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scoea Posted on 26/12/2007 17:45
The only positive way forward

That, in short, was a disgrace. Hereís the thing though. I have read a lot of threads after matches (including this one) making scapegoats of individual players. I know because I have done it. People on here have certain players that they are against. Rocky, Downing, Aliadiere Ė those are the three that seem to polarise opinion the most. There is little point in doing that though because for my money you could make a decent argument that 11 players didnít deserve to keep their place today. You could lay the blame at any door without real fear of being contradicted. Maybe, just maybe, Tuncay can be excused but thatís it for me.

That in itself tells a story if you ask me. I donít care what anyone thinks about individual players. For me any team/squad (and I am not just talking about today) that includes the players we have, it should be capable, at the very least of defending properly, of putting in committed performances, of battling for the ball, of having some pattern of play, of having some tactical direction. The evidence is there though that the players simply arenít the problem here. I see no confidence, no direction, no thought, no commitment, no motivation. All of that is the responsibility of the manager.

The players are, quite clearly, responsible in a great many ways but there comes a point in time when you have to deal with the root cause and it is as simple as this for me Ė Southgate is just not good enough as a manager.

The only way forward is to replace him. Sorry, sad to say it but there you have it.

Bukowski Posted on 26/12/2007 17:49
The only positive way forward

I agree. We look leaderless and directionless.

Southgate hasn't grown into the role and doesn't appear to have the personality for it. He looks as ill at ease as ever. And if it's apparent to me, it must be apparent to the players.

It's time to bring in somebody to LEAD us and get the best out of our players.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:50
The only positive way forward

I don't agree.

BoroFur Posted on 26/12/2007 17:51
The only positive way forward

There's no good time to sack the manager but if you were to do it you'd do it right now.

If there is any money available in January I wouldn't give it to Southgate.

New manager, new broom, new players, new ideas needed.

The_Dude Posted on 26/12/2007 17:51
The only positive way forward

that back 4 which finished the game is probably the highest paid outside the top 4, but for some reason the whole squad is lesser than the sum of its parts, to just say we need to work hard etc is simply bullS***ting the situation, the squad is horribly unbalanced despite gareth saying it isnt, and is in need of a shuffle

ThePrisoner Posted on 26/12/2007 17:52
The only positive way forward

Welcome to the dark side scoea. Mwah Hahaha.

Buddy Posted on 26/12/2007 17:52
The only positive way forward

The annoying thing is, he seems to know what he's talking about. After West Ham he talked about not switching off, which was exactly right, but it's his job to sort it out. He also, however, talked about not ever looking like winning it, which was B******* and annoyed me quite a lot.

Playing Boateng on the right wing (see other thread) is just strange, for me. If you have those eleven players available, surely play a five man midfield with Aliadiere and Downing on the wings pushing on to support Tuncay. If you want a 4-4-2, stick Cattermole in instead.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:53
The only positive way forward

We need two strikers and once we are able to get goals we will have something to defend and those at the back will gain confidence. Whne we continually miss chances it must seem completely pointless playing at the back.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:53
The only positive way forward

And a right midfielder!

BoroFur Posted on 26/12/2007 17:54
The only positive way forward

'but for some reason the whole squad is lesser than the sum of its parts'

A damning indictment on the coaching staff but sadly true.

TeessideCleveland Posted on 26/12/2007 17:55
The only positive way forward

We have a right midfielder - although injured today - Gary O'Neil

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:56
The only positive way forward

I've played in teams that don't score and as a defender it gets demoralising. The strikers need to sort themselves out and DGL needs to find somewhere else.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:57
The only positive way forward

TC, I know but he gets injured and we're F***ed so we need some cover. I'm fed up of seeing left winmgers and centre midfielders on the right looking lost.

onthemap Posted on 26/12/2007 17:57
The only positive way forward

M A K E U P Y O U R M I N D.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 17:58
The only positive way forward

Who, Scoea? I know, he's shocking!

The_Dude Posted on 26/12/2007 17:58
The only positive way forward

i dont disagree with dong gook being pretty average, but i also think the midfielders could be more pro-active, i.e making more runs into the box, ive noticed sometimes we play to direct to quickly and therefore dont have time for runners

ravsplumber Posted on 26/12/2007 18:00
The only positive way forward

We don't have the players with the grit, determination and shape to play a team game. We need far more than a managerial shakeup!

Lisbonlegend Posted on 26/12/2007 18:02
The only positive way forward

Basically we're S*** but a couple of strikers would be a good start. Goals win games.

jamesuk001 Posted on 26/12/2007 18:08
The only positive way forward

The comentator hit the spot for me when he said were lacking a decent forward who is going to get us those vital goals.

Another point he made was how Derby are a team with less quality players than ours but they seem to have more battling qualities as a group. This surely asks the question of how motivated are our players to battle and do they realise how much trouble we are actually in?


The_Dude Posted on 26/12/2007 18:13
The only positive way forward

i dont think the players have the right mentallity, its pretty obvious from the arsenal game, and it has been for the last 5 years, we have isolated lord mayor shows every year, which always lead to false dawns, there are two many players who would never make captains in the team, it really is devoid of a real leader

Bukowski Posted on 26/12/2007 18:15
The only positive way forward

I assumed Woodgate would adopt that role this season but that hasn't been the case.

scoea Posted on 26/12/2007 21:07
The only positive way forward

Who needs to make up their mind?

I made up my mind when he was appointed but gave him a chance. I have been arguing he should be sacked for some time now, it isn't my fault if you don't pay attention.

onthemap Posted on 26/12/2007 21:09
The only positive way forward

When we beat Arsenal and Derby didn't you go back to loving him?

scoea Posted on 26/12/2007 21:10
The only positive way forward

Nope. Not me. In fact I got pilloried for posting after the Arsenal game that there was clearly a problem because the team could motivate itself for big games but not against the likes of Villa.

onthemap Posted on 26/12/2007 21:12
The only positive way forward

Must've been Lisbon, he changes his mind more often than his underwear.

Bandy Posted on 26/12/2007 21:14
The only positive way forward

its all about self motivation. Name me one player from our team who would have rubbed their hands at the thought of facing brum on a cold boxing day when they could be at home supping stella and watching shrek with their kids or whatever. The players resent travelling. Infact they are a bunch of over priveleged nonces. There isnt many away wins on boxing day when teams are evenly matched. We'll get trounced at pompey aswell. Bad home record at fratton park???? what bad home record????

onthemap Posted on 26/12/2007 21:15
The only positive way forward

Tuncay was up for it today.

bollox Posted on 26/12/2007 21:16
The only positive way forward

that's a bit harsh on nonces!!!

