This Time Boro Must Get The Right Man … And For The Right Reasons

THE SENTIMENTAL steamtrain of popular support behind Tony Mowbray is worrying.
Not because he isn’t a strong candidate. He is. He has experience at this level, has a clear football philosophy that is in step with the way the fans – and the chairman – expect the game to be played and he understands the Teesside psyche. He could help repair some of the damage off the pitch as much as on it. And he would be my choice out of the names I’ve heard thrown in so far.
But should you appoint a manager purely on the basis of an upsurge of popular support?


Is the current emotional orchestration in favour of Mogga being “the only one for the job” another step towards the on-going Geordification of the Boro crowd? Are we now looking for a Messiah rather than a manager with the appropriate skill-set? Is Mogga our Keegan? Can the job now only be done by a former icon, a one time skipper or someone born within the cultural orbit of Ayresome Park? Is it now about playing to the gallery and a gesture to a crowd with an ever more limited mental universe?
The list of candidates is heavy on former players – Nigel Pearson, Paul Ince and Mogga – are probably the most frequently mentioned of the rational candidates. But there will be dozens of others. Boro, for all our own depressive mind set after three bleak years, remains a big club. Recent European finalist, recent cup winners, recent Premier League fixtures and with an external image of being a well run club with a loyal and responsible chairman, an excellent acadamy and superb facilities. This is a plum job.
We should bare in mind that there will be a very strong pool of candidates sending in theirs CV, including a host that are not not part of the lazy taboid target-by-numbers list of unemployed usual suspects. Many will have impeccable coaching qualifications, recruiting records, big ambitions and fantastic tactical acumen and just because they have not popped up on our radar does not mean we should assume they are not there.
Who would have gone for Steve McClaren at the time? And who would have thought about Ottmar Hitzfeld last time round. That was a big mistake and we should make sure we do not miss out on such a glorious opportunity again just because a fantastic candidtae never had a legendary rapport with the Holgate.
Above all it is important to get the right man. It is important to get not a tired and spent force on the way down but to get the next big thing on the rise. We need to get the next David Moyes. The next Steve McClaren. The right man. The man that fits exactly the profile that we need at the club now. And to do that it is important to go through a well thought out recruitment procedure rather than get whipped up in an emotional overture.
The danger of the Mogga megolith is that is has the potential to crash all rational considerations and the prospects of any viable alternative. What if it doesn’t come off? What if the red tape with his Celtic contract, his wage demands or the fear of tranishing his image with the faithful get in the way? What then? Anyone else is on a hiding to nothing and will be booed after the first defeat or two on the grounds that they don’t understand the club, aren’t Boro through and through, aren’t rocket ship pilots.
And where do the club if Mogga can’t be landed fo some reason? Do they then turn to uber-mascot Juninho? With a generational checklist ticking coalition of Alan Peacock, John Hickton, Bernie Slaven and Craig Hignett behind the scenes backing him?
This is not the X-Factor. You can’t decide on the basis of having all the candidates bellowing “Who’s That Team…” in the centre-circle in a sing-off to decide by popular vote who is the most passionate about Boro.
This managerial appointment is the biggest decision Steve Gibson has made since Bryan Robson and he must get it right. And he must get it right for the right reasons.
If Tony Mowbray comes it must because he is the strongest and best candidate for the job and because he brings with him drive and determination and most importantly a vision for the future; because he has a clear prospectus for rebuilding the club that is a good fit with the current financial status and planned development of the club; because all parties are convinced he can work with what we have now and can swiftly develop what we have in the pipeline and supplement it with shrewd and affordable signings.
It is more important to get it right than do it quickly and play to the gallery.

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131 thoughts on “This Time Boro Must Get The Right Man … And For The Right Reasons

  1. AV –
    Mowbray did worse than Strachan at Celtic,Strachan won them the League Mowbray,was sacked. Every name been mentioned have been sacked!
    To get bums on seats and thats if his mind and soul is up to it and no sulks, Kevin Keegan! Merchandise up. Fills the ground and he has been successful at this level! We should of bagged him after he left newcastle the first time he left!
    Other than that reduce the prices of tickets to fans and I would do It for less than these mugs would do it for lol! Only thing wrong only done my level 1 badge lol!
    Up the boro!

  2. Roy Hodgson as Boro manager ? That would be as good as it could get for us.
    Hopefully that’s why Steve Gibson is talking about taking his time to get the right man ?
    I’m ‘distraught’ over Rooney the Looney but you have to smile at Ferguson.
    Within minutes he’d cornered Rooney into ‘apologising’ to the team and the fans.
    He’ll regret re-signing, SAF loves a grudge.

