THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

{mosimage} 22 October ~ The Gordon Strachan year is over at Middlesbrough. It is the second-shortest tenure in the club’s history but one that will never be forgotten. But mostly for all the wrong reasons. Taking over a team one point off promotion and leaving it almost exactly 12 months later tottering on the brink of relegation is a spectacular failure for a man who had marshalled Celtic to the knockout stages of the Champions League two seasons in a row.

It was a very odd time at Boro under Strachan. There could not have been a greater contrast in every way to the managerial style of his predecessor, the articulate, media-friendly Gareth Southgate. Strachan was confrontational from the very start. One of his first actions was to change weekly press conferences from breezy 1pm afternoon affairs to tense and snappy 9am kick-offs. It was as if he didn’t want to be bothered by press.

Whatever the reasons for it, this failure to communicate with local media also meant he couldn’t connect with the supporters. Another former Boro manager, Bruce Rioch, hardly ever breathed a word to the press but he also steered us from liquidation to the top flight in two incredible seasons in the 1980s. It is all forgotten and forgiven if you are having success – but it took Strachan six weeks to get his first victory by which time our promotion hopes had all but disappeared.

With money tighter than ever, Strachan sought to rebuild the squad by going for players he knew. Boro soon became an English Old Firm, picking up players from Tony Mowbray’s Parkhead clearout and then latterly going across to Ibrox to take on Kris Boyd and Kevin Thomson. Although last season was a write-off, Boro fans went into the present campaign in a confident mood. When we started with a defeat at home and continued to flop away with only one point in six games, Strachan seemed unable to fathom what had gone wrong.

The end, when it came, was messy. An outburst in a radio interview when asked how he coped with pressure showed that he wasn’t coping at all. When we lost at home to Leeds Utd there was only one course of action open. But Strachan should at least be given enormous credit for his final generous action. In a week where Wayne Rooney sought to line his pockets further Strachan tore up his contract and his entitlement to a multi-million pound payoff. It was an incredible gesture and did at least show another side to the man. Supporters now want to see the captain of Bruce Rioch's team, Tony Mowbray, return to save us from crisis. It can’t come soon enough. Robert Nichols fmttm

Comments (7)
Comment by Wrighty 2010-10-22 13:56:12

Hi, I am a Celtic supporter and was never really a big fan of Gordon Strachan, however if you think that by replacing him with Tony Mowbray is a good thing, then god help you, the man has no passion, little or no idea of how to motivate players. Don’t get me wrong he was a good player but that does not and has not made him a good manager. Look what GS did at Celtic and then TM came along and the rest is history. Gordon Strachan is very much his own man and you are right, he has no time for the press, as he quite rightly said, he will run the football team and not the press.

Comment by Lincoln 2010-10-22 14:48:18

Ah yes, passion. The pre requisite for success. One wonders which of the Gods offered their guiding hand to the good ship West Brom when they came up from the very same league Middlesbrough now reside in, for it could not be the mortal without passion.

Comment by Dalef65 2010-10-22 17:08:38

Unnecessary dig at Wayne Rooney,The "boy"(as SAF insists on calling him) is entitled to get the best deal he can in an open market.

Comment by rorymcg 2010-10-25 19:27:47

Two points -

One - it's a totally necessary dig at Rooney. The open market argument is a well worn one, but has no relevancy to him or most footballers in general. He's earn more than he could ever, reasonably, spend - it's called greed however you polish it up. Also, in ripping up his contract Strachan was doing the complete opposite. He won't have anywhere near the same financial footing that Rooney chooses to disregard but he would rather have one less Dubai holiday a year than be seen in the same light. Not that Strachan is by any stretch poor, just that he does not display his wealth in such a crass way.

Two - Mowbray might be the answer, but his record hardly speaks itself and he was sacked from his last club. Which, unless I'm mistaken, isn't the best position from which to negotiate your next job. Though he'll have the fans on his side, to begin with at least, I don't think the 'coz he's proper Boro' line is applicable. The club has moved on a massive amount since he was here, as has the fan base - or more accurately their expectations. He's obviously going to get the job and I'll support him - as I did with Strachan, GS, SMcC etc - but it should be an election not a coronation.

Comment by Dalef65 2010-10-27 17:04:22

@rorymcg......

The open market has no relevance.......?????
Are you for real......???????

Of course it does....
Look,fair play to Gordon Strachan for doing what he chose to do in walking away from Middlesborough,but do you really expect Wayne Rooney to accept less than the market rate just to suit your sense of morality.Or to help the Glazers to boost their profit margins.....??
Really......??

If Man Utd didnt pay him what he was asking for,he could have moved elsewhere and got it........
Therefore it is the market rate whether you like it or not....!

Incidentally,could I ask you whether you were up in arms like this when Yaya Toure signed a contract at Man City for £250,000
Per week.
And if not,why not........?????

We all know footballer`s wages are astronomically high,but can we just ease off picking on Wayne Rooney in particular..
Rather tiresome dont you think.....?

Comment by Coral 2010-10-29 13:32:50

Rooney should be on no more than £10k a week as that is more than enough money for a global entertainer from a working class back ground.
Tom Cruise should be on £20m a year as that is just about enough money for a global entertainer from a middle class back ground.

It is not all about class, but you have to question why footballers must justify their wages and be ritually flogged in the media where as music and film stars can keep their wealth and are even encouraged to spend it on women, drugs and cars. We as a nation have a very strange moral compass.

Comment by mickymac 2010-10-30 00:00:44

He wasn't picking on Wayne Rooney in Paticular,just making a comparison because Rooney was in the media that week over his contract and Strachan tore his up,some people are greedy for more,some people act on princibles.
As for Rooney taking the market rate,the millions those people earn,how much is enough?.

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