Bandy Posted on 26/12/2007 21:16
The only positive way forward

thats cos he's got fk all else to do over here.

scoea Posted on 26/12/2007 21:16
The only positive way forward

Sorry Bandy but that excuse only washes so many times. If the players aren't motivated then it is the manager's responsibility, it's as simple as that. Why did they find it difficult to motivate themselves against the likes of West Ham at home? Or Villa at home? Or any number of other games this season for that matter.

Bandy Posted on 26/12/2007 21:22
The only positive way forward

because they know as soon as we concede we have a good chance of losing. We play with fear when we are expected to get results.

HolgateEnd Posted on 26/12/2007 21:36
The only positive way forward

"because they know as soon as we concede we have a good chance of losing. We play with fear when we are expected to get results."

And whose fault is that? Southgate's, that who.

Look back at Rioch when he came in. Our players werent that good, but he instilled confidence, belief and a proper playing system in those players that according to Bernie made them feel like they could win every game. And we all saw how that turned out. And, that's what comes with having an experienced manager who actually has a clue.

I firmly believe that a proper, decent, experienced manager could get our squad playing as a team and get us out of the shyte position we are in.

Sack him NOW.

borolad259 Posted on 26/12/2007 21:45
The only positive way forward

Play 451 with Aliadiere dropped back to play behind Tuncay in the 5 man midfield.. More bodies in the midfield, with pace ot wide (Downing/GON/Jinky), scorching pace with Aliadiere, with Rocky and Arca playing a bit deeper and using their passing game from deeper. Playing through the wide men or Aliadiere instead of hoofing up front.
Tuncay up front for now, but not playing for the long ball in the air.
Teams know thay can out man and out muscle us in midfield....we have to put a stop to it, and give the back for some more protection.
Aliadiere is hopeless up front, but he looks terrifying when he's running from much deeper positions.

the_throcking_man Posted on 26/12/2007 21:46
The only positive way forward

Southgates talks a good talk but due to his lack of experience he can't put it into action. Action speaks louder than words.

Generally his signings have been poor and not worked out apart from O'neill and Arca. Defensively they are not working as a team. Woodgate, young and Huth have not been good signings over all. Woodgate should be using his experience to organise the defence.

The strikers have not worked out for various reasons. Just haven't replaced nemeth,massimo,christie,yak and viduka

I think his signing have been less than 25% success.

the squad is just so poor. Soon, i expect downing to be in the managers office and demanding a move as the squad is that poor and he will feel his ambitions are being compromised.

Not sure what you put it down to, poor contacts and scouts to spot players and no experience in coaching and management.

HolgateEnd Posted on 26/12/2007 21:47
The only positive way forward

But Southgate insists we've got the best scouting system EVER!!!

the_throcking_man Posted on 26/12/2007 22:05
The only positive way forward

No way in 18 months can you put in a good scouting network going straight from playing to management with no preperation. Some of the managers at the top build up their contacts over the years(10 year or more). It takes years to get going. have we replaced Don Mackay?

HolgateEnd Posted on 26/12/2007 22:27
The only positive way forward

It's not me saying that, it was Gibson in the summer, and then Southgate earlier this month.

I remember words along the lines of "we've got a fantastic new scouting department which will allow us to scour the globe for the best players". And, if I remember rightly, Gibson proclaimed that Tuncay was the first gem found by this new scouting dept. and we'd have never got him with the old one.

One of the tech-heads on here will be able to find you a link but I'm no good at that bit!!

Revol_Tees Posted on 27/12/2007 00:22
The only positive way forward

The whole thing stinks of on-field indiscipline to me. Players not doing their jobs properly. It goes beyond sloppiness when it happens most weeks. That's what it was like in the Robson days, and it took an old hand like Venables to whip a half-decent group of players into shape and make them hard to beat on a consistent basis.


Lisbonlegend Posted on 27/12/2007 00:30
The only positive way forward

What a pile of crap. We're not scoring, confidence drains, defenders don't have anything to defend and we slowly turn into a poor team. Get some strikers in and we'll be roaring again, mark my words.


Bandy Posted on 27/12/2007 10:32
The only positive way forward

agreed Lisbon. We miss O NEIL more than ever!

scoea Posted on 27/12/2007 11:00
The only positive way forward

So now missing GON robs the rest of the players of their ability to pass, to defend, to battle??

Do me a favour.

Bandy Posted on 27/12/2007 11:04
The only positive way forward

its amazing scoea when you have a wafer thin team, never mind a squad, how much one player is missed. We may still have lost but we would have made more of a game of it. The results dont lie...Arsenal and Derby O Neil plays, we win both games, West Ham and Brum, O neil missing, we are fkin rubbish.

Players struggle when key players are missing. Putting George on the right is laughable. You are instantly a man down and carrying a passenger.

Derby_Red Posted on 27/12/2007 11:26
The only positive way forward

There seems to be all manner of problems. We don't seem to have a leader on the pitch, which is where I thought Woodgate would step up. No, O'Neil looks more likely, which may go some way to explaining the effect he has while playing.

The defence is disorganised, which with Gate and Coops as the managerial staff is quite disappointing. There seems total disarray at times here during matches. The list goes on, not excluding the painful regularity of letting at least 2 goals in per match, mainly at critical periods at the start/end of halves. Predictable and demoaralising.

Perhaps Southgate is fine at the strategic level, I don't know, but it appears to me on a tactical 90 minutes scenario other managers are far better at exploiting Boro's weaknesses than he is at making the best of our limited strengths. Save for a couple of occasions, Boro just look too easy to beat.

If we make it this season I can imagine us getting caught out next, when there may not be 3 teams worse than us. To be honest it's not like me to be so downbeat, but I'm not sure there are 3 teams worse than us at the moment in terms of basics like organisation, discipline and effort.

Happy F***ing new year.

scoea Posted on 27/12/2007 12:56
The only positive way forward

Bandy - is that not Gareth's fault then?

