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Downsouth

MFC current situation appraisal?

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Just read Anthony Vickers latest piece on the current situation proposing the MFC hierarchy view of things.

Strange that there are no direct quotes from the club but will AV be getting approval from the MFC board before printing this article?

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/middlesbrough-chiefs-expected-patchy-season-17051912

 

What do you think about this and are the top brass just kidding themselves if this article is reflective on their current observations and opinions?

 

 

 

 

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If any of that is true then I'm crapping myself even more than I was before. Effectively suggesting that the club are expecting failure just to let the local new guy bed in to the job? This team finished 7th with a few extras who imo were bit part players and now we're told "oh it's ok the top brass expected this" 

I mean deary me where's our ambition gone? How bad of a situation is our club in. All great holding our nerve but the entire set up behind the scenes is Mickey mouse right now. 

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What of this is really new information? This entirely fits in with my expectations of this season based on how the summer has gone. Speaking to managers of higher calibre but being unable to offer them a good budget to work with fits the bill exactly. It's not the position the club wants to be in ultimately but it has to be and any manager coming in had to work with that. If better managers didn't want that, fair enough, I don't particularly blame them. Neither can the club for putting us in the position where rookies are essentially all we can offer a job to.

Where's our ambition gone? The short-term ambition of spend to reach the top has hopefully gone for good, it's proven that this club under this hierarchy can't do it properly. Hopefully the longer term process and Gibson's ability to give time to pretty much any manager will allow for the man in charge of the team to find his feet and build over time. Things need to improve but they don't need to improve in a couple of weeks or a month, they need to improve and show fruition over the course of the season without us ending in the bottom 3. I still fully believe right now that we will avoid relegation with Woodgate in charge, I don't really see the danger yet. January is going to be a big determinant though, we may well lose more of our big players without really replacing them. See how we go until then.

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 If Boro were to finish mid-table but show concrete signs of progress then that would be seen as acceptable.

That doesn’t look close to happening though. What will the bosses be like when we are hovering just above the relegation zone with very little progress on the pitch come Christmas? Will they close their eyes, admit that Woodgate hasn’t been backed correctly and make funds available or conclude that he isn’t ready yet and the job was too big for him. 

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Posted (edited)

Promotion in this division has generally happened when we've been one of the big spenders in the league. I'm not saying saying this boom/ bust philosophy should continue because it's not sustainable but if the plan is to survive by selling our best players and recruit from the lower divisions then eventually we'll end up in league 1. 

We are simply not good enough at recruiting players to find the hidden gems from the lower leagues. If we want to go down that route then I think we need to revamp the club behind the scenes, employ some people who know how to run a football club properly otherwise we'll end up like Crewe used to be (basically good at developing young players but a permanent lower league club). 

Edited by Duvel

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Question: Do people think that Gibson will get the spotlight on him if we do get relegated? And I mean the public spotlight. Enough fans at this club seem to recognise he's made mistakes but it doesn't change the way we operate. If we go down, I'd say that the most significant blame would land on Gibson's shoulders and it would surely raise a few questions from even the more die-hard. Do we think the media, local and national, will emphasise that? Or will it all be about Woodgate?

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What were people expecting from the worst squad we've had since AK took over and the least experienced manager we've ever had in... ever. Let's be honest, Gibson threw the towel in when we appointed Woodgate over Jokanovic. 

I'd love to stick with 'the project' but just don't see any evidence of one. I'm watching the same team and lack of game-plan as last year, except we've moved two stationary bodies from CDM to the wings. 

We'll probably have a 'proper football man' in by January to keep us in this league, or in other words a Poundland Pulis. The last few good players will go in the Summer and be replaced with more 'promising youth' from League 1/2.

For me, only way out of this is outside investment... Would love to have blind faith in Woodgate but after 11 games I just see nothing. If anything we're getting worse. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

Question: Do people think that Gibson will get the spotlight on him if we do get relegated? And I mean the public spotlight. Enough fans at this club seem to recognise he's made mistakes but it doesn't change the way we operate. If we go down, I'd say that the most significant blame would land on Gibson's shoulders and it would surely raise a few questions from even the more die-hard. Do we think the media, local and national, will emphasise that? Or will it all be about Woodgate?

I don't think Gibson would still get any great media negativity against him if this happened. I think they would allude to Woodgate being inexperienced, this season being a transition of playing styles which the squad wasn't suited for, and previous managers overspending and not producing.

I do think though that negativity towards him internally will increase, with even Die Hard followers struggling to find the positives.

Normally when 'bigger' clubs drop from the Premier League to lower leagues at quick succession, it's more often than not a full club issue with disruption/poor behind the scenes being a big factor - I expect more of this to come out if this was to happen this season.  

