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The Weather is not Clement


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One of the more protracted transfers of the summer past involved the former manager Paul Le Guen’s avid pursuit of Jeremy Clement, who was a fringe player at Lyon, Le Guen’s previous club.

Le Guen rated this France U21 international very highly indeed, and one of the first tasks he undertook as new Rangers manager was to initialise an interest in the player. After a number of months’ speculation, a deal was finally reached with Lyon who released him to the tune of £1.2M. Le Guen had his man at long last, and the supporters, most of whom had not heard of this signing, engendered full faith in the boss’s judgement.

Unfortunately, one of the first aspects of this deal to transpire was that the youngster had not arrived in Glasgow with any massive desire to join Rangers, but rather, to link up again with a coach he rated extremely highly.

Le Guen had been the tutor giving Clement his chance at Lyon, and now at Ibrox Clement would be a first team regular, and not a mere squad player as was his role in France. To his credit, Clement had been pretty transparent about this state of affairs from the outset, never hiding his admiration for Le Guen. However, while his heart might not have fully been at Ibrox, as far as the majority of the fans were concerned, as long as he was a model professional who played to the best of his ability for Rangers, his own feelings were not paramount.

As it transpired, a far greater number of fans were pleased with Clement’s displays than were not, and by and large the Frenchman was adjudged Le Guen’s most successful acquisition. That said, given the failures he had otherwise signed for the club, to scale the heights of being the best of them did not necessarily take a great deal. Nevertheless, he was being lauded, although a minority of fans did not share this belief and considered him a thoroughly mediocre signing.

However, when Le Guen and Rangers parted company, one of the first issues to arise was Clement’s position. After wearing his heart on his sleeve with regards his motivations for being at Ibrox, surely the inevitable speculation would soon follow predicting his imminent departure. When Le Guen was subsequently unveiled as the new manager of Paris Saint Germain, most fans were expecting Clement to link up with him again. And indeed, Le Guen made public his desire to capture his protégé again, with Lyon also joining the hunt and conveying their interest in regaining their former player, with Diarra out injured.

Clement’s leaving looks to be inevitable now, for he has truly made his own bed with regards his feelings about Ibrox. To suggest he has smeared the club and the city with some frankly bitter comments would not be far off the mark at all.

He has strongly dismissed the SPL as a league, has made wild comments that remaining at Ibrox will hurt his international career (conveniently forgetting Boumsong who remained an international fixture while with Rangers), has confirmed he has no motivation to play for Rangers any longer, has claimed the club/city have a bad atmosphere for foreign players, and generally appears to be biting the hand which has fed him in giving him a first-team slot and allowing his career to develop.

It goes without saying his attitude has been staggeringly unacceptable, and any club with a player who showed this level of disrespect to them, their city and their league would wish to offload such a character.

"I really don't want to stay in Scotland any more. The atmosphere isn't good in the squad and since Paul Le Guen left it has become even less interesting for me.

"Without him there behind me, where was the interest for a French player? Staying in Scotland immediately lost its attraction because the Scottish league has a poor reputation.

"I came to Rangers because I wanted to work with Paul and believed he could achieve things at Rangers but with him gone it's back to the situation beforehand where the SPL just isn't rated in France.

"I obviously have ambitions to play for my country but I wouldn't achieve that by staying on in Scotland. That's why I asked the club's management to let me go. They agreed it was probably best for all concerned.

"The new regime have made it crystal clear they want to send out an all-Scottish side if possible.â€

And if ever anyone was in doubt over their feelings about Clement, the above should pretty much to it to bed.

Rangers cannot offload this insult to the jersey fast enough, but the ball is in their court for Le Guen truly desires him, and will conceivably be held to ransom. Rangers want a healthy profit on Clement, at least double the amount invested in him.

Sooner a veritable fee is agreed, and Clement gets shipped as far away from Ibrox as is possible, the better.


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