Monday 26 September 2016

McClaren misses opportunity to make a confident stand

Published 13/06/2015 | 02:30

Steve McLaren, Newcastle's new manager
Steve McLaren, Newcastle's new manager

Even in the dysfunctional history of Newcastle United, Steve McClaren's unveiling this week set new standards of myopic ignorance.

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I recall Paul McGrath's observation of McClaren as a man who "never quite seemed comfortable with the industrial banter of the changing-room" when assistant manager to Jim Smith at Derby County where Paul's top-flight career was ending in the late 90s.

Paul talks of an innovative coach who would be routinely "devoured" by some of the smart-asses in that Derby squad.

Of course, nobody knew at the time that McClaren was a future England manager but, almost 20 years later, we have to surmise that confidence issues remain.

His acceptance of a decree that only Newcastle's preferred "media partners" could interview him on his first day in the job instantly diminished any sense of authority he might carry into the role.

McClaren had a chance to make a stand this week. That he didn't take it should be a regret to every Newcastle supporter.

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