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Are we getting what we deserve? AKA Be careful what you wish for.


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I've just watched the Brighton v Middlesbrough (W 3-0) 2015 highlights, great one touch football, team spirit and defence.  I then pondered on why AK was so vilified in the end, a man whose first ever Managerial job was to be given a remit of promotion within two full seasons and did exactly that. Think for that on its own for just one minute - he'd never managed, it was the championship - arguably the hardest division in the world to escape then not only did he do it but within the target given to him. Next secure a premier league place - our new manager now had a new task, to manage in probably the best league in the world with the best managers and teams, backed by years of experience, money and huge fan bases. Yes it was a new learning curve for him, yes it was a hard hard campaign but why sack him?  Robson was very similar - first job, promotion - learn the trade in prem and unfortunately get relegated, re group, learn and move forward. What did sacking AK achieve? We had no one to come in and shake anything up, change anything or do anything different, but by sacking him we guaranteed relegation - no one knows if he could have saved us in the same way he got us promoted when people had been calling for his head?

What then did we gain from losing AK? We know there were people (10,000 at a guess?) that hadn't seen one championship game under AK, they didn't understand his cautious approach (that one that made our defence practically impregnable - people feared playing us) all they knew was now they could watch Man City at the riverside instead of watching Sky Sports News in the pub. Unfortunately a villain was spoiling their fun - we were't playing like city which is not what they wanted - they have standards!!

So instead of using everything at our disposal (Look at Millwall fans on Saturday) to help our team against these world giants our fans (or a majority of) decided to be a twelfth man for the opposition, believe it or not opposing fans actually know they can turn our fans against our team at match time and so the rot started, the team spirit started to fracture, splits in the group and fractures at the club appeared.

This needed strength, we needed a chairman who would be strong, stand by what he knew to be right -- did we get that or did we get a chairman who at times panders to the fans? Does he now love his legendary status a***st fans so much that he will bow to fan power - even knowing a lot of those "fans"had only just appeared that year ?

Great managers always upset someone,(Alex Ferguson = Jap Staam, Roy Keane, David Beckham etc.) players are so precious its easy to de rail them, is it a coincidence that people like Clayton who were Karanka men are being pushed aside? 

Its all history now but the question "why can't we find a Wagner type" etc is always cropping up lately - WE HAD ONE!!!!

How much influence did Gibson have in players coming in - theres clearly a link between players brought in, players who weren't who AK asked for and the demise in team spirit and results.

Do you wish we still had AK? What do you think he could have done with this squad?

I didn't want him sacked, but are things better? Monk hasn't become a bad manager over night, he had a great season with Leeds, it does take time - Pep Guardiola said last night it took 18 months to get his team to where it is, it started the day he did and he implemented changes slowly  throughout the club and now its paying dividends.

Heres a comparison of past great managers of our club;-

 

Name                 Matches        Won      Drawn        Lost        Win%

Jack  Charlton     193              88      49        56            45.60

Bruce Rioch        205             82           52               71            40.00

Bryan Robson     314            127          86              101           40.45

Steve McClaren   250             97           60               93            38.80

Tony Mowbray    153              61           37               55            39.87

Aitor Karanka     171              80           42               49            47.06

 

 

I am now - just like I've seen some posters on here say "beyond caring" but it would be nice to hear from our Chairman, he coined the phrase "we want to smash the league" and we're not, we're not smashing anything.

Who - if you could realistically have, would you want in the dugout on Saturday?

Do you think Steve Gibson has interfered where maybe he should have stood back? Did his interfering affect our Premiership season or was it all down to a manager who had never managed before, never managed or lived in England before and had zero premiership experience? 

Was he dealt with badly - did he get the appropriate help and support?  The transfer window, AK identified four players he wanted to keep us up and got zero, we didn't even bid on one, instead he got Gestede, Bamford and Guerdiola then was told to go and keep us up.

I think more went on than meets the eye, I do believe it was salvageable and I think Steve Gibsons decision making / timing is pretty bad.

