Twente 'close' to McClaren appointment
Friday 30 May 2008
Dutch side FC Twente claim they are close to appointing former England manager Steve McClaren as their new coach despite opposition from their own supporters.
Twente chairman Joop Munsterman has met McClaren to show him around the club's Grolsch Veste stadium and is waiting for a response from the Englishman.
He said: "We want a coach who is accustomed to working with top players."
Munsterman admits most fans of the Enschede club are sceptical about a coach who failed to guide England through qualification for Euro 2008.
He added: "Ninety percent thinks: why McClaren?
"But believe me, if he becomes our coach we will have a coach who is accustomed to working with top players and he can recognise them."
McClaren has so far refused to confirm he is in the running for the post and maintained that stance today.
He told Sky Sports News: "I'm wanting to get back into the game. I'm ready now, I'm fresh, recovered.
"I feel as if I've still got a lot to prove and a lot to give to football. Whether that be in this country or abroad we'll have to wait and see."
Munsterman also claims McClaren has confessed becoming England boss was a mistake.
The FC Twente chief told AD Sportwereld: "Looking back he should never have become national team coach, he says now.
"He was too young for that task. But he was the national team coach. How many people can say that?
"He knows how to handle pressure and he is not afraid to take measures. He threw David Beckham out of the squad. Well, then you have guts.
"We talked with Rafael Benitez, Boudewijn Zenden, we went to Chelsea: everyone was positive about the way McClaren works.
"Jaap Stam found him a fantastic coach, but he added: 'You don't have to call him, he will never join FC Twente'.
"Am I able to call Frank Rijkaard to become coach of FC Twente? Yes, I am, but we are on another track."
Munsterman dismissed the Dutch perception of McClaren as a typical English kick-and-rush coach, adding: "Quite to the contrary. You cannot say that Manchester United played lousy football, can you?
"He reformed the youth academy of Middlesbrough and formed a successful team with young players.
"In the UEFA Cup he was better than the AZ team of Louis van Gaal. McClaren is a man of football, who thinks continental and he does everything with the ball."
Despite his enthusiasm for the former Middlesbrough manager, Munsterman admits he has other options should McClaren turn him down.
"We have shown him around and he was impressed," he said.
"He now wants to think about it and after that we will have contact again. But McClaren is not our only candidate. We have more, also foreigners."
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