A legend returns
Graeme Bailey looks at what Tony Mowbray's return to Teesside means for Middlesbrough.
Last Updated: 27/10/10 6:39am
And so it comes to pass, the legend has returned - Tony Mowbray has taken charge of his beloved Middlesbrough.
Despite checking other options, chairman Steve Gibson has, as expected, gone for that man that ticks almost every box he could have set himself for next manager.
Gibson has previously been very fortunate with his managerial appointments since taking charge of Boro, in that they worked so well for him.
With Bryan Robson and Steve McClaren unprecedented success followed - then, for the first time, things started to go wrong.
Gareth Southgate's appointment was universally welcomed as the two before him, but things, for many reasons, went wrong.
Gordon Strachan's appointment heralded many things and, after a summer which saw Boro again splashing the cash, anticipation on Teesside was back, but the excitement was soon replaced by anger.
Strachan only ever endeared himself to Boro fans with his purchases, his attitude, demeanour and, possibly most importantly, his style of play were all far from what was needed to galvanise a club many regard as one of the biggest outside the Premier League.
And as I have suggested previously, Boro now need more than just a winning team, they need a group of players, a club, a manager they can fall in love with - and who better to fall in love with than an old flame?
But Mowbray is more than an old flame as Boro fans never fell out of love with their leader from the 1980's, the man who helped steer them to the promised land of the top-flight.
And... well it is that simple again, lead Boro back to the promised land, playing the brand of football, he knows and believes in.
There is obviously the one big risk that comes with appointing any legendary figure and that is the unthinkable - that he could become a hate figure.
Boro only need look at Gareth Southgate; the man who lifted the club's only ever major trophy, hero-worshipped on Teesside, but after his less than inspiring tenure, he is now held in nowhere near the same regard.
And that is the fear, nobody at Middlesbrough wants the same fate for Mowbray - but is that a risk worth taking? Of course it is, and thankfully for Boro it was one both Steve Gibson and Tony Mowbray were willing to take.
So now Boro have no excuses - a Teesside owner, a Teesside manager, a Teesside sponsor and a white-band across their chest!