Former England Manager McClaren Fired by Struggling Wolfsburg

Former England manager Steve McClaren has been fired by Wolfsburg as the club struggles to avoid relegation from Germany’s top soccer league.

“We are no longer convinced that we will be able to bring the season to a stable end in cooperation with Steve McClaren,” club managing director Dieter Hoeness said in a statement on Wolfsburg’s website.

McLaren, 49, joined the team in July after leading FC Twente to its first Dutch Eredivisie title last season. He’ll be replaced by his assistant, Pierre Littbarski.

Under McLaren, Wolfsburg won only won five league games out of 21. The team is one point above the relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat at Hannover at the weekend.

McClaren had been the first English manager in the Bundesliga’s top division, and Wolfsburg’s third new coach in a year.

Wolfsburg finished eighth last season after winning its first Bundesliga title in 2009 under coach Felix Magath, who left to join Schalke. His successor Armin Veh was dismissed in January 2010, with Lorenz-Guenther Koestner taking over on a caretaker basis.

In the Netherlands, McClaren became the first English coach to win a major European league championship since Bobby Robson at Porto in 1996. He joined Twente in June 2008, seven months after being fired as coach of England’s national team when the squad failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.

His previous coaching career included leading England’s Middlesbrough to the League Cup title in 2004 and reaching the UEFA Cup final two years later.