Middlesbrough FC have today announced that manager Gordon Strachan has parted company with the club, a mere 12 months after initially taking the position. A 2-1 defeat at the weekend to new boys Leeds United in front of a sparse Boro crowd appears to have been the final straw for the club as the former Celtic manager leaves by ‘mutual consent’ – the nice way of being told to resign. Many had predicted Strachan and Boro to march on to an easy promotion this season after heavy investment in the team which saw record SPL scorer Kris Boyd join the club, but instead the club currently occupy 20th place in the Championship and a new manager will be tasked with taking Middlesbrough back to the other end of the table.
Tony Mowbray has been installed as the overwhelming favourite at 1/2 on sky bet, followed by Phil Brown (4/1), Alan Curbishley (10/1), Paul Ince (10/1) and Alan Pardew (10/1). It is fair to say that Boro are unlikely to poach a manager from another club unless they are on a short term contract, as even before the club spent big aiming for promotion with Strachan they had quite a lot of debt on their shoulders. That also means that a new manager will probably need to do with the resources currently at the club unless there is a chance to raise funds from selling players that are deemed surplus to requirements – it is fair to say that the Boro job doesn’t look as simple as it did at the start of the season! Still, there are a number of quality players at the club who on their day would walk into any Championship side. Also…Kris Boyd! Kris Boyd! Kris Boyd! They’ll have Kris Boyd!
On the subject of debt, it is probably quite important that Boro realise their promotion ambition this season as failure to do this could leave the club without the revenue they need in order to pay off the gamble they have taken by spending quite a bit in the transfer market, not to mention the players wage’s which are bound to be quite hefty. In this instance it is quite understandable that chairman Steve Gibson has made such a change as being 20th in the club is not only worrying for him, but the club as a whole and Boro fans don’t need to be reminded that their side has already folded once before in the mid 80’s. A repeat of that would be a terrible sight, but also a sign of the modern way of football which dictates that in order to gain big money you’ve got to risk big money that you don’t initially have.
So who do Boro go for? Experience is the most likely candidate – although they did have that with Strachan and it didn’t really pay off. Who do you think will be the new Middlesbrough manager?