Steve McClaren, the former Manchester United assistant so ridiculed during his unsuccessful spell as England national manager, has become the first English boss to win a major league since 1996. McClaren’s unfashionable Twente Enschede won the Dutch league by a point from Ajax today after winning 2-0 win at NAC Breda.
“Fantastic. We deserve it,” said McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant in United’s 1999 treble winning season.
“Ajax have been coming but we kept winning. It’s unbelievable. We got better and better after finishing second last season.”
It’s a remarkable achievement by McClaren, who has fully integrated into Dutch culture on and off the pitch. So much so that McClaren is often dubbed ‘Schteve’ for a bizarre press conference early in his time at Twente in which he donned a heavy fake Dutch accent.
But McClaren’s achievement with Twente, whose gates of around 25,000 are roughly the same as Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City in the Premier League, ranks as highly as any in his career.
Twente is just the second team outside Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven to win the Dutch league in the past three decades, with Louis van Gaal’s AZ Alkmaar winning the title last season.
Incredibly, McClaren is the first English manager to win a major European league title since the late Bobby Robson with FC Porto in 1996.
Well done Steve!