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What has gone wrong at Boro?

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posted Oct 8, 2010

I think the mental attitude of the team has spiralled downwards since the appointment of gareth southgate. We have lost the fighting qualities to finish off games or come back into them. The fact is prior to burnley the last time we came from behind at home was chelsea 4 years ago and it was 2 exceptional goals that turned that burnley game around.
The negativity on the pitch has widened to the club in general as well as the fans.

It just seems that the players feel 2nd best or the taking part that counts is their mindset instead of win at all costs.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

It's a mess and Gibson has to take MOST of the blame. The Southgate appointment is where it started to go wrong. A bizarre appointment for a premiership club. He had no coaching or management experience whatsoever.

It's funny really, I remember sitting on the grass outside the stadium in Eindhoven after our UAFA Cup final thinking "He's (gibson) going to mess this all up". I had a feeling he was going to get the wrong man for the job...it felt like the beginning of the end.

He left it far too late to sack Southgate. Should have happenned 17th Jan 2009 after we lost 3-0 away to WBA. That would have left a new manager 16 games to save our premiership status.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

In my humble opinion, Strachan hasn't delivered what he set out to in the beginning. He pinpointed the fact that we have a habit of leaking goals towards the end of matches and stated that this was due to a lack of fitness and an unwillingness to fight til the end. Hence, the pre-season boot-camp and the drafting in of Scottish players who he knew personally, apparently for their grit and determination.

None of this transpired. There's no spark about us when we play, we still leak goals and play boring, woefully disjointed football.

Whereas some of the players he's brought in show some promise - robson, macdonald, boyd - the team is still incomplete. What is the point of having a 1-dimensional (albeit historically effective) poacher like Boyd but then no natural wide players to give him the ball? No wingers, no speed, no creativity? Ridiculous.

Sadly, all this may be a sad indictment of how far Scottish football has slumped. These group of players have won medals back home, even played in the champions league but don't appear to be able to compete in the championship, which begs the question of where the blame should lie. Gordon or Scottish football in general? Has this grand experiment of displaying top Scottish players in England fallen flat on its face?

In all honesty though, I can't get my head around the fact that Boyd and Macdonald aren't good enough for the championship which means Gordon is not getting the best out of them. The same can be said for Wheater and Macmanus - a partnership that shows all the fruitfulness of melted welly.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

It all started to go wrong the day Gibbo appointed Southgate to replace McClaren after the UEFA Cup Final - we had a great opportunity to use that momentum, bring in a big name manager (Martin O'Neil was available at the time) and really push the club forward.

Unfortunately this coincided with the recession, leading Gibson to call time on the club's debts, so not only did we have an inexperienced manager, we also had to systematically sell/release all our big name players to sort the bank balance out - Yakubu, Schwarzer, Viduka etc etc

Roll onto when we got relegated, all the talk was of not needing to sell, but low and behold after a great start we sold Tuncay & Huth on deadline day, replacing them with Leroy Lita, Mark Yeates and Sean St LEdger (on loan)!! Suffice to say; our season fell apart.

Strachan walked into a team crumbling around him, an inferior coaching staff (mainly just ex-players) and a shoe-string transfer budget. He even said that he faced the toughest job as a manger to date.

He has basically had to go out an sign the best he can get for peanuts - hence why he's gone north of the border so much. Essentially, all he's been able to do is replace outgoing players with more 'cost-effective' replacements, rather than adding the extra quality you need to realistically build a winning team.

It's easy to point the finger at Strachan, but his record speaks for itself; he wasn't just successful at Celtic, he also did a great job with both Coventry and Southampton. The fact it's going so badly at Boro at the moment is more an indication of the dire position we're currently trying to drag ourselves out from.

Strachan is literally having to rebuild an entire squad from nothing - WITH nothing, it's not just a case of a few quick fixes.

The performances have undoubtedly been poor so far, but I think he'll pull it round eventually. He's actually managed to build a solid, if unspectacular, record at home - despite the Riverside being like a morgue these days, which we haven't had since the McClaren days.

We just need to sit tight and let him get on with his job - we certainly won't be able to attract a manager any better equipped than Strachan if he did leave/get sacked.

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

It all started to go wrong when he appointed Bryan Robson - a complete clueless manager who had money thrown at him - the players that came were amongst some of the most entertaining seen at the boro and raised the fans expectations. (Robson got this team relegated) We continued to spend money we weren't generating and Mclaren provided the relative success that we should have had earlier if Robson had known what he was doing.
The earlier comments blaming it on Southgate are frankly stupid as issues with money and contracts before he was manager all came into play.

The signing of Strachan was embarrasing - i am sure that if Gibson had wanted to sack Southgate to replace him with Strachan he would have done this in the close season.
Personally i am of the opinion that Gibson had somebody else (a proper manager) lined up this fell through and we ended up with the joke that is Gordon Strachan.
Should Gibson shoulder some of the blame - of course he should its his appointment.
The worse thing about this appointment is the obvious friction it is causing with our academy - overlooking the talented youth we have who are far better than some of the has been/never been imports that Strachan is fixated on.

