Middlesbrough’s deeply unimaginative transfer policy

July 17, 2010 48

Gordon Strachan, it seems, is leading Celtic’s bid to enter the English Premier League.  Via Middlesbrough.

Since joining the Teeside club he has signed Scott McDonald, Chris Killen, Willo Flood, Stephen McManus, Barry Robson from his former club.  There may be more.  There probably are.  Nicky Bailey was ostensibly signed from Charlton, but presumably he spent time as a ball boy at Celtic Park, or qualifies through a grandfather, or something like that.

In the interest of political correctness, Strachan has decided to plump for a couple of Rangers players this summer, in the shape of Kris Boyd and Kevin Thomson.  But the Celtic influence remains overpowering.  I haven’t seen something so obviously green dressed up in red since Bucky O’Hare.

It’s an old Football Manager trick: buy players who know you can rely on.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – just move it South of the border and hope it doesn’t get damaged in transit.

The shame is that Strachan has done this at Middlesbrough – a club that for years has reaped the benefit of Dave Parnaby’s much-envied academy.  Many youngsters will struggle to emerge behind a plethora of ex-SPL ‘stars’.  If Boro win promotion to the Premier League this season, Strachan will feel rightly vindicated.  If they don’t, Chairman Steve Gibson will have to question the wisdom of his manager’s transfer policy.  And wonder if it might have been cheaper to just buy Celtic.

48 Comments »

  1. Sunny July 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm -

    Hogger, Hogger, Hogger, you should have resisted.

    Strachan has signed players from 4 different clubs in Scotland & is after Conway from Dundee Utd (to take it to 5).

    Given the relative size of the leagues, I’m pretty certain (I can work it out for you if you like), that the number of clubs Strachan has raided in Scotland compares very favourably to the number of clubs Wenger has recruited players from.

    Of course, this only holds true if we concur with your (ill thought through) theory that its bad/unimaginative to recruit from one particular league.

    In summary – your beloved Wenger would appear to be “deeply unimaginative” in comparison to Strachan.

    I actually don’t think Wenger is deeply unimaginative – I for one, think Wenger is a genius but then again, I’m not the one posting stupid articles.

    I’ve read a couple of your articles Hogger – your WC tips were pretty spot on, so kudos to you there – but you dropped the ball on this one mate & every time you respond to the goading, you just dig yourself a deeper hole. Just apologise and we can get on with our lives.

  2. Hogger July 21, 2010 at 11:59 am -

    In that list alone, there are signings from eight different clubs. Nothing like the concentrations of signings from one team that Strachan has managed. But yes, Arsene does buy a lot of players from Ligue 1.

  3. Sunny July 21, 2010 at 11:44 am -

    Hogger – maybe you should read this? (I presume you have the time to at least keep yourself up to date with events at Arsenal? or do you find reading gets in the way of all that circus training?)

    http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/boards/read/s378.htm?721,11704269

  4. Attax July 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm -

    . . . and now the weather . . .

  5. Sunny July 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm -

    Haha – an Arsenal fan and you’ve had the cheek to spout such rubbish (see Neil’s last post). You’re a joker son.

  6. Yella July 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm -

    Ah well. We need say no more about those from darn sarf commenting on Northern teams.

    And ZetaBhoy there’s no need to get so defensive but I’m afraid you’ve missed the point. I’m not debating that Celtic have a richer and more successful history than Boro. What I’m saying is that on the pitch they are not a million miles apart. As I said I am a Celtic follower I follow their results and always want them to win, be it in Europe or the league. But if Celtic had been in the Premier League last season they would have struggled to finish top half. And pointing to the fact that you’re in Europe every year doesn’t prove anything. Their are plenty of clubs who can say the same. The League of Wales champions play in the Champions League. Are they bigger than Boro? No.

    I am happy to admit that Celtic in the Premier League would have the potential to be a big club. Unfortunately Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday are two examples of clubs who also have the same potential.

