Steve McClaren assistant hire could be a masterstroke for Manchester United

Manchester United are considering hiring Steve McClaren as assistant manager to Erik ten Hag, The Guardian report.

McClaren is out of work at present but could make a return for coaching to support Ten Hag, in a role reversal from their time in the Netherlands.

Ten Hag worked under McClaren at FC Twente in the Eredivisie in 2008/09, in the lead up to their famous title win. Last week he described the Ajax boss as ‘Ferguson like’ in terms of his meticulous approach.

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McClaren has had a bad rap in management due to his disastrous time as England boss in which he failed to qualify the team for Euro 2008. Dismal spells at Derby County and Newcastle did not help his cause either.

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But aside from winning the Eredivisie title with unfancied Twente, McClaren also managed to lead Middlesbrough to the UEFA Cup Final, no mean feat.

McClaren’s proudest achievement in management came as assistant boss, working under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United during the Treble winning season and thereafter, between 1999 and 2001.

McClaren could be a masterstroke

Bringing in Steve McClaren to work under Erik ten Hag could be an masterstroke. The pair’s previous working relationship will stand both in good stead, and McClaren is not the type to seek the limelight.

Hiring McClaren would also answer one of the simple negatives cited against Erik ten Hag, a lack of Premier League experience.

Ten Hag clearly has the management skills, but he could easily get tripped up by a lack of familiarity with English football in his first season. McClaren can be a guiding hand, a steer in the right direction, who knows the club and all that comes with it.

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McClaren can be a key figure in getting the ‘Class of ’92’ onside, who all worked under him, and have either expressed a preference for Pochettino, or other. Familiarity with his methods could convince them, and any like minded pundits, that Ten Hag is set up for United success, and this could be key in helping the coach avoid criticism and accusations of inexperience.

Other figures with a United/Dutch connection have been touted, like Robin van Persie or Jaap Stam, but McClaren is vastly more experienced.

Bringing in his coaching mind, which was good enough for Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999, would be a smart way to set Ten Hag up for success.

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