Boro Are Barnsley Chopped: The Heat’s Right Back On Mogga

EVERY time his phone rings this weekend Tony Mowbray will no doubt feel a wave of fear. “Steve Gibson calling”… the chairman was at Oakwell to witness Boro’s first half implosion against the basement boys and to hear the exasperated hostile chanting from the away end, the sound of a thousand camels’ backs breaking.
And it wasn’t just Steve Gibson squirming uncomfortably in the directors as Boro squandered a string of good chances then creaked open at the back in the 3-2 defeat. Neil Bausor, Keith Lamb and advisor without portfolio Peter Kenyon were all watching, the entire politburo looking tetchy at the troubling figures from the five year plan and handily gathered should any pressing strategic policy decisions need to be made.
The pressure is very much back on Mogga.

In fact it has intensified. The tentative short-term gains in political breathing space from the creaky win over Yeovil were wiped out by a chaotic and sickening opening half.
Boro missed sitters only for Barnsley to go straight down the other end and score with ease. The first came as a player waltzed through a posse of defenders without a tackle being made, the second was via a wicked deflection yes, but only after a long range effort from a player who wandered through midfield unchallenged and the third was from the spot. Is there a record for penalties conceded? We must be closing in fast.
The third sparked an angry reaction as Boro fans recovered from their shell shock quickly to point accusing fingers at the dug-out and a loud and damning chant of “You’re Getting Sacked In The Morning” broke out. It wasn’t universal but it wasn’t a tiny faction either. It was widespread. It was loud. It was obvious. It must be said it was quickly followed by a brave “One Tony Mowbray” but the response was short-lived and half-hearted and it sounded like it was booed down. The crowd has cracked.
At half-time as the players skulked off – the tunnel is handily placed in the corner near the away end – a group of angry fans (not the majority of the 2000 plus away contingent but certainly a 100 or so) rushed down to point and shout and remonstrate first with their under-performing ‘heroes’ and then with the stony faced dug-out team. Stewards were quickly over. Not that there was a threat of physical confrontation. But it was very, very uncomfortable to watch as so much anger was discharged.
It looked as if there were bitter arguments raging within the crowd. A lot of pointing and gesticulating towards the empty pitch and dug-out. It looked toxic and explosive. Not quite the fisticuffs between factions in the withered final days of the Lennie Lawrence regime but you can’t help but feel that direct confrontation is not far away.
Of course, there has been a growing non-specific chuntering spreading through supporters for the best part of a year and screaming at a favoured scapegoat and generalised frustrated booing on the whistle and become a familiar part of the matchday soundtrack, especially at home.
But there has never such a been a clear-cut condemnation of the manager before. The situation has taken a quantum leap. Or sickening lurch.
Some of the anger was sublimated into an impressively throaty roar from the supporters as Boro launched a spirited late fight-back and actually almost salvaged what would have been a barely credible draw. Albert Adomah scored twice, Muzzy Carayol clipped the metalwork, a few efforts were charged down and there was a strong shout for a penalty but the damage had already been done in the first half, on and off the pitch.
A self imposed aspiration – not target – of 12 points from four ‘winnable’ games left Mogga a hostage to fortune. A meagre haul of just four points from three of those so far, including a lack-lustre defeat away at the team who were rock bottom, will weigh heavily on him and make it very easy for anyone who wants to – in the crowd or in the boardroom – to construct an compelling argument against him.
It will be a tense few days.


61 thoughts on “Boro Are Barnsley Chopped: The Heat’s Right Back On Mogga

  1. **AV writes: Mogga was given the Celtic job because the club chiefs there wanted to change the way the team played. His brief was to break away from the Strachan style which was heavily criticised by fans. His problem was that the players didn’t want to change style, training, culture or personnel. So they did to Mogga what the Chelsea Galacticos did to AVB: undermined him, under-performed, leaked to the press, sulked a bit … and eventually got their way.
    And there it is. There was me thinking that Mowbray was to blame at Celtic but it was the players all along.
    AV, please get away from this nonsense that Mowbray is infallible. I know you’re paid to broadcast the club’s propaganda but it does you no service whatsoever.
    Point is he was banging on about dressing-room disharmony at the end of the last season with a nod to Bailey and Scotty Mac. They’re long gone and yet the problems still prevail. Now why could that be then?
    **AV writes: He’s not infallible – but there’s plenty of flaws to criticise as it is without trying to crowbar in an unrelated situation elsewhere.
    Do you seriously think this blog article is club propaganda? LOL. Do you seriously think they will be thinking “top spinning” as they write out the cheque?

  2. Now a request on BBC Tees going out to Tony Mowbray
    At first he was adored, he was deified
    Kept thinking how we could ever live without him managing our side
    But then we saw so many games watching everything go wrong
    We grew bored and the fans stopped going along
    And so your back four never close down space
    They walk in at half time to see that look upon your face
    I should have subbed that stupid Hines
    Got a replacement in for Steele
    If I’d known that for the their second goal the defence would part like the Red Sea
    Go on now, go, walk out the door, just turn around now
    ‘Cause you’re not manager anymore
    Weren’t you the one, who tried to improve it with bad buys
    Did you think we’d crumble? Do you think the end is not nigh ?
    Oh, no, not Boro , we will survive

  3. SteveB –
    AV being paid to pedal MFC propaganda? That’s very funny.
    As for his reference to the Celtic players wanting him out, that’s a common occurence. I remember Clough going to Leeds and the players refusing to play for him. Imagine what Leeds could have achieved if he’d stayed?

