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View From The Town End (Swansea): Paul Clement

Declan Terry gives us an insight into Clement’s time in South Wales.

Stoke City v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yesterday we got a Derby fan’s thoughts on new Reading boss Paul Clement, so it only seemed right that we got the Swansea view as well. As such, we asked Swans supporter Declan Terry what he made of the 46-year-old in his time at the Liberty Stadium, which saw him keep the Welsh side in the Premier League last season before being sacked back in December as they sat bottom of the table.

Declan is the editor for Read Swansea, and can be found on Twitter here.

How well did he do at Swansea?

Clement did brilliantly and terribly all at the same time. He came in after the disaster of Bob Bradley, had an instant impact and most importantly of all, started to get wins on the board. For the majority of the second half of last season, Clement turned us into a formidable and hard to beat outfit and kept us up with a game to spare, which was unthinkable before he arrived. So in that respect he did a fine job, however the start to this season was awful. Not helped by a poor summer transfer window, this season under Clement was painful to watch. We didn’t get any results, the performances were dire and ultimately his sacking was the correct decision.

How would you describe his style as a manager?

He’s a very negative and defensive manager. I think he got away with it last season because we had the results to match, but when you’re not getting the results and you’re still sitting back, not going for the win, as a fan it was at times excruciating. For example, on the opening day of the season, we were drawing 0-0 against Southampton but after an hour he takes off the striker for a centre-back - that was frustrating! Also expect plenty of parking the bus when you’re winning.

Swansea City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Former Reading academy player Alfie Mawson excelled under the defensive approach of Clement at the Liberty Stadium.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

What are his main strengths and weaknesses as a manager?

His strengths are that he’s a very good coach. He’s a better ‘coach’ than he is a ‘manager’. You can see that he works well on the training ground and his teams are well drilled and disciplined. And he’ll definitely improve Reading’s defence.

His weaknesses would be his negative outlook and his stubbornness to often make a changes when they’re blatantly needed.

Will he be a success at Reading?

I think he’ll definitely have an impact at Reading and will give the team a much needed lift. I’m confident you’ll stay up but then it’s the long-term where the spark could disappear and that’s the real test will come for Clement. Although things ended quite sourly at Swansea, I’d like to see him do well in the future. I think Reading’s a good fit for him to put Swansea behind him and build his way back up.