Strachan is a joke figure - the longer that Gibson thinks this is acceptable the more danger that the club gets further and further away from the relative success we saw under mcclaren.
More importantly the more danger that the club becomes a target for the press.

Gibson should have the guts to disassociate himself from Strachan - he should sack him then he should apologise to the fans, his employees and the press for his mistake in bringing Strachan in.
He should then focus on what was his vision for the boro all those years ago and try to get back on track.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

As far as I can see this happend -

The existing playing staff were either equally unwilling to perform for Strachen as they were for southgate OR are incapable of doing so to a level that Boro expects/deserves.

Strachen gambled on signing a few players for "big" fee's and this has backfired.
McDonald - 3M, Injured on signing, has never regained the fittness or form since his Celtic days.
Thomson - 2M Injured basically after 1 game.
Mick - 1.5mish decent but one of 4 in the back line and never seen as the type who can make honey out of dugs $888e.
Miller - 500,000............no one knows why, even us Scottish can't justify that move, totally left field.
Boyd - high wages for a predator goalscorer, but NO SERVICE for the type of player he is, therefore useless.

Bad luck in regards to injuries.

The squad is shockingly thin - it says it all when your bench has Miller on it despite everyone knowing he's gash.

The papers/bookies predicted 1st place.........that's the killer, no one who knew Boro and knowing that squad could honestly predict first.

Genuine talent from southgate days- sold off.

Ultimately some have been on Strachens back from day one, it'll be interesting to see which players improve in the space of 90 minutes with strachen having left.

I hope the wee man turns it around, but things are conspiring against him and he's made a few gambles and it's not worked out, if he can hang on, I'm sure he'll sort it, but will he?

Good Luck boro, I'm following you second only to Rangers right now!

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posted Oct 8, 2010

@ Peter

you're the joke mate.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

I think Gibson must shoulder at least part of the blame. Firstly for appointing Southgate - a former player with NO coaching or managerial experience whatsoever.


Strachan was probably the best candidate available at the time and I don't think there were many fans who saw it as a bad move.

I would put most of the blame for Boro's situation on his head. Yes, he has had to work with severe financial constraints and yes, he has managed to bring in some good players for relatively small sums of money.

However, he seems to have alienated many of of the players left over from the Southgate era and it appears players he doesn't get on with, don't get into the team.

He has also been unable to find any decent wide players or full backs, which means our side lacks width and pace.

All of the above means his tactical options are seriously limited and he frequently has to play players out of position. Consequently opposition teams are finding it easy to break down our defence and negate what little attacking threat we have.

I believe a good man-manager would have been able to create an above-average team out the players available, create a good team spirit and raise morale, but Strachan has completely failed to do this.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

to the last commenter,

Perhaps it seemed I was a WUM, but I never claimed to know alot about Boro, I was merely commenting as an outsider looking in since Strachen took charge, as I have been following Boro since.

I was annoyed at Boyd for going to Boro originally as he was big boots to fill........fortunately our team has improved and in his replacement we have found someone far more rounded in ability - sadly he's just been injured for 4 months as a result of this talent, but perhaps when Beatie finds fittness this won't be a hiccup to our form.

While I never inteded to give the impression I was giving the full run down of the problems - I thought I gave a fair and accurate assessment of the things I mentioned.

If you disagree fair enough but those who recognise my name on the Boro boards, can say that I've been supporting Boro, not winding up their fans on here!

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Anyone going back to blame Bryan Robson is way off target. Gibson saving the club and Robson coming in after Lennie Lawrence were the two defining moments in the last 25 years.

Robson brought status and yeah he wasn't the best manager, but come on, that whole period was amazing. Gimme that again anytime.

So forget that.

It went wrong because Mclaren was allowed to spend so much money. Gibson, like any fan would, got a bit carried away. We were chasing Europe. And top 7/8 spots in the league for 2 or 3 seasons.

So we ended up with massive wages. And then when the bubble burst (UEFA Final) Gibson woke up and thought, ooops, gotta save money.

That's why we got Southgate. So you can't blame him too much. He had to sell players and cut wage bills. I guess he shouldn't have been given 3 years. But the likelihood is that Gibson knew we were in freefall and no matter who was managing us, we'd end up in the Championship sooner rather than later.

Stretching our means is to blame. And we can see that all the Premiership clubs (bar Blackpool?) are doing it too.

Gibson has realised this and we're now operating within our means. I think we'll need the next Downings and Johnsons to appear before we can look to the Prem again.

That's what happened in 86 and if we're not spending money we'll need it to happen again. Fingers crossed, with our academy, we should be better placed to do it now.

There's no instant cures though, 'cos the money won't be spent so easily. Personally, I'd prefer it that way.

(not that I don't want good football of course...)

