Tuesday, February 8, 2011

McClaren sacked again, but reputation is rebuilt

The very fact Steve McClaren is already being tipped for vacant positions in English football shows you how his stock has risen despite being sacked as Wolfsburg boss this week.

Rewind three-and-half-years and that fateful, soggy November night at Wembley, McClaren – the wally with the brolly – was dismissed as England boss with his reputation in tatters.

Chairman and boards across the country dared not appoint him - even if they recognised his talents - given the derision and vitriolic abuse he received from fans and press alike. It took a long time for England fans to forget the livescore from the game against Croatia.

So, credit to the former Middlesbrough boss he picked himself up and went across to Holland where he rebuilt his shattered reputation with FC Twente - how we could do with other players and coaches trying their luck abroad.

This culminated in the Dutch title, the first Englishman to guide a Dutch team to a national title since Bobby Robson in 1992 and Twente's first title since 1974.

His reward was the job at Wolfsburg, who won the Bundesliga title in 2009. The German league though has made a habit of swapping Champions in recent years (in stark contrast to the Man United/Chelsea/Arsenal triumvirate in the Premier League) so their 2009 title was no guarantee of future success and livescore football fans should remember this.

And so it has proved with their season going from bad to worse. After just five victories in 21 games McClaren leaves with the club just a point above the relegation places.

A return to England looks likely, but the very fact that is considered an option is testament to the rebuilding job undertaken in Holland.

I wouldn't expect him to go near a brolly anytime soon though.

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