According to Sir Kenny Dalglish, the Rangers must give Philippe Clement the remainder of the season to develop the squad as it would be “totally unfair” to sack him if results sour.
Writing in the Sunday Post (22 October), Dalglish urged the Ibrox board to be patient with the Belgian if results start to dip as the long-term plan of toppling Celtic is unlikely to be achieved this season.
Clement earned an emphatic 4-0 victory over Hibernian on Saturday (21 October) in his debut Rangers game at Ibrox.
Dalglish wrote, as quoted by the Daily Record: “It’s understandable [Rangers] are clear favorites to win [the League Cup]. But what if he doesn’t? If the Gers lose to Hearts next month at Hampden or to Aberdeen or Hibs in the final in December, will Ibrox fans be calling for his removal?
“Will the Rangers hierarchy cave into pressure and show the Belgian the door? I certainly hope not. This guy needs to be given time.
“Rangers may need to be patient and keep chipping away at [Celtic], trying to make inroads. But the time for talking is now over and it’s time for action. Philippe is well aware that he needs to win games. That is all that matters.
“If you can do that with flair and style, then all the better. He needs to make proper progress in the next seven or eight months. But he needs to be given time. It would be totally unfair for people to be calling for his head during that period.”
The Ibrox faithful’s patience with Michael Beale very quickly turned with poor performance after poor performance leading him to his inevitable sacking.
Beale had been at the club for nearly a year at this point – plenty of time for him to have an impact and improve the club, if he was up to the task. Unfortunately, the London-born boss saw the exit door, but after a busy Beale-inspired transfer window, the Rangers hierarchy sought to stop the rot early to prevent further damage.
While the walls quickly caved on Beale, Clement will surely be offered more time and patience from the board and the fanbase. His excellent debut has raised expectations, but there could well be bumps along the way, and crucial clashes in the League Cup, Europa League, and against Celtic in the league will define Clement’s first season.
January recruits may be thin after such a busy summer, but the Belgian may have the chance to buy and sell players to help shape the squad in his vision.
However, if the end of the season rolls around and the Gers are trophyless, not in second, or are playing poorly, the fans will not be shy in voicing their concern.