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Strachan blunder reveals transfer targets

Gordon Strachan has often made headlines with his pithy quotes (Q: There goes your unbeaten run. Can you handle it? A: No. I'm just going to crumble like a wreck. I'll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge. Yeah, I think I can handle it.") but on his first day as Middlesbrough boss it was what he didn't say that created more interest.
Strachan was pictured holding a piece of paper that looked a lot like his ideal Middlesbrough team sheet.
And bad news for anyone not named Brad Jones, David Wheater, Sean St Ledger or Adam Johnson - nine of the 13 names on the list were prospective signings.
Among Strachan's targets are Arsenal wunder-kind Jack Wilshere, Manchester United's 15-minutes-of-fame merchant Federico Macheda and, inevitably, Kevin Phillips. Also named were Kyle Naughton, Andy Griffin, Marc Albrighton, Isaiah Osbourne, Hayden Mullins and Chris Iwelumo.
While it displays a bit of ambition, the list will hardly inspire confidence in the 24 Boro squad members who now, apparently, find themselves surplus to requirements.
Strachan's blunder was the kind of thing normally associated with major public figures and government ministers - or Nick Faldo, who pretended his list of Ryder Cup pairings was a lunch list.
For example, in April Bob Quick, Britain's most senior anti-terror policeman, resigned after flashing notes headed 'SECRET' that detailed a raid on an alleged terrorist cell in North-West London.
And last year Housing Minister Caroline Flint was snapped with briefing notes explaining just how deep in the brown stuff the UK property market was: "We can't know how bad it will get." Of course you can't, you're only the government.
It may go some way to explaining Strachan's rather odd remark: "If you have been Celtic manager for four years you can be Prime Minister of Great Britain."
After yesterday's Westminster-worthy gaffe, he is well on the way.

Comments

  • I wonder.

    Very stupid or very sly?
  • Heard the Boro CEO on the radio last night. Gave very candid interview regarding the hiring of Strachan.
    He'd asked Strachan a while back if he would consider coming back into football. Strachan said yes if the right job came along.
    A few months later he saw Strachan again and asked if he'd be interested in the Boro job, the wee man said no as Boro had a manager in place. The charming Boro man said something along the lines of "Well let me see what I can do about that".
    Of course this sort of thing goes on in business and football all the time but there was no need for it to be aired so publicly on a National Radio station. I thought the bloke came across as an arrogant sod. He was almost laughing as he related the course of events.
    Also he didn't see any problem in making Southgate do the post match PC of his last match and then tell him he was sacked an hour later.
    I do not particularly like the ugly, penalty missing Palace tosser Southgate but I do not think he deserved to be treated like he was.
  • interesting article in the Times this Sunday.

    If the debt figures are true can't see all those transfers coming off.


    Why Middlesbrough got rid of Gareth Southgate

    Late on Tuesday night,Gareth Southgate was having a drink after his young side’s 2-0 victory against Derby County. The result had left Middlesbrough in fourth place, one point behind the leaders. It ended a run of three home defeats and reminded his players that games at the Riverside could be fun.

    As Southgate chatted with friends, chairman Steve Gibson had just dispatched his chief executive Keith Lamb to ask him to come to the boardroom. “Gareth,” said Lamb, “could you pop in and see the chairman?” “Sure,” replied the manager, “I was on my way anyway.” A good display, one point off the top, he went to see the chairman without any sense of what was to follow.

    The sacking was delivered and received with civility, as Southgate tried not to let his sense of shock express itself as weakness. It wasn’t difficult because there was no resentment and no sense of having failed. He thanked Gibson for the opportunity and said he wished nothing but good for the club. How he had conducted himself through eight years at Middlesbrough was how he dealt with things at the death.

    Cheered perhaps by his ex-manager’s calmness, Gibson said he thought in a few days Southgate would wake up and feel relieved it was all over.

    There were questions the departing manager could have asked, but what was the point. Still, why had he not been told immediately after the game, instead of doing a press conference to talk about the respite that came with a victory? For a few days at least, he joked, he would still be in a job. That was being said in one room while Gibson waited in another to tell him he had no job.

    Southgate could also have asked the most loved chairman in football how it made sense to have stood by him after the team were relegated last season and desert him now? Was fourth place, one point off the lead, not evidence that Boro had every chance of making a quick return to the Premier League?

    The chairman would have said he wasn’t convinced by the team’s performances. But how had he felt four games into the season; three wins, one draw, not one goal conceded and top of the table? Then, before the fifth game, the club sold its most important defender, Robert Huth, to Stoke City, making another downpayment against the financial sins of the past when Middlesbrough were Leeds United-On-Tees. With Huth went the team’s defensive record.

