Former Newcastle United assistant manager Steve Clarke today signed a two-year deal as the new manager of West Bromwich Albion just over a week after leaving Liverpool.
The 48-year old Scotsman took his first role as assistant manager at St. James’ Park under Ruud Gullit in the 1998 – 1999 season, and was interim manager for one game after Gullit was sacked, a 5 – 1 defeat against Manchester United.
Five years after leaving Newcastle United, Clarke returned to Chelsea where he had enjoyed 330 games and won 3 Cups as a player. He was assistant manager during a golden 3-year period under Jose Mourinho, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups. He stayed on for a year after Mourinho departed the London club in September 2007, and subsequently worked as assistant to Gianfranco Zola at West Ham and latterly Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool.
This morning Clarke told the WBA official website of his excitement at taking his first full managerial role:
“Becoming a head coach in my own right has always been an ambition of mine and I feel I have served my apprenticeship.
“I’ve done everything I could as an assistant.
“It’s a process I’ve gone through, with a plan in mind to work as hard as I could alongside some of the best managers and coaches in the world, learning as much as possible from them, before stepping out on my own.
“I’ve taken something from every manager I’ve worked with and I’ve felt ready to make the step up for some time.
“I’m delighted West Bromwich Albion have given me the chance to make that progression and I’m determined to make the most of it.
“‘I look forward to meeting and working with a very talented group of players and aim, with their help, to prove I can be a successful head coach.”