The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Steve McClaren: An Innovator in Failure

I think it’s officially time to give Steve McClaren a break. The man has been hounded by the press, endured professional humiliation the likes of which most of us can’t even imagine, and seen his most cherished dream go up like a West Ham chorus. Plus, the perforation was really hard to tear on that £2.5 million check. He deserves our sympathy now. That said, Steve, if you’re going to just tee the ball up for us… Here’s McClaren quoted by the AFP today:

“I believe, one day, we will get it right,” said McClaren.

“The next man may have a huge advantage because of what has been a failure.

“It is an advantage that you are starting from a situation where there is only one way to go now.

“The next manager could be in a far better position because the expectations are not that great.”

Frankly, I think he’s right. The nation—really, the world—owes Steve McClaren a debt of gratitude for expanding the frontier of knowledge as it relates to ineffective coaching techniques. There are any number of things that Steve McClaren tried that no one will have to try again. Further, his heroic lowering of expectations means that England’s next taste of success will seem kind of like a pleasant surprise. If there were a medal for failure, it should go to Steve McClaren.

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Steve McClaren: An Innovator in Failure

by Brian Phillips · November 24, 2007

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