What is Steve Gibson’s biggest mistake?

What is Steve Gibson’s biggest mistake


  • Total voters
    138
  • Poll closed .

Redwurzel

Well-known member
Steve Gibson has been a positive for Middlesbrough FC since he became a director when the club were in Administration in 1986. His vision and funds have provided the basis for the club to spend so much time in the Premier League.

However I agree there have been mistakes.

One of his biggest mistake in my opinion was taking funds away from Southgate in the Summer of 2008. At the end of season 2007/8 we looked a solid Premiership side. But that summer Schwarzer, Boateng, Rockembach, Young were sold/released who were key players. I suspect against Southgate's wishes. If we kept them 4 we would not have been relegated in 2009. That relegation led to a series of forced sales in 2009 of key players such as Downing, Johnson, Huth, Tuncay. Then came all the Scottish players who generally were not of Championship quality. Those parachute payments were completely wasted. It wasn't till early 2014 that I felt we had got over the decisions made in 2008. Mowbray spent 3 years cleaning a mess up and then was sacked, when nothing right was happening on the pitch.

Maybe Steve Gibson himself has learnt how difficult it is to run a football club. He seemed to believe too much in his own abilities, just as many fans thought he had a magic touch. An example was buying Alves for £12m from a lower level Dutch club in January 2008. Southgate was not involved in the decision. Alves was not a Brazilian international. it was clearly a big risk. It was completed just as external financial crises had started (Northern Rock went under in September 2007). It became clear after initially starting OK he was not Premier League quality. The Alves money could have used instead to keep the squad together in the Summer of 2008. Sometimes its best to pick the brains of lots of others, its not a sign of weakness but more a sign of strength.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
That'd be keeping us at the same level as 2004-2006 and would be an unbelievable achievement for any boro manager.

I just think it's a bit harsh to say appointing Southgate was the worst decision in decades, because he wasn't able to maintain the clubs best ever period of success.

I always find it quite odd how Gibson goes through these pendulum swings with the amount our managers are able to spend. Imagine being McLaren with Viduka, Hasslebaink, Maccarone, Nemeth, Christie and Danny Graham on the books, and then being allowed to go out and sign Yakubu as well. :ROFLMAO: And then the next manager in the cycle is shopping around getting in strikers like Aliadiere and LDG in.
I thought Southgate did ok tbh our recruitment was shocking during his tenure.
After a disastrous summer 2008 window we NEEDED to bring in a midfielder in the January.

Schwarzer for no one
Young for Hoyte
Cattermole for Digard
Boateng for no one
Rochenback for Emnes

Charles Itandje - messed up the transfer
Gretar Steinsson - messed up the transfer
Graham Dorrans - turned our noses up (Mark Proctor recommendation)
Nemanja Matić - pulled the plug £1m was too much (all our eggs in the ben watson basket)
Charlie Adam - turned our noses up (Mark Proctor recommendation)
 

newyddion

Well-known member
Steve Gibson has been a positive for Middlesbrough FC since he became a director when the club were in Administration in 1986. His vision and funds have provided the basis for the club to spend so much time in the Premier League.

However I agree there have been mistakes.

One of his biggest mistake in my opinion was taking funds away from Southgate in the Summer of 2008. At the end of season 2007/8 we looked a solid Premiership side. But that summer Schwarzer, Boateng, Rockembach, Young were sold/released who were key players. I suspect against Southgate's wishes. If we kept them 4 we would not have been relegated in 2009. That relegation led to a series of forced sales in 2009 of key players such as Downing, Johnson, Huth, Tuncay. Then came all the Scottish players who generally were not of Championship quality. Those parachute payments were completely wasted. It wasn't till early 2014 that I felt we had got over the decisions made in 2008. Mowbray spent 3 years cleaning a mess up and then was sacked, when nothing right was happening on the pitch.

Maybe Steve Gibson himself has learnt how difficult it is to run a football club. He seemed to believe too much in his own abilities, just as many fans thought he had a magic touch. An example was buying Alves for £12m from a lower level Dutch club in January 2008. Southgate was not involved in the decision. Alves was not a Brazilian international. it was clearly a big risk. It was completed just as external financial crises had started (Northern Rock went under in September 2007). It became clear after initially starting OK he was not Premier League quality. The Alves money could have used instead to keep the squad together in the Summer of 2008. Sometimes its best to pick the brains of lots of others, its not a sign of weakness but more a sign of strength.
Schwarzer was a HUGE mistake
Replacing Luke Young with Grétar Steinsson would have been a canny bit of business imo

We were after Joey Barton before Gary O'Neil..

imagine the state of the team we could have had..

-------------------Schwarzer---------------
Steinsson----Huth--Woodgate--Pogatetz
Morrison--Cattermole--Barton--Downing
--------------------Tuncay------------------
------------------Wheater-------------------

and yes I would have totally played Wheater up top!!
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
Ref Southgate debate

Looking back he seems to me Southgate was appointed too soon in the number 1 role. This is acknowledged by SG too. But it still went ahead. Which makes me think why?