Bandy Posted on 27/12/2007 16:10
The only positive way forward

scoea, dya want me to just hold me hands up and say yeah, he's schitt, he doesnt know what he's doing and deflect everything away from the under achieving players and distinctly average ones at that. Once they are on the pitch and lets be honest, they should be good enough to give Brum a game, do you expect gareth to wipe their arses for them aswell?

Only a handful of players have PRIDE. Watch when we concede. They all look about like lost souls. Where's the anger, the finger pointing. Schwarzer looks to the heavens, downing looks to the floor, pogatetz covers his face with his hands, the list goes on. NObody grabs the fkers by the scruff of the neck and says look you dumb F***, you've just cost us 3 fkin points

easy_livin Posted on 27/12/2007 17:21
The only positive way forward

We should play cattermole in front of the back four just to put a bomb up his own players throughout the game.

Stabilo_Boss Posted on 27/12/2007 17:35
The only positive way forward

I think we have a very basic problem with fitness.

Rochemback is clearly carrying too much weight, Arca now looks to have joined him, Mido did even before his injury, Woodgate never looks quite match fit, George cleary doesn't have the legs anymore.

Then you see Yakubu - who was a hefty size for pretty much the duration of his stay with us - go to Everton who don't stand for what amounts to discipline and suddenly he looks like a new player.

If you have 4 or 5 players around the pitch who can't even keep to the pace of the game then you are going to struggle. The timing of the goals we concede and general sloppy nature of how they are going in seems to back this up.

I'm not saying this is the whole issue but it's a fundamental starting point.


onthemap Posted on 27/12/2007 18:08
The only positive way forward

I'll tell you what would be a positive step, playing players in their proper positions. Put Downing on the left wing and no-where else, thats his position and given the fact that he's regularly played at left wing for England it's a safe bet he's the best in the club out there.
Boateng is a defensive midfielder, thats it, nothing else, he can't play RM.
Arca is the best central midfielder at the club (if you argue the fact that GON is the only player we have who remotely resembles a RM) forget left mid and let Arca create in the centre.
Pog is not a left back, 3 centre backs, all trying to play central roles is comical, sell one and buy another LB or a RM.
Rocky and Ali should be on the bench at best, and we need a bruiser up front, who I don't know, but bruisers are not hard to find, we don't need a Thierry Henri for Gods sake.
Oh and DGL is probably our best option up front at the moment (after the Brum performance) and that is a ludicrous position to be in.

HolgateEnd Posted on 27/12/2007 21:13
The only positive way forward

Bandy, you are so full of shyte and so blinkered when it comes to O'Neil that its untrue.

You said "The results dont lie...Arsenal and Derby O Neil plays, we win both games, West Ham and Brum, O neil missing, we are fkin rubbish."

Well, in the previous 11 games before Arsenal that O'Neil was registered to Boro, he played in 9 of them.....Well, we lost 6 and drew 3. And won NONE. So your theory of play O'Neil and we will win is utter bollox mate.

And you mention that our players are under-achieving and devoid of confidence and ideas when we concede a goal. Well that IS Southgate's fault. That is his job. To prepare the players for all situations and to motivate them for each game.

Sea_Harrier Posted on 27/12/2007 22:04
The only positive way forward

I sincerely hope that Stewart Downing was watching tonight's football Man City vs Blackburn. He should be emulating Martin Petrov and aspiring to his execution of left wing play. If Stewie could put in performances like Petrov has just put in for Man City, then our "goals for" column wouldn't look so sick.

ste_north_stand Posted on 27/12/2007 22:19
The only positive way forward

I just caught the second half of the City game and Petrov did absolutely nothing at all, dunno what he was like first half mind. The midfield should be O'Neil Rocky Arca and Downing. We were playing much better with that midfield 4 earlier in the season. All this rubbish that we need a Boateng or a Cattermole in the side just isn't true in my opinion.

HolgateEnd Posted on 27/12/2007 22:54
The only positive way forward

Sea_Harrier - as Downing is our top scorer and has created more of our team's goals than any other player, I'd say he is doing his job as well as Petrov.

Trouble is, more often than not, when Downing crosses the ball in there's no forward in there to make it look like a decent cross. That must affect his confidence no end cos he'd end up just thinking 'whats the point in me trying to beat a man and cross the ball to no-one? It just makes me look a bad player'.

Trouble is, that people like you dont see this, and then think he's a bad player for not crossing it enough.

moxzin Posted on 27/12/2007 23:18
The only positive way forward

IMO - sacking Southgate or pushing Southgate into an honourable resignation won't change very much if there isn't the money available for the new man. If you look at it, Southgate's brought in some very good players, but not enough of them. The striker situation on 1st October was abysmal - it was incompetence plain and simple. Everyone, and I mean everyone, could see that out of the 4 we had, Mido was injury-prone, Tuncay was settling in and only arguably a striker, Aliadiere would get you 2 a season and Gook wasn't a football player.

But despite everything I still believe in what Southgate is trying to do. An attacking team that plays football the right way. There are individuals, they know who they are, that are letting him down. He's had injuries. He's had an injudiciously low budget. He's been unlucky.

On the other side of the balance sheet, the team shows no heart, desire, the squad is ill-thought out and he has bizarre loyalty to certain players (Boateng, Schwarzer, Downing - I'm looking at YOU).

We're 15th, which isn't dreadful, but I feel we're only 15th because there are much poorer teams below us. We've gone from being a mid-table team with European pretensions to a relegation team with mid-table pretensions. Who do you blame? It has to be laid at the club's door as a whole.

I think Southgate must be given Jan, and he must be given freedom to bring in the rest of his team. If its Feb 15th and we're still where we are, his signings haven't materialised or come off, and we're in danger of going out the league, then he has to go. Until then, I still back Southgate because we're very close to having a New Model Boro that in the long-term is capable of holding its own in this changing division and playing good football along the way.

ThePrisoner Posted on 27/12/2007 23:37
The only positive way forward

I think Southgate must be given Jan"

Should have gone after the Villa game. Would have given a new manager a fighting chance and maybe shake the squad up in January. If (when) we fook up in January and are in 18th or 19th place come February, what chance would a new manager have of saving the situation?

moxzin Posted on 27/12/2007 23:50
The only positive way forward

Depends how you view things. If this relegation crisis (for that it is) is down to a lack of signings, then why not keep Southgate in to finish what he has started in January? If its down to a lack of heart and desire and we need a Mike Bassett to come in, again, this isn't January-dependent. If we have no money, again, it doesn't matter about January.

