Simplicity is best.

There is an old saying, ” football is a simple game, played by simple people, complicated by fools. ”
Finally we as a football team went back to basics and at home we played 2 up top which for me was long overdue.
All season I have been moaning and groaning about our negative approach and negative line up at The Riverside.
One up front, a midfield that were bumping into each other because they were to similar and a defence that had more holes than a sieve. How it has taken us so long to address this I will never know. A blind man could have spotted where the frailties lay, but for some obscure reason we continued to ignore them.
What Friday nights line up and formation told me was, that despite Mark Venus being Tony Mowbrays loyal number two for many years, he was not in agreeance with formation and clientele. Six changes in total and dropping the regulars Whithead, Friend and Richardson says it all on the night.
What a terrific and all round team performance it was, we looked refreshed, revitalised and confident, from the off we looked like a team that meant business and that had been injected with adrenaline.

So why the dramatic change?
Several factors, adopting a more attacking formation, players being content within themselves, over 20,000 turning up and vocally getting behind the side, first team players knowing that their places are now in jeopardy and of course it was live on TV.
We all know when a manager departs that everyone gets a jolt, a rocket up the rear and everyone’s future is up in the air, as they await a newly appointed manager.

So who is going to take over the hot seat?
Names getting branded about are Mike Phelan,Ian Holloway,Mark Venus, the list is endless.
After Friday nights result against Doncaster Mark Venus has done his chances no harm whatsoever.
The positives for appointing someone from within are he knows the players, the staff, the facilities and the way the club operates and of course he would cost us nothing as he is already on the pay role.
But appointing from within isn’t always the answer as I experienced back in 1990, when Bruce Rioch was sacked and Colin Todd took over the reigns.For me it didn’t work, players knew him as a number two and knew his strengths, weaknesses and his overall makeup. Unfortunately for Toddy he didn’t have the same aura, discipline or motivational skills as Rioch.
I cannot comment on Venus as I have never worked under him, I have heard a bit of tittle tattle, that he is his own man, straight talking and opinionated. Qualities that appeal to me as an individual
If he was to get the position, I have no objections whatsoever.

If i had a choice, I would choose Martin Oneil without hesitation, but that is probably an unrealistic target.
I am also attracted to Mike Phelan, he has the experience of working under Sir Alex Ferguson as did our most successful manager in the clubs history Steve Mclaren.
Ian Holloway is proven in this division with Blackpool and Crystal Palace, in fact I would pay to watch his press conferences.

At the end of the day the choice lies firmly with our Chairman Steve Gibson, the clubs future is in his hands, lets hope he gets it right.

ON another personal note, I’m glad to be back on the radio with The Three Legends alongside Dickie Ord and Malcolm Macdonald.
We’re on Community Voice FM – 104.5 in the Middlesbrough area – on week nights from 6pm-8pm.

My Alternative Boro phone-in is also on CVFM 104.5 after Saturday Boro matches, from 5pm-6.30pm.

You can hear both via the listen live button on my website – just logo on and visit
Give me a call on 01642 688104.

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