Could it be to do with control? i.e its easier to control a complete rookie and decisions can be made by others in the club such as major transfers in and out?

The Southgate scenario was almost repeated with Woodgate - "we have looked around and we have the best already here"

I guess if I was subsidising the Club by several million every year I may want to behave the same. As said in the previous post though, you have to use the brains of as many people as relevant people (and even computer anaysis). Also have empathy for your manager walk in his shoes at times.

Many of you would have seen the Clough and Taylor documentaries. I remember watching Clough saying he bought Colin Todd without the full permission of the Chairman/Owner in 1971? That seems wrong and would certainly never happen at MFC. What happened to Derby County in the 1972-75 period with Todd playing? They won the equivalent of the Premier League twice. It is the complete opposite of a owner buying a player without the advanced agreement of the manager.
 

zorro_mfc

Well-known member
Could it be to do with control? i.e its easier to control a complete rookie and decisions can be made by others in the club such as major transfers in and out?
I def think that’s why we appoint so many novice )and therefore grateful to be given the opportunity) managers as they don’t rock the boat or are too demanding.
 
I’d say appointing Monk was more costly in the long term than appointing Woodgate. Woodgate inherited an already tarnished squad yet Warnock managed to repair pretty much all of the damage done by Woodgate within 8 games and managed to transform Woodgate’s main 3 summer signings into different players while we are still feeling the cost of Monk’s mistakes in the form of footing Assombalonga’s wages every week.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
Karanka got more than enough backing. He spat his dummy out in Jan 2016 because he didn't get his first choice target. Something which happens quite regularly, especially for a club like us.
It was more than that, he wanted Snodgrass, Bojan and Deulofeu all were rated around £10m a piece. He wanted to keep Gaston Ramirez also..
Very specific players
Instead we brought in
Rudy Gestede for £6m - absolutely shocking signing
Adlene Guedioura for £4.5m - utterly baffling
Patrick Bamford for £5.5m - I like the kid.. but he was not what we needed
£16m* on pure tosh these players are nowhere near the types of players that Karanka was looking for. Even preparing for the championship I would say they are poor transfers. We were scraping the wrong barrel which is surprizing seen as we had our own scouting team/network whatever.

*Pulis spent £20m in the championship without blinking an eye £8m on George Saville, £7m on Aden Flint and £5m on Paddy McNair.

It seems very much like something else was needed, and that something else perhaps did not include Aitor Karanka. It would have been interesting to see what Nigel Pearson would have made of the boro at that point in time and who he would have looked to bring in..
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
Monk seemed to go on a sort of supermarket trolley dash in the Summer of 2017 and there is an element here that SG is right to control transfers, because if the wrong person gets hold of the Club's parachute payments alot of it can be wasted. I assume all the transfers in were Monk's decision, which may not be true.

At the time everyone was saying Fletcher was very expensive for an unproven player. Why did we need Braithwaite? with 4 strikers on the books. Britt did have a good strike record at Forest so I was not against this at the time. Howson, Randolph and Christie were probably worth what we paid. Shotton was a bit pricey and could have been surplus if we had Christie .

Possibly the best way is to work in a true partnership between the owner/chairman and the football manager working closely together. Both have to be 100% fair and honest with each other. We know in football some managers are not 100% honest and some chairman want to over control and let their egos take charge.
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
Humpty

AK spat his dummy out in March 2016 when he walked out. We still don't don't know the reason(s) why.

It appears Jordan Rhodes was bought at the end of January 2016 but not by AK. (often stated on here)

Despite the £9m fee, AK often used him as a sub in that season and almost not at all in 2016/17. Unlike Ramirez who was a regular starter.

It could be that AK felt he had a lack of control and so walked out in March 2016. I am not saying AK was justified just how he felt. Spanish/Basque people tend to express how they feel more than English i.e more likely to have emotionally outburts when not happy.

In March 2017 he left by mutual consent which usually means you were encouraged to leave. I don't think AK threw his dummy out then, but was struggling by then. Ramirez particularly let him down. His Jan signings were for the Championship. Bamford's current value is worth more than the fees paid for all his signings that month.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
Monk seemed to go on a sort of supermarket trolley dash in the Summer of 2017 and there is an element here that SG is right to control transfers, because if the wrong person gets hold of the Club's parachute payments alot of it can be wasted. I assume all the transfers in were Monk's decision, which may not be true.

At the time everyone was saying Fletcher was very expensive for an unproven player. Why did we need Braithwaite? with 4 strikers on the books. Britt did have a good strike record at Forest so I was not against this at the time. Howson, Randolph and Christie were probably worth what we paid. Shotton was a bit pricey and could have been surplus if we had Christie .

Possibly the best way is to work in a true partnership between the owner/chairman and the football manager working closely together. Both have to be 100% fair and honest with each other. We know in football some managers are not 100% honest and some chairman want to over control and let their egos take charge.
We had a right mad mix of players

Randolph/Meijas

Christie/Roberts
Ayala/Shotton
Gibson/Fry
Fabio/Friend

Traore/Harrison
Howson/Clayton
Forshaw/Leadbitter
Downing/Johnson

Assombalonga/Bamford
Braithwaite/Fletcher


plus Gestede (who we turned Leeds down for £6m) & Lewis Baker??
 

