League Insider - McClaren
Following Steve McClaren's claim that he would consider a Championship offer, who might want him?
Last Updated: 21/02/11 12:40pm
Steve McClaren has hinted that he would be open to offers from the Championship, with the former England manager finding himself on the managerial shelf following an ill-fated spell at Wolfsburg.
A man who can boast Premier League and international experience on his CV, as well as an Eredivisie title with FC Twente, would be expected to be setting his sights at the very top, but it is refreshing to hear that he would be willing to take on a rebuilding job.
It is, of course, easy to make such a comment when out of work, but an entirely different thing following through on such a claim.
After all, McClaren may have been dubbed the Wally with a Brolly as his tenure as England coach came to a premature and hugely disappointing climax, but he is a coach of some repute and one who has never ducked a challenge.
It is also worth pointing out that he is yet to reach his 50th birthday and still has many years ahead of him in the managerial game should he wish to continue down that path.
All in all, it would be quite a coup for the club involved were McClaren to be lured into the Championship, with it not often that you see ex-England bosses plying their trade away from the brightest spotlights.
Who, though, could be in the running to secure his signature?
Well, Derby are enduring a tough time of late, with a bright first half to the season quickly falling to pieces around the Rams.
The Pride Park faithful may be aiming their anger at the board at present, but there is only so long a manager, even one as popular as Nigel Clough, can hold out before their neck inevitably lands on the chopping block.
McClaren could be an option were Clough to be handed his P45, as he has strong connections with the club.
He spent three years with Derby as a player and was second in command to Jim Smith when the Rams secured promotion to the Premier League in 1995 and went on to consolidate that standing in the years that followed.
Another club who would almost certainly be considered by McClaren are Middlesbrough, given his history in the North East.
The five years he spent in charge of Boro between 2001 and 2006 ultimately landed him the England job, with the Football Association suitably impressed by a record which saw him land the 2004 Carling Cup and reach the Uefa Cup final.
With Boro currently a long way from scaling similar heights, and with former fans' favourite Tony Mowbray yet to prove that he is the right man for the job, Riverside Stadium supremo Steve Gibson may be tempted to hand McClaren the reins for a second time.
Among the others that might express an interest were McClaren to remain out of work for the foreseeable future are Coventry and Norwich.
Both sides have previous top flight experience and are keen to return to that lofty standing in the near future.
The Canaries could get there this season, so impressive have they been upon their return to the second tier, but they might struggle to retain the services of the highly-rated Paul Lambert were the right club to come calling.
Coventry, meanwhile, have stood still under Aidy Boothroyd and may feel that yet another change in the dugout is required to see them become upwardly mobile once more.
It is, however, important to note that each of the 24 clubs in the Championship currently have a manager at the helm, with a number of those having only recently appointed a new boss.
With that in mind, McClaren may be forced to turn his attention elsewhere, with another spell away from English shores not out of the question - given that he has openly admitted that he is willing to explore all avenues.
Sticking with the manager theme, the League One promotion battle is turning into a scrap between some of the most promising young bosses in the business.
Take a look at the frontrunners in the third tier and you will find that all are being guided by relatively inexperienced hands.
Gus Poyet is at Brighton, Lee Bradbury at Bournemouth, Lee Clark at Huddersfield, Chris Powell at Charlton and Paul Dickov at Oldham.
Even Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is only 45 and has only been a Football League boss for a little over four years.
Their success proves that turning to untested talent can often be the best way to go, with Leagues One and Two now brimming with promising young English managers who will hopefully one day be given the chance to prove their worth on a much grander stage.