Has Steve Gibson served himself as much as hes served the club, is he tinkering too much or is it the opposite? Should he put on some size tens and swing his boot? Should he make uncomfortable / unpopular decisions? Sometimes you have to stand up and say "I know more than you, I know whats right for the club" and then implement it rather than "yes fans, love me fans, three bags full fans" because to me thats how this last 18 months has felt.

I've attatched a heat map of the season so far -  sorry if my heat map is offensive.

I wish I had / knew the answers but after all the drivel I've just typed my main question is this? Is there something not quite right at the club - if so where do you think it is and can it be put right with a simple manager change or is there more needs to be done?

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Too many points to go into there, but Karanka was struggling mentally and emotionally at the end of his reign. I was one of his biggest fans, but he absolutely had to go when he did.

 

Not replacing him is probably Steve Gibson's biggest mistake in his tenure here, but actually removing AK from his post was the best decision for the club and for Karanka.

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I think at the time if we knew we were gonna get relegated anyway, we should have kept Aitor.

 

I think Aitor also needed the break from the Boro. He cared that much he got depressed? (Iirc) and had an unhealthy obsession at the end. I think that was a big factor for him going.

 

In addition, I would have been happy wkth another season in the championship with Karanka, BUT at times that cautious approach was boring to watch. Almost robotic at some points. Granted there were some fantastic games, but I certainly agree that we would have been better to keep him.

 

I thought when he was sacked we'd have someone better than Agnew lined up to make a difference but I don't think it would have made a difference anyway. Regardless of the manager, we just weren't premier league level.

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I'm not pretending to be ITK but get passed on the odd thing now again from someone who knows what's what. Last season there was a complete divide in the dressing room between the Spanish speaking and British lads.

 

Karanka was not even on speaking terms with a number of players and staff in the end. I know Karanka won't have planned it that way but he just lost control in the end.

 

I'm a big Karanka fan and I wish things hadn't fell apart the way they did but he has to take a lot of the blame for the way it ended.

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His capabilities were never in doubt for me, he had his reasons for his approach in the premiership which I don't agree with but understand.

 

Tbh I don't think he will do well anywhere that doesn't get Xmas breaks, it sounds like he was so intensely focused constantly that he twice just cracked.

 

Without going all Steve Gibson 'local' style I think our ultimate mistake was to much Spanish influence, from the playing side and the coaching side. Both ferguson and Redknapp mentioned in their books that once you get more than 3 or 4 from one country you start getting divides forming.

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I'm probably not going to reply to every point you made Randy and not in order so please bear with me here.

 

Firstly, the stats you've shown are a trifle misleading.  Jack Charlton had one season in the Second Division and the rest was in the First Division.  McClaren only ever managed us in the Premier League.  Robson had 5 out of 7 seasons in the Premier League.  Rioch only had the one season in the First Division but was managing a club that had essentially been liquidated and took them to two successive promotions.  On top of that, Robson took us to three cup finals, McClaren won us our first ever major trophy and took us to the UEFA Cup final.  Jack Charlton made us one of the best sides in the country for a short while.  Karanka doesn't come close to any of those things.  Karanka's record in the top flight is just under 15% win ratio (4/27).  Rioch's was higher at about 22% and the rest are considerably higher than him.  Mowbray isn't one of our great managers.

 

If you focus on one great performance and ignore the rest then any manager can be made to look good and you can ask the same question of them, why were they vilified in the end?  Let's use Strachan as an example and the 5-1 win at QPR.  Why oh why with performances like that was he so vilified by the end?  We all know the answer to that.

 

Robson's stint here wasn't similar to Karanka's really with respect.  Robson got us promoted at the first time of asking as Champions.  Karanka took two seasons (two and a half actually) and we went up as runners up.  Robson kept us up in the Premier League, Karanka certainly wasn't in the process of doing that.  When we were relegated under Robson it was at least in part owing to the 3 point deduction.  We also had two cup finals that season.  Under Karanka we'd done what exactly?   A closer comparison might be Lennie Lawrence but even he had a higher win percentage in the Premier League than Karanka and had a League Cup semi as well.