Colin Warnek

Well-known member
Agnew was the only one where I felt really let down as a fan. So I voted Agnew. Disgusting appointment to throw away PL status when we had worked so hard for it. Had we brought a Pulis/Allardyce type in to keep us up by the scruff of the neck then, we could be where for example Palace or Brighton are now.

Southgate kept us stable for 2 years BUT should have been sacked shortly after the Cardiff debacle, and certainly before we meekly went down in 08/09.

Woodgate was a gamble as was Southgate, McClaren etc - I still think he is an okay coach who could do decent elsewhere, he just needed to stick with what worked for him over December/January.

3 points was a shambles that should have been foreseen - but there was plenty of time to stay up left.

Teesside Tory and Stockton Mackem are irrelevant really.
 

indeedido

Well-known member
Agnew was the only one where I felt really let down as a fan. So I voted Agnew. Disgusting appointment to throw away PL status when we had worked so hard for it. Had we brought a Pulis/Allardyce type in to keep us up by the scruff of the neck then, we could be where for example Palace or Brighton are now.

Southgate kept us stable for 2 years BUT should have been sacked shortly after the Cardiff debacle, and certainly before we meekly went down in 08/09.

Woodgate was a gamble as was Southgate, McClaren etc - I still think he is an okay coach who could do decent elsewhere, he just needed to stick with what worked for him over December/January.

3 points was a shambles that should have been foreseen - but there was plenty of time to stay up left.

Teesside Tory and Stockton Mackem are irrelevant really.
Stockton Mackems is definitely not irrelevant. It was ignorant, arrogant and stupid.
And I come from Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire.
 

Brian Marwood

Active member
So six big mistakes in a 20 year period? You should try being a Hull City fan, we can beat that number comfortably in just a year.

You have a stable club and a wise chairman who is willing to empty his pockets every month for you. Be thankful for what you have and just look around the leagues at other owners, would you really trade places with them?
 

SuperStu

Well-known member
Instead we brought in
Rudy Gestede for £6m - absolutely shocking signing
Adlene Guedioura for £4.5m - utterly baffling
Patrick Bamford for £5.5m - I like the kid.. but he was not what we needed

Karanka signed Guedioura again first chance he got, so that one must have been one of his.

Seeing Bamford for Leeds in the Prem this season, maybe Karanka shouldn't have been so disappointed...

No defence re: Gestede mind. :ROFLMAO: Thank f*ck he's gone.
 

Frozen Horse

Well-known member
So six big mistakes in a 20 year period? You should try being a Hull City fan, we can beat that number comfortably in just a year.

You have a stable club and a wise chairman who is willing to empty his pockets every month for you. Be thankful for what you have and just look around the leagues at other owners, would you really trade places with them?

I think it's easy to assume that, when making a decision in football, it's somehow a 50/50 chance the person making the call will get it right.

I don't agree. For most decisions, 9 out of 10 options are wrong. That may be a bit extreme; maybe 2 of those 10 options are ok, they divide fans, but a case can be made for them being a reasonable call. 7 options will look like stinkers in hindsight.

Looking at football in general, I think any chairman who get 1 in 3 managerial appointments right is doing very well.
 

Ironops

Well-known member
His biggest mistakes have not been appointments (apart from Woodgate) its been sticking with managers past their sell by dates - Southgate being the worst example, although he stuck with Robbo for waaaaaay too long also

Also his rule of not taking a manager from another club - everybody else does it, why not us? This has limited the pool of managers we have been able to get anjd limited our success as a club.

We should have hired Warnock as soon as we were relegated from the Prem with Southgate, and again after Karanka left
 

indeedido

Well-known member
I think it's easy to assume that, when making a decision in football, it's somehow a 50/50 chance the person making the call will get it right.

I don't agree. For most decisions, 9 out of 10 options are wrong. That may be a bit extreme; maybe 2 of those 10 options are ok, they divide fans, but a case can be made for them being a reasonable call. 7 options will look like stinkers in hindsight.

Looking at football in general, I think any chairman who get 1 in 3 managerial appointments right is doing very well.
So doing Agnew, Monk, pulis and Woodgate in a row is therefore a disaster.
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
Ref Stockton remark - I was a bit shocked by it. I know there used be Sunderland fans in Billingham, partly due to ex Durham miners moving to ICI in the 1960s when the pits closed, but there are less them nowadays. Willie Maddren used to say a lot of Sunderland fans used to come to his newsagents in Haverton Hill in the 1970s, but I always thought Stockton was mainly Boro out of the locally supported teams, certainly in the last 25 years.

Ref Vote Tory - Shocked he would get involved in asking people to vote for any specific party or person. Its such an emotional and dividing issue and he can't afford to alienate anyone as charman of a local football club. He may say he wants to encourage business development in the area, but to back a particular party will always lose you 50% of the population and it sticks for a long time. I honestly thought this story was a wind up.
 
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