Things are getting messy at Derby County. Last night, the Mail said the club asked Steve McClaren’s to resign as manager but McClaren didn’t comply. He won’t leave without compensation.
If Derby won’t back him – which they won’t – they need to sack him.
Derby are keen to move on, lining up an approach for Paul Clement, 43, Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team coach at the Bernabeu, who also worked with the Italian at Chelsea and PSG.
And McClaren himself is hardly short of options. Ever since Alan Pardew left Newcastle United for Crystal Palace in December, McClaren has been top of the Magpies’ list of candidates.
They first approached him in January. In May he declined to take the Newcastle job, stating his “100% committed” to Derby. A move to Newcastle then would have cost Newcastle around £2million in compensation.
As the BBC notes, many feel McClaren’s refusal to quash the Newcastle rumours in the first place saw a once promising season fall apart.
Table-toppers as recently as 24th February, the Rams won two of their next 12 matches. That desperate run culminated in a 3-0 at home deafeat to Reading that saw Derby miss out on the Championship play-offs.
As McClaren said: “For three-quarters of the season we were one of the best teams in the league. I really felt when we went top of the league we could get in to the Premier League.”
And then Newcastle made overtures and things fell apart. Not that McClaren is blaming himself, adding: “In the last two months injuries have come thick and fast to important, experienced players and we lost momentum. It derailed us and we failed to get back on track. There is still a lot more to come from this team.”
We’re sure there is, just not with Steve McClaren in charge of it.