It’s official. Steve McClaren has been sacked as England manager just one day after the country’s exit from the Euro 2008 qualifying process.
To be honest, there are many England fans and journalists who are happy this morning. They’re pleased because “Second Choice Steve” (as The Guardian dubbed him after Scolari turned down the job offer) has finally gotten the sack. The public at large weren’t too pleased when he became England manager in the first place. And after a dire period of results including a late win against Andorra, the fact of the matter is that the former Middlesbrough boss should have been sacked months ago.
Of course, these fans and journos would be more pleased if England had qualified.
Now more than ever, the Football Association (FA) needs to make the correct decision in selecting the new manager. Many football fans are calling for the FA to resign, but the more likely decision is that the FA will take their time and hopefully learn from their mistakes of last time and handle the whole procedure more professionally.
Expect the next few days to weeks to months to be filled with articles in the English press with rumors of who will be the next England manager. The press themselves undoubtedly contribute to the pressure by focusing so much on the next coach and trying to outdo their rival newspapers that it creates a hysteria.
Rather than create a cauldron of press activity, it would be more advisable for Fleet Street to take a step back, let the FA get on with their job and allow the whole process to happen in an efficient manner. Fat chance of that happening though with the British tabloids smelling blood.
McClaren only managed one football club in his career and that was at Middlesbrough. He earned most of his respect as assistant coach to Sven Goran Erikkson at England, and then as assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
His biggest achievements at Middlesbrough was a FA Cup semi-final place in 2005 and a spot in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final. In both matches, his side lost.
Expect McClaren to take a long time off work. I don’t see him surfacing from this one for quite some time.