However, if you believe as I do that Southgate still has some signings to make and could turn things around, it makes sense to give him the window rather than show him the door.

HolgateEnd Posted on 28/12/2007 00:28
The only positive way forward

Mox - "sacking Southgate or pushing Southgate into an honourable resignation won't change very much if there isn't the money available for the new man"

I see your sentiment, but what you're saying has been proved wrong by Megson at Bolton, Bruce at Wigan and McLeish at Brum. All were in dire straits and have improved a lot under their new managers. To a point, you can include Jewell at Derby in that too, because they are fighting and battling more now than they were before which has shown in their draw at Newcastle and almost scraping a draw at Liverpool.

A change of face, ideas, tactics and belief can make all the difference to the same squad. A closer to home example is us - when Venables came in and with the same squad, took us from bottom to mid-table safety.

Bandy Posted on 28/12/2007 10:33
The only positive way forward

Holgate End, you forgot to mention the bit where Bolton, Brum and Wigan slip into old habits which is the reason for them being crap in the first place. Stop wetting your pants and tell me if you were boss what you would do now. Did you get champ manager for christmas?

Moxzin: btw you are making a lot of sense and coming out with some stirring stuff

sasboro Posted on 28/12/2007 10:47
The only positive way forward

Holgate - do you not see how ridiculous your post looks when you point out how Bruce has done wonders in turning round Wigan and McLeish has done the same for Brum?

scoea Posted on 28/12/2007 11:23
The only positive way forward

It's as simple as this for me. As a squad of players, we are good enough to be higher than where we are, we are good enough to be hovering around the middle of the table and not a couple of points from doom. The players we have are capable of getting clean sheets, of nicking goals and of competing, both physically and tactically.

The fact that they are not, they look indisciplined, their confidence looks shattered, they look unfit, they lack passion and motivation rests squarely on the shoulders of Southgate who has not shown that he can change anything. And believe me they need to change.

I go back to the original point, you can have opinions about individuals that we can all discuss and disagree over but it is the collective that I am more worried about. There are common themes that are costing us games and that is down to the manager.


Link:

Bandy Posted on 28/12/2007 11:52
The only positive way forward

we were still witnessing the same alarming trends with McClaren yet you defended him to the end. What's different with Gareth. if anything, we look better as a team in my opinion and the players work harder for one another. The main problem is scoring goals. We dont have goalscorers in the team. Our main striker is injured. When he played we looked more potent. If he'd been playing regularly we all know we'd be better off points wise so we;ll have to wait and see who we bring in.

Big_Shot Posted on 28/12/2007 12:12
The only positive way forward

We're in our 3 successive season of poor league form, infact its been poor since the turn of the year in 04/05 season. Yet people are still claiming our players are better than they actually are, whilst our squad has been getting progressively weaker during that time.

Every time we play poorly and lose I look on this board and there are numerous threads about most of the team have had cracking games apparently. Of course the manager takes his share of the blame but you can't just keep on saying that these players are far better than their league form suggests.

Buddy Posted on 28/12/2007 12:24
The only positive way forward

scoea - as bandy has just said, we were just as capable of motivating for big games but not normal ones under McClaren, it's not something which you of all people can use against Southgate.

HolgateEnd - your point regarding Rioch is true as far as it goes, which is to say about the same position we're looking likely to be in now - bouncing about the bottom end of the top division/top end of the next one down. Rioch had no more clue than anyone how to make a success of the First Division, even with the Reading/Wigan element of surprise we should have had in 88/89.

As regards the scouting network, this is the link someone above was looking for:


Link: Scouts

moxzin Posted on 28/12/2007 12:28
The only positive way forward

Seeing as that article also contains the infamous 'Spectacular Signing' edict I wouldn't trust it as far as I could throw it.

Buddy Posted on 28/12/2007 12:32
The only positive way forward

Ooops - the other thing I meant to say in response to this thread was how much sense you were making. There comes a point when even Gibsonesque patience must wear thin, and "after four potential transfer windows" would seem to be it. Unless (and I can see an argument for this) we are prepared to risk a couple of years of parachute payments in return for allowing the Southgate ethos time to build.

To answer your specific point, the article does say "a chance" of spectacular signings. Another example of a couple of words being taken as gospel without much context (everyone guilty, not just you).

onthemap Posted on 28/12/2007 12:38
The only positive way forward

Maybe we should just accept that even if we drop into the Championship, Gareth is still getting it right, I mean it's more or less a given that if we finish one point above a relegation spot Buddy will take out a cigar and propose a toast to a fantastic season.

Buddy Posted on 28/12/2007 12:45
The only positive way forward

Do you read before you reply?

scoea Posted on 28/12/2007 13:36
The only positive way forward

I did expect (though much earlier in the thread) a reference to an apparent contradiction between my view on Gareth and my view on McClaren. It's a question I asked myself actually because, contrary to popular belief, I only ever post my genuine thoughts on here. I genuinely defended McClaren and I genuinely now feel that Gareth is not the man for the job.

Maybe it's because McClaren was so successful that I forgave him his slip ups, maybe my initial view of Southgate being the wrong man has clouded my view. Ultimately though I did come to my conclusion and it is a fairly simple one.

The reason that I defended McClaren (and by the way there were a great many times that I criticised him that are never remembered!!!) was that I always saw what he was trying to do. Terrible performances were there but there was a pattern of play, an idea. Put simply, the majority of his decision I agreed with. There are a number of occasions that that hasn't been the case with Southgate. There are countless times when I've been left scratching my head as to what on earth he was trying to do.

Now ovviously, people can disagree with me and that's fine but what I won't accept is that I can't have this opinion now because I didn't have it with McClaren.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 28/12/2007 13:40
The only positive way forward

Jesus! I agree with you.

Bandy Posted on 28/12/2007 13:44
The only positive way forward

Bizarrely I can appreciate Southagtes vision more than I can appreciate McClarens. Maybe I'm mad. However, I got the opportunity to chat with gareth about stuff and that might be persuading me to stick with him. McClaren was to aloof. Not totally focused.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 28/12/2007 13:46
The only positive way forward

All the best Bandy. Hope you've had a good one.


moxzin Posted on 28/12/2007 13:46
The only positive way forward

"Maybe it's because McClaren was so successful that I forgave him his slip ups"

Perhaps, but it took until his 3rd season to win the Carling Cup. In his first two seasons we'd been 12th and 11th, and flirted with relegation in at least one of those, and disappointed in the other. If I recall we were playing a lot dourer stuff too, especially away from home in the 02/03 season.