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Neil Cox! haha, I forgot he was our first million pound player! God, that just puts it even more into perspective - it wasn't until 1994/95 that we even paid a million for a player! Then 10 years later, a million would be perceived as a nothing buy - a footballing stocking filler.

Basically, we were spoilt rotten for 10-15 years by Gibbo and the majority of fans are still expecting more and more from the guy.

That list of football's wealthiest kinda scared me a little and made me appreciate all that Gibbo's done for us. I mean, look at the names above him in the list with FAR greater resources, yet they own clubs like Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, Doncaster Rovers Southampton etc!

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Yes chicken, as I said we are back where we were 15-20 years ago, 1m to us now, is A LOT of money!

We must be realistic, simple as that!!

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posted Oct 8, 2010

lol it started when SG let mclaren go to manage england then southgate then not signing schwatzer on again then he sacked southgate leaving strachan months without a signing opertunity then we have seen strachans tactical genius or lack of it

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

@ Peter

you're the joke mate.

------------------------
Chickenlunch - i have a different opinion than you that's all - i feel sorry for you if you think we should all share the same opinion

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posted Oct 8, 2010

I don't, but your comment was pathetic.

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

chickenlunch - so you think Robson was a good manager who spent wisely and gave us a balanced team that achgeieved as much as it could.
As i said earlier if you believe that fine that's your opinion - i believe that he wasted a lot of money and got a team that should have finished comfortably top half of the league into the bottom three.
You might think that's pathetic i happen to disagree.

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comment by 2plus2 (U14560972)

posted Oct 8, 2010

to be honest, i don't think the blame can be pinpointed on one event or one individual. it's never as simple as that. a combination of instances, appointments, bad luck and naive tactics have led to our current downfall.

steve gibson made the early mistake - appointing southgate. i understand that he felt a loyalty towards him, that southgate had been an icon in the boro defence in his playing days and that they had a close relationship. but to appoint a man with no managerial experience or qualifications in a relatively successful long-standing premiership club is naive and quite frankly unbelievable. and so it proved to be. relegation soon transpired, experienced talented players left and support gradually become more restless and, well, less supportive! but having said all that, i don't point the finger entirely at gibson. every person makes mistakes. every chairman makes bad appointments. and at the end of the day, the history at this football club would never have been the same without him. boro fans would never have seen the glory days of promotion, the carling cup victory, european football, the uefa cup final, various decent cup runs, viewed numerous exciting flair players, seen many solid premiership seasons and witnessed some incredible games of the past; i bring to your attention the two amazing 4-goal comebacks against steau beaucarest and fc basle.

then, after relegation and some predictably bad years as a boro fan, comes the appointent of strachan - the scapegoat. and, to be honest, a situation that in my eyes is indicative of the modern football fan; fickle and irrational. of course, strachan has made mistakes, and of course, we all know our performances have been poor and miles away from the results we all expected during our pre-season optimism. but strachan has made a lot of mistakes that i will bring to the forefront shortly. but he has still brought a lot of positives to this club, something that almost every other boro fan seems to want to punch me in the groin for saying! and i am confident that, whether we see these positives with or without strachan in charge, these attributes will be proven and i will be king, mwahahahahaha. ok, perhaps not king. queen if i'm lucky...

anyway, let's start with the positives. we are now far better equipped for promotion then we were one year ago. a lot of people will disagree with me, and that's fine, but i scrupulously stand by this. we only found ourselves second in the table when southgate was sacked because of some of the players we still had available to us. huth was a beast in defence - solid at the back and a great threat in the air when we attacked. tuncay was technically brilliant and offered us essential creativity and flair. pogatetz was a natural born leader and worked his socks us. jinky johnson was one of the best wingers the championship had ever seen and scored for fun. but these players were far too good for the championship, and the only way we were going to keep hold of them was if god himself had been appointed our manager. so it's no wonder that when southgate got sacked we were second in the table and looking like a good championship outfit with real promotion credentials. in fact, it's quite incredible that we weren't top! but, as i said, they were always eventually going to be on their way, staying only til they found their top tier club of preference, and they were only ever going to bring us temporary success.

so in comes strachan, after the compulsary sacking of southgate, even if it was a few months too late. and what does gordo have to work with? second rate players from our youth academy! whilst they could hold their own in this league and certainly consolidate our position, the likes of hines, taylor, jones et al were not likely to make us realistic promotion candidates. and then there were the overpriced flop signings southgate had made still left at this club (let's try and forget afonso alves, since i think we've all tried our best to eraze him from our minds)! emnes; pacey but technically very weak. digard; real potential but fairly young and unproven. mido; a disruptive emotional unstable and selfish addition to an already unconvincing squad. yeates; plainly and simply incredibly average. these were a lot of the players that strachan was left with in the long-term. and whilst he had the opportunity to sign a few loan players sporadically and permanent signings in january (which he did relatively successfully with mcmanus, naughton et al), he was never really going to build a substantial squad of his own until the summer transfer window opened, since, as most of us know, that is by far and away the most likely time period when most players are usually looking for a permanent move. so, our season fell apart, and our unfounded optimism was soon in shatters.

