Date:Friday March 30 2007
England boss Steve McClaren has come in for a tirade of abuse recently, a lot rightly so, but some just far beyond unfair. Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes has sympathy for him.
All areas of the press and the fans on the whole have given McClaren a hard time, in many instances rightly so but the written press in particular have continued doing what they do best, slating people to a point that is just unnecessary.
With the experience of International management behind him from his time in charge of Wales Hughes knows something about the pressure of such a job, and does sympathise with McClaren. Sparky also believes the written press have gone too far and need to have a re-think. He told Sky Sports News:
"It's an extremely difficult job and I think the way the written press go about their business in relation to the England manager needs to be looked at - they need to be reigned in I feel,"
"Certainly Steve McClaren hasn't been given anywhere near the time he needs to stamp his ethos on the group of players.
"It's difficult at international level because there's such a break between games and the focus is very intense for a short period of time.
"With England you have to come up with results and performances so it's a very, very difficult job and it's made more difficult by the way it's covered."
The press love to build someone up but take as much joy from bringing them down don't they! Opinion is one thing, we all have these and should share them but many of their views are not opinionated based, just hurtful and offensive. The written press in general should (not that they will!) be ashamed of themselves at times and Sparky is right in many respects.
I can't say I agree with Sparky with his saying McClaren needs more time to stamp his mark on the squad though, as he's been involved in the England set-up for long enough now to know what his regulars can and can't do.
At the time I didn't believe that McClaren was the right man for the England job (and this hasn't changed) but no one deserves what he has been subjected to at times. I do believe he is frightened about making some decisions that I feel he should and feel his pride has on occasions clouded his judgement, which is wrong, especially at such a high level. McClaren is a very, very good coach but not as good a manager, certainly not a manager of England standards.
On the other had, sure we haven't played well under McClaren, but did we before? But this argument would only add more weight to the argument that promoting from within an already damaged set-up was wrong… In my opinion pressure would be released if he gave some new faces a chance they deserve and maybe even brought back some of these he brushed aside...
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Date:Friday March 30 2007
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