Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 18 News List

McClaren wants to do things his way

SOCCER New England coach Steve McClaren arrived for the start of his new job yesterday, promising a different approach to that of his predecessor, Sven-Goran Eriksson


Steve McClaren wasted no time distancing himself from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"I'm going to do it my way," McClaren said yesterday as he officially took over as England's 11th national soccer coach.

He assumed control exactly a month after England was knocked out in the quarterfinal of the World Cup by Portugal, ending Eriksson's five-and-a-half-year tenure.

McClaren's term also began almost 40 years to the day that England won its only World Cup.

"It's going to be different from Sven," said McClaren, 45, the former Middlesbrough manager who was groomed as Eriksson's assistant. "I'm looking forward to the big challenge."

McClaren signed a four-year deal in May after Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari turned down the job.

"It's a new chapter in the life of the England national team," said Brian Barwick, the Football Association's chief executive.

McClaren suffered an early setback in one of soccer's most taxing jobs when former England captain Alan Shearer last week rejected an offer to work with the team, choosing to concentrate on his role as a TV analyst.

McClaren still hopes to land former England coach Terry Venables, who left after leading the team to the semifinals of the 1996 European Championship.

McClaren was asked when he would name a new captain to replace David Beckham, who stepped down from the role after the World Cup. Chelsea's John Terry and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard are the leading contenders.

"Individuals and smaller details we'll get to later on," McClaren said, talking to reporters as he entered his central London office.

McClaren's first game is an Aug. 16 friendly against Greece at Old Trafford. England hosts Andorra on Sept. 2 and travels to Macedonia four days later in the first qualifiers for the 2008 European Championship.

"It won't be difficult for Steve to impose himself," Terry told the London Times from Chelsea's preseason tour in the US.

"Every manager is different and Steve will be really different. Sven was a little bit quiet and Steve will be in your face a bit more, which some of us like to see. We like to see that passion which he has in him and hopefully that will rub off on us," he saod.

McClaren was a midfielder at Hull City, Derby County, Bristol City and Oxford, where he turned to coaching in the youth and reserve teams. He was first team coach at Derby from 1995 to 1999 before becoming Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United during the very successful years of 1999-2001.

"One thing that makes him a good coach is he's lucky," said Jim Smith, who recruited McClaren to coach Derby. "But he's a very talented coach and very good at man-management. He knows what the best footballers are all about and gains their respect."

He became manager of Middlesbrough in 2001, guiding the club to mid-table finishes. He led the club to its first ever trophy in the 2004 League Cup, and Middlesbrough reached its first European final in May, losing 4-0 to Sevilla for the UEFA Cup.

McClaren will be looking at changes with many high-profile players having failed to produce in the clutch during the World Cup.

After playing a 4-4-2 formation for most of Eriksson's time in charge, England used several systems in Germany.

The two brightest points from the World Cup were Owen Hargreaves and Aaron Lennon. The 19-year-old Lennon frightened defenders with his speed on the right wing, and one of McClaren's big decisions will be to play him instead of Beckham -- or play them both.

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