Saturday, 12 December 2009

A bit of realism please...

I feel sorry for Gordon Strachan. He had the balls to take the poisoned chalice that is the Boro Manager’s job, and the fans repay him by shouting for his head after 6 games. I think this behaviour by a small section of the fans is pathetic and a disgrace.

Long gone are the days where Bryan Robson and Steve McClaren had the best Chairman in the league, were given money to compete for honours and given that luxury of time that all managers crave... unfortunately a certain Gareth Southgate spoiled all that. Now we are left with a club that is broke, impatient fans, relegation and the hope of promotion ebbing away on weekly basis. We are all aware of the events that have brought us to Championship football so we won't dwell on them too much, but one thing amazes me - Steve Gibson, with the help of Gareth Southgate have destroyed our beloved club yet some fans think the blame lies with Gordon Strachan.

Strachan, like Southgate, has inherited someone else's team. He has had six games. Just six. Southgate had three seasons. So why won't some fans give Strachan a chance? Even if we didn't get promoted how can that be Strachan's fault? He will be trying his utmost to get promoted, because he is a winner, but he only has the resources available to him that Southgate's tenure left. I think that this minority of fans forget this, that we are in the Championship because of Southgate, that we have no money because of Southgate's purchases (and McClaren's before him), and dwindling attendances again, because of relegation, due to Southgate.

So with all things considered above its not the great job it used to be - Gordon thought that he would get time at Boro, but with Gibson's recent form, and if attendances drop even further it will be interesting to see how much time he actually would have, especially if promotion is not secured. There will be a lack of funds for Strachan also - even if we go up I can't see Mr Gibson signing any more £12m cheques for Brazilians playing in average European leagues.

Southgate is reported to be starting legal proceedings against the club, as rightly he wants his payout. But for me this has far more reaching implications which might explain why he remained as manager for so long. Being an astute man Gareth will have known that if he resigned he would be due nothing, so did he hold out at the expense of the club just so he would be guaranteed his lump sum? I don't know, but it's all a bit convenient for me. So Gibson has been weak, he should have acted earlier and saved the club from relegation but decided to think of the financial implications of paying out twelve months wages, shame he didn't think about the implications of relegation.

I thought that Gibson would have learned from the relegation that you need to strong to avoid doing down, make changes when they need to be made, and also make sure everyone in the club knows who is boss. Unfortunately though, more weakness prevailed, and it was Huth and Tuncay who came out on top, Tuncay especially, throwing strops to make sure he got his move back to the Premier League. If you look at West Brom and Newcastle they haven't sold their key players like we have, and they are the teams that are walking away with automatic promotion places. Huth was immense in defence, and Tuncay made playing up front look easy in the Championship - these were the type of players that we should have kept. Never mind all this unity spin from Southgate that "we only want players who want to be here" rubbish, we don't want to stay in the Championship, and the clubs needs come before the players...

Now any fan must realise that if Gareth remained we might have got another striker, if that. Gibson was not keep to spend the money in the close season when he was publicly backing Southgate, and only £500,000 was spent, namely on Mark Yeates. That striker may have been the quality of Caleb Folan, as Gareth certainly isn't known for signing quality players so what position would be in if he had remained? Probably a similar position to where we find ourselves now. The amount of home games that we had lost was terrible - if we had continued at the same rate we would have lost at least 12 for the season, and that certainly isn't the form that keeps you one point off top.

What other legacies has Gareth left us with then? You could start with the departures of James Morrison and Lee Cattermole. Both players left and have made themselves first team regulars, both have played in the Premiership, and Morrison regularly at the top of the Championship. Could Gareth not improve these players, or have controlled them? Cattermole is the one that really annoys me - touted as a future England star, he has always shown passion and commitment, but ends up leaving for not much, and becomes a regular centre midfielder. Maybe if Gareth had played him in his position we might have reaped the benefits...

Southgate has also left us with many club records broken, and not the good ones... A £6m loss on Afonso Alves, discontent between the club and fans, fighting amongst fans torn by his three year tenure... There seems to be many negatives, but not many positives. So even with all of the above, fans certainly gave Gareth longer than six games (people are actually wanting him back!!!)... and that is what Strachan needs - time...

It seems like Mr Gibson has learned from his mistakes, and has employed a good, proven, experienced manager and it looks like he is prepared to back him financially. If we as fans are patient with the team at home, get behind them for at least beyond half time, maybe fill the stadium a little more we might be able to make a difference and rid Boro of this fear of playing at home. After all, we all want the same thing... promotion. And I'm sure that Gordon Strachan is working tirelessly to ensure that we have the best chance of going up, rather than holding on to the job waiting to be sacked for the big payday... I just hope that it’s not too late, and even if it is there are only two men to blame, and neither of them is Gordon Strachan.

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1 comment:

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