  3. jiffy said:
    “the fact is that Boro is a club without a single player who can do 100 metres in under half a minute”.
    Actually we have got a speedy winger called “the project” who is fast as lightning and if I am not mistaken scored a great goal in the cup a year or two back.
    What has Marvin Emnes done !
    Give him a job

  4. This is getting ridiculous..there are so many names bandied about ..people seen here there and everywhere… so here I go !!
    According to the Times Souness not interested
    According to fly me to the moon…. strong source says that Paul Ince will be announced on Monday !
    Where do they get them from ?
    Gibson must be having a chuckle seeing all these names mentioned and him being the only one who really knows.
    We are all clinging to find snippets from everywhere!
    I am off to Egypt next week and I will be looking at their equivalent of the gazette to find out the latest!
    By the way I am going to put my name forward so we can continue with the Scottish connection.

  5. Top Ten: Unemployed managers
    Bernd Schuster
    Mark Hughes
    JÃŒrgen Klinsmann
    Glenn Hoddle
    Marco van Basten
    Alan Curbishley
    Kevin Keegan
    Michael Laudrup
    Steve Coppell
    Phil Brown

  6. Not about us but the Rooney situation reminds me a bit of the O’Neill contract renewal, not a lot but a little bit.
    He signed a new contract and if he had gone we would have had a bigger fee.
    With ManU there was the possibility of Rooney buying out the last year of his contract under some obscure ruling at his age or ManU having a reduced price sale in January.
    Bugger, QPR goal ruled out! Phew, Bristol nearly went two goals up.
    Back to the story. ManU now have Rooney tied to a 5 year contract. If he doesnt behave or perform SrAlex will sell for much Wonga.
    As people say, you rarely win once Fergie is involved

  7. Maybe we should sell the managers post on a month by month basis just like the shirt sponsorship. Revolutionary or what…

  8. There are three main categories of Boro Mangement candidates:
    Group 1 “No Thanks”: Megson, Ince, Brown, Coppell, Souness, Hoddle, Pardew
    Group 2 The “Likely Lads”: Mowbray, Zola, Pearson, Vialli, Curbs, O’Driscoll, Round or Poyet offer excitement, potential and hope.
    Group 3 The “Dream Team”: Hughes, Mon, and Hodgson probably guaranteed to deliver what we want but unlikely to come.
    Not sure where Keegan fits in that lot, I suspect somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd group. Gibbo must ensure he achieves a Group 2 as a minimum, even the most diehard Boro fan doesn’t expect a Group 3 at this stage of our fall from grace.
    It will be very interesting to see what SG delivers to us. There again Agnew has the seat at the moment and a few decent results may prolong the decision even longer!

  9. I mentioned Gus Poyet awhile back.
    I know Adam Johnson holds him in high regard. He said that the time he spent at Leeds when Gus was there, was a fantastic experience and learned a lot. In fact it was just after that period he really blossomed

  10. REDCAR RED –
    Spot on mate, forget the Likely Lads, Gibson does not want to have a manager usurp his “saviour” status.
    Forget the Dream Team, Gibson’s definition of a world class manager “Gareth Southgate”. Pretty sure that any one or all of the no thanks group will fit the bill for Gibson, they will keep the team in the Championship and not cost too much. Gibson has no interest in the views of the fans, especially those from Stockton.
    Much more likely is if we read between the lines “Gibson in no hurry”. Of course not, he is hoping against hope that Agnew can stop the rot. To be fair he just might.
    Unfortunately we are looking for a new manager, not a new chairman.

  11. Anyone interested in the match against Norwich here? I support Aggers and Proc totally – we will get a draw at least and hoping for 1-0 win.
    Let’s not worry too much about Gibbo’s work as we won’t be able to have a say on the choosing process. Let’s just support the lads in red instead.
    Up the Boro!

  12. Keenog –
    You posed the question what has Marvin done? Having seen The Project many times for the Boro my best guess is a paper round very quickly.
    I love watching him but he is like coming in on a cold February evening and being presented with one of those fancy nouvelle cuisine dishes, good on the eye but not very satisfying leaving you feeling cheated.
    He appears lightweight with little end product and clearly Gate was in the same camp as Strachan and didnt really fancy him.
    I still think GS2 could have used him especially with our lack of pace but we have got little back for the money we laid out for him even under Southgate. I would love him to fulfill his potential especially as we have so little pace.
    What intrigues me is that even as Strachan was leaving he still went off to Swansea and has not been recalled under the caretaker coaching regime. Maybe we cant under the terms of the loan agreement.

  13. Ravanelli……….come on AV Gazette can do better than that.
    Where is the reporter looking for the scoop! Hunting Mowbray down and getting a quote one way or the other from him?
    Or are you all in on it, know who the next manager is and just treading water, throwing up the odd name from way out of the box to fill the back page. I think so.
    Let the faithfull readers of this blog have your take on the latest top four.