    They didn’t speak about the £85m debt that cripples Boro and how Southgate helped to bring some order to the financial chaos. So the chairman didn’t thank his manager for delivering £12m profit to the club from three-and-a-half years of trading in the world’s most expensive transfer market.

    Neither did he mention the £7m saving on the wage bill last season or the painstaking way in which the manager turned an ageing team into one with an average age of 22. How could you talk about all these things and then sack the guy who achieved them?

    When Gibson helped to save Middlesbrough from financial ruin in 1986 and eight years later took control of the club, he became a local hero — the boy from the working-class Park End who did well in business and was prepared to back his home-town team. Under Gibson’s leadership, the club built a fine stadium and an excellent training facility.

    So eager was Gibson to turn Middlesbrough into a top club and so prepared were the banks to fund the dream that the owner and the club were carried away. A few months after his goal helped Juventus beat Ajax in the Champions League final, Fabrizio Ravanelli was scoring for Boro.

    Ravanelli-inspired Boro were relegated but two cup final appearances cushioned the fall. Stars came because they were well paid and if the most loved was Juninho, there was also Alen Boksic, said to earn a weekly £63,000 net, who developed mysterious viruses on the day before tough away games. He never quite bought into the Boro dream.

    The celebrity names created an illusion that Boro were progressing. They weren’t. Boro couldn’t sustain the flow of Ravanellis, Emersons and Juninhos because they couldn’t afford it. Gibson, who himself had never taken a salary out of the club, was getting in over his head. Perhaps that was part of the reason he chose his retiring club captain Southgate to take over after Steve McClaren left.

    Though inexperienced, Southgate compensated with intelligence, an ability to learn quickly and an extraordinary work ethic. Perhaps damagingly for him, he wasn’t prepared to deal in the fantasy that caused the club to run up huge debt. “There had to be serious financial constraints and I accepted those. It would have been irresponsible to do anything else.”

    His inexperience hurt him in the transfer market. When the strikers Mark Viduka and Ayegbeni Yakubu left in the summer of 2007, Southgate met Tottenham’s Mido and was impressed by a striker who said all of the right things and was given a contract that he didn’t have the desire to earn. The £6m spent on Mido was the worst bit of business the young manager would do.

    When the next striker was bought, it was Gibson and Lamb who identified Afonso Alves as the man who would get the goals to keep Boro in the Premier League. Southgate didn’t believe in Alves but allowed himself to be persuaded. This was a £12m mistake. The irony is that through three years of management, Southgate’s hardness wasn’t in question. He cleared the dressing room of senior players on big salaries, and when he detected disloyalty from his first-team coach Steve Round, the young coach was on his way.

    But the new Boro, with a team whose coat was cut to suit its cloth, remained unloved by a section of fans. Southgate was blamed. After the home defeat by Leicester last month some booed him. Though he didn’t like it, neither was he bothered by it.

    Upset by the booing, unimpressed by the performance, Gibson decided to replace his manager. A small club such as Boro couldn’t afford to have a splintered fan base, he would say later.

    What is equally certain is that like many football chairmen, Gibson knows that the heat turned on the manager soon seeps into the boardroom. And this local hero doesn’t care for being local villain. Three days after the loss to Leicester, Boro’s chief executive met Gordon Strachan to talk about becoming the new manager.

    That was on the eve of the game at Reading and, perhaps embarrassingly for Gibson and Lamb, Middlesbrough won comfortably. But the die was cast. Strachan had Southgate’s job. Luckily for Gibson, Boro lost their penultimate game under Southgate, a bad 1-0 defeat at home to Watford. Had Boro won that game, Gibson would have become the first chairman to sack a manager whose team were top.

    On Wednesday, Southgate drove to the training ground to say his goodbyes. He dropped into Lamb’s office. Southgate said he felt ready to get back into management. The chief executive sheepishly admitted the club had approached Strachan almost three weeks before. He told Southgate this so he wouldn’t hear it from anyone else first.

    Southgate momentarily considered the possibility of smacking Lamb but settled for clearing up one point. “Keith,” he said, “you know the chairman talked about how in a few days I would feel relieved it was over? I’ve thought about that and I wonder if, after eight years, you guys know me at all?”
  • Chirpy Red chirped : ''I do not particularly like the ugly, penalty missing Palace tosser...''

    Stop beating about the bush, Chirpy, and tell us what you really think of him!
  • Thats a sad inditement of the way football clubs seem to be run. I feel genuinely sad for Southgate, he seems like a genuine bloke and a gentleman. I hope he makes a swift return and does well.
  • The chief executive sheepishly admitted the club had approached Strachan almost three weeks before. He told Southgate this so he wouldn’t hear it from anyone else first.
    ........