so, the summer transfer window opens, and despite many people incorrectly tipping our club to have an endless piggy bank, strachan, in my opinion, does very well to bring in the players he does given limited (but admitedely not small) funds - players that in my opinion should have the ability to get us promoted - if not in the automatic prmotion positions, then certainly worthy of a place in the top 6. boyd; the SPL's highest ever goalscorer, on a free! mcdonald; the only competition for boyd in that league for top scorer in recent years, and an international player that SHOULD be a regular in the starting lineup in the australian team. robson; a natural born leader, with both passion and ability. mcmanus; offering endless experience alongside the talented but sometimes naive wheater. thomson; a player that represents the classic underrated workhorse who does the dirty work at the back of the midfield so effectively. tavares; so composed and tidy in his role that it's a surprise to me that none of us can ever have claimed to have heard of him. and then there are other squad members that strachan brought in that, whilst aren't neccessarily worthy of a first team place in what should be one of the top championship sides, are still certainly valuable assets that thicken our squad and offer capable cover. so let's not forget flood, bailey, kinky, kilgallon et al, and to a lesser extent, miller, halliday etc. these players all contribute to a squad (on top of some of the other talent we already had in wheater, o'neil, bates, lita, rhys williams, luke williams, arca, mcmahon and the impressive steele) that should easily have the ability to be right near the top, if not at the top. thus, strachan, in this respect, has created a squad of individuals of great pedigree for this league on a budget that, whilst not bad, wasn't exactly lightyears ahead of the rest of this league!

but, now onto the negatives. where has it gone wrong so far? and i stress so far. whilst our league position and performances don't reflect the positives i outlined above, i believe it is essential we give strachan time to put our problems into context and find solutions. a dozen games or so for a new manager is not even close to enough time to truly represent the extent and success or failure of the changes he made in his first summer in control of the club. and, as we all know, gibson is odds on to give him that time. but, unfortunately, strachan has to take some blame. i cannot yet criticise the hard work he puts in, the effort he expects from his players and, importantly, his popularity from within the club itself (chairman, staff, players etc). but i can criticise his tactics.

why on earth would you player a poacher in boyd in a team that has no width? boyd has little to offer but his finishing ability, and even though that is invaluable, why on earth would you play him in a team with limited creativity! to strachan's credit, i am sure he has tried hard to bring in a winger. but he has so far failed. and he has also dropped boyd for a couple of games, probably recognising the problem i mentioned in playing boyd with a team dynamic like ours. but, the simple fact of the matter is, the team dynamic must therefore change. strachan seems obsessed with playing a rigid 4-4-2. but, again, this won't work with the lack of creativity we have on the flanks! furthermore, it is far too predictable, and teams lately have often bossed the game as a result.

additionally, there is the problem of round pegs in square holes! how on earth strachan can justify playing, at times, four central midfielders in the starting lineup in beyond me. and this problem doesn't just relate to the midfield. the defence too seems to be played in the same unbelievable naive mannor, with four central defenders making up the back four! this obsession with a central team is incredible. we'd be better off playing our games on the bowling patch of a cricket ground!

so why wouldn't strachan play a team with more flair, more unpredictability and with more of an extensive team dynamic. wouldn't he be better off playing a team, with the squad we have, like this;

steele.
rhy williams/mcmahon. mcmanus. wheater/bates. hoyte.
o'neil. robson. thomson/tavares.
mcdonald.
lita. boyd.

it has attacking fullbacks who cam compensate for the lack of width in midfield. three in the middle who can both attack and defend. a target man in lita for when we, like many championship teams, play the inevitable long-ball game. it has the supporting striker in mcdonald, who has been fantastic when slotted into the role. and it has the poacher in boyd, who can feed off having two strikers supplying him as well as crosses from rhys/mcmahon or hoyte! is also means that our squad no longer looks so thin out wide, since we don't require that width from midfield. our extensive surplus of central midfielders can suddenly find themselves playing in their natural role should one of our starting midfielders get tired, injured or lack form. and we have impact players from the bench, such as tarmo kink.

i don't claim to have all the answers, but the simple situation is that 4-4-2 isn't working. so something has to change. we have the players, but lack the correct tactics.

so, in conclusion, the problems are numerous and no one factor is to blame. strachan has improved this club, but has as of yet failed to prove this through results. but, he deserves more time. partly because his own assembled squad of players need more time to show their ability under his leadership. and also because this would be a very poor time to sack a manager. who on earth would replace him anyway? and who could we say definetely is better qualified, available and would for sure do a better job? strachan did well at coventry and southampton. and at celtic, his reign was hardly a failure! so, he should be qualified to do this job. i only hope that he either buys a pacey winger who can cross, or that he re-adjusts the formation and tactics so that it benefits that players we have available to us.

give him time and i'm sure things will improve. top 6 certaily isn't out of sight yet, so we needn't be too despondant. and if gibson does lose patience, i at least hope that he doesn't change managers til christmas, if not next summer. and should we bring in that new name to lead our club, i'm sure he will reap the rewards of the players that strachan has signed and left at his disposable - just perhaps they'll be utilised in a more effective mannor.

utb. bring on leeds.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Whereas i do not agree with Peter that your problems today are down to Robson I feel he does make valid points regarding Robson.

