Boro Should Go Large After Big Mac

SO, lets assume that the bookies are right and Stevie Mac is off to England leaving as his Riverside legacy a second bit of silverware and a third successive European adventure. What next? More importantly, who next?
Obviously the media will speculate over the usual suspects and will spin more than Rapunzel as they seek to out “exclusive” the opposition . Martin O’Neill has already been revealed as the new man. David Moyes plus England rejects Alan Curbishly and Sam Allerdyce will no doubt get their splash unveiling too while there will be a sentimental parochial bandwagon rolling for Mogga, possibly in a dream ticket with Brucie. Or Cooper. Or the Gate.
The day after Mac departs the postbag will contain 100 applications for his job. Half will be from no-hopers, has beens and joke candidates boasting Championship Manager glory or Teesborough League triumphs. One will be from me looking for a cheap and easy column from the rejection letter.
But ten will be very good candidates. And two or three will be staggeringly good candidates, the best the game has to offer. That’s what we want. Boro can do better than a tired list of mid-table maestros. Boro can go galactico.

On Planet Football the Middlesbrough job is now regarded as a plum appointment. No, seriously. Some of the biggest dug-out dynamoes around will be duking it out in car park B before the news even reaches Sky Sports.
The club have won silverware in living memory. They are seen as regulars in Europe. They are chasing two trophies this term. They have a squad that has proved themselves capable of beating the best. They have fantastic facilities and a stable structure. The club is shaping its future not being distorted by the weight of the past. And, crucially, it has the best chairman in football, one with a reputation for loyalty, integrity and backing his bosses to the hilt with financial muscle and public support.
Really, you couldn’t ask for more. Or you could, but then you are looking at the Champions League elite. Yet, outside the big four, which Premiership club is in better nick or has better prospects than Boro? Sure, Villa, Everton and Newcastle have bigger fan bases and longer rolls of honour but they need major restructuring on and off the pitch and there is no guarantee any boss will be given the time to see the job through.
None of the cyclical contenders for the top table – this year Blackburn, last year Bolton, in the past Leeds, Charlton, Ipswich et al – have the structure, the ambition or the finances to take the next step. But Boro do.
A lot of managers want to join the Premiership. It has kudos and it has cash. And even assuming the most tactically and technically aware foreign uber coaches are opportunist looking for a club where CV boosting success is relatively easy to achieve, then Boro would be the one to choose.
And while we may not be able to compete with Chelsea in both footballing and financial terms we can compete with all but the top half dozen clubs in Italy and Spain, the top two or three in Germany and France and all but the very best in Holland or Portugal or anywhere else in the world. Why not go looking for the next Wenger or Mourinho?
Boro can expect that among the applications will be real established names who have proven they can win at home and abroad and who would relish the challenge, the likes of Otto Rehhegal, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Gerrard Houllier (although as a key player in the Ziege affair Gibbo may bin that one), Ronald Koeman, Cladio Ranieri, Big Phil Scolari, Marcello Lippi, Guus Hiddink. Why not? We have a world to win.


3 thoughts on “Boro Should Go Large After Big Mac

  1. GATE SPEAKS COMMON SENSE AGAIN!! As a headline that’s a bit like ‘Dog Bites Man’.
    I’m not sure about the wisdom of choosing the morning of a cup semi to go public but I would strongly advise all readers of this blog to read the full Sunday Times article from yesterday (sorry to promote a rival paper, Vic), not just the bit that grabbed the headline about The Current Manager and the England job but the revealing and comprehensive analysis of our season.
    Gate has said bits of this publicly before but this is the full story. It seems we have more to thank Steve Gibson – and some other senior players – for than the already substantial amount we knew.
    If The Current Manager does go, whether to England or otherwise, I have my doubts about those seemingly in the Boro frame: O’Neill, Hughes and Jewell. Can’t see how they would take us on. Mogga isn’t for now, unless with a mentor/Director of Football. I totally agree with your analysis, Vic, we need someone who will take us on to the next level and bring us something new – those mentioned above won’t do that.
    We should also recognise that it will be a job that is sought, as you say, not where we have to go cap in hand. Would have been a little easier if we’d won yesterday or will be if we win on Thursday and go on to take the UEFA Cup.
    I think I could suggest a couple more for your list of possibles – how about El Tel or Vialli but either with Gate as player/coach.
    Whatever happens on the first team side at manager/ coach and player/coach level we need a clean sweep on coaching too. No need, I think, to disturb Malcolm Crosby with the reserves and certainly not Dave Parnaby and the team at the Academy – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. They just need guaranteed resource and support and incentive to keep refreshing their approach to build on excellence.
    The entire commercial/business management of the club needs a strategic overhaul too, including its PR. But it’s no use improving your PR if all your are doing is trying to spin your way out of the mess you get yourself in. If that isn’t taken on by the existing Chief Executive and lessons learned then he should make way too.
    As I’ve said before, I think there is an opportunity to look at a new, more inclusive business model which retains the private ownership and strong direction of the Chairman and Chief Executive but uses the Fans’ Trust route to raise more revenue for the club and give the fans and local SMEs a seat on the board.
    We’ll see what happens on Thursday and I’m hoping we win and go all the way but I’m feeling now that whatever happens we need a deep breath of fresh air, stand back a little and review and then start a new season with a fresh approach and as many fresh senior staff as we need to get it.
    Clearly Steve Gibson is already planning and will act – and we’ll need to to give any new regime a fair crack at preparation – which brings me back to Gate’s interview about bringing people in late in the transfer window!!

  2. When a new manager is appointed, the first rule must be that although he might have control over team selection, purchases and the first team squad, he must not have control over youth development/academy matters.
    Most managers (hopefully, from now on, not at Boro) only last a few years. It isn’t in the interests of such a manager to bring on the youngsters. When that excellent-looking 14 year old prospect gets anywhere near the first team, the manager will have long gone. He will never see the fruit ripen, so why bother planting the seeds?
    Many managers try to protect their position by buying that £3M foreign player nearing the end of his career or the well-travelled journeyman who might “do a job” for a year or so, blocking the path for the club’s own youngsters to come through.
    But however little we might have won in our past, with a vibrant youth system we know we have the prospect of a good future. Because they are OUR young lads, local and committed like us, we trust they will share our commitment. Our pleasure in success will taste all the sweeter.
    So – rule number one: Youth Academy/Development staff report to the Chairman not the manager.
    Now, where is that 30 year-old Brian Clough…..? Think of the sales pitch to him. “We’d love instant success but we are more interested in building the club to be a major power for years to come.
    “The ingredients are there. We have recently shown we can win silverware and we have now shown we can compete in Europe. The Chairman will let you get on with it and, within reason, if you can make a case for buying player X, the money can be made available, though we hope to have the heart of the team from its own junior ranks. We would like you to build a dynasty, to mould the club as you would like, and you will be given the time to make this possible. Build something your grandchildren can be proud of….”
    (Wouldn’t he have loved to manage a Boro with a Chairman like ours?). Ray

  3. The timing of Steve McClaren going to manage England and Boro winning the UEFA cup couldn’t be better. It would be a perfect opportunity to bring in a manager who has a track record of success.
    Clearly there are very few clubs in the Premiership who are attractive to manage as Boro.
    The opportunity is there for Boro to take a huge leap forward in the next year or two.
    I’d go for Martin O’Neill he understands British football culture and is a winner.

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