Is McClaren’s managerial career on the line at Newcastle?

In 2001, Steve McClaren left his role as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant to take over as Middlesbrough manager and in his first season led the club to an FA Cup semi-final.

After five fruitful years in charge at Middlesbrough, McClaren became their most successful manager in history and the most successful English manager of the 21st century, winning the club’s first ever major honour by beating Bolton in the 2003/04 League Cup; he had taken the club to their highest league finish since 1975 during the same season. McClaren was also a hit in Europe, reaching the 2005/06 Uefa Cup final where his Boro outfit eventually lost 4-0 to Spanish side Seville.

Steve McClaren left Middlesbrough after the Uefa Cup Final defeat to become England manager, taking over from Sven Goran Eriksson after the 2006 World Cup. McClaren quickly imposed his ways on the squad by dropping experienced players, like David Beckham and Sol Campbell, from his squad.

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After a positive start to his first European Qualifying campaign England soon struggled, and eventually failed, to qualify for Euro 2008, losing their final game 3-2 at Wembley to Croatia. It was during this game that McClaren was dubbed the ‘Wally with the brolly’ by England fans, as he sheltered from the rain under his England umbrella.

This was the first time in 14 years that England had not qualified for a major tournament and, after just 18 games and 16 months (the shortest of any England manager) in charge, McClaren was removed as England head coach.

So what was next for McClaren and his career?

Shortly after being removed as England manager, McClaren took over as manager at Fc Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie. He took the club to a Dutch cup final and a second place finish in his first season, taking them into the Uefa Cup. In his second season in charge, Twente and McClaren claimed their first ever Dutch League title and he was awarded the Dutch ‘Manager of the Year’ accolade.

Despite winning the Eredivisie with Fc Twente, McClaren left shortly after to take over at German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, but this was where it began to all fall away for the Englishman. McClaren only remained at Wolfsburg until February and did not finish his first season before being sacked as manager of the German outfit due to poor results.

McClaren then had a short stint at Championship side Nottingham Forest, where he resigned after only ten games in charge. He then returned to Twente in Holland to try and resurrect his stuttering career, but only managed a sixth place finish and resigned half way through the 2012/13 season.

After taking in a brief coaching stint at QPR, McClaren took the reins at Championship side Derby and, in his first season in charge, gained a third place finish, only to lose in the Championship Play-off Final to a last minute Bobby Zamora goal.

How it could have been so different for the Englishman if he would have managed to gain promotion that day with Derby.

The 2014/15 season saw McClaren’s Derby topping the table in February, only to completely collapse and eventually miss out on the playoffs all together, with many fans feeling the unwanted rumours linking McClaren to the vacant Newcastle United job caused the loss of focus and results. In May that year, McClaren was once again relieved of his managerial duties.

The rumours linking McClaren with the Newcastle managerial hot seat continued and he was finally named as their Manager in June this year. Unfortunately for McClaren, his managerial record has continued in the same vein, with Newcastle currently sitting 19th in the Premier League and with no league win from seven games.

With severe pressure already mounting and Newcastle losing a 2-0 lead against Chelsea last weekend, McClaren will have to find some of the magic seen during his Fc Twente days if he wishes to remain in charge of the Toon. But with Manchester City away Newcastle’s next Premier League fixture, it would take one of the shock results of the season to stop the pressure being ramped up on McClaren and to stop the patience levels of the Toon board running out. I fear for McClaren’s career if he doesn’t survive his Newcastle ordeal.

We may never see the Wally with the brolly in charge again.

 


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