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Paul Clement Outlines The Big Role Claude Makelele Played In Swansea's Survival

By Mikey Traynor
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Swansea City looked dead and buried when Paul Clement took over as manager in January, but they stayed up with games to spare and the impact that Paul Clement has had on the side is clear to see.

A nominee for manager of the season, Clement has done a fantastic job and deserves all the credit he gets, but there were also a number of different people and factors that played a part in keeping the Welsh club in the top flight.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente are two other obvious influencers, but while his arrival sparked a positive reaction due his name alone, we didn't really hear much about Claude Makelele who came on board as an assistant coach.

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It turns out that the former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder actually approached Clement about helping out rather than the other way around, and was a massive help in getting the club moving in the right direction. That's according to the Swansea boss to sat down for a chat with Tubes of Soccer AM.

He brought a lot.

In the first couple of days here I received a call from Claude, I thought he was just going to say, you know, 'well done for getting the job'.

Obviously I knew him from Chelsea and I worked with him for a year-and-a-half as an assistant at Paris St. Germain, the call surprised me, because Claude said; 'I really think I can come and help you and I would like to do that, is there a possibility?' and straight-away I said yes.

Really happy that he did it, he came in, had an immediate impact and a close relationship with the players, he gained their instant respect for what he did as a player.

He speaks French, speaks Spanish, so having those language skills in a multi-cultural dressing room like we've got was also a big help, and he along with the other assistants have supported me brilliantly.

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Imagine if one day in your job Claude Makelele just showed up to help out and be a good bloke? You'd be thrilled.

You see it all the time with players of his ilk. Zinedine Zidane is a blatant example of getting the players to follow because they know he knows what he's talking about, and any time we've spoken to a current Irish international they all go on about how fantastic it is to have Roy Keane around the place giving advice.

We hadn't heard much about the Frenchman since his arrival, but it's good to know that he was a big factor in Swansea staying up.

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