I've only watched it once live and then on the highlights this morning, I could be wrong, but I think it was a shout of desperation from our players rather than a genuine belief that he'd handballed it.
The only time we've had any relative success or looked like we had a discernible direction was when we appointed Karanka, reportedly had Peter Kenyon overseeing football operations in something similar to a director of football role and had Victor Orta as head of recruitment. Many of our signings were successful during that time and we achieved our goal of getting into the Premier League. Both here and at Leeds, Orta has found players that fit into the systems played by the club's manager. That's what we're missing.
All of these roles seem to have fallen back into the hands of Neil Bausor. Here's what is says on our website about Bausor:
'He was made Chief Executive in March 2012 after nine months doing the job on an interim basis. Neil had previously worked with chemical companies such as ICI and more recently Syngenta, and brought a wealth of experience to the club... is accountable for the day-to-day running of Middlesbrough Football Club and works very closely with chairman Steve Gibson across all aspects of the business, including the football and recruitment side.'
In the absence of a director of football and head of recruitment, we have a guy whose background is in the management of chemical companies. Given that, it's no surprise that the club's footballing operations have suffered from such a volatile and inept strategy.
We need experienced specialists to come in in these roles. We need to have a consistent philosophy that runs right through all areas of the club. Commercial, recruitment, player development, playing style.
The question is, is Gibson willing or capable of doing this again? The way the Karanka/Orta era ended seems to have made him averse to going down that route again. But there's no denying that implementing this sort of structure is the only way clubs of our calibre can give themselves a competitive edge in today's climate. Gibson can't compete financially with the vast majority of owners in the top two tiers, so he is going to have to adapt and use our now limited resources in a more calculated way.
My fear is that with the current management team and the advice that is about to be imparted to Gibson by Warnock, is that we're actually going to be moving away from what we need. Warnock has made his criticism of our recruitment personnel and our use of video and statistical databases quite clear, and given how some of our signings have fared in recent years, that criticism is probably quite valid in some ways. He's repeatedly stated the importance of Blackwell, Jepson and himself being able to watch a player to judge if they're good enough.
Of course that's important, they are after all, the people who currently coach the football team. But it sounds to me as though they will advocate a return to an outdated recruitment model based on first-hand scouting by a handful of trusted cronies. That just isn't going to cut it in the modern game and it will be absolutely no use to any potential successor. If we're to be set up for long term success, we'll need to take a progressive approach to recruitment and utilise every resource at our disposal to find the correct players.
Someone mentioned on here a few weeks ago that we apparently have very few staff covering multiple specialised roles in recruitment and sports-science. Although it hasn't really come to fruition yet, we'd be taking a backwards step by getting rid of what we already have. We should be investing and expanding our scouting and recruitment capabilities and this needs to be directed by a new club hierarchy - an experienced director of football and a head of recruitment.