After a day or two of speculation, Derby County Football Club have announced the swift arrival of ex-England and Nottingham Forest boss Steve McClaren as their new head coach.
McClaren, fresh from a recent coaching spell at fellow Championship side QPR, signs a two-and-a-half year deal with the Rams, returning to the club where he had stints on the playing and coaching staff in the 80’s and 90’s respectively.
He is most likely remembered for his short-lived year and a half in the England job back in 2006-7, before he found success in Holland, with FC Twente, winning the Eredivisie in season 2009-10, also leading to the infamous clips of McClaren speaking in broken ‘Dutchlish’ with local media.
The Rams have also added ex-fan favourite Paul Simpson as a first-team coach, with Fergie’s old Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele also joining.
It puts the futures of departed manager Nigel Clough in major doubt, with Johnny Metgod, Andy Garner, Gary Crosby and Martin Taylor, all having been placed on gardening leave, late on Sunday evening.
Chief Executive Sam Rush has also stated that a new technical director will be appointed ‘in the near future’, to concentrate on scouting for future recruits.
It’s all part of a new system the hierarchy at Pride Park are establishing to help improve the chances of a return to the top echelons of English football.
McClaren won’t be in charge for the visit of Ipswich Town tomorrow, academy manager Darren Wassall instead taking the senior reigns.
Instead his first game in charge will be the fiery home clash against Leeds United this coming Saturday.
It will be a tough task for the Rams, especially given the furore from fans, local and national media over Clough’s sacking, but in my view McClaren is probably the best available man for the job, his favoured style of play similar to the one Clough had already established.
With over 30 games left to play in the Championship this season, it should certainly be an interesting one for all at Pride Park.