From success and redemption abroad to disappointment: Steve McClaren back in England after briefly rebuilding reputation

McClaren saved his career in the Netherlands after accepting the challenge to manage abroad for the first time in his career at Twente

Former England manager Steve McClaren left Dutch club Twente in February after criticism from fans over poor form and playing style, in his second spell in charge.

McClaren, who was in his second spell in charge at Twente, had led the club to to their first ever league title. This success helped him to briefly rebuild his reputation after failing to ensure England qualified for Euro 2008.

Twente 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 saved 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.

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