From success and redemption abroad to disappointment: Steve McClaren leaves Twente

McClaren led Dutch club to the league title for the first time in their history in 2010
  • @Majid_Mohamed

Former England manager Steve McClaren has left Dutch club Twente after criticism from fans over poor form and playing style.

Twente chairman Joop Munsterman gave his support to the under-fire manager yesterday in the wake of Saturday's defeat to Heerenveen.

Twente lost 2-1 to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen at the Abe Lenstra Stadion and which left the 2010 champions with no wins in six. They are currently fifth in the Eredivisie, six points behind Dutch league leaders PSV Eindhoven with just 10 matches remaining.

The Enschede side have not won since a 3-0 triumph at AZ on December 21, a run which has seen them collect just four points from a possible 18.

McClaren, who was in his second spell in charge at Twente, said in a statement: "After the defeat to Heerenveen on Saturday, I met the President on Sunday.

"We tried to find a solution to the difficult period the team has endured over the last four weeks.

"Despite being joint top at the winter break and even second four weeks ago, recent results and performances have seen major criticism, protest and demonstration from the supporters and the media.

"I also needed assurances about my position now and in the future, which I appreciate in the present situation is difficult.

"After much discussion and deliberation, those assurances weren't forthcoming and we have agreed it's in the best interest of the club going forward that I leave.

"The club is bigger than any one individual and Twente is too big in my heart to stand in the way of its progress.

"I leave a proud man to have managed Twente. It has brought me many good memories and one of the greatest days in my career when winning the title in 2010.

Munsterman said in a statement on the club's official website: "We believe that the disappointing performance of FC Twente under Steve McClaren could be reversed.

"We understand his decision and respect it. It is disappointing to say goodbye to the trainer under whose leadership FC Twente won the league title in 2010."

Twente have evolved from a club that attempted to challenge the traditional big three clubs in the Netherlands in 2008 – Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord – to a club that is now part of a top 5 along with Vitesse. The pressure to maintain recent high standards was a different challenge for McClaren in his latest stint at the Dutch club.

In the 2009/10 season Twente managed 27 wins in the 34 league games on their way to the title. McClaren recorded 65 wins, 20 draws and only 17 defeats in 102 official matches at the club before his return. 83 per cent of games ended without defeat in a highly successful first spell in the Netherlands.

McClaren rebuilt his career in the Netherlands after accepting the challenge to manage abroad for the first time in his career at Twente in the summer of 2008, despite his failure to ensure England qualified for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

Twente finished second in the Eredivisie behind champions AZ in his first season, finishing ahead of the traditional big three in the Netherlands – Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord. McClaren nearly led his new side to success in the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) but they lost on penalties in the final to Heerenveen.

In his second season he steered the Tukkers to the Eredivisie title in 2010, for the first time in their history, which also ensured a dream was fulfilled for the Dutch side who gained automatic qualification into the group stages of the Champions League.

McClaren is one of the few Englishmen to win league trophies abroad along with the likes of Terry Venables (Barcelona) and Bobby Robson (PSV, Porto).

Following that success in the Netherlands, a spell in Germany with Wolfsburg followed but the Yorkshireman was sacked after leaving his side in 12th place, just one point off a relegation place after a disastrous start. McClaren returned to England for a brief and unhappy spell with Nottingham Forest but resigned as manager after just 111 days in charge, leaving the club fourth from bottom in the Championship.