Newcastle United are clearing the way for Steve McClaren to become their new manager, with an appointment expected to be made within the week.
The Magpies allowed Alan Pardew to end his five-year spell as manager when Crystal Palace came knocking in January, a decision which hardly brought unsettlement within their supporter base but one which could have resulted in disaster as John Carver, his replacement, flirted with relegation and was only able to secure their Premier League safety on the final day of the season.
Due to Carver’s woeful record at the helm of the North East giants – he won just three of the 20 games he was in charge for – it was never likely he would be offered the chance to lead them on a permanent basis. And this was confirmed on Tuesday when the club confirmed that the 50-year-old, and his assistant Steve Stone, were both relieved of their duties with immediate effect.
It has been widely reported that prior to the decision to appoint Carver on an interim basis in January, Newcastle first approached McClaren but were unable to prise him from Derby County. They are again thought to have made a second approach when the Rams missed out on a playoff place, but the former England coach resisted the temptation to lead the St James Park club to survival.
However, he was sacked by the iPro Stadium club at the end of the season, and is now expected to be placed in charge of the Magpies. The 54-year-old was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant when Manchester United won the treble in 1999, and has had success in his own right when he led Middlesbrough to League Cup glory in 2004 and FC Twente to the Dutch title six years later.
His spell as England boss is one he would likely prefer to forget, after he succeeded Sven Goran Eriksson as head coach following the 2006 World Cup Finals. Despite the array of talent at his disposal, including the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, he was responsible for failing to qualify for Euro 2008.