Where did it all go wrong?

After relegation from the Premier League last season, we were looking for an instant return from the Championship. Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough were all favourites, unfortunately Middlesbrough were the only club out the trio not to oblige.


We started the season with Gareth Southgate as the manager.

In my opinion Gareth should have left his post in the summer after relegation, we had the worst away record in the clubs history and were the lowest goal scorers in Britain. The hierarchy stuck by Gareth and astonishingly sacked him with the team 3rd in the league. The timing was awful.

Selling Tuncay and Huth indicated that we weren’t serious about wanting to make a automatic return. Selling Adam Johnson in January to Manchester City ended our dream.

When Gordon Strachan, who I am a fan of took over the hot seat, we were one point behind our rivals Newcastle, now with the season over we are an humiliating thirty seven points worse off. From a clubs point of view, I can understand selling to pay off the debts. But to asset strip and bring in inferior players surely weakens your chances.

As an ex striker myself I would love to know who is responsible for signing the strikers, since the days of Hasselbank, Viduka and Yakubu the so called marksmen have been embarrassing; Dong Gook Lee, Michael Rickets, Alves, Celeb Folan, Jason Euell, Miller, Marlon King, Marcus Bent, Dave Kitson, Mido, Alidiere, Emnes – none of these players could score in Amsterdam.

Gareth openly admitted that himself, the chief executive and the chairman made the key decisions, but I said all along, that only one man would carry the can. It’s quite evident in the last couple of years that the Chairman and Chief Executive are bulletproof, they are in total control, it’s a closed shop, that’s why they have probably never looked to seek financial help from an outsider.

Strachan I’m sure will not be as weak as Southgate, and wont be totally controlled, he is his own man experienced and ruthless and recently he has been quoted as saying he deals with the team and the guys above him deal with the money. Under Southgate the Chief Executive was talking about the team and Gareth was talking about accounting, both got their role mixed up.

The main reasons I think we failed as a club this season are:

  • Lack of Finance.
  • We sold all our best players.
  • Got rid of Gareth Southgate at the wrong time.
  • Played players out of position.
  • Too many changes.
  • Gordon Strachan made wholesale changes, instead of gradually.
  • Only two players were hits, out of all the players that arrived permanentley or on loan.
  • Too much interference from above at the start of the season.
  • Too many draws.

Our number one target should be Stoke City’s James Beatie, aged 32, experienced, scores goals and leads line well.

7 Responses to “Where did it all go wrong?”

  1. newyddion says:

    We made poor choices in the transfer market and we paying for it.

  2. bernieslaven says:

    We Have made poor choices for years in the transfer market,Thats what happens when finiancial advisers get involved itn team affairs.

  3. PeterSwallow says:

    “why they have probably never looked to seek financial help from an outsider.”

    Why would anyone want to invest money in Boro? Most investors want a club where high revenue is possible. With Boro out of the prem and poor crowds there is no chance. There is about 10 or 11 clubs in the championship alone that people would want to invest in ahead of Boro.

    “Our number one target should be Stoke City’s James Beatie, aged 32, experienced, scores goals and leads line well.”

    Another striker? We only have 3 central defenders full stop. The full back positions aren’t exactly strong, and we are short all across the midfield. Up front is the last position we should strengthen.

    Finally a main reasons we failed as a club this season that you missed is the fans.

    Newcastle’s fans didn’t abandon them and they could afford to keep their better players. If Boro sold as many season tickets as they did the season before at least one of Huth and Tuncay would have stayed, then the crowds continued to fall as the season went on.

    Poor football cant be blamed as the crowds fell when we were bouncing around the top 4. If the fans had a bit more faith we might have been able to afford McDonald without selling Johnson in Jan.

    The fans will be the reason why we will fail next season as well. Crowds will be signifcantly lower again and thats why we will sell O’Neil or Wheater, or most likely both.

    Not because Lamb is an idiot, not because Boro have no ambition. Its because the fans have no faith

  4. bernieslaven says:

    Peter –

    There is always someone out there wanting to get involved in a football club. Remember Henry Moskovich, what was the attraction with Middlesbrough back then?
    I have said since the season finished Beatie is ideal,Experienced, good track record, strong and good in the air.
    With the departure of Pogi and Riggot and possibly McManus, i agree we have a problem, both the full back positions are up for grabs.
    Regarding fans abandoning the club unlike Newcastle fans.I cant remember many Boro fans dissapering when Rav and Juninhio departed 2 of the clubs high profile figures, We dropped out of the Premier league with a wimper, no fight or desire. Huth Tuncay were certain to follow the departing pack.

    Of course poor football can be blamed for poor crowds.
    Entertainment,Results and big names, you need at least 2 out of 3 to attract modern day fans.
    Adam Johnson was always going to depart, the club had sold every other asset and to turn away £7 million plus would have been ludicrous.

    Regarding the chief executive, his quote of season ticket holders dont matter, dosent help attendances.
    Fans getting letters from the club saying keep the noise down dosent help.

    At the minute the fans have lost trust ,faith and belief in the football club and i am one of them.

    If the club can make a statement by signing some decent players during the break, start the season fireing on all cylinders and getting positive results, im sure fans will return.

  5. ccole says:

    Did Mr Lamb really say that “season ticket holders don’t matter”?… I would be very interested to see a link to any interview that quotes him saying that.

    I thought that was a miss quote first heard on the legends by a miss informed caller, than taken as gospel since. Just like he never actually said “the town will get a club it deserves”.

  6. PeterSwallow says:

    “Of course poor football can be blamed for poor crowds”

    That wasnt my point, what I was trying to say was that when the crowds were dropping we were playing reasonably well and were in the top 4. The crowds had already dropped when we started playing poor football.

    Our attendances fell from 23,541 for the first Sheff Utd game to 18,577 for the Leicester game. We had only lost 2 games in the league at that point out of 9 games, and it was only our 5th home game.

    The last home game we had lost 5-0 to west brom, but at that point that could be seen as a bad day we didnt have the hindsight to see that was going to be the norm for the season, and the crowd was 22,725 for that game.

    A loss of 4,000 fans for one bad result. Come Bernie you cant defend that. That is pathetic by the fans, no wonder the club wont risk money when the fans are so fickle.

  7. Al Glasgow says:

    It went wrong because Gareth Southgate and the moron that is Keith Lamb never read yoyur article in the Gazette on August 13th 2009 ” even an alien from outer space could spot our problem” you said our currnet strkiers “would get thrown around like rag dolls, we would not break down half the teams we play, we wouldn’t beat teams we dominated, and we wouldn’t go up unless we got a big strong front man to batter defences” it never happened

    we let our best players go to cut the costs, rather than take the hit for a year like the Geordies did!!

    got rid of Southgate at the wrong time!! letting him do the press conference was embarrassing sacking him after the win with us 1 point of the Geordies was baffling, if he had to go it should of been close season

    and I’m not convinced Strachan is the man for the job either….too many changes too quick for my liking

    Should of gone for Mowbray at the end of the Season we were relegated for my money!!

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