It’s Wednesday 21st November 2007. The raining is pouring down on the Wembley pitch. England Manager, Steve McClaren is watching his England side lose to Croatia. He stands on the sideline with a brolly over his head protecting himself from the elements. When the final whistle blows, England are out of the European Championships before the competition proper has even begun. The “Wally with a Brolly” campaign has been born. McClaren is sacked by The FA the following day.
Few thought McClaren could recover from such an experience. Since June 2008, McClaren has been rebuilding his reputation at Dutch club, F.C. Twente. In his first season his new side finished second in The Eredivisie League and were also runners up in The KNVB cup losing on penalties to Heerenveen. This season his side can go one better in the Eredivisie. If Twente can secure three points on the final day of the Dutch season the rebuilding of McClaren’s reputation will have reached completion stage. Twente travel to 9th place NAC Breda on Sunday week. Second place Ajax play away at NEC. Should Twente fail to win and Ajax do, the title will go to Ajax for the 30th time (their 1st since season 2003/2004) Twente are looking for their first title since their formation in 1965.
The rumour mill has recently linked McClaren with the West Ham job should Gianfranco Zola be relieved of his duties by his new bosses at Upton Park. With Champions League football already secured next season at Twente, McClaren will surely stay in his adopted country. He has the opportunity to join the likes of Bobby Robson, Terry Venables and Roy Hodgson on the list of English managers who successfully worked outside their homeland.
If Twente can secure the title on Sunday week, the “Wally with a Brolly” will have his day in the sun.
1. FC Twente 33 played 83 points GD + 38
2. Ajax 33 played 82 points GD + 83
3. PSV 33 played 77 points GD +43
4. AZ 33 played 61 points GD +30
5. Feyenoord 33 played 60 points GD +19
6. Heracles Almelo 33 played 53 points GD +3