Belfast Telegraph

Clement happy to help out old boss Ancelotti with Arsenal pointers

Paul Clement says he is happy to take time out from Swansea's Premier League relegation scrap to help plot Arsenal's Champions League downfall.

The Gunners face Clement's former club Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the European competition, starting with the first leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

Clement, who left his role as assistant boss of the Bundesliga champions to take over the struggling Swans at the start of January, has worked closely with Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti for a number of years and is willing to aid the Italian against Arsene Wenger's men.

"He (Ancelotti) watches so much football I don't think he will need me, but of course if he wanted any particular advice, I would be more than happy to help him with that," Clement told reporters ahead of his side's game with Leicester.

"They've got some real world-class players in (Mesut) Ozil and (Alexis) Sanchez particularly, he could play for any big team in the world."

The ex-Derby boss has so far had a positive impact at the Liberty Stadium, picking up January's manager of the month award following victories over Liverpool and Southampton.

However, he knows Arsenal's strengths all too well having seen his side thrashed 4-0 by them in his first home game in charge of the Welsh club.

"Arsenal are a very good side," he added. "The day I watched them and also against us, they played very well.

"When I look back now at the other teams we have played, Arsenal were exceptional that day.

"Particularly in the second half, so fast in the transition, so many quality players, you make one mistake and they punish you, which they did against us."

Clement admits to not having watched any of Bayern's games since he departed Bavaria, although he regularly looks for their results.

One noteworthy piece of news to come out of Munich in recent days was the impending retirement of captain Philipp Lahm, a decision which 45-year-old Clement did not see coming.

"I haven't seen them play, I always follow the results and the media reports and keep in contact with Carlo," Clement added.

"They went through in the cup against Wolfsburg the other day, but Philipp Lahm is the big news, retiring at 33.

"There was a little bit of speculation about it when I was there and I thought 'really'.

"And I spoke to him and he said 'I haven't decided', but I am a bit surprised, particularly because of his age, but also, having worked so closely with him, how good he is.

"I don't see any physical deterioration in him, but maybe he has just reached that point where he has pushed himself so hard mentally."

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