I don't think McClaren had a unified idea of how football should be played at all, I think he was a man of quick fixes and methodology. However even if you think McClaren's vision was worth backing over and above the short-term results, why can't you extend Southgate the same?

sasboro Posted on 28/12/2007 13:47
The only positive way forward

Mox - I can confirm the validity of the article. I know one of the new scouts. The way the club scouts players has completely changed over the last year. It does sound more promising.

ste_north_stand Posted on 28/12/2007 13:48
The only positive way forward

Did McClaren ever make mind boggling decisions like playing Downing upfront? He probably did like but i can just never remember being as baffled as i was when i saw Downing start a game upfront the other week.

Bandy Posted on 28/12/2007 13:48
The only positive way forward

All the best to you Corcaigh aswell. Hope you werent grafting! Buzz Lightyear and Scooby doo seem to be the order this christmas. I had a good un. back in work now like and yes, it's wank. The brum result made me just want to go back to work. Really F***ed things up did that one.

scoea Posted on 28/12/2007 13:50
The only positive way forward

I thought I'd explained that mox. It's as simple as this - I thought McClaren's would work and I don't think Southgate's will. I'll always back the team though.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 28/12/2007 13:54
The only positive way forward

Finished on the 20th, go back on the 7th, haven't booked a flight yet because of the worries over strikes that day. Had a great Christmas so far though, loving it.

Might see you on New Years Day.

Bandy Posted on 28/12/2007 13:56
The only positive way forward

I'll be there.

Tip for you - dont boo Yakubu. He will only score

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 28/12/2007 13:57
The only positive way forward

He'll score anyway. It's his last game before his 6 months off.

ste_north_stand Posted on 28/12/2007 13:57
The only positive way forward

People will be too busy booing Schwarzer or Dong Gook so no worries about Yak getting the bird.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 10:25
The only positive way forward

I fear the worst today. We never do well at this ground, the plaeyrs don't seem capable of fighting for the ball. we're away from home in a tight ground and it will be freezing.

Oh dear.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 13:58
The only positive way forward

Never been more certain of defeat than I am today. I wouldnt even take the draw with my pompey mate as I just said it's the most obvious home banker on the coupon. We'll concede after about 12 minutes and after that it's damage limitation.

I'll go 4 nil

boro74 Posted on 29/12/2007 13:59
The only positive way forward

Sothgate will not be replaced.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 14:49
The only positive way forward

Todays team is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about. Shawky with no Premiership minutes gets a start. DGL, out in the cold and rightly so, gets a start when the reality is he shouldn't be allowed to clean the players' boots never mind take the field.

boro74 Posted on 29/12/2007 15:28
The only positive way forward

Quarter of the way through the game. Boro doing well. Shawky playing great. DGL having a good game...

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 16:57
The only positive way forward

I am now going to bask in the glory of my comments regarding Shawky and DGL who both had excellent games today. Well done Gareth, pleased I was wrong about that!!

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:20
The only positive way forward

scoea,hope you dont mind me basking in the glory of my O Neil observation..............:)

BrucieRiochsRedAndWhiteArmy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:21
The only positive way forward

scoea [:D]

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 17:23
The only positive way forward

Not at all Bandy. I didn't disagree with you though, I really rate the lad. The point I was making was that his presences or lack thereof should not remove the other players' ability to do the basics.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:24
The only positive way forward

obviously it does tho....:)

Revol_Tees Posted on 29/12/2007 17:26
The only positive way forward

10 points from a possible 18 in December, with some tricky games included. Not brilliant, but not bad either. Credit where it's due: I think Southgate has earned the right to stick around for now.

offside-again Posted on 29/12/2007 17:28
The only positive way forward

LOL here we go again, Southgates brilliant blah blah blah, then if Everton turn us over he's rubbish, lol...

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:29
The only positive way forward

hilarious isnt it. You are either with him or not and poor old scoea cant make his mind up!

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 17:30
The only positive way forward

He needs to do a lot more to convince me but a win is a win.

I tell you what Bandy, if we have to rely on GON being in the side for us to look anything other than a pub side it is deeply worrying.

offside-again Posted on 29/12/2007 17:33
The only positive way forward

The biggest problems we have or are having is the empty seats at home games and the bad luck with injuries, imagine a full ground and all the key players fit.

You can tell by the fact we are not too bad away from home this season, clearly the home attendances are the major factor.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:34
The only positive way forward

Arsenal look like a pub side without Fabregas :)

Happy New Year

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 17:34
The only positive way forward

Now that doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Big_Shot Posted on 29/12/2007 17:34
The only positive way forward

To be fair though there isn't really anyone claiming Southgate is great, just people who think he deserves to continue in his job, which I'm one of. The funny thing is he gets accused of all sorts of shortcomings and excellent team performances like today goes against everything that he's been accused of.

Who knows, maybe football isn't quite as simple as, oh we lost today so the manager is useless.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 17:35
The only positive way forward

Nor is it as simple as oh we've won and so the manager is great.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:38
The only positive way forward

its performances like today which make me think, oh yes, he knows exactly what he is doing. Thats out third away win of the season. Is that a record??? Anyway, performances like today override the bad ones for me as I know what he is trying to achieve and maybe have more foresight than others. On the other hand I could be incredibly naive and the snipers could be waiting to shoot me down and call me clueless.

Big_Shot Posted on 29/12/2007 17:39
The only positive way forward

Indeed it isn't, thats why nobody is claiming he is. The team did very well today and they'll rightly receive the plaudits. Not the manager for motivating them.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 17:39
The only positive way forward

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle Bandy. He has his moments, I'll give you that.

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 17:42
The only positive way forward

I agree with Scoea's present view, this weeks anyway, Southgate should go.
The irony is that it's playing the very players that have been argued as brilliant by Scoea that are the reasons he should go.
No doubt Ali and Rocky will be back next week, Scoea will cheer then when we get beat will want Southgate out.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:43
The only positive way forward

Scoea questioned gareths ability to motivate and inspire and I do believe that all them traits were evident today so how does he explain that one?

