This Wednesday, the new AS Monaco manager was introduced at the team’s training center alongside Oleg Petrov and Paul Mitchell. A successful first media appearance.
Philippe Clement took the floor for the first time in his new role as Monaco manager, expressing himself in almost flawless French, if it weren’t for some small inaccuracy of pronunciation. The Belgian coach, who arrived a few days after leaving Club Bruges, answered journalists’ questions for almost an hour. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about his arrival in Monaco, but also to explain the club’s new goals.
“The project is ambitious: we have many young players and some more experienced players“, he explained before underlining that he wanted to create a real cohesion, not only among the players but also among all the other members of the club. “I want us to form a family, made up of ambitious players who have only one goal: victory.”
Quickly return to the top of the Ligue 1 leaderboard
Philippe Clement enjoys an excellent reputation in Belgium, where he has won three consecutive Belgian league titles with Genk and Club Bruges. During the interview, Philippe gave the first indications on his playing principles: “A coach must always adapt to the qualities of his players. But my philosophy has always been to have a dominant team, oriented towards attack and very committed ”.
When the coach, originally from Antwerp, was asked about his love for his craft, he said that pressure in no way affects his passion. “I learned to manage it in Bruges, after the victory in Genk. We had to win the championship and we did. I like this kind of pressure because it’s not bad. It’s positive pressure, which comes from people who want to win ”.
“Philippe is a serial winner who will take our project even further.”
And it won’t be Oleg Petrov and Paul Mitchell who contradict him. The vice president / general manager and the sporting director of AS Monaco reaffirmed the club’s ambitions. “We would like to thank Niko Kovac and his staff for the work they have done. They carried out the first phase of our project. We wish them the best for the future, ”said Petrov before spending a few words on the new Monaco manager. “Philippe Clement is the ideal coach to carry out this project. His experience as a player and coach is proof of this “.
A statement shared by Paul Mitchell: “Thanks to Cercle Bruges we were able to closely observe the Belgian championship. And Philippe Clement’s performances did not escape us. Philippe is a serial winner who will take our project even further “. Paul Mitchell himself, disappointed with Monaco’s results before the winter break, repeated several times that at the moment the team is not where it should be and that “it will be difficult to achieve the goals set at the start of the season”.
Philippe Clement’s main mission? Focus on young people
Monaco are now sixth in the standings and have never been in the top 5 since the beginning of the season. The team is on the high seas. “There is a saying in England that you have to be the rival of the favorite. Today we are 17 points behind Paris Saint-Germain. It’s too big a gap compared to what we set out to do “.
The Monegasque management hopes that with Philippe Clement the team will get back on track and be able to reach the top of the championship and achieve good results in the Europa League. But the other goal set by the managers is to focus on the growth of the young people of the team. This is precisely one of Philippe’s strengths, who in fact allowed Krepin Diatta to emerge playing in Club Bruges.
On Sunday in Nantes (17:00), the Belgian coach will sit on the Monaco bench for the first time in Ligue 1, a championship he called “physical” and “similar to the Belgian championship” but of a “higher level”. Incidentally, it is a league that he had to analyze to keep an eye on Paris Saint-Germain, which they faced this year in the Champions League (1-1, 4-1). “It is an honor to coach in France in one of the five most important leagues in the world. I didn’t think about leaving Club Bruges in the middle of the season. But life presents us with opportunities that we cannot foresee. When the train passes, you have to take it “.
READ ALSO: INTERVIEW. For the 10 years of presidency of Dmitri Rybolovlev, Laurent Maire retraced the avenue of memories with us