Newcastle have appointed Steve McClaren as their new head coach on a three-year-deal. The 54-year-old has also been given a place on the clubs board of directors, which is a rather strange move for an English club.
Good, Bad and Ugly
McLaren has major managerial experience, having seen the good, the bad and the ugly that football has to offer in his career so far.
It would probably be fair to say that he has had mixed fortunes in his career so far.
McClaren has enjoyed success in the north east before during a five year stint at Middlesbrough.
Boro won the league cup and enjoyed European football for the first time in their history. McClaren guided Boro to the 2006 UEFA Cup final, only to be beaten 4-0 by Sevilla
His work with Borough earned him his chance with the England national team. However, his spell in charge of the Three Lions is the shortest spell of any permanent boss, as he lasted just 16 months before being sacked, after his team failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships.
McClaren then went on to manage FC Twente in the Eredivisie on two occasions, winning the title in his first spell, but struggling in his second spell in charge. He has also struggled with Wolfsburg in Germany and Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
His last role was at Derby where he did a decent job, leading the Rams to the Championship play-off final in his first season, before last season missing out on the play-offs on the last day of the campaign.
Speculation over McClaren joining the Magpies in January was cited as one of the reasons that the Rams form collapsed towards the end of the campaign. He was sacked by the Rams at the end of the season, reportedly because he refused to deny rumours linking him with a move to Newcastle.
Despite his sacking the majority of Derby fans seem to believe that he was a good coach and helped to produce some of the best football seen at the club in a long while. He was not overly backed in the transfer market, but produced a team that played good, attractive football.
I am sure Newcastle fans would like to see their team play good attacking football and that is a style of play McClaren has tried to implement wherever he has gone, resulting in differing results.
Newcastle were a shambles for the second half of last season. As soon as Alan Pardew departed for Crystal Palace in January, their season seemed to fall apart.
Interim boss John Carver did the worst impression of a Premier League ever and nearly snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory in the battle to avoid the drop to the Championship.
The Magpies were in midtable when Pardew left and the Newcastle hierarchy put Carver in to keep the seat warm until the summer. It was nearly a costly decision, as the team showed little, heart, skill or passion towards the end of the campaign.
The Newcastle squad needs a major overhaul and for once owner Mike Ashley may just be willing to put his hand in his pocket to sort out the mess.
Prior to the Magpies last home game of last season against West Ham, owner Ashley did his first interview in eight years. He stated that he was staying and took some responsibility for the situation the club got themselves in last season.
In the interview Ashley seemed very honest and sincere. He said he would not leave the club until they had achieved silverware. Ashley also stated that the club would spend money this summer to strengthen their squad, which quite frankly is needed after some the performances last season.
Ashley has stepped down as chairman, but remains as owner. The clubs board of directors now consists of chief scout Graham Carr, ambassador Bobby Moncur, director of football Lee Charnley and also McClaren.
I will be interesting to see how this works out, as no other English club has their head coach on their board of directors. Ashley has been heavily criticised in the past, but at least now he seems to be making effort to turnaround the clubs fortunes.
Newcastle are not a club who should be flirting with relegation, they should really be engaged to the top ten. However, next season they are odds of 7/2 to be relegated next season.
Everybody connected with Newcastle seem to be looking up rather than down and I highly doubt that the Magpies will find themselves in the same circumstances as last season.
Whether Steve McClaren will be successful in the long-term remains to be seen, but I would certainly trust the former Borough boss far more than John Carver, and the Newcastle fans should be grateful that their former-assistant boss is no longer in charge.
Will Steve McClaren be successful at Newcastle?