McClaren Verdict


Earlier today, Derby County announced the appointment of Steve McClaren as head coach. It has divided opinion among supporters.

At the weekend I voiced my disappointment of Nigel Clough’s dismissal. Although I remain disappointed by the sacking and that Clough won’t have the chance to finish off the years of rebuilding, I’m quite happy about his successor.

Please look beyond the ‘wolly with the brolly’. The fact that he was appointed as England boss does in itself speak volumes. The work he did with Middlesbrough mustn’t be discounted and his success in the Dutch league with FC Twente but, yes, he has failed as England, Wolfsburg and Forest (if you can’t it as he did resign himself) boss.

I don’t think anyone cannot agree with the staff that have followed him into the club.

Paul Simpson is regarded as a good former player at the club. Eric Steele coming in as the club’s goalkeeping coach is very wise. He has a wealth of experience under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson and working alongside some of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers in recent years. According to a piece in the Metro, Manchester United and David De Gea owe him a ‘debt of gratitude’.

McClaren’s time under Jim Smith at Derby and spell as a player will hopefully be beneficial. More significantly he worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United during a successful spell for the club. He doesn’t hire any old fool.

More recently, he has worked as a coach at QPR for Harry Redknapp. Nothing but praise has come of that.

The common denominator in praise for McClaren is that he is an excellent coach. The decision to call him ‘head coach’ instead of manager suggests he’ll bring a more hands-on approach to the role with plenty of training ground work.

Sam Rush is also looking to fill the void of ‘technical director’. McClaren’s relationship with the new technical director will be key, many managers would understandably be reluctant to have another man alongside them – maybe that was the case with Nigel Clough. If this director does come in, it could present more time for McClaren to centre his time around coaching, where he is clearly most effective.

If you think back to Clough’s appointment in 2009, Nigel didn’t have any Football League experience – the new man has the opposite amount of experience. That is pivotal this time around. Again, if the former England boss succeeds, don’t forget the foundations laid by Clough.

Voice your verdict in the poll.

It was, as I mentioned at the weekend, a real shame to see Nigel leave but it’s now time to get behind the team – starting tonight!

Twitter – @NathansRamsBlog

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2 Responses to McClaren Verdict

  1. Jon Gregory says:

    Two sides to this Nathan.

    McClaren’s only referenceability at this level is an unmitigated disaster at forest. Eriksson was a good manager in Europe but his stint at Leicester was hardly successful. You need the know how to get out of this division – so far nothing to me suggests McClaren has it. Maybe he’ll get money to spend in January to significantly improve the team, and that might be his time to shine. What an insult to Clough if that does happen though – it would prove that he was never going to get the opportunity to spend any decent amount on the squad.

    You’re right about Simpson being a good former pro for the club – and I suspect it’s that sort of reaction that Rush will be looking for by replacing ‘one of our own’ with ‘two of our own’. He will be acutely aware of supporter unrest after the weekend and this, at least in part, is an attempt to pacify us, in my opinion.

    Simpson’s career with us, however, doesn’t qualify him as a coach capable of taking us out of the division. He has an impressive managerial record but the difference between manager and coach is enormous. He could be a success, and I’d love him to be, but it’s a dangerous game pinning hopes on his playing career. In some ways it feels like no real improvement on who we had.

    The most interesting decision in my opinion is the adoption of a ‘Head Coach/Technical Director’ structure. Invariably it doesn’t work in this country, and certainly not in this division. The Championship is about strength, determination, endeavour. Games are won on set pieces, pacy wingers & big strikers and a lot of the time, mistakes. It’s not a technical league and it seems irrelevant to appoint a leadership structure that reflects a technical type of football. We need to shore it up at the back – that’s our big problem. I can’t see what a ‘Head Coach’ can bring to that. I hope I’m wrong.

    I wish McClaren, Simpson and Steele the best of luck, but 3 days after his sacking and my overriding emotion is sadness for a man who displayed honesty and integrity throughout his time here but was shown very little in return, in the end. The timing of the sacking is absolutely bizarre. The execution of it is morally bankrupt.

    It’s sad, but I feel that Derby is now a team I support – not a club I love.

  2. Pingback: McClaren’s Half-Time Team Talk Inspires Rams | Nathan's Rams Blog

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