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Scotsman - McGhee Article


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Pretty decent article from today's Scotsman


GIVEN the fact that he has a son who turns one this month, it is remarkable to think Mark McGhee has been in management for almost 20 years. His latest move to take over at Aberdeen, which is expected to be concluded today, means McGhee will shortly join the seventh club of his managerial career. This is the same number of clubs that made up the 52-year-old Scot's playing career.


But stints with Morton, Newcastle (twice), Aberdeen, Hamburg, Celtic, Ik Brage and Reading were not treated as evidence of a player with commitment issues. Rather, he was regarded as a perfect example of a player always seeking to better himself, and take advantage of new opportunities presented. Indeed, his move to Hamburg was positively ground-breaking at the time. At the clubs with which he is most closely identified – Aberdeen and Celtic – he stayed for six and four years respectively. He does not, as a rule, chop and change on a whim, as last summer's deliberations when offered the Hearts job proved. He did an about-turn at Heathrow just as he was preparing to board his connecting flight to Lithuania, on his way to meet Vladimir Romanov.


Yet his time as a manager has been bedeviled by accusations of disloyalty, and a suspicion that he is a serial commitment-phobe. He is also described in some quarters as being a one-season wonder. This is a far from accurate reading of his managerial record. Only at Motherwell did he exceed expectations in his early days, subsequently finding it understandably difficult to maintain this success.


In his first job as manager he led Reading to the old Second Division title in his third year. They were lying second in the Championship the following season when he left for Leicester City. He could not save them from relegation from the Premiership but put in place a team that won promotion back to the top tier and also earned the club £1million in compensation when Wolves came calling.


In fact, only at Leicester City, where he only stayed for just over a year, has McGhee lived up to a reputation for being a mercenary. Indeed, at one stage in the late Nineties, an honest and likeable individual was dubbed "the most hated man in football".


He has actively tried to rehabilitate himself following his sacking by Wolves. After a two-year break from the game he returned to football with Millwall, where he stayed for just over three years. He led the New Den club to promotion from League One and then finished a creditable fourth in the Championship the following season. At Brighton & Hove Albion promotion to the Championship was once more achieved, as was survival a year later.




The time Aberdeen are taking to confirm the appointment of McGhee has granted an opportunity to re-assess his record in management. His man-of-many clubs label is simply evidence of a man unafraid to engage with new challenges.


Only once has he had reason to regret moving between clubs, when the desire to revive Wolverhampton Wanderers saw him break his contract at Leicester after just over a year. "There is no loyalty in the game except involving fans," he said. "Alex Ferguson is not the longest-serving manager out of Manchester United's loyalty to him or his for Man United. He's there because of success, and if he became unsuccessful he wouldn't be there any longer."


McGhee experienced this at Wolves. He didn't leave them. Instead, the Molineux club decided it was time to part company with McGhee. Sir Jack Hayward suddenly closed his cheque book after the side lost in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs in 1997. "I'd still have come here if I had known," McGhee explained a year later. "But people should realise the job I have now is totally different to the one I thought I was coming to. I thought I was coming in to buy people like Paul Ince, and ended up haggling over £250,000 for Mixu Paatelainen."


Such are the changing times McGhee will be grateful to be handed such as sum to spend on a player when he is finally unveiled as Aberdeen manager. Jimmy Calderwood, his predecessor, is a hard act to follow after twice finishing high enough in the league to qualify for Europe. Only in the cup competitions can McGhee be confident of improving on Calderwood's record. Aberdeen have proved vulnerable to defeat from teams from lower divisions. Indeed, embarrassing reversals against the likes of Queen of the South and Queen's Park are perhaps the reason why McGhee has been offered the chance to take up the reins at Pittodrie, where he starred as a striker.


His own cup record as manager is not impressive, although he did lead Wolves to the semi- finals of the FA Cup 11 years ago. But much else besides is recorded on his managerial CV. It pays to investigate it rather than rely on supposition.








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This article is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the drivel spouted by the red tops on EE.


Or Wikipedia:


During his time at Motherwell, he became known for putting his name forward for any job available. Teams include Scotland, Hearts, Celtic, Hibs, Aberdeen and also Real Madrid where he discussed with club president Florentino Perez about scrapping a £56 million move for AC Milan star Kaka and instead using the money to sign Hibernian wonderkid Steven Fletcher.



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