News and Views
Confirmed: Paul Clement Is New Reading Manager
23 March 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Former Swansea City manager Paul Clement has been revealed as the new Reading manager following the sacking of Jaap Stam earlier this week.
In a statement released by the club, confirming Clement has agreed terms, they emphasised his first target is to take Reading into an "eight-game battle" to avoid relegation into League One: "Not only has he coached at some of the greatest clubs in Europe, winning trophies, league titles and European honours and working with some of the greatest players in the world, fundamentally he also has a rich understanding of English football having managed in both the Championship and the Premier League in recent years. Now, everyone at Reading Football Club is fully behind Paul and his squad of players as, together, we initially set our sights on an eight-game battle and continue to strive to the take this club forward."
Clement spent a year at Swansea after being appointed at the start of 2017 and being dismissed just before Christmas in the same year. His record at Swansea was mixed, winning 14 of his 41 games in charge, drawing 5 and losing 22. His previous job in management was at Derby County where he was given even less time, again failing to complete a full year in charge, and winning 14 games out of 33. Although his record at Derby was better, and he was dismissed after a poor run, it was reported at the time he was sacked due to his style of unattractive football and his inability to work out the best way to use a large group of players available to him.
Opinion is split if Clement is the right man for the job, with his style of management similar to the outgoing Jaap Stam. Clement also enjoyed a positive start at Swansea before results quickly went downhill leading to him being sacked after less than a full 12 months in charge. Swansea were struggling at the foot of the Premier League when Clement arrived and fortunes immediately picked up as the Swans won 5 out of 9 Premier League games to begin a climb up the table. Results dipped before the Welsh side finished the season with four wins out of five to finish in 15th place and well clear of the bottom three.
The following season Clement failed to build on his success with a run of just 1 win in 11 games seeing the club show him the door before Christmas. It all feels far too similar to Jaap Stam's time at Reading with the Dutch manager seeing a first season of success as his took Reading into the play-off final before he ran out of ideas with the club plummeting towards the relegation zone.
Reading fans will be hoping Clement can provide a similar impact at Reading on arrival and provide a "new manager bounce". If Clement can halt the slide and pick up enough points to guarantee Championship football next season then we will have already achieved at Reading, then next season we will perhaps really see what he can do with this team.
Clement will arrive with the support of the Reading fans, and a couple of wins between now and the end of the season will make him a popular choice. However, if he fails to halt the slide he could see another short tenure added to his managerial statistics. It will be interesting to see if he arrives at Reading on a short term contract or if those in charge at Reading FC believe he is the man long-term.
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