    I'm pretty sure Southgate could have worked this out for himself.

    But what goes around comes around...
  • Interestingly the first thing that I did when starting at Charlton in CM2010 was to get Wilshere and Macheda in on loan.

    Great minds, Gordy.
  • [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]interesting article in the Times this Sunday.

    If the debt figures are true can't see all those transfers coming off.


    Why Middlesbrough got rid of Gareth Southgate

    Late on Tuesday night,Gareth Southgate was having a drink after his young side’s 2-0 victory against Derby County. The result had left Middlesbrough in fourth place, one point behind the leaders. It ended a run of three home defeats and reminded his players that games at the Riverside could be fun.

    As Southgate chatted with friends, chairman Steve Gibson had just dispatched his chief executive Keith Lamb to ask him to come to the boardroom. “Gareth,” said Lamb, “could you pop in and see the chairman?” “Sure,” replied the manager, “I was on my way anyway.” A good display, one point off the top, he went to see the chairman without any sense of what was to follow.

    The sacking was delivered and received with civility, as Southgate tried not to let his sense of shock express itself as weakness. It wasn’t difficult because there was no resentment and no sense of having failed. He thanked Gibson for the opportunity and said he wished nothing but good for the club. How he had conducted himself through eight years at Middlesbrough was how he dealt with things at the death.

    Cheered perhaps by his ex-manager’s calmness, Gibson said he thought in a few days Southgate would wake up and feel relieved it was all over.

    There were questions the departing manager could have asked, but what was the point. Still, why had he not been told immediately after the game, instead of doing a press conference to talk about the respite that came with a victory? For a few days at least, he joked, he would still be in a job. That was being said in one room while Gibson waited in another to tell him he had no job.

    Southgate could also have asked the most loved chairman in football how it made sense to have stood by him after the team were relegated last season and desert him now? Was fourth place, one point off the lead, not evidence that Boro had every chance of making a quick return to the Premier League?

    The chairman would have said he wasn’t convinced by the team’s performances. But how had he felt four games into the season; three wins, one draw, not one goal conceded and top of the table? Then, before the fifth game, the club sold its most important defender, Robert Huth, to Stoke City, making another downpayment against the financial sins of the past when Middlesbrough were Leeds United-On-Tees. With Huth went the team’s defensive record.

    [span]They didn’t speak about the £85m debt that cripples Boro[/span]and how Southgate helped to bring some order to the financial chaos. So the chairman didn’t thank his manager for delivering £12m profit to the club from three-and-a-half years of trading in the world’s most expensive transfer market.

    Neither did he mention the £7m saving on the wage bill last season or the painstaking way in which the manager turned an ageing team into one with an average age of 22. How could you talk about all these things and then sack the guy who achieved them?

    When Gibson helped to save Middlesbrough from financial ruin in 1986 and eight years later took control of the club, he became a local hero — the boy from the working-class Park End who did well in business and was prepared to back his home-town team. Under Gibson’s leadership, the club built a fine stadium and an excellent training facility.

    So eager was Gibson to turn Middlesbrough into a top club and so prepared were the banks to fund the dream that the owner and the club were carried away. A few months after his goal helped Juventus beat Ajax in the Champions League final, Fabrizio Ravanelli was scoring for Boro.

    Ravanelli-inspired Boro were relegated but two cup final appearances cushioned the fall. Stars came because they were well paid and if the most loved was Juninho, there was also Alen Boksic, said to earn a weekly £63,000 net, who developed mysterious viruses on the day before tough away games. He never quite bought into the Boro dream.

    The celebrity names created an illusion that Boro were progressing. They weren’t. Boro couldn’t sustain the flow of Ravanellis, Emersons and Juninhos because they couldn’t afford it. Gibson, who himself had never taken a salary out of the club, was getting in over his head. Perhaps that was part of the reason he chose his retiring club captain Southgate to take over after Steve McClaren left.

    Though inexperienced, Southgate compensated with intelligence, an ability to learn quickly and an extraordinary work ethic. Perhaps damagingly for him, he wasn’t prepared to deal in the fantasy that caused the club to run up huge debt. “There had to be serious financial constraints and I accepted those. It would have been irresponsible to do anything else.”

    His inexperience hurt him in the transfer market. When the strikers Mark Viduka and Ayegbeni Yakubu left in the summer of 2007, Southgate met Tottenham’s Mido and was impressed by a striker who said all of the right things and was given a contract that he didn’t have the desire to earn. The £6m spent on Mido was the worst bit of business the young manager would do.

