McClaren was appointed Newcastle boss in the summer, to much debate among supporters, but lasted just over nine months as he received his marching orders following a string of poor results.
The former England boss just couldn’t turn around what was a bad situation, and Newcastle’s declining from was very reminiscent of Derby County’s collapse under his guidance months prior to arriving at St. James’ Park.
Savage, writing in his column for the Mirror, felt the way Benitez was sounded out while McClaren was in charge was wrong but stated his dismissal was certainly the right call.
“I have little sympathy for the now-fired Steve McClaren, even if his long walk to the end of the plank turned into a tortured soap opera,” Savage said.
"McClaren was lucky to get the job in the first place. He blew two great opportunities to take Derby into the Premier League — last year’s collapse to finish outside the play-offs was dreadful."
"And his record at Newcastle speaks for itself. They spent almost £80million on players in the last two transfer windows, and what have they got to show for it?"
Benitez takes over a Newcastle side currently sitting in 19th position in the Premier League table, one point behind both Norwich City and North East rivals Sunderland as it’s looking like being two from three.
McClaren spent plenty of cash at Newcastle both last summer and in January, yet his side played with very little direction and defensively the were desperately poor, especially on the road.
The 54-year-old won just seven of his 31 games in charge of the Magpies, culminating in a 22% win ratio which is the lowest of his career at any club.