From Scott Parker to Ronny Deila: Club Brugge still searching for Philippe Clement replacement

Since Phillipe Clement left Club Brugge to join Monaco in 2022, the side have been through four head coaches. Former Celtic head coach Ronny Deila is number five, but it appears unlikely he will last beyond the end of this season. Despite a strong playing squad, the side are out of the title race already, and gave up a first leg lead in the domestic cup semi-final to Union St Gilloise. After their recent 2-1 defeat away to Molde, the pressure on Deila is intensifying.

Current Rangers head coach Clement joined the club after leading Genk to the title during the 2018/2019 season. He then grabbed back to back league wins with Club Brugge, with the side making it three in a row after he left under Alfred Schreuder. The Dutch head coach only remained at the club for a handful of months before joining Ajax in the summer of 2022 .he is also the only one since Clement to exceed the former head coaches points per game, although with only 21 games in charge the sample size was small.

In his place came Carl Hoefkens, but he only lasted six months. Despite a strong Champions League campaign, the former Stoke player struggled for consistently in the league. After Hoefkens departure the side turned to Scott Parker, but the experiment only lasted 12 games as Parker failed to make an impact. Rik De Mil was brought in as the caretaker until the end of the season, with Ronny Deila announced before the end of the season as the sides future head coach.

Under Deila, the side did appear to be on somewhat of a roll before the winter break. This continued in January until a 3-3 draw with bottom side Kortrijk. Suddenly the momentum started to drift, and despite a 4-0 win over Eupen they began dropping points against the sides around them. Two late defeats to both Antwerp and Anderlecht ramped the pressure up, which was made worse by the 2-0 defeat to Union in the cup semi-final second leg. After last nights 2-1 defeat to Molde, many Club Brugge fans want the club to look elsewhere in the summer. The criticism has been that, under Deila, the side go too defensive too quickly in matches.

This is in stark contrast to how they played during the successful years with Clement, where the side looked to dominate games and win convincingly, pushing for more goals rather than holding what they have. This year looks like it will be another trophy less season for the side who have high expectations every season. Money has been spent, but so far there have not been returns on the pitch. If Deila does go, it will be another name through the door that has not been able to replicate the success that Clement was able to bring.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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