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Every Middlesbrough fan had the appointment of Gordon Strachan down as the most important in their recent history.
And if that was not the case, then Steve Gibson's next decision most certainly is following Strachan's exit on Monday.
But what does he/Middlesbrough need? What does he/Middlesbrough want? Those are the two questions he is asking himself right now.
At the the very least Gibson needs to provide his manager with a squad capable of getting into the Premier League, but you could very well argue that is already in place and at the most is only a couple of astute signings away.
So a man capable of moulding a squad into a Premier League side is at the forefront of his thinking . Can he take a gamble on somebody who is untested in this division? You would not think so.
And the yearning for a place in the Premier League is one mainly borne out of finance, but it is also borne from the fact Gibson - as a Teessider himself - feels the area deserves and needs a top-flight side. So what Gibson and the club wants, has a fairly simple answer.
What is needed is just not that simple. Success, I hear many of you scream - but is that really what the Teesside footballing masses want?
I would say not, look at Steve McClaren - yes his era is now looked back on with a great deal of fondness by Boro fans, and so it should after unparalleled success, including a first-ever trophy in the shape of the League Cup, a qualification for Europe through their league position and a Uefa Cup final.
But let us not forget, there were few Boro fans sobbing when McClaren departed for Soho Square and took up the England job, and you only need look at the attendances during his reign as they actually dropped.
Why was this? The answer is simple, this generation of Boro fans don't just want success. Yes, they were told by their fathers and grandfathers how great it was to see Jack Charlton's Ayersome Angels of the 1970's batter (bore) teams into submission on their way to almost cracking their way into the top echelons of English football.
But the difference on Teesside now is that the current crop of supporters remember the Bryan Robson era - perhaps not the most successful, but definitely the most exciting and exhilarating, both on and off the pitch.
Robson brought in world-class superstars the likes of which the club had not seen before, and the football produced by Juninho, Emerson and Fabrizio Ravanelli was the real key.
Boro's mind-set during Robson's era was that they were always confident of scoring more than the opposition, and whilst this isn't a recipe for success - it is a recipe for joy, unadulterated joy from watching your team play, and that has not been witnessed by a Middlesbrough fan for many years.
And again I would concede that the economy is not great and people have better things to spend their money on, but does anyone really think that Teesside, and Middlesbrough specifically, was at the middle of a Blossoming Britain in the 1990s? Well it wasn't!
Yes, Steve Gibson needs to deliver success, but coupled with that, and as important, he needs to win the fans back with football - pure and simple.
And so who to appoint as manager? Gibson rightfully has decreed that Boro is as good a job outside the top 10 of the Premier League - and few could argue.
A modern stadium appointed as well as any in the country, a training ground that can rival most in Europe, a chairman commonly regarded as the best around and a fan-base which is there, but has been neglected and let down badly in recent times, but just needs nurturing back.
Now there are many names already being linked, but I would assume that Gibson already knows who he wants.
Personally, I think Middlesbrough need a manager who will bring back the football that the current generation of fans once knew.
For that I think Boro legend Tony Mowbray, whose West Bromwich Albion side dominated the Championship during his time at The Hawthorns and played some of the most pleasing football I have witnessed in recent years, is the man for the task.
I would not only advocate his appointment but openly encourage it. As a youngster I remember seeing Mowbray walk through the Ayresome Park gates - now situated at the Riverside - and what I would give to see a repeat of that some 20 years on.
Mowbray had always stated his love for the club, and that is something Boro fans themselves have not felt in recent times, a love for their club.
And yes there will always be a risk appointing a club legend - you only need to look at not just Gareth Southgate's tenure but also that of Willie Maddren in the 1980s.
Mowbray himself came through under Maddren and he will know from this that you cannot get by on your status at the club, and whilst he has Boro at heart, he also the managerial credentials in place.
And just to add a bit of Samba style, which again Boro have been lacking of late, why not make room - albeit a small place - on the bench for one...Osvaldo Giroldo Junior, perhaps a little too exuberant and far fetched, but the chances to appoint a true club legend, with credentials, doesn't come around too often - something which Mr Gibson should appreciate.
Who do you want at Boro? Would you like to see the return of Tony Mowbray? Let us know your thoughts using the form below.
An excellent article. I feel for Steve Gibson as he has to get this one exactly right or we will end up in a bigger mess than we are at the moment. Mogga would certainly bring back the fans but I am not sure this team can play football. a few changes on the team sheet are needed. Bringing juno back is not the answer but put him and Mogga togetther and the passion in the club would certainly be there. I think Mogga would please the fans and bring football back and its his chance to build on what he has done at WBA. Forget what he did in Scotland they can''''t play football anyway. Come on Boro!!!!
Posted 11:37 22nd October 2010
Graeme Bailey must be credited, this is a great article.
Posted 11:33 22nd October 2010
Great article, brought up a name not thought about in Juninho! Only way that would work is with Mogga in charge as otherwise the love for the asst man would supercede that of any other manager!! Phil Brown and Gary Megson would be a backward step and certainly won''''t put 5k on the gate at the next home match. Either Mogga and Juninho or Curbs for me.
Posted 11:50 21st October 2010
When I first read this article I did not agree with some of the points raised (Im Jack Charlton era) but having re-read it several times I think you won me over. Has Mr Gibson finally moved over to the short manager reign if results are not forth coming? Did Gordon leave because he could see the writing on the wall with the chairman? And will we the fans give the next manager - Tony Mowbray included - the chance to turn around our fortunes by grinding out the results needed just for survival this season. The days of our players producing Juninho-esq performances are perhaps well behind us but - as Gordon proved - true grit John Wayne style is perhaps not all that is needed either. Somewhere along the way the next manager has to bring these two commodities together. Personally, I dont envy the chairman - if he gets it right he could regain his halo amongst the Boro faithful - get it wrong and it may not just be one head Boro fans are singing for next time around. This time I intend to stay firmly on the fence (on top of it actually so I can see over the wall because I cant afford a ticket) support the chairmans choice and cheer on the manager and the Boro I love.