    And I’m sure that Celtic do welcome all supporters from all backgrounds but you’re not seriously trying to suggest that there’s not still some protestant/catholic tension between the Glasgow teams are you?

  7. Hogger July 19, 2010 at 11:06 am -

    I support Arsenal, if that makes any difference.

  8. Attax July 19, 2010 at 3:06 am -

    . . . and that concludes the evidence for the defence, Hogger, two words – ‘Medication time’

  9. Neil July 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm -

    I am quite interested to discover who Hogger suports

  10. Sunny July 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm -

    Guys – spot on comments. Hogger, this “debate” is over and you seem to have beaten a hasty retreat. UTB!

  11. Gaz July 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm -

    Some of these comments abusing Strachans policy are really short sighted.
    Let’s take Charlie Adam for example. Raved about last season and now has a value approaching £5m. Having been at an Old Firm i can tell you he wasnt worth £500k. The Championship and certainly the EPL have a terrible habit of taking very average players and making them into something they certainly arent. Man U academy failure Frazier Campbell for £7m quid? Are you kidding me on? Nowhere else but England. Keiran Richardson. Jermaine Pennant. See where im going? Good hard cash in that market gets you guff all. We bought Glenn Loovens for £3.5m and he cant cope with the SPL. Dont criticise Strachan for being smart enough to realise Scottish clubs need all the cash they can get and will accept bids lower than (although ridiculous market) value.
    Boyd for free? Im a Celtic fan and thats a ridiculous piece of business for Boro. They should be delighted. Thomson for £2m? Twice the player Adam is.
    Barry Robson, although 31, £1m was and will be again next season a complete steal.
    Stephen McManus, £1.5m for Celtic’s club captain? Definitely isnt great with the ball at his feet but defends for his life, therefore more good business. Scott McDonald. Any striker who scored as many as he did should and would have cost at least double the £3m he cost-had he come from anywhere else. But he didnt.
    Use the cautionary tale of Alves as proof of that.

    Strachan was a great Celtic manager, He builds solid hard to beat teams and the Championship is a slog. If you dont want him and his smart policy (total cost of all just a wee bit more than Emnes and Digard) then prepare to have you’re door battered down.

    hogger: You’ve dropped the ball here. If you are a Boro fan ask youself the question-exactly what else do you expect, cos it wont be Ravinelli etc anymore.

    If you arent a Boro fan….are you jealous?

  12. Stephan July 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm -

    “Watching Celtic v Boro at the Northern Masters.

    One day this game is going to be very confusing…”

    You sure are good at debating and defending your views. One can’t accuse you of being unimaginative.

  13. Neil July 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm -

    Well said sunny. Diffrent level of player I accept but the unimaginative wenger signed Henry, Pires, Wiltord, Viera, Petit, Anelka and Grimandi. Some people have no imagination when it comes to signing players, tut tut. Surely Arsenals invincibles would have been much better if he’d gone out and signed players that he was less familiar with.

  14. Sunny July 18, 2010 at 11:49 am -

    Crumbs Hogger – you’re really still trying to wring a debate out of this? You’re wriggling about like a worm on a hook – just admit you got it wrong!

    The latest nugget – “Strachan’s policy is uniquely unimaginative”?

    Really? I thought it was quite common for Managers to sign players from former clubs (Redknapp? Keane?) or leagues they are familiar with? (Wenger, Rafa etc)

    Look up “unique” and then come back tome.

  15. Neil July 18, 2010 at 11:05 am -

    Odd for signing players that he has seen first hand for years rather than take the opinion of a scout. A major part is also value for money. To buy an English player the price goes through the roof. Bailley cost us £1.4million and has played just one season in the championship. Thompson £2million and he has played international and champions league football. How much did dorrens, adam and burke cost there respective clubs when signed from scotland? Not as much as we paid when we were imaginative by spending £3.2million on Emnes.

  16. Hogger July 18, 2010 at 10:03 am -

    Watching Celtic v Boro at the Northern Masters.

