Any rational person reading this article will say no, it’s still too soon to be thinking of sacking Paul Clement, and I myself am included in that. Eight games into a season is not long enough for a manager to stamp his style onto the team. I know he had eight games last season, but the two challenges the manager has faced are completely different beasts.
Last season, Clement had eight games to save this club from relegation. No one cared how he did it, just that he did. At times it wasn’t pretty (reference losing 4-0 to Ipswich at home), but regardless he got the job done. Now, he has had what any manager dreams of. A summer to change the make up of the squad into how he wants it, and a full pre-season to implement his style of play in training. Whatever way you look at it, the first eight games of the season have not gone well. Before the season, I predicted we would narrowly avoid relegation and so far it looks like I could well be correct.
I think by the time the next international break comes around (which is only just over two weeks away) we will have a clearer picture. In that time we have four league games. One against Hull on Saturday, then away to Brentford, a massive game at home to QPR, and then away to West Brom. We can all agree, none of these games will be easy. Even the massive game against QPR, they have really turned a corner recently.
In my book, I think this season is damage limitation, quite similar to last season. As long as we don’t get relegated then it will have been successful. Don’t get me wrong, I hate seeing the club I love in this position and wish we were reaching the dizzy heights similar to Jaap Stam’s first season, but we need to temper expectations. Clement can’t be solely to blame either. This group of players is more than good enough to be competing much higher up the table, so it’s a shared responsibility. However, if results don’t start picking up soon then we’ve seen how volatile some sections of the support can be. They will be calling for change.
Now let’s back the boys, and make some noise and hope our fortunes change!