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On this day in 2008: Steve McClaren appointed manager of FC Twente

·2-min read

Former England boss Steve McClaren was appointed manager of Dutch club FC Twente on this day in 2008.

Then aged 47, he signed a two-year contract to return to management for the first time since overseeing his country’s failed Euro 2008 qualification campaign.

McClaren had been closely linked with the vacant post at Blackburn in the wake of Mark Hughes’ move to Manchester City before opting to relaunch his career on the continent, succeeding Fred Rutten in the Twente hot seat.

Steve McClaren, right, was assisted by current Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag at FC Twente
Steve McClaren, right, was assisted by current Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag at FC Twente (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It will be a huge challenge for me to work in the Dutch league and in the Champions League with FC Twente, but I am excited by the prospect and believe we are feeling positive for the campaign ahead,” he said.

“My message to the club’s fans, supporters I have heard so much about already, is a simple one: we will do everything in our power to take the club forward.”

McClaren delivered on his promise by leading Twente to the 2010 Eredivisie title having finished runners-up to AZ Alkmaar in his first season, before leaving for German club Wolfsburg.

He had been sacked by England in November 2007 and later replaced by Fabio Capello following a 3-2 Wembley defeat to Croatia which ended hopes of travelling to the following summer’s European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.

Steve McClaren was dubbed the 'wally with a brolly' after using an umbrella on the touchline during England's costly Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to Croatia
Steve McClaren was dubbed the ‘wally with a brolly’ after using an umbrella on the touchline during England’s costly Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to Croatia (Martin Rickett/PA)

McClaren made his name in club management with Middlesbrough – winning the League Cup in 2004 and reaching the 2006 UEFA Cup final – after successfully serving as Sir Alex Ferguson’s number two at Manchester United.

Following his time with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and a short stay at Nottingham Forest, he returned to Twente for a less memorable second stint between January 2012 and February 2013 before spending two spells with Derby and also managing Newcastle and QPR.

His initial tenure in Holland is also well remembered for a comical interview in which he spoke English in a Dutch accent.

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