The myth of Steve McClaren is now being exposed at Newcastle United

Steve McClaren

The Toon boss has success, but it usually comes with helpful circumstances and the odd season ticket in the face.

Steve McClaren is struggling as boss at Newcastle United and in all honesty it is not difficult to see why.

For some reason people have an almost mythological belief in McClaren’s abilities but the fact is, his managerial record is not what people make it out to be.

To start with the successes, Middlesbrough was undoubtedly an excellent start to his managerial career. Especially in the cup competitions he worked wonders with Boro, who admittedly had a strong team at the time. They won the League Cup and made the FA Cup semi-finals during his time at the club but it was their run to the Europa League final most will remember.

However they were thumped v Sevilla in that game and cracks were showing. It was in that season a fan stormed onto the pitch and threw a season ticket at him.

He was often accused of buying most of his success, with players such as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaionk, Mark Viduka, Yakubu and Boudewijn Zenden all arriving at the club on big deals and/or big wages.

His England experience was, as we all well know, a disaster.

Then came FC Twente and more success. He won the club their first ever Eredivisie title and picked up some good results in Europe. However, once again this is not the whole story. His arrival at Twente came at a time of crisis for the big clubs in Dutch football.

The global financial problems had seen them become minnows in the transfer market compared to Twente, whose private investment had them bringing in some of the best stars in Dutch football such as Luuk De Jong, Bryan Ruiz and Miroslav Stoch. The emergence of players such as Cheik Tiote, Douglas and Wout Brama also helped.

Meanwhile the traditional Dutch sides were struggling which caused a perfect storm with McClaren at the eye of it. By the end of the season he had won the league by one point from a resurgent and youthful Ajax.

Twente are now paying for their lack of frugality. Completely bust and on the verge of liquidation, their key assets are now up for grabs.

Since leaving Twente it is hard to find excuses for his success, because there has been none.

He flopped at Wolfsburg and was a disaster at Nottingham Forest. He returned to FC Twente but was sacked after a struggling 13 months and could not bring promotion to Derby County, despite their talented squad.

The fact is McClaren, as a coach, has only ever succeeded with extenuating circumstances in his favour. He has never done it with his back against the wall which, at Newcastle, is always the case.

The myth of McClaren is slowly being discovered at Newcastle United who must hope he finds his first success in some time to turn things around at St James Park.

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