McClaren goes for an interview

Date: 8th July 2020

The latest from Donald Stewart:

It’s a wet day in Dundee…


Picture the scene…

Mr McClaren has arrived in a street. To his left is orange and to his right is blue. He makes a decision. Orange being close to his Dutch mastery, he opts for the orange.

It is just as well he is expected there for an interview.

The door is opened on his arrival and before he can speak and practice what he has been working on, on the train, the man at the door welcomes him with, “Mr McClaren, they are expecting you.”

He follows the man to a door where a gentle knock is followed by a “Come in.”

The man moves to the side and allows Mr McClaren to go into the room that has been chosen for this exciting opportunity.

Mr McClaren, given his previous choice being the right one feels good and confident about things now.

The man in the centre speaks first, second and last. The two flanking him take notes and make looks between them, their swift responses to what Mr McClaren is going to be saying in response to the questions asked, will determine the outcome.

For now Mr McClaren is oblivious to their presence.

It does not take too long before you can see why. Mr McClaren is a singular man, of often strange self confidence – he often cannot see what others do.

“Mr McClaren, welcome to Dundee United, the best team in the city.” Everyone in the room laughs so Mr McClaren joins in, nervously.

“So, Mr McClaren what can you give United when they get into the Premiership.”

This is it, the opportunity to flex his tonsils.

He begins confidently in his practised brogue and accent.

“Why, Thanks fur the opporchanicity fur tae come and dae this interview, ken, like cos it’s great to finally get her, ken tae tanadiche. It’s a great opporchancity fur tae get oan the ladder n that, innit fur tae be a gid manager again so it is.”

Mr McClaren is thoroughly pleased with himself, the accent clearly in his mind a triumph. He is unaware of the first glances being passed between the two flanking member of the interview panel.

“Erm, Mr McClaren, can you, erm try and explain about your time with the English National Team?”

Mr McClaren had prepared because he knew this would come up, so he went to his prepared script.

“Right, aye, that’s a gid question ye ken and that. It’s a quality question, man. I mean aye ye’ll hae the flak n that and aw the hingmies that come frae gien a geezer like me the joab an that, not just cos ahm giein it Gie’s a joab an aw but hingmy, ye can see that ma time was, you now successful n that cos ah wis dead good at it so ah wis – dead good. Ma record wis good an that and ah wis in charge o it like.”

Mr McClaren is again pleased he got to the end. It had taken him ages to write it and then even more ages to learn it. The two flankers, the wingmen in the room, are not just puzzled but look as if they would rather be anywhere else than there right now.

Mr McClaren sneaks a look and, in a rare moment of self realisation, realises that the chair might be the one person who he has a chance with.

What could possibly have gone wrong?

He is confused – it is time now for the full on treatment form when he was in the Dutchland. He is in orange town so he will have no problems now… surely…

He starts by pointing out his pedigree. “You havesh to remembersh thatsh I wash topsh manager in UKsh. I can get topsh trainingsh and also the Tanadiche playersh can get into the Championsh League, against saysh Liverpool or Arshenal. I thought one of them we could draw with us and it is Arshenal I think. To experiensh big gamesh, Championsh League… Arshenal… The Emiratesh… will be fantashtic for the playersh, not just for now but for the future ash well. I shay I think United would be not just… what you call?… underdogsh but mashive underdogsh.”

At that the looks from the two wingmen go off the scale and the man in the middle has no choice.

He stands.

He extends his hand.

Mr McClaren stands up and shakes it.

“Thank you, Mr McClaren for coming. I think this may not be the right time for you or us to go down such an ahem, ambitious pathway. Thank you so much for coming.”

Surprised and quite shocked, Mr McClaren opens his own door and sees nobody in the corridor. Ah well, he thinks, you win shome, you loshe shome. He takes himself along to the exit whilst he sees rain starting to pelt down. Just as well he brought his umbrella he thinks as he opens the front door, opens it up and starts walking away, passing the window of the interview room where three puzzled faces look one with one single thought – what a wally with a brolly…


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as nobody called Mr McClaren has ever put on a mock Scottish accent in an interview, as far as he is aware, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though many of the words were said by a Mr McClaren.


The fact is that during the week Steve McClaren was reported as having had an interview for the Dundee United manager’s job. Whilst in Holland, he gave an interview to a Dutch journalist where he used a cod Dutch accent that brought great ridicule. It came after he was dubbed the Wally with the Brolly after sheltering under an umbrella as England crashed to defeat in the pouring rain against Croatia during Euro 2008. He was sacked from the England job after that game but moved to Holland to resurrect his career…

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