I know a player who was at Boro during this time and some of the things he tells me should never have gone on at a professional club.

However, your current plight, in my opinion, is down to Strachan. He seems to think that purchasing most of Scotlands B team would work. these players are not up to the Championship and what he was thinking is beyond me. When Willo Flood was at Man City he was a bit player in a middle to bottom Premiership side. These players have been brought in as mainstays of your team.

Also Strachan is tactically inept and lives off getting Southampton to the Cup Final. Every team he has managed in England has been an absolute disaster and it takes something for the Celtic fans to turn on one of their own.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

It got me thinking (something my wife never approves of) about Boro - Paul Fletcher
____________________________________________

Why doesn't your wife approve of you thinking abou the Boro ?? headhurts

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posted Oct 8, 2010

I think the events of the last year or so are largely a result of Strachan's inability to effectively manage the players at his disposal, as well as bringing in too many similar players and failing to create a balanced team.

I agree any manager would have found it a tough job, but I think somebody with a better personal touch and better man-management skills, could have got our players performing better.

As to getting to the root cause of our problems, it does seem obvious (again with the 20/20 vision of hindsight) that it started when Gibson decided to chase the dream and spend big money.

In retrospect, Robson's appointment does seem strange, given he had no prior managerial experience or coaching qualifications. I think what helped in his case, was his reputation and force of personality. He was the kind of authority figure most players could respect, because of his playing career and achievements.

It worked too...for a while. I don't think we can condemn Robson for one poor season where we ended up hiring El Tel to bail us out. I think maybe by then his time had run its course, as had the players he signed.

For his first role in management, I think he did pretty well. Again, in this instance, if you're looking for someone to blame, point the finger at the person (or persons) who hired him.

Continuing to chase the dream after appointing Steve McLaren, almost paid dividends and led to the club's most successful period ever. Yes, we can say it was foolhardy now, but how many of us were complaining after the Carling Cup Final and the UEFA Quarter and Semi Finals?

If the price of that is a few years of austerity and obscurity, I can live with that...after all thats where Boro were when I began supporting them in 1987.

The biggest mistake on the part of the chairman and board was appointing Southgate, presumably after realising the club's operating costs would have to be dramatically reduced. This is precisely the sort of situation where you need an experienced manager who knows how to operate on a shoestring.

I know Boro are hardly the most glamourous and attractive proposition for players and managers, but Gibson should've just done what many clubs do in that situation and ask the reserve team coach to step in as caretaker manager, until a suitable replacement could be found.

As for Strachan...we'll we've been over that already. Seemed a good idea at the time, but he's yet to prove the right man for the job. I must admit I am getting genuinely worried about staying in the Championship this season.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Richard, I you're talking nonsense mate, Boyd, McManus, Robson & Thompson are all first team Scottish international players. They were also regulars in both the Rangers & Celtic line ups. So where the Scotland B team comment comes from, I don't know.

Bryan Robson was undoubtedly not the most professional of managers, but he did the job of kick-starting us into life again. In my opinion, you can't go back to his reign as being responsible for where we're at now, because McClaren was effectively a 'reset' button. When McClaren left there were no players left at the club from the Robbo era (barring the Schwarz, of course) and he'd also recovered whatever mess had been left by Robbo and pushed us onto a 7th place finish and 2 good runs in the UEFA Cup, culminating in a final appearance. The team that Southgate took over was well and truly McClaren's team, not Robbo's - even the coaching staff was completely different.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

chickenlunch - I said that you couldn't blame Robson for what is happening now but honestly some of the things that happened whilst he was in charge were incredible. No one else would have got away with running your team like he did. Maybe this is because he was attracting the big names that a blind eye was turned to these events, i really don't know.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

If you knew your club history you would know that Gibson didn't save Middlesbrough

The consortium of which he was a very small part of provided the Football League with confidence to allow "Middlesbrough 1986" a place in Division 3.

I do not dispute he has been a great chairman but he has also maximised his position.

He agreed deals with the major shareholders at preferential rates to buy shares they didn't really want to hold, certainly that was the case for Newcastle Brewreies & ICI that strengthened his interest in the club to the extent that the other backer Henry Moskowitz who held more shares than Steve at the outset decided that he'd sell up rather than stand against him

He was fortunate to get Bryan Robson at the right time and very fortunate that Robsons name and the new premiership money was able to persuade players that wouldn't normaly have entertained Middlesbrough to come to the club

I do not doubt that Gibson has stood guarantor for loans the club have taken out and has overseen the provision of funds at times when we didn't actually have the ready cash.

