Steve McClaren’s confirmation as Newcastle manager yesterday put an end to months of speculation that the former Derby County boss would be taking the reins from John Carver on Tyneside.
Upon his announcement, the Magpies’ new head coach revealed his targets are to end the club’s 60-year silverware drought and establishing the north-east outfit in the top-eight of the Premier League.
The extent to which the latter can be regarded as something to aspire to is debateable, but ensuring Newcastle’s name is etched into a trophy throughout his tenure is sure to see a spot reserved for McClaren alongside Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Pardew as one of the Toon’s greatest modern-day managers.
According to the odds, he doesn’t have much chance of landing the primary goal in the short term, with bwin going 20/1 about the club copping any cup next season, while it’s a doubtful 7/2 about any pot being pocketed by the end of the 2019/20 edition.
The prospect of a payday materialising for those who invest in either may be bleak at this stage, but there’s a case to argue as to why those who back Stevie Mac to do the business while manning fort Newcastle will be celebrating at least once in the next five years.
McClaren has overseen some monumental failures across his dugout-dwelling career– not qualifying for Euro 2008 with England and missing out on the 2014/15 play-offs with Derby after being top of the Championship in February to name just a couple – but he has a few high points in there too.
The balding boss steered Middlesbrough to their first and only major trophy success in 2004 in winning the Capital One Cup, which came three years into his stint at the Riverside.
An even more laudable feat was accomplished in the Netherlands, when he guided FC Twente to their maiden Eredivisie title, making him only the second coach to claim the crown without managing any of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord in 34 years. Louis van Gaal is the other.
The aforementioned triumph with Middlesbrough means McClaren is one of just seven English managers to win a major trophy since the Premier League’s 1992/93 inception.
Of the septet, he is the only one who remains in management to this day.
In a climate where it’s unfathomably difficult for English bosses to thrive, it’s possible McClaren’s achievements have been somewhat underappreciated, while simultaneously indicating that of all the options available to Newcastle, he’s the one most likely to end the Magpies’ honour hoodoo.