  14. So Ravenelli has thrown his hat in the ring. The next will be Robbo Robson, the Tees Mouth. I believe he has vast experience of the Bluebull team and has the perfect lifestyle to become a folk hero and lead us back to the promised land.
    Maybe we need to get rid of all these nutrionists and get some Strongarm and Parmo’s down the lads. I am sure Boydy would respond and maybe Mido would come back a happier player.
    The could go for extra training after a suitable rest by doing the length of Yarm High Street and back. Certainly Bryan Robson and Peter Reid were alledged to swear by it.
    Didnt Cat and Glass Knees do some sessions there as well.
    Cant all be wrong.

  15. Hi Guys,
    Out of hospital – at last!
    Missed reading the blog, especially at such an interesting time. I opted earlier in the week for Pete from Halifax to be the next Boro Manager with our cat to be his assistant.
    However, joking apart and to stir up the Judas merchants out there, what about the first team coach at Armenia Bielefeld, one Christian Ziege. That should get the red blood cells stirring….
    Good to be back.
    **AV writes: Ah, mighty Arminia. I remember my trips to der Alm Stadion with great fondness. I think Uwe was there for a while too.

  16. “Would love it” if we got Keegan. Poyet is also a very good shout, doing a fantastic job at Brighton. Saved them from relegation last season and now top of league one. Also saw Klinsmann on the out of work list. Now he would put bums on seats. To be honest he’d probably still get his game!!
    Really think we need someone that captures the imagination, someone to lift us out of the slump we are in.
    Not sure any of the Gazette names in todays paper really excite me. I mean Souness was second favourite!

  17. Hey, let me throw this into the ring and see whether it bounces.
    It seems we need a manager with Northern roots and empathy to the People’s Republic. Being born in Parkside Maternity, desirable but not essential. Nevertheless unless we get a ‘one of us’ manager. it will only be a matter of time before the pitchforks and burning lanterns are heading to the Riverside. Which means Mogga, Incey and Souey as starters.
    Here’s the rub – in the last 40 years or so, the managers that have been successful – Anderson, Charlton, Robson and McClaren had local or Northern blood. Let’s leave Willie out as he never had a chance anyway….But it looks like as Teesside has certainly developed its own identity in the last 30 years or so, we, the pitchfork characters, require our managers to have the ability to empathise with our identity…..so no matter how successful Megson has been in this division, he’ll never fit as he isn’t ‘one of us’.
    I sometimes worry about our fans expectations’ – by daylight they appear to resemble the old ladies who used to sit and do the knitting watching the executions of the aristocrats in the French revolution and in the moonlight, all want to pick up the pitchforks and head for the castle.
    Leaders required. Northerness or Ethnic Teessiders by birth or adoption mandatory. Or dont bother applying, they’ll be out to get you like the population of Black Rock in Blazing Saddles!

  18. Coming up to kick off and Mosso appears to have stayed at home with Arca.
    **AV writes: Gutted. Mosso just wouldn’t fire up. I don’t know why. Everything else on the cyberweb was working for me. It’s a real shame because the last few aways we’ve had approx 1,000 following it live and 1,000 plus comments per game. Just when we build up a head of steam a wheel comes off. Typical Boro.

  19. Is that Thomson crocked again?
    Meanwhile wikipedia reports that Didier Digard has made 12 appearances for Nice so far…
    Ugh.

  20. How many shots did we have on target after Leeds got the second last Saturday?
    How many shots did we have on target in the second half on Tuesday night?
    How many shots did we have on target this afternoon in the second half?
    A big fat zero!
    PATHETIC
    We cannot afford to have any delusions of grandeur. We are not going to play our way out of trouble in this division. Enough of this tippy tappy midget football. We just have to survive and that has to be achieved by percentage football. It would be crup to watch but no worse than this spineless, aimless powderpuff nonsense.
    Lets get physical. Lee Miller to start.
    Get Megson in.

  21. There may still be 99pts to play for (and this may be a reactionary post) but I think that any lingering hopes of promotion have been extinguished.
    The team has fluffed it’s lines so spectacularly that after only three months of the season we’re now significantly more likely to playing League One than Premiership football next season. By my calculations we’d have to win seven consecutive games to get us back onto the the required points-per-game ratio for the playoffs. It isn’t going to happen.
    While Steve Gibson must take his time to make sure he gets the next managerial appointment right, every passing week makes this season look more and more bleak and dents our chances of attracting the most talented coaches.
    Depressed.