His inability to see any wrong in his Chief Executive who has cost the club millions of pounds in his ego driven reign will in my opinion eventually be his downfall

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Hairingtons..
Probably the most accurate summing up of our plight in this thread.

I disagree with you and most others on just one point.

Southgate may not have been the manager of choice but I believe he was good enough. He suffered most from having no reliable striker. The creativity was sufficient as was the endeavour. The finishing was rubbish.

Any six of the ten + sitters that Alves missed would have kept us up. People rant about our defensive record but according to the stats it was not much different to any of the bottom 12 clubs in the premiership.

We now have a club that is becoming a sound financial proposition but I fear we're destined for Championship football for a while yet....and you're right. We need to focus more on the academy again.

UTB

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Fellas - massive thanks for making loads and loads of interesting observations.

Tell me, at the start of the season did you think you had a team that would make a strong push for promotion (be honest now)?

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

No - i thought at the time Strachan was clueless - haven't seen anything to change my mind.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

When the bookies make you favourites for promotion you tend to think there is something in it

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Peter, you said nothing like this at the start, you are just another bandwagon jumper, who is taking advantage (massively) of hinsight, after just 10 games.

I thought we would mount a charge, and still do, but only if we start to get behind teh team.

It is clear WGS hands have been tied, in terms of player recruitment. i would love to know why he didnt get to spend the 2m+ from selling Jones - if he had i guess we would have had at least 2 more players in??

If we are all honest, we all thought the signings Boyd, McManus, Thompson etc, were good. They havent lived up to it yet, but it is too early!!

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posted Oct 8, 2010

JDandfries - I agree with that. Not many on here where not happy before the season started, infact most said we would go up automatically.Strachan should have been given the two million to finish the team off.Our squad is paper thin and unbalanced. Gibson is taking advantages of his status, knowing most Boro fans wont point the finger at him. Strachan has had nothing to spend considering who we have sold. Suddenly Southgate has loads of fans, where they fans when he was manager....NO

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posted Oct 8, 2010

WGS is an easy target, much as Steve Mac was, if WGS had done as SOuthgate did, he would never have lasted three seasons - it was only due to GS popularity (richly deserved btw) as our Captain, that he was given as much time as he was (about 1 year too much).

We really do need to wake up as fans, and (i know i keep saying this) get realistic. We are where we are, both in football terms and financially.

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comment by 2plus2 (U14560972)

posted Oct 8, 2010

absolutely. i thought we definetely had the squad to push for a promotion push. and i still think that. and to be honest, i think it's a bit of a joke if there are many comments on here that claim that they think differently. if you look back at the boro boards in pre-season i'm sure you'll find plenty of optimism about both the team and our chances, and the only negative comments regarding our prospects were coming from those who were either disappointed to see their favourites leave their club and come to ours, or those who supported rival teams and fancied a bit of banter! but, certainly, the overwhelming feeling amongst boro fans was undeniably positive.

however, with regards to strachan, the reactions were indeed mixed. i thought, and still think, he deserved a chance and was capable of fulfilling our aims. however, what i did not forsee was inept tactics and stubborn ineffective formation selections. so far he has not made the best of the resources he has brought in.

fingers crossed he sees the light.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

being a boro fan i have always taken stick from my mates who support 'bigger clubs'. i have always found positives from my beloved boro to slap right back in their faces. at the start of the season they were all agreeing how we did look a good prospect this year to join most of them back in the top flight. after the start of this season i have been the laughing stock especially as West Ham have picked up some form. i have no plus points to thorow back at them and feel we might struggle to even see the top half of the table this season.

so who to blame? WGS alot of people are pointing at, and i agree shoddy tactics ane one dimensional football has to be the managers responsibility. even WGS himself has said the players are putting in the effort but then anyone in his role would defned who they brought.

the chairman? i think he has to take some responsibility. fan or not his decisions filter down through the club and ultimately decide what happens.

Lamb? for certain!!! wot a twonk!!! he, in my eyes, would be the first out the door!! if WGS football knowledge was anywhere near the size of Lambs ego we would be 4 points clear of QPR

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010


JDand fries - please don't call me a liar - i have just found one early season post i made i'm sure there are many more - this was on an article posted by buster saying we should get rid of Strachan.
Just because a lot of you fell for teh early season hype don't tar us all with the same brush
-------------------------
posted Aug 25, 2010

I thought he was a rubbish choice as manager when we got him and have seen nothing to change my mind since.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

It's got to be Lamb hasn't it? Would presume he had a major say in what happened at Blackburn. He also seems to persistently let players contracts run out and deny us transer fees. Even if he is being lent on by Gibson to save money he should be strong enough to say 'no its my role.'

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

posted Aug 8, 2010

Hopefully its the wake up call that a lot of Boro fans need - the nonsense i have been reading on these boards recently is frankly unbelieveable.