 

Every time I see people waxing lyrical about Karanka I wonder if there's perhaps been some kind of collective amnesia about him?   We'd won 4 games at the point he was sacked.  We were terrible at the point he was sacked.  It's ok talking about great managers but that has absolutely nothing to do with Karanka as he is a million miles away from that status.  Let's also be clear that he didn't fall out with a few people.  He had a series of issues with almost everyone at the club.  I mean bloody hell, he walked out in a strop in the middle of our promotion season!  By the end, the only person he didn't seem to mind was Ramirez (who didn't want to be here) and a few of the imports although he'd even fallen out with some of them as well!

 

Question the Monk appointment all you like but you can do that without making reference to Karanka.  It's independent of that, not a binary thing.  It's not Monk or Karanka.  It's Monk or whoever else was or is available.

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I'm not pretending to be ITK but get passed on the odd thing now again from someone who knows what's what. Last season there was a complete divide in the dressing room between the Spanish speaking and British lads.

 

Karanka was not even on speaking terms with a number of players and staff in the end. I know Karanka won't have planned it that way but he just lost control in the end.

 

I'm a big Karanka fan and I wish things hadn't fell apart the way they did but he has to take a lot of the blame for the way it ended.

 

I think when you see how Downing has spoke out only recently, that's no surprise to anyone at this point mate. Which is why calls to bring him back are just ludicrous as far as I'm concerned. People thought his position was untenable in March and now, because over the past 5 years he's delivered the most success, he's who everyone thinks they can turn to to solve it all.

 

Except if he came in, he wouldn't start with a blank slate. He'd start where he left off with a whole host of players who are still here. Even if everyone agreed to forget about last season, all it would take is one or two bad results and people would start pointing the finger. It would be an absolute waste of time.

 

By all means, if people want someone like Karanka to come in, great. But not the man himself. That period of our club is over with. Whether Monk was the wrong choice or not, keeping Aitor in a job would not have been the right one. And remember, as some of you perhaps will, I was one of those who defended him to the end.

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I'm probably not going to reply to every point you made Randy and not in order so please bear with me here.

 

Firstly, the stats you've shown are a trifle misleading.  Jack Charlton had one season in the Second Division and the rest was in the First Division.  McClaren only ever managed us in the Premier League.  Robson had 5 out of 7 seasons in the Premier League.  Rioch only had the one season in the First Division but was managing a club that had essentially been liquidated and took them to two successive promotions.  On top of that, Robson took us to three cup finals, McClaren won us our first ever major trophy and took us to the UEFA Cup final.  Jack Charlton made us one of the best sides in the country for a short while.  Karanka doesn't come close to any of those things.  Karanka's record in the top flight is just under 15% win ratio (4/27).  Rioch's was higher at about 22% and the rest are considerably higher than him.  Mowbray isn't one of our great managers.

 

If you focus on one great performance and ignore the rest then any manager can be made to look good and you can ask the same question of them, why were they vilified in the end?  Let's use Strachan as an example and the 5-1 win at QPR.  Why oh why with performances like that was he so vilified by the end?  We all know the answer to that.

 

Robson's stint here wasn't similar to Karanka's really with respect.  Robson got us promoted at the first time of asking as Champions.  Karanka took two seasons (two and a half actually) and we went up as runners up.  Robson kept us up in the Premier League, Karanka certainly wasn't in the process of doing that.  When we were relegated under Robson it was at least in part owing to the 3 point deduction.  We also had two cup finals that season.  Under Karanka we'd done what exactly?   A closer comparison might be Lennie Lawrence but even he had a higher win percentage in the Premier League than Karanka and had a League Cup semi as well.

 

Every time I see people waxing lyrical about Karanka I wonder if there's perhaps been some kind of collective amnesia about him?   We'd won 4 games at the point he was sacked.  We were terrible at the point he was sacked.  It's ok talking about great managers but that has absolutely nothing to do with Karanka as he is a million miles away from that status.  Let's also be clear that he didn't fall out with a few people.  He had a series of issues with almost everyone at the club.  I mean bloody hell, he walked out in a strop in the middle of our promotion season!  By the end, the only person he didn't seem to mind was Ramirez (who didn't want to be here) and a few of the imports although he'd even fallen out with some of them as well!

