‘Dynamic’ Clement appointed Swansea manager
The 44-year-old Englishman — whose mentor Carlo Ancelotti described him as ‘one of the most dynamic and intelligent coaches’ — signed a two-and-a-half year contract after German champions Bayern Munich, where he was assistant coach, allowed him to talk with Swansea.
Clement, whose only previous job as a manager was with second tier Derby, will attend Tuesday’s relegation clash with Crystal Palace but watch from the stands as first team coach Alan Curtis will take charge.
Clement, who fits into the mould of Swansea’s more successful managers of recent times — Michael Laudrup and Brendan Rodgers — in being young and highly thought of, said he knew he faced a massive challenge in keeping Swansea up but it was one he could not resist.
“I would like to think my footballing philosophy goes hand in hand with the club’s,” Clement said in a statement on the club website.
“That’s part of the reason the club chose me and a big part of the reason why I wanted to come to the club.
“Over recent years there has been a certain style Swansea fans have been used to seeing.
“Maybe that hasn’t been there so much over recent times, but hopefully I will be able to put my imprint on the team very quickly and the fans will be able to see some good football – most importantly some winning football.
“It is a massive challenge; there’s no other way to put it. But challenges are exciting and that’s why I came here.
“I could have stayed at Bayern as an assistant, but I’ve chosen to come into a very challenging situation. It excites me to do that and that’s the attitude I want the players to have.
“It’s a big task, but I think it can be done.”
– ‘Good fit’ –
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, who remained in his role despite selling to an American consortium in July last year, said Clement would be a ‘good fit’ for the club.
“We are delighted with the appointment of Paul Clement as our new head coach,” said Jenkins in a statement on the club website.
“Paul has not only worked with some of Europe’s biggest football clubs, but also the very best players in the world.
“Swansea City’s strength over many years had been the quality of the football coached on the training field.
“That has always been at the forefront of our success.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Paul can not only help us regain that footballing belief, but also restore some much needed pride back into the football club.
“We see this a typical Swansea City choice. It looks a good fit to get us back on track and provide one of the best young coaches in Europe with the chance to develop his own career and become a leading coach in his own right.”
Clement, whose playing career never attained the heights of his father, former England international defender Dave, replaces ex-United States national coach Bob Bradley, who was fired last Monday after guiding the Swans to just two wins in 11 matches.
Bradley had been hired after Italian Francesco Guidolin — who succeeded in preserving Swansea’s Premier League place last term — was sacked earlier in the season.
Clement, who many thought was unlucky to be sacked by Derby last February as he had led them to fifth place and were only five points adrift of then leaders Hull, has accrued an excellent reputation as a coach.
He has served as Ancelotti’s assistant at not only Bayern but also Chelsea, Real Madrid — where they won the 2014 Champions League — and French champions Paris Saint Germain.
Clement faces a mighty task at Swansea, who are four points adrift of safety ahead of the Palace match.