Posted 18:07 20th October 2010
There seems to be a lot of support in favour of Mogga, and at the moment i am totally undecided. Ok granted he is a local lad and has tonnes of passion and belief, but is this enough to get us to the Premiership where we belong and keep us there. I am not totally convinced. I think the Celtic appointment found him wanting when he couldn''''t change or adapt. We need a manager with a proven record of tactics and thought and well as motivation of the players. For this reason I believe Martin O''''Neil is our correct choice. We all live in hope and if Mogga is appointed I hope to be proven wrong. Up the Boro!!!
Posted 18:00 20th October 2010
Great article. The Robson era was such an exciting time for boro. Loads of names coming to club. We need that buzz about town back. This is just as much about boro as a community than just the football team. Take your time Steve and appoint someone who will give that sparkle and anticipation back to the fans...and excited to pick up their copy of the evening gazette to read all about it! Mowbray or Pearson I''''d say.
Posted 14:04 20th October 2010
Finally somebody knows what they are talking about , Fly me to the moon with Tony Mowbray , we need spirit and belief back and bringing in Mogga is the quickest way to do it. Playing badly is one thing , playing without heart is to too much to take and we''''ve been subjected to that for too long now
Posted 12:49 20th October 2010
Martin O''''Neill Will not come to Boro, (We cant afford him) , Alan Curbishley once said (not so long ago) He wont move North. The article is spot on, Seats need Filling, Football needs to be played and players need to be bought. We cant buy players when no money is coming in to the club, no money is coming in to the club because nobody is coming to watch the team. Mowbray IS gonna bring the fans back, Mowbray isnt just going to come to manage Boro because he loves the club, (God i could do that) He has his managerial reputation to account for, he is going to want succsess (Rember ZDS Cup final - he was injured but he led the team out) So what he didnt make it at Celtic, He did well at WBA, I went to see him at Ipswich and spoke to him, Hes a leader, a winner, and that it is his home town club failure is not an option. and yer get the little one by his side
Posted 12:31 20th October 2010
I echo those who say the most important thing is to restore the club''''s identity - and for that, Tony Mowbray is the only man for the job... but I''''d go one step further and bring in Bruce Rioch as his assistant. Both are unemployed, and would be seen by most Boro fans as a dream team.
Posted 10:55 20th October 2010
As a Baggies fan I would like to see Tony Mowbray take over at Boro. He is proven at that level and will get Boro playing good football. He done a lot for West Brom and I for one was sorry to see him go. Whilst he took some criticism for not being pragmatic enough, he always stayed true to his footballing philosophy. His legacy has been to leave Albion as a footballing side not just the first team but all the teams from the academy upwards. For the first time in decades we are producing young players with the ability to succeed in professional football. Given Boro''''s excellent record of producing young talent in recent years I can only assume that Mowbray will be an excellent choice to further develop the club at all levels. Good luck to you whoever you choose! Paddymac.
Posted 09:51 20th October 2010
How about Juninho and Ravanelli together, I remember Rav saying he would like to retur to manage the Boro one day.
Posted 05:33 20th October 2010
Tony Mobray would get our current squad playing and would be able to add whats needed... he failed at celtic granted but he tried to play football in a league were grit is needed,, plus what money did west brom spend when promoted??
Posted 00:51 20th October 2010
Spot on with this article like. i am a bit sceptical that the scottish lads wont exactly welcome Mogga into the team but being a local lad im more concerned with what the teesside lads think really and a boro hero is just the thing we need. Having seen the Robbo ero and success of the uefa cup saga then i have no doubts that what we need is forward thinking, quick passing agressive footy and who cares about the premier league.. i would much rather be battling for promotion in this league than struggling to finish above our beloved 13th place in the prem... Mogga or Pearson would do me.. wouldnt say no to pardew but curbs can do one! Up the Boro!
Posted 23:23 19th October 2010
there is only one man the fans will accept and thats Mogga ! fill the ground as the captain of boro comes back !! O''''neil is good but he didnt want it last time before southgate and ince has no experience .... come on mogga come on mogga
Posted 22:53 19th October 2010
boro fans think again about mogga he was a failure at celtic and hibs and also got west brom relegated no the best credentials if you ask me
Posted 22:48 19th October 2010
junhino could be a good manager ,i think he could bring back fans which is what i want to see the most. if gareth southgate can do it so could he. brazilian football is second to none give him a call:)
Posted 22:41 19th October 2010
Alan Pardew for me. Did wonders at West Ham where they would have won the FA Cup if it wasn''''t for the usual bias towards Liverpool. Also did really well at Southampton last year and i was surprised when he got the bullet this year.
Posted 20:35 19th October 2010
Paulo Sousa. What else?...
Posted 19:58 19th October 2010
There are some legitimate question marks about Mowbray, expertly outlined above but of the many plusses he would bring is that he would instantly galvanise the crowd behind him and the club in one fell swoop. Any other appointment risks splitting an already fractured base. Although I may be in the States, I''''m Boro through and through and if a rentagob like Phil Brown turned up at the press conference in a Boro tracksuit then, as we say in Georgia, I''''m done, son.
Posted 19:58 19th October 2010
Please, please get Martin O Neil he is the only one than can get us out of this mess, Please God spare us from Ince
Posted 19:41 19th October 2010
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