Sir Bobby Robson was one of the best English football managers ever, and he had great success initially at Ipswich before becoming the England manager in 1982, after managing Ipswich Town for 13 years.
Bobby went on to take England to the quarter finals of the World Cup in 1986, when we were beaten by the hand of God (translation – cheating by Maradona when he punched the ball home), and then to the semi-finals in 1990, when we were beaten on penalties by West Germany.
Sir Bobby Robson and Steve McClaren
And we have thought that Steve McClaren has some of the qualities of Sir Bobby.
He can talk and talk about football and he is always interesting, and obviously knows the game inside out – and Steve is also a gentleman of the game – just like Bobby was – and he’s very open with fans and the press – and he’s well liked in the game.
Of course Steve hasn’t got anywhere near the great record of Sir Bobby Robson, who after managing England had success on the continent with PSV (twice), Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona before he took the Newcastle United job in late August of 1999.
Steve McClaren was also the England manager from May, 2006, but in the 16 months he was in charge the kindest way to say it – is that he was not successful and we failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 Championship finals.
Steve has started quite well at Newcastle, although we have only 2 points, but three of our four games have brought some good performances from the team, including our 4-1 win against Northampton Town.
Arsene Wenger has given his press conference today for the game against us on Saturday, and he complimented Steve on the job he has done so far at Newcastle United:
“I would encourage more English coaches to go abroad because sometimes, especially when you have managed the national team, the best thing is to get out of the country for a while and then come back.”
“I believe we had a good example with Bobby Robson who did that. I think it was a clever move and he (Steve McClaren) has done well.”
It looks like Arsenal will have both their center-backs missing again on Saturday with Per Mertesacker definitely out with illness, and Laurent Koscielny doubtful.
If McClaren starts Florian Thauvin on Saturday, the young Frenchman could test the center-backs with those crosses of his – so we are expecting the 22 year-old to come in for Gabby Obertan against Arsenal.