Strachan was a poor choice as manager and proved as much last season - continuing with more of the same type of signings is hardly going to change the team that much - i can't see anything better than mid table medicocrity - really hope i'm wrong.
-------------------------Jdandfries - here's one i posted on the 8th of August - still waiting for an apology.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

You really are a beacon of positivity aren't you Peter!

The point is that Strachan is working at really difficult period for Boro. Hardly being given the advantages Southgate, McClaren and Robson had is he? By judging him on last season was premature; I'm still in two minds whether now is harsh.

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comment by Peter (U9342100)

posted Oct 8, 2010

darksmog - i just said that i have consistently thought Strachan was useless and would be no good for the Boro - JDand fries called me a liar - thats teh only reasion i have reproduced these comments.

I want Boro to succeed as much as everybody else but that doesn't stop me having an opinion.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Of course it doesn't. I think Gordon is a good manager but maybe not right for Boro. Whereas I think Robson is a pretty poor manager but a brilliant choice at the time for Boro. Bit like Keegan for Newcastle lifted the fans and helped us into the consciousness of the media and the nation. Without him I think we would have had a hard time attracting Juninho et al and just for that he wasn't a mistake in my eyes.

It was never boring and something I'll treasure for a long time.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

The problem with boro is they have been on a downward spiral since the 2006 UEFA Cup Final loss against Sevilla, when Steve Mclaren left and Gareth Southgate was put in charge. Since then under Southgate the club has gone from being a mid-table Premier League side and now currently a relegation candidate from the Championship if things don't pick up. However the killer blow which resulted in the club's relegation from the Premier League was the loss of key experienced players such as Mark Schwarzer, Yakubu, Mark Vidukia and them being replaced by expensive flops such as 12.7m signing Afonso Alves or just not being replaced such as Schwarzer with Brad Jones and Ross Turnbull who I don't rate as highly as Schwarzer. After the club were relegated from the Premiership Gibson should have sacked Southagte there and then (and not in october with the club near the top of the league), so that a new man could sort out the club and lead the club to promotion last season but instead strachan was bought in in october which at the time I was happy with this decision but a couple of transfer decisions have been awful such as the lack of width and creativity players that are in the boro squad and the 500,000 signing of Liam Miller from Aberdeen who has still not scored a goal for the club. Also to try and stop a leaky defense Strachan sent the squad on a intense pre-season including a trip to Portugal but that still hasn't made the defense leaking goals.

While at the start of the season I thought boro did have a team that would make a strong push for promotion if boro bought an experienced keeper in as I didn't then and still do not now rate Brad Jones (who is now at Liverpool) or Danny Coyne highly. But at the beginning of the season I felt that despite being of the favourites for promotion boro still needed a new left back (which we still do as the club haven't had a proper left back since Franck Quedrue). Also if a couple of wingers were bought in such as Craig Conway of Dundee United who was linked with the club during the last transfer window the club might be in a better position than it is now.

So therefore even though Gordan Strachan is in charge I cannot see a better replacement out there to help move the club forward so for now in my opinion the club should stick with him for now.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

and also boro have been hampered by injuries such as willo flood, kevin thomson and rhys williams who in my opinion are 3 key players for boro

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posted Oct 8, 2010

Tell me, at the start of the season did you think you had a team that would make a strong push for promotion (be honest now)?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought we could make a push for promotion but did not think we would. Strachan has consistently underperformed with the players at his disposal and his time here can only be described as calamitous.

The preseason favourites tag counts for nothing when a team has not kicked a ball. Even more so in Boro's case given how we played last season. Sadly, it looks as if this season Strachan has continued in exactly the same vein.

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posted Oct 8, 2010

It all whent wrong when... People with more wonga than mr Gibson took controle of rival premier leage clubs.

Its been shrouded in the rose tinted haze of Eindhoven, but the fact is following that success our spending power shrank (comparitivly) and we were unable to re-build an ageing squad.

Back in the early 2000's for under 6 million quid each we bought;
Yakubu (Portsmouths best player)
Southgate, Ehiogue, Boateng, (3 of Villa's best players).

Whilst also out bidding our contemporaries to secure the services of proven, quality, internationals like;
Danny Mills, Viduka, Hasselbaink, Zenden &
Mendieta

just a few years later Portsmouth, Villa, Chelsea, West Ham, City and even Sunderland suddenly had big backers and that same 6 million bought you... simon davies.

so in the late 2000's we could no longer afford to buy the best players from our premier rivals - we had to try and develop one using youngsters and astute sighnings.

This failed, it was the right idea but Gibson brought in the wrong man to do it, and Strachan being in so many ways the opposite to Southgate was brought in as a reaction to Southgates failings.

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posted Oct 9, 2010

"If you knew your club history you would know that Gibson didn't save Middlesbrough"

Erm, yes he did.

Moskowitz may have put in more money. But the fact is that Gibson led plight to save the club. He was no small part of the consortium. Without Gibson's involvement all the sponsors and investors would not have come together.