    One day this game is going to be very confusing…

  17. Stephan July 18, 2010 at 9:43 am -

    Hogger; You keep saying that he is unimaginative, but what do you suggest he should do. Take a gamble on some foreign player, like ALves, Emnes, Digard and Mido? We have tried that before, and it failed miserably.

    It doesn’t matter that those players have played for him before. What matters is, he has bought Robson, McManus and McDonald who have all been key players in Celtic and are all good enough for the Championship and lower half of the PL. On top of that, he has brought in two of Rangers’ most influential players, one of whom is the all-time leading scorer in Scotland. All that for a total outlay of opproximately 8 million. To say that McManus, Robson and McDonald can no longer cut in the SPL is just crazy and bitter talk from Celtic fans. Jesus, they have Morten Rasmussen, and as a Dane I know just how poor he is.

    Former players or not, that is shrewed tranfer dealing, and I suspect that fans from any Championship club envy us for getting those players.

  18. Hogger July 18, 2010 at 9:20 am -

    Here’s the debate:

    “He’s bought players from Celtic that they no longer want, and players from Rangers who they definitely did want but have to sell as H.M. Customs and Excise are knocking loudly on the door a la Portsmouth.”

    “Strachan lost the plot in his last 18 months at Celtic. He seemed to be on edge again for Boro.”

    “Celtic are delighted that Gordon Strachan is paying us good money for players who no longer can cut it in the SPL.”

    I have no problem with Boro – or, indeed, Celtic. My initial point is that Strachan’s transfer policy is uniquely unimaginative. I stand by it! He’s buying all his former players!

    Maybe it’ll work. I haven’t said it won’t. But it remains decidedly odd.

  19. Neil July 18, 2010 at 3:50 am -

    Hogger, you said you would return to ‘resume this + respond later on. Interesting debate.’ It’s not a debate. It’s basically Boro fans telling u that u have very little idea what u r on about. You may as well have written a blog about my mate “tincan” Ali. Do u know him? Do u know anything he has done lately? No????? Great, perfect for your next blog.

    Boro will never be as big as Celtic obviously but I do feel sorry for the fans of the big 2 in Glasgow because they could be so much more if allowed to play in the EPL. UP THE BORO.

  20. Attax July 18, 2010 at 1:24 am -

    Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ok, I’ll be brief,
    Fact – Celtic were and continue to be a Magnificent club.
    Fact – Boro were and continue to be a Magnificent club.
    Both clubs have proud histories and passionate fans and the intelligent fans from both clubs would not display their ignorance and vulgarity by verbally abusing the other on sites such as this.
    A nonchallent glance at ‘Hoggers’ comments throughout depicts perfectly the intelligence, reasoning and acumen of the author.
    Will Strachans’ policy work ? I don’t know, but I haven’t been this excited about the start of a season for many, many moons.

  21. ZetaBhoy July 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm -

    Yella @ 2.33

    Are u stark raving bonkers? First up Celtic are delighted that Gordon Strachan is paying us good money for players who no longer can cut it in the SPL, second up Celtic are an all inclusive club and welcome all no matter what their religion is, and third up we know our place all right, as ex European Champions its playing in Europe every season. When was the last time ‘Boro’ was in Europe?

  22. Stephan July 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm -

    Montreal_Celtic; Us boro fans do appreciate that Strachan are bringing those players in. It’s pub-punters like Hogger who are critisising Strachans policy of bringing experienced players in their prime to boro for limited funds.

  23. Montreal_Celtic July 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm -

    Celtic did more with McManus, Flood, Robson, Killen in 3 years then what Boro have done in a lifetime of football. Your most impressive season without a doubt 2006 and it’s not that impressive. Why don’t you appreciate the fact that you will be getting experienced players that have played in Europe, beat some of the biggest teams in Europe (Man Utd, Ac Milan, Benfica, Liverpool…) and thank Strachan for doing it.

