The Benefit of Englishmen Coaching Abroad

The image of Steve McClaren standing forlorn on the Wembley touchline as Mladen Patric scored the goal which ensured England would not qualify for 2008’S European Championships threatened to be iconic of his managerial career.

Stood on the touchline with only an umbrella to shield him from the torrential rainfall and criticism of a nation, it would have been all too easy to presume that a once promising coaching career had came to an abrupt end. Then, 30 months later, there is an altogether different iconic image. This one sees him hoisted high above his victorious Twente squad, the Eredivisie trophy held aloft. Whilst England rubs its collective eyes, a small University town on the German border revere him. This time his exit is glorious rather than acrimonious.

His conduct at Twente is incongruous with the media-obsessed parody of himself he became whilst managing Middlesbrough. In spite of presiding over Middlesbrough’s halcyon period, taking the team to their first ever Carling Cup triumph in 2004 and reaching the UEFA Cup final in 2006, there was coolness between McClaren and the supporters. His overly prepared, clich

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