Paul Clement may have just arrived in the Premiership as Swansea’s third manager this season, but considering that he has come straight from the Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich – who are the Gunners next opponents in the Champions League – he had already been involved in working out how to get the better of Arsene Wenger’s men.
`Clement told the BBC: “I was at Arsenal on Boxing Day as a Bayern member of staff watching them play, so I have my notes,”
“Hopefully we take advantage.”
“We would have been due to play them in the Champions League with Bayern. I’ll be using the notes for Swansea instead of Bayern,”
“The notes are the same, just looking what they do and hopefully take advantage and I’ll send (Bayern boss) Carlo (Ancelotti) a photocopy.”
“I am their third coach of the season and they have come off some really tough results, so confidence is low and we need to get that back up,”
“The best way to do that is to be well-prepared. How do you get someone feeling more confident? By making sure they are as well-prepared as possible.
“I will go into a game satisfied if I know I have done everything I can to prepare the team.
“If I arrive at a game feeling I have not prepared as well as I can I will not feel so confident.
“That is my objective, to get to 3:00pm on Saturday knowing I have done everything I can.
“That might mean not giving the players too much info, just the right amount.”
Clement also admitted that he is going to focus on being solid defensively, which is little surprise considering that the Swans have on average conceded more than 2 goals per game in the first half of the season, so Arsenal will have to be prepared to break down a dogged defence. Clement explained his philosophy: “Defensive work is important because it gives you a foundation,” he said.
“If you’re difficult to beat it gives you a much better chance of winning games.
“I’m not a coach who would particularly enjoy 4-3 and 5-4 wins.
“When I coached at Derby, particularly up to the half-way point of 23 games, we had an outstanding defensive record.”
A lot of fans worry about ‘new manager syndrome’, but surely it will take some time for his players to get used to his tactics and style. Let’s hope that they haven’t already done so.