Former England coach Steve McClaren has been told that he will not be considered for the vacant managerial position at West Ham because his English language speaking skills are no longer good enough.
McClaren was the bookmaker's favourite to replace Avram Grant, who was dismissed after the Hammers were relegated by Sunday's 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic.
But a statement from Upton Park this morning revealed:
"Steve McClaren is a big name manager in Europe, but his strange accent and quirky way of speaking English would be a major stumbling block for our players. He seems to have lost the ability to correctly use the definite article and the correct construction of verb tenses. Also, he sounds a bit Dutch."
McClaren, born in York, started his career at Hull City in 1979, and spoke like a true gritty Northerner for many years, even after his potentially-accent-changing coaching appointments under Sir Alex Ferguson (a Scot) at Manchester United, and his own stewardship of weird-talking Middlesbrough.
He then had a disastrous spell as England boss, but still managed to retain his native tongue with consummate ease.
It was only when he was sacked from the national team job, and travelled to Holland to manage FC Twente that he started losing the plot. He aroused the attention of linguists when he took part in an interview with Dutch TV after FC Twente were drawn against Arsenal in the Champions League, and adopted a Dutch accent.
Didn't his Mum ever tell him if he pulled faces, and the wind blew, he'd stay like that?
McClaren is jobless after having been sacked by German club Wolfsburg earlier this season.
Asked yesterday about his chances of landing the West Ham post, we think McClaren said:
"I say, erm, I think I am not just, what you call, an underdog, I am a massh-ive underdog."
* For those readers who want to hear Steve McClaren's strange impression of a Dutchman, click on the link below: