• Middlesbrough Message Board

  • A Yahoo! User Aug 27, 2008 23:47 Flag

    How Far Can Boro Really Go Under Southgate

    When Southgate took charge at Boro I really did think that Steve Gibson took 3 steps back, but can Southgate really be able to build a team, have the know how to lead the Boro year in and year out in to Europe, What are other Boro fans thoughts. I am happy with the signings so far, and getting the average age of the squad down, but where is the Experiance in the team going to come from

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    • At first my thoughts were the same David, I believed we needed an experienced, proven manager who would take us forward. I also posted threads questioning Gibsons wisdom in appointing Southgate.
      Southgate has finally built his own team after inheriting McClarens players, having seen our last couple of games I do feel more optimistic, we are playing better football albeit with less experienced players but as you say getting the average age of the squad down can only be a good thing, we have in the past tended to be a haven for older players in search of their last big payday.
      Perhaps Gibson is looking at the bigger picture, giving Southgate a chance to find his feet as a manager and allowing our younger squad members to come through and gain valuable experience. The local lads are surely more determined to win than some big bucks mercenary who collects his 80K a week regardless, they should be our future, many of them are regulars in the England under 21 squad and could prove to be quality premiership players, like David Wheater.
      It took us many years to get into Europe, and I cant see us getting back in for a couple of years more at least, but sometimes you have to take 3 steps back, get back to basics and rebuild from a stronger foundation to move forward.

      • 1 Reply to Boro CJ
      • Well said CJ! I too was a bit concerned at Southgate's appointment, feeling Gibson should have appointed a more experienced manager e.g. Houllier who was looking to return to EPL at the time. Southgate could have been appointed No.2 to learn the trade. But he has grown into the job magnificently and will I am sure go on the bigger and better things in the future. The EPL is not really a place for apprentices to learn the job, but its Gibson's money to with as he chooses. We only see the public persona of these guys, and he obviously saw more in Southgate than was at first apparent. I'm not as gloomy as you in seeing European football only on the distant horizon. We have a team of young, enthusiastic and talented players who on their day can beat anyone. How many 'days' they have in the Premiership season is the £1 million question and they probably will do well this season to finish top half of the table. But their 'days' could coincide with League or FA Cup matches and I think this is the most likely route to Europe. I too am happy with the signings SO FAR although I still think they need an experienced keeper if only to give the back four some confidence. The defence seem to be papering over the cracks at the moment, two own goals in successive matches illustrates they have one eye on the opposition and the other on the 'keeper. I also feel that an experienced midfielder/playmaker would be a useful addition. Someone who has seen it, done it and got the teeshirt. The younger players can learn from him and he can bring instill calm on the field when needed.

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