 

Question the Monk appointment all you like but you can do that without making reference to Karanka.  It's independent of that, not a binary thing.  It's not Monk or Karanka.  It's Monk or whoever else was or is available.

 

Bravo...... this hits every single nail on the head.

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I'm probably not going to reply to every point you made Randy and not in order so please bear with me here.

 

Firstly, the stats you've shown are a trifle misleading.  Jack Charlton had one season in the Second Division and the rest was in the First Division.  McClaren only ever managed us in the Premier League.  Robson had 5 out of 7 seasons in the Premier League.  Rioch only had the one season in the First Division but was managing a club that had essentially been liquidated and took them to two successive promotions.  On top of that, Robson took us to three cup finals, McClaren won us our first ever major trophy and took us to the UEFA Cup final.  Jack Charlton made us one of the best sides in the country for a short while.  Karanka doesn't come close to any of those things.  Karanka's record in the top flight is just under 15% win ratio (4/27).  Rioch's was higher at about 22% and the rest are considerably higher than him.  Mowbray isn't one of our great managers.

 

If you focus on one great performance and ignore the rest then any manager can be made to look good and you can ask the same question of them, why were they vilified in the end?  Let's use Strachan as an example and the 5-1 win at QPR.  Why oh why with performances like that was he so vilified by the end?  We all know the answer to that.

 

Robson's stint here wasn't similar to Karanka's really with respect.  Robson got us promoted at the first time of asking as Champions.  Karanka took two seasons (two and a half actually) and we went up as runners up.  Robson kept us up in the Premier League, Karanka certainly wasn't in the process of doing that.  When we were relegated under Robson it was at least in part owing to the 3 point deduction.  We also had two cup finals that season.  Under Karanka we'd done what exactly?   A closer comparison might be Lennie Lawrence but even he had a higher win percentage in the Premier League than Karanka and had a League Cup semi as well.

 

Every time I see people waxing lyrical about Karanka I wonder if there's perhaps been some kind of collective amnesia about him?   We'd won 4 games at the point he was sacked.  We were terrible at the point he was sacked.  It's ok talking about great managers but that has absolutely nothing to do with Karanka as he is a million miles away from that status.  Let's also be clear that he didn't fall out with a few people.  He had a series of issues with almost everyone at the club.  I mean bloody hell, he walked out in a strop in the middle of our promotion season!  By the end, the only person he didn't seem to mind was Ramirez (who didn't want to be here) and a few of the imports although he'd even fallen out with some of them as well!

 

Question the Monk appointment all you like but you can do that without making reference to Karanka.  It's independent of that, not a binary thing.  It's not Monk or Karanka.  It's Monk or whoever else was or is available.

 

To be honest I was using the figures to point out why I am confused by Steve Gibsons decision making, a few people on here have voiced opinions on Karanka and i for one certainly think we were in much better hands before his melt down. I made quite a few points about Steve Gibson but its the points about Karanka (probably because most of this forum wanted him out anyway) that seem to be the focus of replies. I picked up the flow from other threads where people are talking new manager, whos fault etc. so I just put together a load of questions on our past year which are floating around in my mind.

I'm not advocating AK coming back, I'm not advocating sacking monk but I do have doubts about Steve  Gibsons decision making and I know people on here are closer to the club than me and might add their bit.

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I'm probably not going to reply to every point you made Randy and not in order so please bear with me here.

 

Firstly, the stats you've shown are a trifle misleading.  Jack Charlton had one season in the Second Division and the rest was in the First Division.  McClaren only ever managed us in the Premier League.  Robson had 5 out of 7 seasons in the Premier League.  Rioch only had the one season in the First Division but was managing a club that had essentially been liquidated and took them to two successive promotions.  On top of that, Robson took us to three cup finals, McClaren won us our first ever major trophy and took us to the UEFA Cup final.  Jack Charlton made us one of the best sides in the country for a short while.  Karanka doesn't come close to any of those things.  Karanka's record in the top flight is just under 15% win ratio (4/27).  Rioch's was higher at about 22% and the rest are considerably higher than him.  Mowbray isn't one of our great managers.