  24. Stephan July 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm -

    So Hogger, you’re obviously not s boro fan and you seem to take pride in blindly critisising the boro and Strachans transfer policy. It was admirable that the club tried to survive in the Premier League mainly through their acdemy (plus some very expensive underperforming foreigners) I wish that the club could have survived on that basis but we were relegated and didn’t go up again. It is no secret that no club can excel only through their academy, but need outside strengthening in vital places. Strachan has identified those ares, and he has brought in players he knows will improve the squad and will be up for the challenge mentally, which is very important.

    And how do you suggest that he “broadens his horizon”? Do you suggest that he takes a gamble on some exotic foreigner og a prospect from Holland/France. We have tried that previously and those “horizon-broadening” players have failed miserably.

    Players like Boyd, MCDonald, McManus, Thomson and Robson would improve any Championship team and could easily get into a lower-half Premier League team. Main goal is promotion and subsequently surviving in the PL. To say that he is depressingly short-termist is crazy. Those players in mention are all in their prime and can help the youngsters through by showing them fight, guts and pride. That is something I find better then what some fat Egyptian can learn them.

    The team will still comprise academy players such as jones, wheater, Rhys Williams, Bates, Pilatos, Luke Williams, Bennet and Grounds. If you count the number of home grown players in the squad I think that you will find the number of players a little higher than say, Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea, United just to name a few.

    Spare us your badly researched facts – you obviously have it in for Strachan and will find problems in all his actions. As a boro fan I have no problem with him picking the best players from Scotland for a very limited outlay. Players he knows will give 100% every week and serve as good role models for the kids.

  25. Yella July 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm -

    As a Boro fan I’ve read this with interest.

    First of all I can’t see the problem with Strachan’s buying strategy. He has one aim – promotion. He has limited funds and as such has bought players he knows he can rely on to do the job and at the right price. Fair enough Miller and Killen haven’t made the grade but Willo Flood has potential and the rest have all either been obvious improvements on what we had or given us something different to work with.

    As for Celtic fans I don’t think you should feel ashamed that Boro are buying up your players. Celtic will always have a larger fan base than Boro. Middlesbrough is a town of only 120000 people. Glasgow is significantly larger. Unfortunately as clubs they have been roughly on a par for a long time and certainly up until Boro’s relegation a year ago. This is mainly due to Celtic not having any potential at all. Potential suggests room to grow and to develop into something more. Unless Celtic join the Premier League then they aren’t going anywhere other than finishing top 2 in Scotland every year and occasionally having a decent European run. And that is the only positive to Celtic over Boro, European football. Other than that they play in the most boring league in the world, full of clubs that would struggle in the Championship with the only real competition being Rangers. Why do you think Celtic fans were so excited about signing a striker on loan who couldn’t get into the Tottenham team last year.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always followed Celtic myself being a good Catholic boy but Celtic fans need to know their place sometimes!

  26. Thecelticblog July 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm -

    Celtic players are of bottom epl or championship level. They will survive and in some cases thrive in those ponds. Difference between a player coming from Celtic and a player coming from say Doncaster is that they are coming from a club whose week in and week out demands- must win every week defeat or draw is a disaster – are only matched by top premiership clubs.

    Their mentality is different and Strachan knows this.

    Problem is Strachan lost the plot in his last 18 months at Celtic. He seemed to be on edge again for Boro. His plan maybe correct but I fear he won’t implement it to a successful conclusion.

  27. S.R. July 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm -

    I’m very proud of our youth policy and some of the players it has brought through have been great successes. At the same time, you have to live in the real world and acknowledge that plenty of them aren’t going to make the grade at our level and unfortunately this has been the case over the last year or two; there hasn’t really been enough of the young lads pushing for a place in the side and I think even the academy staff themselves have voiced disappointment at the quality of some of the recent crops of graduates.

    At the same time, there’s a lot of optimism around some of the lads that are around the 16-18 age range, a number of whom were given long term contracts against standard club policy, such is the optimism for their prospects – one of them being the 17 year old Luke Williams who was given his debut last season.

