Newcastle United have a new man in charge.
Steve McClaren, 54, takes over the hot-seat at St. James’ Park as the Magpies unveiled their new head coach on Wednesday. McClaren has been handed an initial three-year deal at Newcastle but the sleeping giant of English soccer states it “could be extended to eight.”
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The former English national team manager returns to the Premier League almost 10 years after he last coached in England’s top-flight with Newcastle’s north east rivals Middlesbrough. McClaren replaces John Carver who had a disastrous spell in charge on an interim basis following the departure of Alan Pardew in January, with Newcastle only avoiding relegation from the PL on the final day of the season.
McClaren made a name for himself as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United and then won a League Cup title at Middlesbrough and led them to the Europa League final during his four year spell in charge at the Riverside. After that came a terrible spell as England’s manager where he was fired after a year (does the famous “Wally with a brolly” incident ring a bell?) when the Three Lions failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships. A nomadic spell has since followed with varying degrees of success as the Englishman led FC Twente to the Dutch title but struggled at Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest and a second-spell at Twente.
His last job was at Derby County but McClaren was fired in May after failing to guide the Rams to promotion from England’s second-tier last season, while he led Derby to the playoff final in 2013-14 but they lost to Queens Park Rangers at Wembley.
Newcastle’s Managing Director Lee Charnley has revealed that McClaren has been tasked with delivering a top-eight finish in the Premier League, while also has a “heavily incentivised” contract to deliver success in a cup competitions.
Talking for the first time as Newcastle’s new boss, McClaren had the following to say:
“I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage,” McClaren said. “St. James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city and I am excited to be given this opportunity. I know how important Newcastle United is to the city and the region. The supporters are some of the most loyal, passionate and devoted in the world. Despite everything they maintain their faith. We owe it to them to do everything we can to reward them with success.”
A tactician and real student of the game, McClaren will get the chance to once again show the English public that he can manage a top-flight team to success. He will be under plenty of pressure to deliver a top 10 finish and challenge for cups at Newcastle — a demanding, complicated club with hugely passionate fans and an owner who has notoriously kept the purse strings tight — but it could prove to be exactly what he needs after spending time abroad and in England’s second-tier trying to rebuild his reputation following his failure as England’s manager.
Newcastle hasn’t won a domestic trophy since 1955 and McClaren task is simple: bring success to St. James’ Park.