Newly-appointed Wolfe boss Steve McClaren spoke at a press conference on Wednesday about his intentions at Wolfsburg and answered a few important questions journalists had about the team. Coming off of his title-winning season in the Eredivisie with FC Twente, McClaren has finally tasted success and is hungry for more.
McClaren arrived in the Netherlands after a very disappointing stint as the England national team boss, where his side failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Previous to that, he had great success with Middlesbrough, winning the League Cup in 2004 and finishing as runners-up in the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) in 2006. He also served as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager at Manchester United, and helped the Red Devils win the treble in 1999.
The image of McClaren shielding himself from the torrential rain in his final game in charge of the England national squad will still make many an Englishman cringe at the sound of his name. Many will wonder how a man who hit such a low so early on in his managerial career could dare move forward. Many will wonder still how on earth he was able to lead FC Twente to the Eredivisie title, beating a rampant Ajax side who were on an unbeaten run of 18 league games, from November 22nd to May 2nd.
McClaren pulled it off. And now, another challenge. Last season’s Bundesliga winners finished this season in just 8th place, far from European qualification and even farther from the top. McClaren is determined to take them not just back to the European promised land, but also back to the top.
McClaren spoke about his side’s ambitions next term:
“It’s now up to me to lead Wolfsburg in the right direction again. A club like Wolfsburg should play in Europe and it’s our target to qualify for European football again next season.”
McClaren also spoke about one of the challenges he will face during the summer, in holding onto super striker Edin Dzeko. McClaren identified Edin Dzeko as the team’s ‘best player,’ and said he will ‘fight tooth and nail’ to hold on to him, if Wolfsburg have any chance of being successful in the coming season. McClaren will know, though, that because Die Wolfe failed to qualify for European competition this season, that his budget will be very tight this summer. The sale of Dzeko would certainly allow for a major boost in the transfer kitty, but filling Dzeko’s void may still be too difficult even with a 40 million euro cash injection.
Only time will tell on McClaren’s appointment at Wolfsburg, but having just come off a title-winning season, he has shown that he does know how to win, and how to lead a team to the top.
McClaren led FC Twente to the only Eredivisie title-win in their history, an achievement he can certainly be proud of.
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