    But, these lads need time to develop, and our main problem over the last 2 seasons has been a lack of experience and a shortage of quality in depth. In the summer of 2008 Gareth Southgate released Mark Schwarzer, George Boateng, Lee Cattermole and Fabio Rochemback (and I could possibly include Gaizka Mendieta here as well, who had been frozen out of the first team picture a year earlier and was forced to train with the kids for his final year here, although I think common wisdom would hold that ‘his legs had gone’ by this point) with their only replacements being Didier Digard and Marvin Emnes, two young prospects who cost us around £6.5m in total and have turned out to be total flops.

    The academy isn’t a magic wand that can just fix these problems. At the end of the day, some of it is simple blind luck as to what potential ability the lads coming in have, and the staff can only make the most of that, and although we do have a few lads from overseas we’re not like an Arsenal or Man Utd who can attract the best youg talent from around the world and most of the lads are necessarily local because of that. If, then, at the end of their scholarship they’re simply not up to scrath for whatever reason, what else can we do? It’d be footballing suicide to rely too heavily on players we know aren’t going to make the grade.

    Hence it’s simply a necessity that we’re going to have to spend some money to build a competetive squad at this level. Having seen some of the money wasted on players under Southgate I have to say that most of Strachan’s dealings so far have been very astute in comparison. I know we may take some flak for the origin of most of these signings, but again I’m happier for Strachan to sign players that he knows well and who he is confident will do a job for us as opposed to Southgate’s rather slap-dash approach to transfer dealings. Some of theses signings have also been much more financially prudent than I would have guessed which is also a big bonus.

    It doesn’t mean that the academy is less important to us at all, just that the club has to maintain a level of realism if we’re to attain our goal of promotion this season. I’m sure the development of young talent will remain a priority for the club and I’m sure that the lads will get a chance if the staff think they’re up to scratch. I’m sure there’ll be chances again for Rhys Williams, who acquitted himself well last season, and perhaps for more bit part players last year such as Joe Bennett and Jon Grounds who also did a job when required.

    Just to add that I also think it’s possible to overstate Southgate’s faith on academy lads – let’s not forget that he did spend (and waste) a lot of money on some big name (or in the case of Mido, just ‘big’) players whilst he also perhaps unwisely released a couple of lads who’d come through our own ranks as he couldn’t seem to handle them, namely James Morrison and Lee Cattermole. A lot of the lads still around the squad now such as Wheater, McMahon and Taylor as well as Downing and Johnson for instance all first came to prominence under McClaren.

  28. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 11:43 am -

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the (admittedly shouty) other side of the coin.

    Off out for a bit now, but will certainly resume this + respond later on. Interesting debate.

  29. cruixbhoy July 17, 2010 at 11:40 am -

    DREAM ON HOGGER,NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS COULD ANYBODY AT BORO ‘PURCHASE’CELTIC AS YOU PUT IT.WE MIGHT PLAY OUR FOOTBALL IN SCOTLAND,BUT ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE A BIGGER CLUB WITH MORE MONEY,POTENTIAL,BETTER PLAYERS AND A BIGGER FAN BASE THAN BORO.MANY THANKS TO WEE GORDON FOR DOING HIS BIT TO BOOST OUR TRANSFER FUNDS,AND TO RELIEVE US OF SOME DEAD WOOD(WILLO FLOOD,CHRIS KILLEN AND MCMANUS)

  30. Neil July 17, 2010 at 11:30 am -

    What shifting policy? The youth set up will never suffer. The Academy will continue to produce quality and he trusts his manager, rather than telling him who to sign. Strach has had a look at the Championship and he’s seen what he needs to do to get us up. If he fails then it’ll be on his head but, as Sunny said the players he has brought in will generate transfer fees if needed. I’m going to stop writing on here now because u r just talking rubbish and i feel as if u r just guessing at what u should say. How dare the chairman give his manager £5million to spend on players that want to prove themselves good enough to play in the prem? lol,

  31. Sunny July 17, 2010 at 11:26 am -

    What is shifting? This is my point – we still are investing in youth! We’re not cutting any spending on the academy are we?
    You admire Southgate but for what? Look at the players he signed? The same chairman backed him then, as he’s doing now for Strachan. What, pray tell, is our change in policy? (Aside from the fact, backing our manager’s judgement?). If you can tell me how we’re not investing in our academy (as before), I’m very happy to listen – if you can’t, get back in your box son.

