.

“The outstanding candidate across all the key criteria.”

John Bennett, the chairman of Rangers, couldn’t have been more forthcoming with his praise. The appointment came after a “carefully planned and comprehensive recruitment process,” spearheaded by the club’s chief executive, James Bisgrove, board members, and Rangers’ legend, Graeme Souness. Their ten-day deliberation saw “several high-calibre candidates” being interviewed, eventually zeroing in on Clement.

Yokohama F Marinos head coach and former Rangers defender, Kevin Muscat, was reportedly the other contender for the hot seat. However, Bennett’s nod towards Clement’s “track record of winning titles” was telling. Three consecutive domestic league titles made the Belgian an irresistible prospect as Rangers’ 19th manager.

“Hugely excited by this chance to achieve success at one of Europe’s most iconic clubs.”

Clement’s own words, shared on the Rangers’ official website, brim with enthusiasm. The next big challenge? Overturning Celtic’s seven-point lead. The mission starts in earnest with the upcoming clash against Hibernian on Saturday.

Clement’s History: A Blend of Player and Manager

Before the glitz of Monaco or the titles at Genk and Bruges, Clement’s story began in the bylanes of Belgium football. A significant chapter of his footballing journey was spent at Bruges, both as a player for a decade and later, donning the manager’s cap. After spells with Beveren and Genk, a successful return to Bruges followed, marking him as one of Europe’s bright young managerial talents.

However, as is often the case in football, highs are followed by lows. Taking over from Niko Kovac at Monaco in January 2021, he steered the club from sixth to third. But dreams of the Champions League were dashed by PSV Eindhoven, and a subsequent Europa League exit at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen further dampened spirits. A wobbly end to the league season saw him departing from the French Riviera.

Beyond his managerial successes, let’s not forget Clement’s player days. From Beerschot and Genk to Coventry City, he’s laced up his boots and graced many a pitch. His 38 caps for Belgium further enrich his story.

The Ibrox Awaits

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and there’s a palpable sense of anticipation at the Ibrox. With Clement’s rich tapestry of experiences both as a player and a manager, Rangers fans have every reason to look forward. Onward and upward!

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