Since Steve McClaren’s appointment as Newcastle United manager last week I don’t think I have heard one positive response to the news from fans, from the papers, radio broadcasts or phone-ins.
From neutrals, sure, but not from the people that really matter.
The general consensus is that it is an ‘‘uninspired’’ choice and that it is a ‘‘mid-table appointment.’’
Like most managers, McClaren has some parts on his CV that he will not be proud of - even the greats such as Brian Clough had them – but we should not forget what McClaren has achieved so far.
It just so happens that he failed in the biggest job of all in this country with the most amount of media scrutiny involved. Newcastle are not exactly the quietest of clubs when it comes to events on and off the field, but this does not mean McClaren will necessarily screw up.
You would think that a little look at his managerial accomplishments will give the St. James’ Park faithful a bit more optimism.
To guide Middlesbrough to a UEFA Cup final is pretty astounding, especially when you consider where they have gone since then, and the clubs that usually reach the latter stages of the competition. (Benfica, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla - who ‘Boro actually lost to at the final hurdle - are just some of the teams that have graced that stage in recent years.)
Not to mention leading the club to their first ever major honour in the form of the League Cup and their highest league position for nearly 30 years by coming 7th, both in 2003-04 – another great achievement and a position where Liverpool and Manchester United have finished in recent years.
Shall I also add that he won FC Twente their first ever league title in 2010? Well, he did. Whatever the merits of the Eredivisie (it’s got to be the fifth or sixth best in Europe), to break up the monopoly of Dutch and European giants, Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar and co is another brilliant feat.
One could say that would be the equivalent of the Magpies winning the league title in England. Now that is not to be sniffed at, is it?
Whatever happened with England, Vfl Wolfsburg and Derby County, the good points far outweigh the bad, so get behind the man.