Why Steve McClaren could be the perfect fit at Leeds United
Thomas Christiansen was sacked as Leeds United manager after eight months in charge at Elland Road.
After a bright start under the Dane, the club began slipping down the table, culminating in a 4-1 defeat by Cardiff City.
That leaves the Yorkshire oufit tenth in the Championship and on the lookout for a new manager. Early reports have linked Leeds with a move for the ex-England manager Steve McClaren.
But would the appointment work? We think there’s the potential for it to be an excellent fit. And here are a few reasons why.
McClaren has had an up-and-down managerial career. But his reputation will always be tarnished by his England stint. Much in the same way as Roy Hodgson has.
But like Hodgson, the 56-year-old has proved his level is probably somewhere at a decent Championship or lower-tier Premier League club.
His first role as manager in his own right was at Middlesbrough. And that’s been one of his most successful stints to date.
He built on Bryan Robson’s sterling earlier work in establishing the Teesiders as a Premier League club. And he also managed to guide Boro to a League Cup triumph and a UEFA Cup final.
There’s little need to go over his England tenure at this point. “The wally with the brolly” tag will stick with him until he retires, unfortunately.
After that disastrous two-and-a-half year period in charge of the Three Lions, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant popped up in the Eredivisie at FC Twente.
The unfashionable Enschede outfit bagged a second-place finish in his first campaign and then won the league the following season.
It was a remarkable achievement and an indicator of McClaren’s managerial qualities and bravery in taking a job abroad. Especially after how badly it went for him in the previous role.
At Derby County, he has also proven his capability of putting together a quality Championship outfit. In his first stint in charge of the Rams, he guided his side to the play-off final against Queens Park Rangers.
They were beaten in heart-breaking circumstances by Bobby Zamora’s last gasp-strike despite being the better side.
There are odd parallels between Hodgson and McClaren’s careers. Both have managed successfully abroad, won trophies at unfashionable clubs, and had terrible experiences with England.
However, just like Hodgson is doing at Crystal Palace now, the Yorkshireman can prove that – although he has a ceiling – he can thrive at a certain level.
Under Christiansen, Leeds lost their way. But McClaren has the organisational ability and the coaching nous to get the Whites back on track.
He’ll need a pinch of patience but if he is handed the reins, then he could guide them to the play-offs.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication