Tales from not-the Top Flight

Right, I’ve been holding this rant in for long enough but enough is enough and its time to talk about my team, Middlesbrough FC. The more observant reader will have noticed that I have not really been mentioning the Smoggies in the previous few posts but I can ignore the Boro no longer, something is seriously wrong. We were one of the biggest spenders in the Championship and naturally following Chairman Steve Gibson’s promise that we were going to ‘smash the league’ after the disappointment of relegation last season there was a renewed sense of optimism in the North East. The appointment of manager Garry Monk looked excellent on paper at least, but we are now well over a quarter into the season and Boro find themselves in the mire of mid-table (13th) and are closer to relegation than promotion. So just what has gone wrong?

Well, the summer transfer business on paper at least looked quite good and some of the signings have actually settled very well, see Cyrus Christie and Darren Randolph. The problem, I’m afraid to say lies with the manager. On paper, this squad should be top two with no problem but on the pitch, things have been bitterly disappointing. Garry Monk has to shoulder a lot of the blame for this. The team starts horrifically pretty much every match and usually have to go a goal down early before they actually wake up and realise they are playing a professional football match. This has happened time and time again and the coaching team just have to take responsibility for this. The start against Cardiff this weekend was poor again.

Monk’s tactics are all over the shop too. We have played 4-3-3, a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield, a 4-4-2 without a diamond in midfield and a 4-2-3-1 already this season and it is clear Monk has no idea who is in his best team and we seem to end every match with about four strikers up top as we are usually always trailing. This is unforgivable and while Steve Gibson is known for his loyalty as a chairman, if this slide is not arrested quickly then I think it’s time Middlesbrough cut their losses and replace Garry Monk.

There were probably other matches that took place in the Championship this weekend too but I’m so tired after writing that rant it’s probably best we leave that all for next week.