Miles Kington: Steve McClaren will answer your questions now</b>

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The Independent Online

Does nobody feel sorry for Steve McClaren, deposed England football manager?

Yes, I do! And to prove it, I am going to do what nobody else has done so far, and that is offer him a brand-new job.

From today onwards, I am appointing him as my guest Football Problem specialist, whose task it will be to bring his experience and expertise to bear on all the footballing questions posed by the readers.

On his first day in the saddle, let's give him an easy initial ride, shall we, folks? Here we go!

Dear Steve McClaren,

Resignation or the sack? You are not the first person to whom this agonising dilemma must have occurred. Indeed you must have been thinking about it a lot in the last few weeks, as it became ever more possible that England might not qualify for 2008. So how did you come to your decision?

How did you opt between the honourable path of taking responsibility for your own fate, and going of you own accord; and hanging on grimly to the bitter end till they pried your fingers loose from the window sill?

Steve says: Never resign. Ever. You'll never get a good severance packet. As it is, I'm getting a whopping big pay-off. In all terms except perhaps football terms this is a winning situation.

Dear Steve,

And do you get to keep the big umbrella under which you sought to conceal yourself during the whole of the Croatia game?

Steve says: I know that people had their little bit of fun, saying I was more careful to keep my hair dry than my team motivated, but it wasn't like that at all. The umbrella was to keep my notebook dry, in which I was making vital tactical notes.

Dear Steve,

Like what?

Steve says: I was writing urgent notes to my staff.

Dear Steve,

Oh? Such as what?

Steve says: Such as: "Dear Terry, Where are you?" "Dear Terry you should really be down here on the touch-line with me." "Dear Terry, have you PLEASE got any ideas?"

Dear Steve,

And had he got any ideas?

Steve says: I don't know. He didn't answer my notes. That's when I decided that our fate was in our hands, and that if England was 2-0 down, which we were at the time, then we should pull two goals back, so I sent out notes to all the players on the pitch, asking for two quick goals. I am glad to say they responded.

Dear Steve,

Why did you send them notes? What's wrong with striding up and down the pitch-line, shouting and motivating them a bit?

Steve says: I don't know if you have ever tried to manoeuvre a big umbrella, a notebook, and a pencil, all at the same time, while shouting, but it's not that easy.

Dear Steve,

Does that mean it's better to preserve a dignified image in front of a losing team, than losing your cool while your side storms to victory and qualification?

Steve says: I don't know, I only ever tried the first.

Dear Steve,

Before you were appointed to the England job, they nearly signed the Brazilian Felipe Scolari, and I remember the veteran commentator Brian Glanville saying Scolari was an odd choice, but at least it would mean that Steve McClaren didn't get the job. Any comments?

Steve says: Do I think Scolari would make a good manager now? I am sure that whoever the FA chooses will have my backing and the full support of the FA.

Dear Steve,

There you go again. Platitudes. Worn out old formulae. Moth-eaten strategies. 'Twas ever thus ...

MILES KINGTON WRITES: After a series of disappointing questions and answers, we have decided to dispense with Mr McClaren's services as of today. We wish him every luck in the future and will respond to his request for a pay-off as soon as we have had a look in the kitty.

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