Big_Shot Posted on 29/12/2007 17:55
The only positive way forward

Indeed I wonder if he'll admit that todays excellent win was down to Southgate motivational skills.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 17:56
The only positive way forward

thats why it's always best to keep your gob shut unless you are certain :)

Big_Shot Posted on 29/12/2007 18:02
The only positive way forward

When you are being that specific it is always going to come back and bite you on the arse. I'm a firm believer in both sets of players being a major reason for the way a game pans out. Sure the managers pick the teams and set out the tactics, but once the players are over that white line it then its also down to them.

Yet when a manager is under pressure everything that happens is getting solely blamed on him. And we get to a point when we find his motivation skills being questioned as if that was the reason Arca fouled Cameron Jermone the other day.

Bandy Posted on 29/12/2007 18:05
The only positive way forward

exactly. It's also the individual error scenario aswell which confuses things. Player x has 3 good games on the bounce and then he makes a howler, the manager then gets the blame

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 18:05
The only positive way forward

Today we were at Pompey from start to finish and if Southgate has managed to instill in the rest, what comes naturally to GON and Tuncay, then credit where it's due.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 18:15
The only positive way forward

So, just to be clear then, today's admittedly impressive win and performance can be used as justification of people's support of Gate and evidence of his tactical nous and motivational ability and yet I am mocked for using previous appalling performances as evidence of his short comings!! How does that work exactly?

I will always support the team and whoever is in charge, whether I think they are the right man or not. I will be delighted if Gate proves me wrong, I genuinely hope he does. Of course he gets huge credit for today. I didn't see it coming and it is clear that he got it spot on but that doesn't alter my overall view.

Jeez Bandy just a few short weeks ago you were arguing that Southgate's job description did not include motivating the players.

At the risk of repeating myself mappy, I have always thought this about Southgate whether that fits into your pre-conception of me or not.

moxzin Posted on 29/12/2007 18:21
The only positive way forward

"but that doesn't alter my overall view."

What will?

Big_Shot Posted on 29/12/2007 18:33
The only positive way forward

But nobody is suggesting todays win was down to Southgates tactical nous or motivational skills. Thats the point, the team played really well and looked really solid at the back, so well done to them. You are the one suggesting defeats and poor performances are down to these type of things, so by default he must have got those things right today.

Because of peoples opinion of Southgate they are glossing over basic things like poor performances or decision making by individual players, and saying these things happened because of the manager, when a lot of what happens on the pitch is out of his hands.

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 18:36
The only positive way forward

Scoea I thought you were all for Southgate up to a month or two ago.
Maybe not - I don't know anymore, is it still raining, im confused.

Derby_Red Posted on 29/12/2007 19:06
The only positive way forward

Another bewildering result.

I give up!

[:)]

ravsplumber Posted on 29/12/2007 19:20
The only positive way forward

Spot on Big_Shot! The manager being the one blamed for players who lack effort and lose focus is lazy analysis!

zzzzz Posted on 29/12/2007 20:50
The only positive way forward

mappy. scoea changes his mind about Southgate nearly as much as you.

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 21:00
The only positive way forward

Well zzzzz, I've never actually changed my mind about Southgate, not once, never, ever.
Said it was a bad appointment the day it was announced and still do.

Just in case that's not clear enough:
I've never actually changed my mind about Southgate, not once, never, ever.
Said it was a bad appointment the day it was announced and still do.

You getting this yet?

moxzin Posted on 29/12/2007 21:05
The only positive way forward

The same question goes out to you onthemap that I put to scoea - what will it take to change your mind?

SplendidStuff Posted on 29/12/2007 21:05
The only positive way forward

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 14:20 Email this Message | Reply
official team news

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That midfield is shocking.






You changed you're mind on that one??

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 21:15
The only positive way forward

Moxin
It'll take a season where relegation isn't a constant possibility, this season it's been more likely than last though, I thought that was bad enough personally , so if anything I'm further away from being convinced that I ever was.

Splendid
I based my opinion on Shawky being worse than your idols Boateng and Rocky, you banged on every week saying how good they were after all, I was wrong he turned out to be twice the player and Arca now knows what it's like to play alongside a decent midfielder.
It's one performance mind, and I wouldn't put it past Gareth to reinstall the relegation squad next match.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 21:17
The only positive way forward

Firstly, onthemap - for the last time, my view has never changed about Southgate. It never has and no matter how many times you suggest it has it will not make it true.

What will it take to change my mind? Consistency. Simple as that. One win won't make me change my mind and 20 points from 20 games won't.

onthemap Posted on 29/12/2007 21:24
The only positive way forward

Scoea I have read post after post on here where you were absolutely gushing about Southgate being the right man for the job.
I don't mind if I'm proved wrong at the end of the season or whenever, honestly couldn't care less, but I wont deny posting my views.

scoea Posted on 29/12/2007 21:25
The only positive way forward

Fook me, you've got it wrong. Why can't you accept that you're mistaken?

bear66 Posted on 30/12/2007 00:13
The only positive way forward

How about 10 points from 6 games . . . . if we can keep it up? 50 points would be a good haul

SplendidStuff Posted on 30/12/2007 00:18
The only positive way forward

HAHAHAHAHAHA fookin hell

"Splendid
I based my opinion on Shawky being worse than your idols Boateng and Rocky, you banged on every week saying how good they were "

more lies again!!! i don't know where you get this S*** from.

Honestly do you do it for bites or do you really believe what you say?

I feel pretty sad for you that you have to fabricate stuff on a message board, and for what purpose you do this, well i just don't know.

very very sad indeed.

ravsplumber Posted on 30/12/2007 06:11
The only positive way forward

With no badges finished 12th in his debut season in one of the top leagues in the world. Currently this year, still without badges and minus the top 2 strikers of his first campaign, reasonably positioned in 14th. The glass-half-empty types cling to their initial projections that he'll never make it!

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 09:04
The only positive way forward

Believe me when I say - I am not a glass half empty type by a long stretch. I have just not felt as down about our team as I have this season and I haven't seen many signs that Southgate can turn it around. Over the last 6 games he has done that and if it continues I will be the first on here to eat humble pie and say I got it wrong.

fatsuma Posted on 30/12/2007 09:21
The only positive way forward

Fair comment from a fair poster !

I understand your concerns about Southgate, scoea, although I have a more optimistic view.

He had as little experience as Robson, when he got the job.

But I think he will learn and improve as a manager, more than Robbo did.

He is having to do so without the relative riches that we had 10-12 years ago, but I think he will turn out to be a good manager, and if we can get through this season, a good manager for us!

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 09:41
The only positive way forward

Absolutely. I have never doubted the man's intelligence, integrity, honesty and commitment. It's just that there have been more times over the last couple of seasons that I have had no clue as to what he has been trying to achieve with tactics/team selection. As I say, in the last six games there has been a big turn around (albeit with a couple of horrendous blips) and if it continues I will be delighted to be made to look like an idiot!!

zzzzz Posted on 30/12/2007 09:50
The only positive way forward

mapy do you still want Glenn Hoddle as our manager?

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 30/12/2007 09:58
The only positive way forward

Before you all start crowing again, we're still in the mire. We've only won twice at home so far.


Bandy Posted on 30/12/2007 10:26
The only positive way forward

some decent draws chucked in there aswell corcaigh

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 12:29
The only positive way forward

To be fair I don't really see anyone crowing about anything. Just some people offering the manager some support, in response to people laying the whole blame for our current predicament solely at his feet. We've spent nearly the entire last 2 and a half years in the bottom 8 of the division, so is it really that surprising that we are still there. Sure the buck stops with the manager and therefore he must improve things, but the players must also take their share the blame. But with the exception of Boateng, they seem to getting away with it scot free.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 12:34
The only positive way forward

I, for one, am certainly not laying all of the blame at the manager's door. I have laid into the players on several of my threads but I think you want to have it both ways Big Shot because you want to give the manager credit for the wins but seem to be criticising those that want to blame him for the defeats.

Of course there are other factors but the buck has to stop with him. We've seen basic tactical and team selection blunders for which I will blame the manager and not the players.

ste_north_stand Posted on 30/12/2007 12:35
The only positive way forward

We should stick with that team (barring injuries) regardless of whether Ali and Rocky and others are back fit on Tuesday. A win is a win and we should stick with that team. If Boateng comes back in at the expense of Shawky then i won't be very happy at all. Dong Gook linked up well with Tuncay and probably deserves another start.

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 12:38
The only positive way forward

Please point out where I've given the manager credit for winning yesterday. I haven't, as I seldom do that. Thats my whole point, if you are going to say one defeat is solely down to the manager, then surely a win is down to him also. There all in it together and therefore collectively take the blame as well as the praise.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 13:16
The only positive way forward

That's my point!! I have never blamed the manager solely for a defeat. It IS a collective thing led by the manager and the manager hasn't shown to me this seasont hat he is good enough. If that changes (and the last 6 games might have done) then great.


moxzin Posted on 30/12/2007 16:37
The only positive way forward

FAO Scoea and onthemap - how can Southgate hope to change your mind and win you over when your criteria for success are so high?

Onthemap - you say that you want a season where relegation isn't a constant possibility, well if I recall there were very few seasons since we bounced back in 98 where thats happened. I can think of our 9th place and 7th place finishes as examples, but other than that the spectre of relegation stalks our land. Just as it does everyone else. Charlton can't have seen last season coming, for instance. Even Tottenham weren't immune this season to this apocalyptic thought. We're in that class of clubs that will have to get 40 points each season before we can fully relax. The way of remedying this and pushing forward lies not with Southgate necessarily, but whoever's in charge of the purse-strings.

scoea - I can't see how your demand for consistency ties in with your support of McClaren, when we were notorious for losing 4-0 at home to Villa and beating Chelsea 3-0 etc. McClaren's Middlesbrough was always patchy - even in our 7th season we tailed off dramatically from an excellent start. Remember 02/03 when we were unbeatable at home but lost every away game 1-0? Again, I'd say thats the nature of being a lower-Premiership beast such as we are. There's a host of teams who'll go away and get 3 points than capitulate at home the next week. Once again, the only way to get over and above all that is to spend massive and join the next rank of Premiership clubs.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 16:49
The only positive way forward

I've already explained my differing view of Gate and cClaren and would ask you to revisit that post. Notwithstanding that, I disagree with you about McClaren. I felt his reign was the most consistent period in our recent history. 7th, by definition, requires consistency. In any event, I am talking about consistency in the broader sense- in results, in performance, in team selection, in approach. As I say, I agreed with more of McClaren's decisions than I do Southgate's and I had a much better understanding of what McClaren was trying to do.

Don't treat me like the many posters that have a view that is entrenched. Southgate CAN change my view and I WANT him to. The last 6 games are a good start but no more than that.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 30/12/2007 16:50
The only positive way forward

McClaren's reign was consistently average, if that's what you want then fair enough.

red_shamrock Posted on 30/12/2007 16:55
The only positive way forward

Its seems to me HPD syndrome is prevalent.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 17:10
The only positive way forward

I know what you mean Lisbon, it will be hard to bear if, in the next 3 and a half seasons, we have to put up with a Cup win, two forays into Europe, 2 FA Cup semi-finals, a UEFA Cup Final and a highest placed finish in the Premiership. Truly difficult to bear.

Buddy Posted on 30/12/2007 17:35
The only positive way forward

McClaren 2001/02 45 points, League Cup Rd 3, FA Cup SF.
Southgate 2006/07 46 points, League Cup Rd 2, FA Cup QF.

McClaren 30/12/02 21 games 29 points, League Cup Rd 3
Southgate 30/12/07 20 games 20 points, League Cup Rd 3.

Anyone got a cigarette paper?

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 17:35
The only positive way forward

Please see my post above.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 30/12/2007 17:36
The only positive way forward

Yes but McClaren had more money to spend than Southgate.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 17:41
The only positive way forward

His starting squad was a lot better though. Next.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 30/12/2007 17:42
The only positive way forward

Eh?

HolgateCorner Posted on 30/12/2007 17:44
The only positive way forward

Yes and McLaren had five years to build his (excellent) record.

Southgate needs to be given a chance, he did inherit a squad in decline and he has made some good signings. I think you could also argue the Premier League is tougher now than in Mclaren's reign due to the big takeovers which have taken place.


scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 17:47
The only positive way forward

Fair point Holgate. He'll get the time anyway. Gibson will not sack him and so I hope he proves me very wrong.

