From Newcastle to Kilmarnock - The stats behind new Scotland boss Steve Clarke

With one straightforward appointment of Steve Clarke as the new Scotland boss the country's football fans have been reinvigorated.

Steve Clarke is the new Scotland boss. Picture: SNS
Steve Clarke is the new Scotland boss. Picture: SNS

Confidence that the nation can be at next year's European Championship, with some games held at Hampden Park, has increased significantly.

While qualification from the group stages will be difficult there is a trust that the former Kilmarnock boss can lead the country through the Nations League playoff.

The Scottish FA have been praised for their decision to appoint the 55-year-old, yet it was the least they could do after the previous debacle which saw Alex McLeish installed after their chase of Michael O'Neill failed.

Steve Clarke is the new Scotland boss. Picture: SNS

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So, how has Clarke's managerial career transpired (with stats provided by PA)?

Newcastle United

Clarke's first ever game in charge was in a caretaker role with the Magpies against Manchester United following the sacking of Ruud Gullit in 1999. Despite reinstating Alan Shearer, Rob Lee and Duncan Ferguson to the side the team were thumped 5-1 at Old Trafford.

Games: 1Won: 0Drawn: 0Lost: 1For: 1Against: 5Win percentage: 0.0

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West Brom

It would be 13 years until Clarke would manage his next game as he made the transition into management via coaching roles at Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool. He took over a West Brom side that had finished 10th in the Premier League in season 2011/2012.

He improved on that placing in his first season, setting records along the way. Starting with wins over Liverpool and Everton and a draw with Spurs, Clarke would go on to win the November manager of the month. Their eighth place finish was their highest since 1981 and they set a record for wins and points in a Premier League season.

The Baggies struggled the following season and Clarke was relieved of his duties in December with the side 16th after 16 games, two points above relegation.

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They finished the campaign 17th.

Games: 61Won: 19Drawn: 15Lost: 27For: 81Against: 91Win percentage: 31.1

Reading

The Royals appointed Clarke in December 2014 with the side 16th in the Championship. They finished the season 19th, but he did lead the side to their first FA Cup semi-final for 88 years.

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Reading were eighth in November when Clarke was weighing up an offer from Fulham. Yet, after opting against the move, he was sacked the following month, the team having dropped to ninth.

Games: 53Won: 19Drawn: 14Lost: 20For: 61Against: 62Win percentage: 35.8

Kilmarnock

The Rugby Park side were in the doldrums when Clarke took over on 14 October 2017. They were bottom of the Premiership when he took over and second bottom when he took charge of his first game.

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The 55-year-old transformed the club. From a club where the fans had become disinterested he returned relevance to Rugby Park with simple football, which, as Johan Cruyff once stated, is the hardest to implement. He made players better and the crowds came back to Killie, proud of their team once more.

A fifth place finish was excellent. Could he do better? Of course.

Killie mounted an early title challenge before that petered out around the turn of the year. However, after defeating Rangers on the final day of the season the club secured third place, their highest finish since 1966 and a return to Europe.

In KA1 he was anointed Sir Steve Clarke.

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Games: 78Won: 39Drawn: 22Lost: 17For: 109Against: 76Win percentage: 50.0

Honours: PFA Scotland manager of the year 2018-19, SFWA manager of the year 2017-18 and 2018-19, Scottish Premiership manager of the month x3