Pressure back on Gibson

Middlesbrough Head Coach Steve Agnew

Steve Gibson is one of the best chairmen in English football, no doubt – but that does not mean he is perfect and that has shown this season.

Middlesbrough’s relegation was confirmed on Monday with defeat at Chelsea – this has been coming for nearly six months – Boro’s displays for much of the season have been woeful, indeed the most negative dour football served up by the club in living memory.

Aitor Karanka got it wrong, his defensive approach did not work and probably his stubbornness to change things was his main downfall.

But likewise, it was Gibson’s stubbornness/blind loyalty that cost the club – he should have made the decision to remove Karanka in January and give someone a real chance to keep them up.

Clearly that man was not Agnew – he had a great chance to put his stamp on the Boro team in the run-in, show the fans he could do things different, but he has done anything but.

Agnew has been just as negative for much of his reign, which has rightly infuriated fans – why has he not tried to go with a different approach?

But it is over now for Boro fans – a dismal season for so many reasons, the main one being that the squad was seemingly good enough to stay up, but in the last few months they have just not shown any real passion in their performances.

Boro fans have been wonderful from first game to last, and if the team on the pitch had shown even a percentage of that fight, then perhaps they would have been better placed.

Step up

Now is the time for Gibson to step up – he needs to lead from the front, Boro need a spark and Agnew just is not the man to do it.

And where do Boro turn? Well Gibson loves a new manager offering a first-team role to a new boss – Bryan Robson, Steve McClaren, Gareth Southgate and Aitor Karanka – all given their first roles by Boro and Gibson.

To that end it would surely be hard to see him not going down the route again – recent weeks have seen Ryan Giggs’s name suggested and in truth, he could tread the same path of Robson – and true Manchester United great given his first job on Teesside.

In truth only Gibson will know which route he goes down – whether to stick with Agnew, go new an untried with a Giggs? Does he go experienced – possibly with someone like former Boro captain Nigel Pearson who has previously taken Leicester up or maybe he goes foreign again?

Over to you Mr Gibson, a lot is expected but let’s not forget – he has got things right more than he has got it wrong.

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