 

If you focus on one great performance and ignore the rest then any manager can be made to look good and you can ask the same question of them, why were they vilified in the end?  Let's use Strachan as an example and the 5-1 win at QPR.  Why oh why with performances like that was he so vilified by the end?  We all know the answer to that.

 

Robson's stint here wasn't similar to Karanka's really with respect.  Robson got us promoted at the first time of asking as Champions.  Karanka took two seasons (two and a half actually) and we went up as runners up.  Robson kept us up in the Premier League, Karanka certainly wasn't in the process of doing that.  When we were relegated under Robson it was at least in part owing to the 3 point deduction.  We also had two cup finals that season.  Under Karanka we'd done what exactly?   A closer comparison might be Lennie Lawrence but even he had a higher win percentage in the Premier League than Karanka and had a League Cup semi as well.

 

Every time I see people waxing lyrical about Karanka I wonder if there's perhaps been some kind of collective amnesia about him?   We'd won 4 games at the point he was sacked.  We were terrible at the point he was sacked.  It's ok talking about great managers but that has absolutely nothing to do with Karanka as he is a million miles away from that status.  Let's also be clear that he didn't fall out with a few people.  He had a series of issues with almost everyone at the club.  I mean bloody hell, he walked out in a strop in the middle of our promotion season!  By the end, the only person he didn't seem to mind was Ramirez (who didn't want to be here) and a few of the imports although he'd even fallen out with some of them as well!

 

Question the Monk appointment all you like but you can do that without making reference to Karanka.  It's independent of that, not a binary thing.  It's not Monk or Karanka.  It's Monk or whoever else was or is available.

Absolutely spot on.

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Karanka did well in patches. He cut his teeth at Boro and believe it or not i think he'll do well at another club given the right conditions, but his position was and still is untenable at this club whilst his legacy still lingers. Turns out Monk was the wrong choice but as CT states the two are independent of each other.

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Karanka did well in patches. He cut his teeth at Boro and believe it or not i think he'll do well at another club given the right conditions, but his position was and still is untenable at this club whilst his legacy still lingers. Turns out Monk was the wrong choice but as CT states the two are independent of each other.

 

I know I have said a few times I'd take him back but that, for me at least, is more a way of showing just how much I don't believe in the current regime and how much better it can be in this league.

 

I agree with you on this. I think once he's had chance to properly look back at his time here he is easily intelligent enough to learn and come back to management improved from when he left. It is not the time for him to join us, there are too many of last years squad still here and the bad times of his tenure are still fresh in the memory.

 

One thing I can't get out of my head recently is the question of what if we had been promoted in the playoff year? The football we played that year was genuinely entertaining whilst still being solid at the back. We played solid but attractive football and had the best groups of lads I can remember in my time following Boro (attitude, work ethic, general vibe around the team, obviously there have been more talented groups). Something changed the summer following the playoff loss, Karanka seemed to become detached from the fans where he was once very close, the players seemed a lot more distant and just everything was a little less enjoyable even though we got promoted.

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I agree Will, I think part of the reason for the difference between the playoff season and the promotion season was expectation and pressure.

Going into 2014/15 season there wasn't much of an expectation to get promoted, so even being in the playoffs after 5 years of disappointment brought the feel good factor back to Boro and it showed within the team, Karanka and the fans.

The year after we were suddenly joint favourites for promotion and the expectation levels from the fans was higher, and thus there was more pressure from the fans. I think the pressure got the better of AK at times and this culminated in his strop and walk out before Charlton.

 

As already covered, he did great things at Boro and brought the fans back, but I think his sacking was the right decision at the time, and nor is it the time for him to return.

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My post wasn't a "how great was Karanka" or "bring back Karanka" or even "sack Monk" I was just watching some football highlights, the team I watched batter Brighton away and looked at what and where we are now and I just asked a lot of questions about this past year which were floating around in my head - also prompted by different debates on here.

The stats and the heat map was just my attempt to cover the bases - I think its pretty well know now I'm not a fan of stats - I just put them up for those who are.

I believe theres something not quite right at the club and I don't think its just a Monk thing, he needs time to make this team his own.

I also think theres comments and decisions that Gibson has made this year and I don't think they've helped the club.

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