It’s not surprising that Steve McClaren seems to have given lots of interviews before his first competitive game in charge of Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon against Southampton.
Steve is a positive guy, but he is also realistic and down to earth and very experienced, and he’s been through the mill once or twice – especially once as the England manager, when the pressure on him for 16 months back in 2007 was simply enormous, and that would have broken a lesser man.
Steve McClaren as the England manager – unbelievable pressure
We were dead against Steve at that time when he was manager of England, because he seemed to be not up to the job, and it’s strange but now he has our utmost respect simply because he got through that continued as a manager and kept his dignity when he was under immense and unrelenting pressure.
Many would have given up – but he has even had some success since then at FC Twente and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility he can even bring Newcastle our first trophy in 47 years.
But Steve certainly has the mental strength and capabilities to be able to manage Newcastle United perhaps to some success – and we all know that’s not an easy task for anybody.
Some of the questions Steve has been given over the last two days are themselves negative, and he was asked if the Newcastle job was a poisoned chalice:
“I don’t see it as a poisoned chalice. I see it as an opportunity.” “That’s what we have been given here – myself, the staff, some new players. It is an opportunity.”
“Pressure is a privilege. When you are going through it, believe you me, you don’t think of it as a privilege. But when you sit back and reflect, it is a privilege to be in that position.”
“We just want to give the supporters and you people something positive to watch and something positive to write, if that is possible.”
“Putting it into perspective about the England job, that was a whole nation, now we are talking about a region. But this region is one of the biggest.”
“When you look at the Premier League and you want to come to any football club in the Premier League, to be given the opportunity at Newcastle, 50,000 people, absolute fanatics, it is like a religion for them, and I know that by living in this area, it is huge and a massive pressure.”
“We had a bad two months at Derby, explainable through injuries, but the previous 22 months were very good.”
“We were near the top of the league all the time, and our style of football, the way we went about things, was recognized by football. I can understand that point of view and that’s no problem.”
I’ve got the opportunity and it is something I have wanted since I’ve lived in this area. I am grateful to the people that have given me this opportunity.”
Whatever happens to Steve McClaren at Newcastle he is a good man – and it would be terrific if he’s the one that finally brings Newcastle some success – a trophy.
He would certainly be the hero, and that would be so fitting especially after the complete and utter nightmare he went through as the England manager.
It would not only be a huge success for Newcastle United – at last – but also a phenomenal success for Steve McClaren and his team.
It’s certainly possible.