Derby County have backed their manager in the transfer manager - now it is time for him to prove that he is cut out for a top job.
Derby County have spent close to £20million this summer to top the Championship outlay chart, as covered by the Independent, but they arrive in September with just one point in the bank that really counts – so already new manager Paul Clement should be looking over his shoulder.
A personal choice of new club owner Mel Morris, Clement arrived at the iPro Stadium for his first role as head coach, following stints with Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Real Madrid.
Derby have backed Clement throughout the summer and finished off their spending spree with the club record signing of Bradley Johnson on deadline day - but that was only the tip of the iceberg as it followed on from hefty outlays on Jason Shackell, Tom Ince, Jacob Butterfield and Scott Carson.
Add to that the big contracts handed out to free agents Alex Pearce and Darren Bent and nobody can question that new chairman Morris has been putting his wealth were his mouth is.
There is also little doubting that Derby have only one intention this season, promotion - and their transfer dealings, although maybe extravagant, look good and full of proven quality.
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So why did they not use the same methodology when it came to their manager? Yes, extravagant but hardly proven. You could, however, look back to last season and promotion-winning Alex Neill (Norwich City) and Slavisa Jokanovic (Watford) – with the pair hardly seasoned coaches, and certainly not at Championship level.
But unlike those successful names mentioned, Clement has not started very well at all. Whilst fellow big spenders and promotion favourites Middlesbrough have taken eight points, the Rams are sitting on half that amount – although they did manage to snatch a late draw against Boro.
The Championship is nothing if not a marathon rather than a sprint and, yes, whilst some managers should be given time, some shouldn’t…is Paul Clement one of those?
Derby have spent the money they have this summer for one reason, to secure promotion back to the Premier League due to the huge new TV deal which kicks in from next and one which makes their spending this summer look like pocket money.
Talk of Clement’s future has not been sparked as yet but another month like they have just witnessed and the pressure will soon be ramped up. Derby need promotion this season and they need to work out quickly whether Clement is management material. Plenty of top assistants in the past have fallen by the wayside after taking a top job and he now has to work very hard to ensure that he does not join that club.