  32. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 11:21 am -

    How does the chairman justify the shifting policy?

  33. Sunny July 17, 2010 at 11:16 am -

    As I said – that was not Southgate’s policy!!! The club has invested millions in its academy (back in Robson’s day) and are not about to shut it down. As Neil pointed out (and he could have stuck Mido in there as well for 7M) – take a look at what Southgate spent and perhaps compare that to the amount Strachan has spent (also check the age of Boyd, Bailey, Even McManus – players in or approaching their prime – not past it and not short termist). After you’ve done this little piece of analysis – then go back to your chequebook/Redknapp comment. In furture, you’re better of blogging about stuff you know about or stuff you care enough about to research properly…

  34. Neil July 17, 2010 at 11:15 am -

    Yeah I agree, he should go out and sign unknown quantities, such as Emnes, Digard & Alves. £19million!!!!!!!! We’ve done it before. It didn’t work, sorry mate but u aint got a clue what u r on about

  35. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 11:13 am -

    I don’t think it would harm him to broaden his horizons.

    Oh no, he’s done that – he bought some Rangers players too.

  36. Neil July 17, 2010 at 11:11 am -

    So who should he buying?

  37. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 11:10 am -

    No problem with Boro, but I maintain that Strachan’s policy is odd – as Carntyne suggests, Celtic must think Christmas has come early!

  38. Neil July 17, 2010 at 11:01 am -

    ‘I’ll admit I don’t know all that much about what Strachan is up to at Boro,’

    Why right a blog about it then? Southgate was given a tough job to do by being told to sell his best players and replace them with lower wage earners. Still, in the season we cam e down he had spent £4million on Digard and £3.2 on Emnes not to mention the previous January £12 million on Alves. Three players that have done nothing for the club, £19 million pound on rubbish. The clubs youth policy will never suffer as if we don’t go up this season that is what we will rely on to keep us from doing a Leeds/Charlton/Southampton. Also McClaren gave Johnson and Downing their debuts so it’s thanks to him and Parnaby not Southgate that we have a bit of money to spend. If you ‘don’t know all that much about what Strachan is up to at Boro,’ don’t slag the club or the manager off, it’s lazy and boring.

  39. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 10:58 am -

    Sunny – I think Southgate’s policy was an admirable one and it’s shame for English football that it ‘failed’. Strachan’s approach is depressingly short-termist. I believe Boro can succeed in the Championship and build a club at the same time. At the moment, he’s running around with a chequebook a la Redknapp.

  40. Sunny July 17, 2010 at 10:54 am -

    Hogger – you’ve admitted you don’t know what you’re chatting about. Give it up. Also – it doesn’t take much research to unearth the fact that Southgate was not responsible for setting up Boro’s academy (and therefore, you should be able to deduce that first team players from this academy, have long been central to the strategy of MFC). I also suspect that 2 seasons out of the PL is worth more than 20M. The fact we’ve been able to buy Boyd now – because of Southgate’s master plan is one of the funniest (and stupidest) things I’ve heard for a while.

  41. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 10:51 am -

    Of all the players he’s brought in, Boyd is the best signing – I was quite surprised he didn’t get a move to a Premier League club.

  42. Carntyne July 17, 2010 at 10:50 am -

    Don’t be surprised by Gordon’s actions.

    He’s just doing his old club a favour.

    He’s bought players from Celtic that they no longer want, and players from Rangers who they definitely did want but have to sell as H.M. Customs and Excise are knocking loudly on the door a la Portsmouth.

    On a more serious note, Kris Boyd and Kevin Thompson will make Hogger eat his words by the end of next season.

    A bonus in the signing of Boyd should mean easing the goal scoring burden on Scott McDonald who will no doubt respond by scoring at least twenty this coming season.