  4. Matt A –
    Totally agree about Pulis and McCarthy. We are hardly equipped to launch it.
    On the Strachan issue I seem to recall that he was brought in to try to toughen the squad up because it was apparent that we were weak physically and mentally.
    Now we have a team that is mentally and physically weak.

  5. Matt A –
    Good post and you are right that there is more than just Mogga in this management Team.
    Mogga however is the face of the management team and ultimately it is both an Entertainment and Results based business hence the frustrations on here and at the match on Saturday and 2013 in general.
    Mogga has done a superb job behind the scenes in lowering the wage bill, improving fitness/rehab at Crockcliffe and bringing in some decent players like Friend, Butterfield, Kamara, Adomah, Leadbitter, Carayol on a shoestring budget and that’s the conundrum. He has done everything anyone could have expected of him behind the scenes and more yet it all implodes where it matters most and where the subjective measurements take place, out on the pitch.
    I suspect there is a huge element of truth in some targeted incoming Players not arriving that may not solely be just down to Mogga but with all football managers thats who carries the can. We are much better than the achievement to date and certainly far better than the derisory points return of 2013. That is the real crux of the problem. Nothing appears to have been fixed since the summer despite assurances from the club and the frailties and weaknesses are still evident.
    If Mogga (or Gibson or Bausor or Lamb or whomever) can fix the pantomime on the pitch and start to show some real turnaround then fine. As it stands at this moment it doesn’t look like anything has or will change. The frustration with most of us is that the reality that something needs to change hasn’t even dawned yet or is it just simply down to idealistic stubborn principles which with these limited resources are unobtainable?

  6. I hope no-one takes any pleasure from Mogga’s departure from Boro! I had hoped he would turn it around but, in the context of this year’s results (ie since the turn of 2013) it cannot be a great surprise that no further time was given to him.
    Let’s hope that the right appointment is made by Steve Gibson. We can’t afford more of the same.
    Whoever it is, if the players pull out their fingers this Friday it will be an improvement – but also an indictment of their recent efforts.
    Best wishes to Mogga who will always be remembered as a Boro playing legend. A decent man. One of the finest. A pity he didn’t have the success we all wanted as a Boro manager.

  7. Well my reading of the mood turned out to be prophetic.
    The tipping point is exactly what it was. Despite being proven right for once, I’m gutted. I badly wanted Mogga to succeed. I was desperate for this summer’s dealings to create ‘his’ team and see us push for promotion.
    Instead we seem lost. No impact and only patchy and intermittent improvement. Despite financial stabilisation and organisational developpment behind the scenes, there has been insufficient discernable thread of development on the pitch.
    Who’s next? The hierarchy have rarely done well when recruiting managers (Mogga seemed one of the best) but it’s vital they get this one right if we are to avoid relegation.

  8. Immediate reaction is that Venus must be part of the problem and, therefore, not part of the solution. Worrying decision to apoint him as acting manager. Further thought, as Mogga’s man why didn’t he walk?

  9. John Bowman at 8.34pm – maybe because he and/or his wife has a mortgage that needs paying, and children to bring up? In the current economic climate, not many just walk out. There is no certainty when the next job might come along.

  10. What is needed is a manager who will step in and be able to use the players, fitness people (person?) scouting network already put in place.
    We can’t afford a scorched earth policy of widespread firing and hiring. We need a manager who is unemployed, who has recent experience of our level of football and preferably has had some sort of success.
    Optional extras would include a sunny disposition a desire to build a club (carrying the supporters onboard) rather than building a team geared to further his own short-term career aspirations.
    I am utterly ambivalent as to whether the fortunate (and it is a plum job let’s not forget) has any previous Boro connection or not.
    So no Pulis, Warnock on footballing grounds.
    No Martin O’Neil on cost/experience.
    On their lack of Champ experience no Di Matteo, Souness, Pearce (Jonathan would be as useful as Stuart) or Hasselbaink.
    No Juninho & Ravenelli nonsense (yes I remember Rav played at least one game at this level for us, and a couple for Derby if memory serves). I can also think of another reason not to employ Di Matteo but if we ruled out a potential manager on the grounds he once scored against us then our list would probably be culled from this blog’s posters.
    No Di Canio due to the sanity clause ( You can’t fool a me, I know there ain’t a no Sanity Claus – sorry, one for you Marx Brothers fans out there)
    Yes, maybe to Clough, McLeish & Karl Robinson but I think the latter will be ruled out due to having to pay a fee for him.
    Why not Martin Allen?
    Overall I am a little less in love with football than I was yesterday. The truly sad part is that when a little piece of that love is lost, it never returns, it is gone forever. It is like the Antarctica ice cap and a huge iceberg has just crashed into the sea, soon to melt to be seen no more.

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