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Claude's loving the new Makelele role


13:00 17th May 2017

. . . Makelele's boots are back on to nurture Swans midfielders

With a CV as illustrious as his, Claude Makelele has plenty of words of wisdom to pass on.
The little Frenchman was a colossal figure during his playing days, with over 15 major medals packing out his trophy cabinet.
Over 800 appearances during a 20-year career saw Makelele grace the turf at Real Madrid, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain among others.
At 44, he would be forgiven for hanging up the boots and taking it easy after plying his trade at the game’s highest levels for so long.
Not Makelele.
These days he can be seen harrying and jostling Swansea City’s senior stars around the training pitch at Fairwood.
Having joined the Swans as an assistant coach shortly after Paul Clement’s arrival in early January, Makelele soon dusted off his boots as he attempted to pass on his knowledge.
As Swans skipper Jack Cork said at the time: “He’s got a position named after him, ‘The Makelele Role’, so who better to learn from?”
Quiet off the pitch but quick to instruct while on it, Makelele’s decision to join in training sessions means benefits all round.

Claude Makelele

“I learn a lot about the players from taking part in a training session. I don’t just stick to one position, I play in a few roles depending on where I am needed to help the team,” said Makelele, who won 71 caps for his country.
“I think it is necessary because you need to understand what it is like on the pitch for these players - how they play, their thinking on the pitch and how they hold the ball.
“You get to see all movement and understand the session from their perspective. It is like a conversation.
“It also helps to push the players on what is going well and what is not going well. I think more teams and assistants should do this.
“I enjoyed my football career, but the time for me is in the past. It is just nice to pass on the experience to these players at Swansea. I can’t die with all my experience.”

Claude Makelele

Makelele previously worked under Laurent Blanc at French giants PSG, where he would also train alongside the players.
He worked with Clement during his playing days at Chelsea and in a coaching capacity in Paris when Carlo Ancelotti took over, hence he joined him at Swansea.
Makelele has played his part in the Swans’ escape from relegation.
Having joined a new-look management team which also features Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi, Makelele has helped the Swans move off the bottom of the table and all the way to safety.
The regime got off to a fine start, with victory at Liverpool a particular highlight.
Then a six-match winless run tested nerves, with the Swans dropping back into the bottom three.
They were tense times, but at that point everyone involved had to show their steel.
They did just that, as a run of three wins and a draw from four matches – along with Crystal Palace’s victory against Hull last Sunday – secured the club’s top-flight status.
For Makelele, one key element helped push the team on.

Claude Makelele

“I can see plenty of positive energy from players and staff, to the fans and to the city. We are a good family,” he added.

That family will come together this Sunday for the Swans’ final fixture of the campaign.

It is a game which now carries far less pressure than anticipated less than a week ago.

Claude Makelele

Mid-table West Brom are the visitors to SA1 as the Swans bring down the curtain on a rollercoaster ride of a season.
And, Makelele hopes, Swansea’s squad can sign off with a result which will show their appreciation to the Jack Army.
“It is an opportunity for us to play without the pressure we have been under for the last few months, but the pressure is still on to produce a result for our supporters,” he added.
“They have been excellent to us. Their support has been incredible and everywhere we play they are there right behind the team.
“It would be nice to end the season on a win and send the supporters away happy.”

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