This Is Steve McClaren’s Achilles Heel As A Manager

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There is a lot more to being a good manager in football than simply being brilliant on the training ground with the players.

Some of this is team selection, when to make substitutions and change things during a game and maybe most of all whether you can inspire your players to play at their best.

That´s something that is part of the all important man-management skills – something the great Sir Bobby Robson was so good at in his management career.

Danny Mills, the former England and Leeds United right back and now a pundit, has been interviewed on talkSPORT and he says that while McClaren is great as a coach on the training field  he lacks good man-management skills and maybe that explains his abject failure as Newcastle manager this season.

steve mcclaren man united

Steve McClaren – poor man manager

The 38 year-old former England right-back was on loan at Middlesbrough back in 2004 when McClaren was the manager there, but Danny had refused to play against Leeds United, his parent club.

The Middlesbrough hierarchy were not too thrilled about that and decided not to sign Danny permanently that season and Mills eventually signed that summer for Manchester City.

But when Danny talked to the Middlesbrough manager McClaren about his Middlesbrough future – Steve said Danny was still part of his plans – even though he must have known the club would not be signing him permanently.

Not exactly being truthful with your player.

This is what Danny Mills has told talkSPORT:

“I worked with him obviously when he was coach of the England side – and he was phenomenal, absolutely fabulous.”

“A brilliant coach. Man-management; well, not so good.” “Of course when I was at Middlesbrough I should have signed there, but the deal fell through at the last minute.”

“I sort of walked out, and refused to play – I was on loan from Leeds at the time and I didn’t want to play against my parent club when you could do that back in the day.”

“But it was towards the end of the season, he pulled me into his office just before the European Championships in Portugal in 2004.”

“He was then going back to be England coach, asked me about whether I thought I’d be in the national team, to which I went: ‘Surely you’ll have a better idea than I have?’”

“But he sat there and told me he was part of my plans for next season, as far as he was concerned I was going to be the right-back, I was in for the foreseeable future, blah, blah, blah.”

“Of course there are no secrets in football, I knew that they have already tapped up Michael Reiziger for Middlesbrough and that he was already signing.”

“So you sit there and think: ‘Hmmm, man-management skills maybe not the best’.”

“He should have just been honest and said: ‘Look, you’ve upset the chairman, you’ve upset the chief exec for what you did in January. I’d like to sign you, but they don’t.’”

“Then we’d all move on.”

It´s been obvious all season there is a flaw with Steve McClaren management skills somewhere – and maybe Danny has hit the nail on the head.

If it isn´t man-management skills then it’s something else,  because Newcastle should be doing a lot better than we are with the players we have in the squad and the £81M that´s been spent this season on eight new players.

If things don´t improve soon and the Newcastle Board fail to act like they did last season, then Steve McClaren could be taking Newcastle down to the Championships this season – things are that bad.

Comments welcome.



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