Why Barnsley should target Steve McClaren as new manager
Championship side Barnsley are still in the hunt for a new manager to replace Paul Heckingbottom, who left Oakwell to join Yorkshire rivals Leeds United recently. There have been a variety of different names linked with the vacant role. These have included: Ipswich Town's Mick McCarthy, Swansea City U23 coach Cameron Toshack, Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth and St. Mirren's Jack Ross. Apart from McCarthy, it appears that the Barnsley hierarchy is keen on appointing a manager who is young and has fresh ideas. However, I disagree with this. They need to bring someone in who has a vast amount of experience at this level and will give them the best chance of staying up this season. Barnsley are in the bottom three of the Championship as it stands and are in a relegation battle. Dropping back into League One would be a disaster for them, especially after their recent takeover by Chien Lee.
Therefore, they should try and bring Steve McClaren to the club. He is currently out of work and would be a perfect fit for Barnsley. He would get them defensively organised and hard to beat. One key issue with Barnsley this season has been the fact that they leak goals and have a shaky defence. McClaren has had sides in the past who have watertight defences and this would be something he would try and implement, should Barnsley go for him.
Steve McClaren would be ideal for Barnsley because he has bags of experience. The 56 year-old played for the likes of Hull City, Derby County, Lincoln City, Bristol City and Oxford United in his playing days. After retiring, he got his first coaching role at Oxford before moving to Derby in 1995 as the assistant manager to Jim Smith. He was then snapped up by Manchester United in 1999 as the assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson. The Reds incredibly won the treble in McClaren's first season at the club. He got his first managerial job when he appointed manager of Middlesbrough in 2001. McClaren did a good job at Boro as he won the League Cup in 2004 and guided them to the Europa League. It was these achievements which earned him the England manager's job in 2006. However, McClaren's stint in charge of England was a disaster as they failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and he was later sacked.
Since then, McClaren has worked abroad with two spells at FC Twente and won the Eredivisie in 2010. He then had a season with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. A short stint at Nottingham Forest followed but he got his name back on the map after taking charge of Derby County in 2013 and getting them to the Play-Off final in his first season. They unfortunately lost to QPR and missed out on the top six in the following season, but McClaren was appointed manager of Newcastle United in the Premier League. His spell in the North-East was short lived and he returned to Derby in October 2016, only to be sacked in March 2017. He has recently been working at Maccabi Tel Aviv as a coaching consultant but has now left that role.
McClaren has been a well-travelled manager but has an impressive CV and would be ideal for Barnsley. They need someone who knows what they are doing and there is nobody better for them than McClaren out there.