McClaren to go Dutch in surprise return
The Times Online
Steve McClaren is on the brink of a surprise return to football in the Netherlands with FC Twente. The former England head coach was in Amsterdam yesterday to see Twente qualify for the Champions League at the expense of Ajax.
McClaren will decide this week whether to rebuild his career overseas and is giving serious consideration to the offer from Twente. He has been out of work since he was dismissed by the Football Association in November after England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and is keen to return this summer. The usual post-season cull of managers is likely to provide openings in the Coca-Cola Championship, but McClaren has often expressed a desire to work abroad.
Twente finished fourth in the Dutch league, ten points behind PSV Eindhoven, the champions, but secured the second Champions League place through the play-offs with a 0-0 draw in the Amsterdam ArenA yesterday. They will join in the third qualifying round and the promise of European football is one of the lures for the Yorkshireman.
There is also the chance to rebuild his reputation without some of the baggage that would inevitably follow him around England because of his failure with the national side. Sir Bobby Robson also left the FA to work in the Netherlands, with PSV, and he is known to have encouraged McClaren to consider working there. The language would be far less of a problem than in other European countries.
Twente want McClaren to decide in the next few days whether he will succeed Fred Rutten, who has agreed to join Schalke 04 in Germany. One report yesterday linked McClaren with a return to Derby County, but there has been no approach. While it would be a gamble to move abroad, success would also mark him out. The number of English coaches who have worked overseas has been pitifully few in recent years.
Twente will regard it as a coup if they can attract the man who was once Mr. Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United and who, while at Middlesbrough, won the League Cup in 2004, came runner-up in the Uefa Cup in 2006 and finished seventh in the Premier League, the club’s highest finish.
Since losing the England job, McClaren, 47, has been travelling around Europe, seeking to build up his contacts and knowledge of players. That experience could prove useful given that he would need to trade within a limited budget at Twente, based in Enschede, a city of around 150,000 people near the eastern border with Germany. Bankrupt five years ago, the club have since been taken over by ambitious new owners. Managerial rivals would include Marco van Basten, who will take charge at Ajax this summer.
If McClaren does decide to move abroad — and his family is bound to be another consideration — Twente’s custom of playing You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off should at least help him to feel more at home after his years in England.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article3958862.ece
Would quite interesting for McLaren to go from managing England to a Dutch CL side. Hopefully Mihaylov's progress won't be stunted though if McLaren takes over.