  22. “Emnes was Sinclair’s provider as the Swans extended their unbeaten home run.
    The former Dutch under-21 international replaced Stephen Dobbie at the break and the man on loan from Middlesbrough instantly brought the game into life.
    He out-muscled covering Leicester defender Curtis Davies, himself on loan from Aston Villa, to power his effort past Leicester keeper Chris Weale from the edge of the area to maintain Swansea’s play-off push at the Liberty Stadium.”
    Suffering Succotash!!!!!!!!

  23. Downing, went out on loan to Sunderland, blossomed, came back and went on to become a £12 million sale.
    Johnson, went out on loan to Watford, blossomed, came back and went on to become a £7 million sale.
    Emnes went on loan to Swansea……????

  24. Taken from ESPN soccernet…
    On-loan Middlesbrough man Marvin Emnes was the match-winner with his first goal for the Swans, in his first game and with virtually his first touch.
    “The Dutch debutant was a half-time introduction at the Liberty Stadium and wasted no time showing his power and pace as he shrugged off the attentions of Curtis Davies to latch onto Darren Pratley’s throughball and fire past Chris Weale.
    In-form Swans winger Scott Sinclair made the points safe in the 94th minute with his 10th of the season from Emnes’ cross, having seen an earlier effort rebound out off the underside of the crossbar”
    nouvelle cousine !!! lightweight !!!
    Its obvious we have the raw talent, we just need a good manager to mould them, and not loan them out ala Danny Graham and others.
    Come back Mr Mclaren all is forgiven.

  25. Sadly it is not a case of replacing the manager and everything will be ok…..we are beyond that! We have taken every ounce of sellable players out of the team bar two ….who will go in january.
    No matter if we get O’Neill it will take around £40m to make us a team again. Best bet give juniniho a go and just maybe he may invest in a ‘loved club’ like he has done with his home town club and just maybe Gibson could live with him as a partner!!!!!

  26. Mowbray would be the wrong choice on several levels. When he left the club as a player he reasoned it was because “he could not motivate himself anymore.” An iconic status as a player immediately undermined in my eyes.
    He clearly has had the same problem as a manager in motivating others, which in the light of the above quote is hardly surprising.
    It was further undermined in my eyes,when on the occasions as a manager of our opponents, he went out of his way to distance himself from the notion of expressing any real fondness for his former club or the area of his birth and upbringing; “just another three points at stake”
    As a manager he failed at West Brom, was apalling at Celtic, which gives a lie to the tired old cliche that anyone can manage successfully in Scotland at either Rangers or Celtic.
    The maddening movement and building momentum for his cause, orchestrated by mates in the media is pure sentimentality, irrational, misguided and must be resisted at all costs.
    Appointing people to such a key management position, purely on the grounds of playing success, at this our any other club, is nearly always proved to be a flawed and flimsy rationale too.
    It’s not rocket science, what is needed is a manager with a proven track record of intelligent deployment of available resources, in this job they are human resources so good man management skills are essential, tactical awareness and an eye for spotting potential in players of all ages.
    Thats not all but it’s a starting point.
    When Gibson hopefully finds one, he must resolve to let him get on with the job in all aspects without any interference from himself or Keith Lamb.
    Our chairman and chief exec. have a long life love of the game and were once, many years ago both involved in the local amateur scene. It appears to me that they have brought their amateur experience to bear too often in the running of this top flight professional football club and it is this, more than anything else, that has contributed towards our sad, sad decline in recent years.

  27. Of course it is not only Emnes that we have carelessly let slip – I see Blackburn have signed Herold Goulon, who apparently was never ‘good enough’ for Boro, but now has a two year deal at a Premier League club. The whole set up at Middlesbrough is fatally flawed.
    To have invested money in a player like Goulon during his stay and not give him a sniff seems ludricous – Emnes is just another case in point. The mishmash of a squad we now have is chronically injury prone, possesses no flair, little talent and is apparently devoid of spirit.
    It is difficult to see what any incoming manager can do with such a rag-tag outfit and I can currently (barring a miracle of innovative management) only see one outcome to this season. Ah well, at least it’s not far to go for a derby match…

  28. “Uxter, why is Lambie the weak link?”
    I wont regurgitate all the second and some first hand accounts of his parochial and small minded approach to his post, or offer any amateur character assasinations, I will just recount a trip I made by train a few years ago a couple of days before the transfer window closed, one of the few occasions I have ever been in first class and over the aisle was Mr Lamb travelling with a young lady.
    His flirting was cringeworthy – but what really teed me off was his constant refusal to answer his phone, letting it ring away as he played the big cheese. He didn’t even look at it to see if it was anyone important. Then he turned his phone over and put it on silent after one tut too many from another passenger and thats how it was for most of the journey. And this was at a crucial part of the close season.
    Make your own assumptions, but as a public display of arrogance I have yet to see it bettered outside of politics! As SG said, “its a measure of the man”

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