Is Steve McClaren to blame for Rishi Sunak not using an umbrella?

Is Steve McClaren to blame for Rishi Sunak not using an umbrella?
Rishi Sunak's general election speech drowned out by Tony Blair campaign song

People on social media have been comparing two pretty calamitous moments in time from British history – and both involve a lot of rain.

Twitter/X users watched Rishi Sunak’s pretty disastrous general election announcement outside Number 10 on Wednesday evening (May 22), which saw him get absolutely drenched, despite the fact the government recently spent £2.6m on a new (and crucially indoor) media briefing room.

That took place while protestors outside the Downing Street gates blared Labour’s 1997 anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ by D:Ream (or should that be ‘Things Can Only Get Wetter’?).

It was all pretty shambolic. And strangely, the figure that came to mind for many people at that moment was Steve McClaren.

If you’re not familiar with McClaren, he took over as manager of the England football team in 2006, succeeding Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Wally without a brolly?Getty Images

During his tenure, England endured one of their worst ever periods and failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships despite having a squad full of talent.

The abiding image of his time in charge was of McClaren looking forlorn and huddled under an umbrella after failing to qualify following a loss to Croatia – earning him the nickname ‘wally with a brolly’.

He went on to have some success as a manager domestically in Europe, it has to be said, but the image of him holding an umbrella has been pretty hard to shift even after all these years.

Now, some people are speculating that his legacy as the brolly man is to blame for Sunak deciding not to use an umbrella.

Could they have a point?

Sunak delivered the news that the UK would be taking to the polls on July 4th, which is earlier than most people expected.

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