    Boyd will blow all you ‘Boro fans away.

    I predict 25+ goals this season from th ex-Rangers striker.

    And that may turn out to be a conservative number.

    Get a big slice of humble pie ready Hogger, and watch you don’t choke on it.

    You heard it here first!

  43. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 10:49 am -

    Do you feel these Celtic players represent a significant improvement on what you had before?

    Genuine question.

  44. Craig S July 17, 2010 at 10:48 am -

    No probs Hogger!
    I like to try and put people right on my beloved Boro when they start chipping in with misinformed articles! A similar artice was produced by the Guardian on Friday!
    To be fair when you talk about Downing and Johnson they actually came into the first-team picture more under Steve McClaren.
    However as much-maligned as he was he still had the sense to combine youth with experience such as Hasselbaink, Boateng, Southgate as a player and Schwarzer in goal to name a few.
    Southgate managed to dump up to five experienced players in one go in summer 2008 and spent over 20 million on the likes of Mido, Alves, Emnes and Digard who all flopped at Boro! While is over-reliance on youth proved to be his and our downfall!
    Relegation meant his hands were tied as he had to offload more assets like Tuncay and Robert Huth which cost us any chance of going up last season.
    Strachan appears to be trying to sort out the balance to get some more experienced heads in that are used to winning in the SPL and battling for points while balancing the books at the same time!
    Whether his transfer methods are successful or not remain to be seen but I for one am more optimistic about next season than I have been for a good few years!

  45. Celtic bhoy July 17, 2010 at 10:47 am -

    Just for the record,larsson isnt strachans former player.

  46. Hogger July 17, 2010 at 10:30 am -

    Craig S,

    Thanks for your response. I’ll admit I don’t know all that much about what Strachan is up to at Boro, but I did see them a couple of times before the end of last season.

    The fact remains that he’s only able to afford to buy these players because of the sales of Johnson and Downing. In that respect Southgate’s policy can’t necessarily be regarded as a failure.

    I still find Strachan’s insistence of buying up half his former team amusing, and will continue to do so until I see Henrik Larsson lining up on teeside.

  47. SpacemanEd July 17, 2010 at 10:06 am -

    Yeh! Very well said Craig, Up the Boro :D

  48. Craig S July 17, 2010 at 9:53 am -

    Another classic example of somebody trying to talk about a subject he knows nothing about!
    The players arriving at Middlesbrough this summer maybe on the whole primarily from north of the border! So what?
    What is the problem with a manager bringing in players who he knows all about and feels they can do a job for him as opposed to signing Carlos kick-a-ball from some Chilean outfit who turns out to be a total dud?

    As for the youth policy! Is that the youth policy Gareth Southgate tried to rely too heavily on which left a club that had been safely knocking about in the Premier League for 11 years relegated with a whimper?
    And if you checked your stats further you would see that Strachan promoted 16 year old scholar Luke Williams into the first team last season – ask him what he thinks about Strachan’s management skills?

    The players Strachan has signed are not replacing any youngsters. The club are aiming to get shot of Mido, Emnes, while Jeremie Aliadiere has gone and Killen is not being kept so that is where Boyd comes in to play.

    McManus is in but old heads Pogatetz and Chris Riggott have gone so we are short there as we could do with another centre-half to back up YOUTH TEAM product David Wheater.

    Strachan has signed a TEENAGER in Andy Halliday from Livingston for the left wing to replace the loss of YOUTH TEAM products Downing and Johnson who we made £20m on when they decided it was time to leave!

    We have always been short in midfield hence the arrival of Thomson and Bailey – but Gary O’Neil could still go so again it’s like for like buying.

    Homegrown keeper Brad Jones, David Wheater, Tony McMahon, Joe Bennett, Andrew Taylor, Jon Franks, Matt Bates Luke and Rhys Williams will all feature heavily next season, while Bruno Pilates is being raved about from the youth team!

    Therefore Hogger I suggest you do your homework in future rather than just lobbing any slap dash crap down!

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