    When the next striker was bought, it was Gibson and Lamb who identified Afonso Alves as the man who would get the goals to keep Boro in the Premier League. Southgate didn’t believe in Alves but allowed himself to be persuaded. This was a £12m mistake. The irony is that through three years of management, Southgate’s hardness wasn’t in question. He cleared the dressing room of senior players on big salaries, and when he detected disloyalty from his first-team coach Steve Round, the young coach was on his way.

    But the new Boro, with a team whose coat was cut to suit its cloth, remained unloved by a section of fans. Southgate was blamed. After the home defeat by Leicester last month some booed him. Though he didn’t like it, neither was he bothered by it.

    Upset by the booing, unimpressed by the performance, Gibson decided to replace his manager. A small club such as Boro couldn’t afford to have a splintered fan base, he would say later.

    What is equally certain is that like many football chairmen, Gibson knows that the heat turned on the manager soon seeps into the boardroom. And this local hero doesn’t care for being local villain. Three days after the loss to Leicester, Boro’s chief executive met Gordon Strachan to talk about becoming the new manager.

    That was on the eve of the game at Reading and, perhaps embarrassingly for Gibson and Lamb, Middlesbrough won comfortably. But the die was cast. Strachan had Southgate’s job. Luckily for Gibson, Boro lost their penultimate game under Southgate, a bad 1-0 defeat at home to Watford. Had Boro won that game, Gibson would have become the first chairman to sack a manager whose team were top.

    On Wednesday, Southgate drove to the training ground to say his goodbyes. He dropped into Lamb’s office. Southgate said he felt ready to get back into management. The chief executive sheepishly admitted the club had approached Strachan almost three weeks before. He told Southgate this so he wouldn’t hear it from anyone else first.

    Southgate momentarily considered the possibility of smacking Lamb but settled for clearing up one point. “Keith,” he said, “you know the chairman talked about how in a few days I would feel relieved it was over? I’ve thought about that and I wonder if, after eight years, you guys know me at all?”

    Next time just a link will suffice.....
  • edited October 2009
    Still not convinced that Strachan is that good a manager
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  • Next time just a link will suffice.....

    wtf?
  • Am surprised none of our players were on Strachans wish list, expected a Lloyd Sam or Bailey to be on the list! Not that I am complaining
  • edited October 2009
    [cite]Posted By: Chirpy Red[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]interesting article in the Times this Sunday.

    If the debt figures are true can't see all those transfers coming off.

    Oh sod it I'll just make an ironic comment. Can you just quote short ammounts of text?

    Thought it was a miracle Southgate kept them up for a few seasons. But as the same with Coleman if he'd have steadied the ship in the prem, he'd have been sacked there for someone to come along and blow more money then he'd ever had at Boro. It's Gibson's money. Southgate was afforde a chance that he'd not have got elsewhere. The man was very lucky to get that chance and hopefully it'll be positive for his career as a whole.
  • [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]Still not convinced that Strachan is that good a manager

    Glad it's not just me who thinks that!
  • Kept coventry up year on year with no budget and average players. Took Saints from brink of relegation to the cup final and europe. Then won the SPL three years in a row and lost it by a point in last season. Also masterminded wins over ac milan and took Celtic to the knockout phase of Champions League! But not a good manager?
  • [cite]Posted By: cafcdan18[/cite]Kept coventry up year on year with no budget and average players. Took Saints from brink of relegation to the cup final and europe. Then won the SPL three years in a row and lost it by a point in last season. Also masterminded wins over ac milan and took Celtic to the knockout phase of Champions League! But not a good manager?

    I'm with whoever doesn't rate him - personally thik he's pants
  • Gordon Strachan is definitely in the top three managers I'd love to have at Charlton.

    Along with Martin O'Neill and Andrew Mills.
  • I thought they only hired him because they couldn't afford new training gear with a new set of initials?
  • Ok Southgate was ex-palace but I think he was one of the best CH's around...definitely the smartest. Even in the latter stages of his career his performances against us in the FA cup a few years ago were outstanding. I think he has handled this well. Boro are going nowhere anyhow are are always destined to be a yo-yo club. Strachan is the scottish Keegan. He hangs around for a while and then pisses and moans about lack of money and leaves.
  • Strachan will certainly take Boro back up imo and will prbs keep them there. Last season if they had a decent keeper they'd have stayed up, Southgates big mistake was not replacing Schwarzer. Arguably they could have done with a goalscorer as well but don't recall anyone from Hull, Blackburn or even Pompey seriously threatening the goalscoring stakes.
    This does mean however that the three teams to go up from the Champ will probably be the three to have come down!
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Roland Out!