Steve McClaren leads FC Twente into Europe

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

It may have seemed that after his embarrassing spell as England manager, Steve McClaren’s managerial career was as good as over.

He failed to guide England out of a seemingly straight forward qualification group into Euro 2008. The critics were on his back and he moved on to Holland and away from the media’s glare.

He enjoyed a good spell at Middlesborough. A team always battling to survive in the top flight who under the Englishman, fought their way to a UEFA Cup final. The previous season they had won their first piece of sliverware in the club’s history with victory over Blackburn Rovers in the final of the League Cup.

At FC Twente he was recieved by the Dutch with a certain amount of sceptcism. Dubbed ‘The Wally with a Brolly’ by certain sectors of the media, McClaren caused much humour amongst football fans in England when donning a rather strange Dutch accent when interviewed by Dutch TV speaking in English.

However he soon set about making the right kind of headlines with the performances of his team on the pitch. Indeed despite the early disappointment of being beaten by Arsenal in the qualifying stages in the Champions League, Twente have gone on to enjoy a fantastic season.

Indeed, they have secured second spot in the league and Champions League qualification. They are in the final of the Dutch cup, and managed to proceed past the group stages of the UEFA cup.

FC Twente is a well run club. Having recovered from recent financial problems, they are currently considering expanding the stadium to 34,000 seats in time for the 2010/11 season.

The future looks bright for Twente under McClaren and he has ressurected his floundering reputation by enjoying a progressive first season in Dutch football.

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