Kevin Kilbane: Paul Clement could be the right fit for Swansea, but at the wrong time

Kelvin Kilbane believes the job could be a good fit for him

BY Adrian Collins 16:03 Saturday 31 December 2016, 16:03 31 Dec 2016

Image: Tim Goode EMPICS Sport

As the names in the frame for the Swansea job start to get whittled down, it looks as though former Real Madrid coach Paul Clement is the leading candidate. 

Speaking on Saturday on Off The Ball, Kevin Kilbane stated that Clement would be a good fit for the role, but that while his experience alongside Ancelotti at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich was one thing, the mammoth task of managing in a relegation scrap was a different kettle of fish. 

"None of the managers that have been tipped - it's either going to be Paul Clement, by all accounts, or Gary Rowett - none of them have managed in the Premier League, none of them have managed in this sort of difficult situation. 

"Why do you turn to a manager like that?," Kilbane asked. "By my reckoning, they're getting a mananger that's just going to fit in with the system of the club. It's almost as if they're accepting their fate in many respects by not getting a manager in that would get them safe. 

"They hired a manager in Bob Bradley who had very little experience in European football [...] and, of course it didn't work. I think it was almost against him as soon as he took the job, or as soon as he was announced. There was a lot of negativity towards him anyway, and I don't think he had a chance."

Noting that he had worked with Clement before in the Irish set-up, Kilbane stated that he saw the organisational skills at work that could whip the Welsh club side into shape, in particular given their defensive troubles.

Image: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti (right) and assistant head coach Paul Clement (left) celebrate with the UEFA Champions League Trophy. Nick Potts PA Archive/PA Images

"I worked with him only, I think it was one game or maybe two, when he was the U21 assistant with Don Givens. I think he worked a number of years with Don actually. He took over then and took a couple of games himself; he was certainly involved for the Wales game at the Millennium in between [Steve Staunton] going and [Giovanni] Trapattoni taking over.

"I don't know him well, I have to say that, but he was a very good coach to work with during that brief spell that I worked with him," Kilbane said of Ancelotti's right-hand man.

"He can, of course, organise a team, get the structure right, but it's different when you're dealing with man management, with the day-to-day for the players and getting them right, maybe just mentally at times. That's one thing that will come to him in time. If he does take over that job, he might learn, he might get better at it.  

"In fairness, it might be the ideal job for him," Kilbane proffered, "where he's a head coach, where he's trying to get the players right just on the training ground, and he doesn't necessarily have to deal with any of the off the field stuff like transfers. 

"It might suit him, certainly if he's going to take a head coach role, that would be the sort of job that you could see him doing."

However, Kilbane warned that the task that lies ahead for Clement is one that will be under constant and intense scrutiny, and returned to his spell at Derby, which ended in his being dismissed.

"The Derby thing was ultimately a failure," said Kilbane. "I know that the Derby owner is extremely difficult to deal with, he's very, very hard. I know Nigel Pearson found him difficult to deal with [...] but he's going to come across this if he is going to continue in management.

"He might have learned from his time at Derby, and that might take him forward if the does take the Swasnea job."


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