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‘There’s a relentlessness about Clement’ ‘Brought clarity of message and purpose’ ‘manager of action rather than a talking shop’ Tom English caught out again

Over the next fortnight Tom English will be sharing his knowledge, wisdom and judgement on the European Championships from Germany.

BBC Scotland will have a massive team of presenters, pundits and technicians at the competition with English topping things off with his considered thoughts on how the tournament unfolds for Scotland.

The action in Germany provides a welcome distraction after a season of misery on the park and keyboard for the chief sports writer of BBC Scotland.

Before a ball had been kicked English was letting his dislike for all things Celtic hang out on an Irish podcast, it seemed like he thought he was in the BBC Scotland canteen rather than appearing on a podcast accessible worldwide.

On the back of that outburst BBC Scotland weren’t invited to any Celtic Park pre-match media conferences.

By the end of September Micky Beale had become the latest victim of Rodgers but soon English had a new hero to emotionally invest in.

Philippe Clement appeared to shine light into his life, to give hope to the Gullible & Deluded with English all-in as the points gap narrowed, by February Rodgers was in second place.

The day before Celtic visited Ibrox English was in full flow, the hoops were a point ahead but had played a game more as they prepared to enter the lions den with English and his BBC colleagues having a front row seat for the fixture to make their dreams come true.

On the BBC website he punched out the following masterpiece:

Clement has won 19 of 22 league games since becoming manager in October. A victory on Sunday would mean that, in the entire history of the Ibrox club, only Bill Struth (21) and David White (22) will have won 20 league games in fewer matches.

They’re seven points better off in 2024 than Celtic. In Clement, we are seeing the kind of sure touch that has been, for so long, the exclusive preserve of the manager from across town.

In his short time, Clement has shown the restorative powers of Ange Postecoglou when he took over after the 10-in-a-row-that-never-was and the feelgood energy of Rodgers in his first coming, after the flatlining of Ronny Deila’s final season.

The Belgian has brought hope when it was previously thin on the ground. He has revived players who were looking tired and added vitality with some astute new signings.

Clement has had one transfer window and he’s made hay. Ready-made starters, rather than young project players, have been recruited and put straight into the team rather than deposited in finishing school.

Mohamed Diomande has become a mainstay of the midfield. Fabio Silva has played 10 league games. Oscar Cortes six, though he’s been one of the injured ones since late February.

Talk and statistics are cheap, English could rattle off as many stats as he likes but after 90 plus minutes at Ibrox Celtic were still at the top of the SPFL with a serial winner in the dug-out and a squad determined to go for their third successive title. Serial losers celebrated a moral victory.

It was a horrible set-back for Clement, pre match it seemed that nothing was too much to ask of The Proper Football Manager:

Rangers have shown a capacity to win ugly, an essential requirement of any team with title aspirations. They’re now displaying steel and belief rather than just talking about steel and belief. Everything goes back to Clement, a manager of action rather than a talking shop.

Too often in the past, Rangers managers, coaches and players have expressed madcap delusions of superiority over their city rivals, a form of collective hypnosis that was surreal to observe.

Clement has brought clarity of message and purpose. He’s driven much of the hubris out the door and you get the impression that if any still lurks in the corridors of the training ground he’ll find it and get rid of it.

There’s a relentlessness about Clement, a refusal to allow anybody to smell the roses until the job is done. Every time he’s asked to project too far forward, he repeats his mantra. Next game, next game, next game. Right man, right place, right time.

The next day Clement was banging his fist against his heart during a lap of honour then discussing a moral victory to his media cheerleaders.

Next game was a 3-2 defeat away to Ross County, after that it was a 0-0 draw at Dundee, one point gained out of six by The Proper Football Manager as his ability and English’s judgement became laughing stocks.

Over the next fortnight he’ll be sharing his views on European football having shown himself up as clueless and delusional on the Scottish game. All paid for by loyal BBC licence payers.

CLICK HERE for Keevins performs incredible u-turn on Rodgers as he accuses Celtic fans.

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

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