But if you knew your club history you'd know that.

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posted Oct 9, 2010

@Paul Fletcher:

I was quite surprised when the bookies made us promotion favourites. I can't think what they based it on.

If they'd known about the club's financial situation, the number of players we'd sold and the general situation within the first team squad, I think the odds would have been a lot longer.

I said, before the season started, that the first 10 games would determine whether we really were in the promotion race, or whether it would be a seaosn of consolidation.

Sadly, it appears to be the latter.

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posted Oct 9, 2010

Yeah apolgies Harringtons - you obviously know your History whistle

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posted Oct 9, 2010

I think in the light of recent press releases from Southgate and Digard, it is pretty obvious what is wrong with the club. There seems to be some significant management issues going on, both in terms of the team manager and the management behind the scenes.

I have always been a staunch supporter of Gibson and I still beleive he has the best interests of the club at heart but he also has failings as a businessman and as a person. He is, quite simply, WAY TOO loyal, I will give you a couple of examples:

1. Robson - wouldn't sack him, even after it looked like he was going to get us relegated again. Instead, spent further club money on brining in El Tel to rescue him

2. O' Neill, was widely tipped to take over from MacLaren and some have said it was his transfer funds demands that stopped it happening. But I remember the press and postings on here at the time and more people pointed out it was his determination to bring in his own backroom staff that was the problem. My understanding was that Gibson had promised Southgate and Cooper coaching roles at the club and O'Neill refused to sacrifice or weaken his support team. Further loyalty shown to Cooper and Southgate

3. Southgate - Held on to him WAY TOO long, need I say more?

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

4. Keith Lamb.
The single most embarrassing part of being a boro fan is this man's continued involvement at the club. As far as I can make out, he has creamed the club for a very nice wage for a number of years based on one signing, Juninho. Some recent gaffs include leaking to the press he had approached Strachan whilst Southgate was still in charge and not getting a shirt sponsor for the year. But as mentioned above the details that are emerging about the Alves transfer are the most worrying. It was clearly him that arranged it (with or without Gibbo's sanction) above Southgate. 12.7m we simply did not have and we have had to recoup since... Why does Gibson keep him at the club?

I struggle to find a single fan that thinks he does anything positive for us, yet he remains second in charge and possibly more involved in the day to day running of the club than Gibson. Lest we forget comments like "the fans will get the club they deserve...", "we don't need season ticket sales..." and "we're close to bringing in three BIG name signings..." (No-one joined)in VERY recent seasons. Is there any wonder the fans are voting with their feet and staying away?

A promotion favourite playing to half empty stadia says it all really. The fans know the football is terrible, both in terms of entertainment and results and that it is unlikely to improve any time soon.

Overall, Strachan has underperformed, no doubt about it but has had to deal with his hands tied behind his back with an inherited playing staff and a chairman unwilling to bank-roll a return to the premiership. Gibson remains one of the best Chairmen around but needs to get more ruthless for the good of the club. And Keith Lamb is an embarrassment.

That (for what it is worth) is what I see going wrong at the club.

UTB.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

I fully agreed with Strachan's observations last season (soft underbelly, leaking late goals, lack of fitness, fight and, particularly, leaders on the pitch). These had been problems throughout the Southgate years and I was delighted we now had a manager who was acknowledging these obvious faults.

It's what has happened since that I take issue with. If anything, these problems are even more apparent in the current squad than in the players he inherited. It's looking like even the better SPL players are not of Championship standard and the result is a 'fundamentally flawed' squad.

However, in my opinion, the malaise is much deeper and longer term than anything to do with Strachan or Scots players. Looking back over the last 15 years, it seems to me that Gibson set out on a strategy that didn't work and was never going to work.

He thought that, with an injection of big money, he could catapult Boro into the big time. With top players, trophies and glamourous football, he thought there would be a groundswell of support, helped by sponsorship, that would make the club self-financing thereafter.

The shock struck when the pinnacle finally came into sight. Having achieved the dream of European football, the attendances were dire. How many people realise we averaged crowds of only 22,800 in our two EUFA seasons? And that was at a time when league attendances were over 30.000! OK, so none of us had heard of Litex Lovech - but 9,436 attendance?!? Even for the last-16 game against Sporting Lisbon, only 23,000 turned up.

I believe it was then that Gibson belatedly realised he was working with a sow's ear and the best he could hope for was a better-than-average sow's ear. I offer the 'Tesside will eventually get the club it can afford' comment as evidence of this realisation. The appointment of Southgate was further evidence: cheap, malleable and didn't have the clout to demand financial backing.

Since 2006, we have suffered from a strategy of retrenchment. This has been greatly exacerbated by economic decline on Teesside, lousy managerial appointments and some dreadful player recruitment. Most of all, the issue is one of anti-climactic disillusionment - we suppoters finally had a taste of paradise and then had it snatched away.

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