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Although Derek McInnes’ odds at betting market continues to harden amid talk that he is the man to take over at Rangers, rumours still abound that former Middlesbrough and Newcastle manager Steve McClaren may yet be a contender to take the reins at Ibrox.
Having been a loyal and appreciate deputy to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before taking on the England manager’s job and getting Middlesbrough to a European final, is McClaren perhaps the right man to drag Rangers kicking and screaming back to the top of the Scottish football pile?
His football CV is certainly a resume of two halves. On the plus side, the confirmation of Sir Alex was always seen as a major positive and he certainly left Old Trafford with that. Being given the coveted England role put him up there with the likes of Sir Bobby Robson as one of the few to have been given such a high-pressure job.
Coincidence? You would think not. He also led Middlesbrough to a historic League Cup win in 2004 before guiding them to the UEFA Cup final against Sevilla in 2006. To top it all off, McClaren won the 2010 Eredivisie title in the Netherlands with FC Twente, to supposedly show what a top quality coach he is.
Are these achievements all they seem? Many say not. Ferguson also highly recommended David Moyes for the Man United job and we all know what happened there. McClaren’s time at England was drab, unsuccessful and ultimately, he was simply unpopular.
Boro got to the UEFA Cup final with heroic comebacks and last minute goals which, while being exciting, doesn’t always speak of great coaching. As was said by a North East journalist – McClaren is a great man, but not a great manager.
He had two ultimately unsuccessful spells as manager of Derby County in the English Championship, a disastrous spell in charge of Newcastle United, which ultimately led to the club losing their top-flight status. It was a spell that looked even worse when Rafa Benitez grabbed the club by the scruff of the neck and made important changes. McClaren’s inability to do that was a long-standing complaint of Newcastle fans towards both, him and Alan Pardew, as they were labelled “Ashely’s puppets”.
Can you imagine a former Mike Ashley puppet taking over at Rangers FC? No, me either.