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34 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

Question: Do people think that Gibson will get the spotlight on him if we do get relegated? And I mean the public spotlight. Enough fans at this club seem to recognise he's made mistakes but it doesn't change the way we operate. If we go down, I'd say that the most significant blame would land on Gibson's shoulders and it would surely raise a few questions from even the more die-hard. Do we think the media, local and national, will emphasise that? Or will it all be about Woodgate?

I think most neutrals still see Gibson as 'the best chairman in football' so I think his stock won't drop a great deal in the world of football. He'll be seen as the man who gives young managers a chance and someone who is good for English football, none of them will care that we are a third division club and why should they. 

Locally the Gazette will keep the PR machine churning, it'll be a new narrative about how the club needed to take a step back before moving forwards again. We'll probably be reminded that Leicester were in league 1 a few years before winning the Premier league title. 

The only criticism will come from the fans and even that will only be online, the disgruntled people will just stay away from the ground. 

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"We'll probably be reminded that Leicester were in league 1 a few years before winning the Premier league title"

Having said that Duvel, there's also Wolves, Southampton, Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Norwich who've all come from League One and then through the Championship in fairly quick succession. I realise it can work the other way too, and you get stuck in League One. 

I've wondered for a while now whether a drop in to League One would allow us to properly implement the change in playing style.  Thus being beneficial in the long run.

Just to be clear,  I'm not advocating that getting relegated is desirable.  Just that it may not end up being a disaster.

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On 10/9/2019 at 10:50 AM, Downsouth said:

Just read Anthony Vickers latest piece on the current situation proposing the MFC hierarchy view of things.

Strange that there are no direct quotes from the club but will AV be getting approval from the MFC board before printing this article?

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/middlesbrough-chiefs-expected-patchy-season-17051912

 

What do you think about this and are the top brass just kidding themselves if this article is reflective on their current observations and opinions?

 

 

 

 

Well having read the article, its hard to argue against the need for the club to change its operating model to fit the current financial constraints.

That said, I still find it hard to believe they couldn't find anyone better than Woodgate. It needn't have been a choice between him and someone like Jokanovic or Hughton. Why not have looked overseas again, if need be?

When finances are tight, it helps massively to have an experienced manager, who know how to extract the maximum from what they have available. Its almost cruel to throw a rookie into this situation.

You can argue the reason Robson succeeded was because he was a natural leader and hugely respected already. McLaren spent years serving under Alex Ferguson. Karanka - who knows? But in any case they all had better finances to work with.

And the last bit about the team not being as bad as the table suggests, tells me they don't need to go to Specsavers...they need a hospital trip for new (functioning) eyes.

If they are willing to give Woody time to find his feet and build a team to his style, thats fair enough. I just hope they've also budgeted for playing League 1 football next season.

Edited by AnglianRed
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I don’t read anything new, that most fans didn’t already know. It is widely known the club is in free fall, or if one likes the new buzz word, transition, so it would not be an appealing position to many a manager. Once again, it was known by fans who had already anticipated Woody promotion. Transition is a simple term for, it’s not going very well and we don’t know why, but hang in there. I have yet to talk with a fan who doEs not believe mid table a successful achievement, but would prefer to see some effort made by players. 



 

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I don't see anything unexpected in that article, though speaking as a journalist myself, the parroting of club propaganda is quite depressing. Nothing like objective journalism - I can imagine the email trail between Vickers and the club hierarchy: "Hey mate, I took out that sentence you weren't keen on. Can we publish this now, please? We're going to print in an hour, and if you can't approve this, we'll have to fill the space with that emergency backup article about Woody's haircuts over the years."

 

What Vickers should have dived into was the recurring nature of this situation. Mogga inherited an empty cupboard, and so did Aitor. Here we are again for the third time in a decade, so this can't simply be dismissed as bad luck or unfortunate circumstances. Its not the hand we've been dealt, it's the hand we've dealt ourselves. And yet culpability seems to rest exclusively with the managers, because they're the public face of our failure.

 

To be honest, even if we appointed the next Aitor tomorrow and got promoted next season, it would only bring temporary relief. By 2023, we'd all be sat here again discussing how we'd wasted our parachute payments and why we need to rely on the academy more than ever. The cycle will repeat until other people start making the key decisions.

 

Assuming Gibson is staying for a while, he desperately needs a new team behind him, with a proper vision and a sense of long-term planning. Woodgate isn't a long-term plan - he's just a cheap fall guy. And sadly, I don't think Gibson can or will change, so the feast and famine of recent seasons will probably continue.

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:26 AM, Downsouth said:

Good to see you posting again Marcus, been a long time mate!

Hey DS!

Nice to be back - I like what they've done with the forum since I was last here.

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