In an exclusive interview with Eurosport-Yahoo!, the former England and Middlesbrough boss talks about how the English game can learn from Dutch football, and the delicate balance between club owners and coaching staff that sometimes leads to rash decisions.
McClaren, who had led the Dutch club to a historic first Eredivisie title in his first spell at the club, returned to Twente after managing Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest.
Things appeared to be going well – the club were sitting pretty at the top of the league going into the winter break – but a handful of poor results prompted demonstrations from some fans, which McClaren feels led the board to act.
“The first two years, and winning the title in the second, fulfilled my ambition to win a league in my own right,” McClaren said.
“So I kept up a relationship and went back. This season we were enjoying European football and were top of the league going into the winter break.
“So it was a little bit of a shock when two months later they basically wanted me to go. It was disappointing, but there were circumstances, lots of things going on behind the scenes with the board feeling pressure from outside influences from the fans and the media.
“It was done in a typically Dutch way, amicably, and we still have a good relationship. We shook hands, said it wasn’t working out, and moved on.”
McClaren added that, whilst longevity is the optimum scenario for a manager, sometimes boards and chairmen have the right to change bosses if the working relationship is not right.
“It’s about marrying two individuals, or an individual and a club. It’s about finding the right fit, and if it doesn’t work out that doesn’t make you a bad owner or a bad manager.
“A lot of owners are successful businessmen, sometimes billionaires, thinking that their business easily translates into the football business.
“But the football business is completely different and sometimes this leads to frustration, and a split.
"There is a culture of instant gratification and clubs can make rash decisions."
Steve McClaren was speaking to Yahoo!'s 'The Dugout' through its partnership with the League Managers Association
- Sports & Recreation