Aitor Karanka, the manager of Middlesbrough FC, was unhappy after seeing his side lose to West Ham United on Saturday – especially after Stuani had scored a goal – and thanks largely to two from Andy Carroll. Boro haven’t won in the Premier League for five games now – usually, the total number of games Carroll manages in a top-flight season.
We’ve summarised Karanka’s thoughts on this as we’ve already let two cups of tea go cold through searching for interesting content about Middlesbrough’s season to date…
“’Attack. Attack. Attack’ the fans were screaming just twelve minutes from the end of the football match. You are right: I didn’t think this was nice as my name is Aitor, not Attack. I think I deserve more respect for what I have achieved in just over three years. Alex Neil won the battle in the Play-Off Final but maybe we are winning the War? This is normal I think in England? Maybe ‘Attack’ is some kind of awful nickname they have made up about me, but I spent many hours under the sun, learning my trade; I can see clearly now the smog has gone. In Bilbao, we were known as ‘The Lions’ because our football ground was located next to a church called San Mamés after Mammes who was thrown to the lions in Christian times. He was a saint I think…maybe they will chant ‘Aitor. Aitor. Aitor next time?”
After a few ‘misunderstandings’ Karanka now says he ‘fully understands’ what Steve Gibson (Middlesbrough’s Owner, Chairman and Marketing Director of ‘The Teesside Perm’) expects of him. He is, as a result of this two-minute discussion, fully focused on trying to ‘do a Boro’ by following promotion with immediate relegation – achieved in the past by such legendary Middlesbrough managers as Bruce Rioch in 1989 and Lennie Lawrence in 1993 – but trying not to make it too obvious to the Middlesbrough shareholders who will save face and get all the credit next season anyway when season ticket prices are slashed and there is much more room in the car park.
“This strategy, it plays to my strengths and is one I know well as a defender myself. We just need to draw most of our games from now on and make sure we stay in our own half as much as possible. We are in the bottom half already and no other club has conceded fewer goals than us. I am immensely proud of our progress and the players should take full credit for this, especially playing with a ball that is round and not long. I have recruited players who I think will fit in well with our way of thinking and who are known for not being able to score goals at the other end such as Negredo who, I admit, did worry me a little bit by doing quite well early on; Gestede who has shown at Aston Villa that he is a striker who doesn’t know where the net is and Patrick Bamford whose pretty face will look good on Middlesbrough merchandise for years to come. I am also proud to say that Jordan Rhodes has only started two matches this season and you can all see that we have successfully converted him from being prolific to peripheral. I have every reason to think this will continue and ask the fans again to understand that this is no easy task. Rhodes (whose brother discovered Rhodesia, just south of Spain, my own country) played for two of the oldest and most famous clubs in England – Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers – that nobody else in Europe has ever heard of. If I had stayed at Real I think I would have been able to achieve this also with Ronaldo and Bale. Things are going well for me here and, to be remembered alongside Lenny Bruce, well, if I know my history that is just too funny…”