Think about it Lisbon.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 30/12/2007 17:49
The only positive way forward

Southgate inherited a team which finished in the bottom half, with players on expensive long term contracts. He hardly inherited a team of world beaters.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 17:50
The only positive way forward

I agree but it was better than the relegation fodder inherited by McClaren.

Smoggy4Life Posted on 30/12/2007 17:51
The only positive way forward

Why are we comparing McLaren with Southgate? Ovcourse McLaren's reign at Boro was better, he knew how to manage. The guy worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.

borobuddah Posted on 30/12/2007 17:51
The only positive way forward

Another way would be for all the home fans to be behind the team

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 18:07
The only positive way forward

'That's my point!! I have never blamed the manager solely for a defeat.'

Maybe you haven't, but your initial point seems to be that the only way forward is to get rid of the manager, which implies that you hold him responsible for the poor form this season, and a point that suggests that replacing him will see an immediate upturn in form from this group of players. Something that our league form during the last 3 years doesn't back up. You are perfectly entitled to think its all his fault but football is a lot more complex than pointing out so called shortcomings with the manager, so when you choose to do that people will point.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 18:10
The only positive way forward

That's my view. I think we'll be better off with a different manager. That is not the same as blaming him solely but is my view of the best way to get the most out of this squad.

zaphod Posted on 30/12/2007 18:13
The only positive way forward

I think it's been possible to see in the past few games how Southgate is fashioning his style. There's been much more neat passing & pace than previously, but without a cutting edge the Boro haven't always been able to make it count. I agree the defence gets demoralised by the lack of punch up front, so once we're behind the heart tends to go out of the side.

What Southgate inherited was a very unbalanced side - basically a poor side relying on 2 top class strikers to pull us through. We're a more footballing side now: nicer to watch, but lacking end product. I think only Derby have scored fewer goals. We desperately need at least one more decent striker.

The last 6 games have been the first time since Southgate was appointed that I've started to think he might make it as a manager.

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 18:16
The only positive way forward

But this squad of players has been in poor form for a full 3 years now and in that time our attacking options have been getting progressively weaker. So how long will it take for you to think that they may not be as strong as you think they are.

Don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting were relegation material, but I don't really see us as a top half side also. Maybe as high as 10th if everyone in the current was fit all the time, which was always going to be unlikely.

moxzin Posted on 30/12/2007 18:16
The only positive way forward

"Ovcourse McLaren's reign at Boro was better, he knew how to manage."

I think virtually the whole nation disagrees with you. We Boro fans must be the only constituency in the country where he still enjoys any respect whatsoever, and even then it'll be patchy. Blame his polarising ways. I for one will be very very interested to see how he does in his next job, wherever that may be.

"The guy worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson."

Southgate worked with McClaren! The circle of life...


red_shamrock Posted on 30/12/2007 18:17
The only positive way forward

Yes...I agree zaphod.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 18:19
The only positive way forward

Have they really Big Shot?? Not for me they haven't. Sorry, I just disagree with you. Players take responsibility, yes but the manager is responsible for organising them, selecting the team etc etc and it is upon those decisions that I am basing my opinion. I believe that the current players are capable of better than 20 points from 20 games and that it will take a better manager to get the best out of them. You disagree and that's fine, isn't it.

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 18:22
The only positive way forward

Do you not remember the 2nd half of the 04/05 season? 1 win in 3 months. Thats why I said 3 full years. We've been in the bottom 8 or since the start of McClarens final season. We're still there but without the good strikers we had, so is it really such an underachievement.

You're perfectly entitled to disagree, I just don't understand why after all this time you think the playing staff are so much better than their results and league standing suggests.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 18:27
The only positive way forward

Would that be the 04/05 season that we finished 7th? The one before we got to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup which, in turn, was the one before the UEFA Cup Final. Those runs took their toll on our league form.

In any event, it's irrelevant. The only thing that's relevant is today. My view is, having watched these players perform every week, that they are vastly under-performing and our manager is not capable of getting better out of them.

I hope to be proven wrong but you're not going to change my mind by telling me that it is all down to the players and that another manager wouldn't do any better with the same bunch because I don't believe it. It will take what happens on the pitch to change my mind.

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 18:31
The only positive way forward

I'm not wanting to change your mind, and have at no point suggested its only the players fault, I think I actually said its everyones collective fault. I'm just merely pointing out that we've been struggling for form in the league for 3 full years, not 3 months. Which to me suggests that maybe the groups of players we've had might only be a below mid table side over the course of a 38 game season.

scoea Posted on 30/12/2007 18:48
The only positive way forward

Fair enough.

HolgateCorner Posted on 30/12/2007 19:09
The only positive way forward

I think it is a good point to debate whether or not Southgate is getting the best out of the players.

I don't think we will get an answer until the problem with the forward line (ie no strikers) is resolved.

Until then we are an unbalanced team with too much stress on the defence and midfield.

The lack of strikers coming into this season was a strategic error by the club and I'm not convinced it was Southgate's fault. That's maybe one of the reasons for Gibson's loyalty.

Big_Shot Posted on 30/12/2007 19:14
The only positive way forward

Don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting that Southgate is doing well this season, as he clearly isn't, and he needs to actually start taking us forward sooner rather than later, starting this transfer window. There's no point in us just spending each season in the bottom half just retaining our PL status. But at the same time I think a club like ours needs to give a manager time as ultimately our goals are only 10-15 points ahead of where we are. Which could be bridged by a couple of good signings.

I personally think our problems this term lie in our squad depth with regard to attacking options, which can be put right over a few transfer windows. And us looking surprisingly weak at the back, which is something the manager needs to work on with what we currently have(although I think Woodgate getting Huth or Pogatetz back alongside him will make a difference). So there are things that needs doing but I don't really see them as things that Southgate and his staff can't put right over time. Presuming of course we keep up a reasonable level of form which keeps us clear of the bottom 3.

borobuddah Posted on 30/12/2007 23:25
The only positive way forward

So the fans have nowt to do with it, EH?

mwelolo Posted on 31/12/2007 09:18
The only positive way forward

There is clearly shared responsibility for the position we are in.Gisbson must take the blame for the set up as it is. Southgate must take the blame for his failings as a manager and the players must take the blame for their performances.I don't accept that our set of players are nearly as good as some people believe they are but they are still underperforming. I see them as mostly ordinary on paper and frequently poor on the pitch.