Embattled Manager of the Week: Tony Mowbray, Middlesbrough

Tony Mowbray
Mowbray… Embattled (Img: Alfonso Jiménez)

Saturday’s 4-0 reversal at struggling Ipswich Town was Middlesbrough’s eighth defeat in thirteen games, a run of poor form that may well have put paid to their chances of promotion from the Championship after a promising start to the season.

This mid-campaign collapse is an all-too-familiar story for the Riverside faithful, so we mosied on down to Boro forums One Boro, Come On Boro and fmttm to see what they had to see about popular manager Tony Mowbray – well, maybe slightly less popular after recent results…

Stands accused of…

fermtech, One Boro

Sorry to say this but i dont think Tony is the right man for the job ,,, with the players weve got he,s not getting the best from them and his tactics and formations are a joke.

Not_Smog, Come On Boro

Time for Mowbray to leave. He’s done as much as he can and it isn’t enough. To have the wxact same problem 2 years in a row and to not have addressed it is criminal. Imagine going to work and being brilliant for 6 months and then shit dor the next 6. How many employers would keep you on after 2 years of that?

Crocker, fmttm

The rose tinted brigade need to stop protecting Mogga. His hands are maybe tied a bit – but no more than the majority of the managers of all the teams in this division. The honeymoon period is over. This is HIS team now – HIS players.
The constant tinkering with the team is downright embarassing. I dont know the answer to this – but did he constantly change players and formations during his successful promotion seasons with WBA ? Get a settled pattern and a winning team and let the other teams worry about us.
The worrying thing is that during our unbeaten run, there were few results where we had absolutely battered the opposition. In a number of the games we had to come from behind to win and there were a few patchy wins, such as Brighton away. That spell of games possibly put us in a false position and we are levelling off now. Our number of defeats, goals conceded and goal difference is shocking for a team with supposed “promotion ambitions”.

stewato, One Boro

Why the hell wasnt Carayol and Bailey on from the start, the last time apart from the cup game I saw Carayol rip blackburn apart!

Legendary Misfit, One Boro

im not prepared to bury my head in the sand and pretend we are good enough as a team (we ARE as a squad) to go up
even the winning run earlier was not 100 per cent convincing . this humiliation today hopefully will finally get through moggas head to play players in thier proper positions and stop fekkin about with different formations and play players on thier form and ability …not if they are yes men

Holgateoldskool, fmttm

If Mogga is so good answer these questions with honesty.

Can our defence defend?
Have our midfield enough bite to help the defence or enough quality in attack?
Are our strikers able to put away chances to a ratio of 1 in2 ?

We are struggling all over the pitch yet we have a good manager??

Aarfy_Aardvark, One Boro

I’m thinking that Mowbray is losing the dressing room. Certainly his treatment of some players early on in the season begs the question of whether or not everybody is 100% behind him.

This whole formation bullshit is not helping anybody.

poster briefly known as Ibby, One Boro

Last season when we whimpered out of the automatic spots to finish seventh, a majority on here still saw that as progress. The “look how far we’ve come” gang, were adamant Tony had moved us forward. He’d trimmed the wage bill, and apparently we were playing great football.
The fact we’d thrown away a golden opportunity of promotion didn’t bother some, as all they were prepared to see was “how far we’d come since the dark Strachan era”.

We seem to be following suit this season, so I’ll pre-empt the progress for when we finish seventh or lower. The wage bill has been lowered. Our home form is much better. Emnes is signed up on a long term contract. Hoyle has been a revelation.

People pinning their hopes on a league 2 player with only a handful of Championship games under his belt, returning for a long term injury, to single handedly fire us to the PL are way off the mark.

Apparently Gibson is prepared to open the cheque book when the right player comes available. I’d much rather we bid,
£650K Fraizer Campbell + £650K Chris Burke = £1.3 Million
Than £5.5 Million for Danny Graham, but what do I know other than both were available, probably would have considered Boro a decent club to join, oh and both scored today.

The TM rose tint brigade, better start thinking of the “progress” to list on a mid table finish, because unless we sign at least two quality loans, that’s where we’re heading.

borodavey, fmttm

I can’t argue with the fact that he keeps trying to counter other teams strengths instead of focusing on our own strengths and having a go. All the tinkering is costing us points, maybe he is trying to show how clever he is, when in reality he is no mourinho so let’s just pick the best players, have a settled system the way play every match so the players know there individual jobs and let other teams worry about us. I haven’t known a manager to let this much ever, yes change things if we have injuries or a player has a stinker the week before but other than that let’s have a settled side

BournemouthBoro, One Boro

Think todays performance shows that the players aren’t fully behind Mogga or there is something going on behind closed doors.. it’s a completely different performance from the first half off the season…. We don’t just end up this bad without something going on…..

Prowler, One Boro

Yes, Mowbray has done an incredible job on reducing wage bill the and build a good squad but we all knew he could do this anyway.

The issue people are having are with tactics, team selections, stubbornness, a few man management issues and, what is starting to become clear, unrest behind the scenes.

Now, obviously this isn’t all down to Mowbray, looking at the formation and team today, it was clear that it was a pretty decent team but we didn’t turn up at all, we didn’t seem interested in the slightest, had no fight, no drive and that’s down to many things, team talks, preparation, the players psyche.

Something needs to be sorted and it needs to be done soon.

Not_Smog, Come On Boro

Here’s some info for you to consider

Season 11/12

Wins before 1st January 12

Wins after 1st January 6

Season 12/13

Wins before 1st Janaury 15

Wins after 1st of Janaury 0 so far.

If that isn’t an issue the manager can address then what exactly do we pay him for?

In his defence…

aytonboro, Come On Boro

4 of the 5 teams above us have foreign money (palace, watford, cardiff and leicester) and hull still have premier money.

even wenger couldn’t do any better with our wage budget.

we are just an average championship team now gibbo blew it by gambling everything on strachan and mowbray is suffering because of it.

p_mards, One Boro

Before the game the general opinion was that is was a good starting line up and formation. The first half we were terrible so Mobwray changed it to split strikers, then he get criticised for that so it’s a no win situation for him with some fans.

The players didn’t perform and Mowbray can’t physically get them to peform, they can only do that. I’m as fed up as anybody but I have full faith in Mowbray to continue to do his good job and if we don’t get promoted then strengthen in the summer when some players contracts expire and make a stronger promotion push next season. There’s no disgrace in not being promoted this year as some fans act like.

Dibzz, fmttm

Mogga saved us from certain relegation, worked wonders with a poor squad and is building a side with limited resources. We’re currently 4 points from 7th place and 6 points off an automatic spot, not a bad place to be at this stage in the season.

If we make the playoffs this season it’s another step forward, which has been the model Mowbray has stuck to, steady steps in the right direction every season.

smogmonster1973, Come On Boro

We have an average side and we are positioned quite well

Nobody really expects us to go up, what do you expect of mogga or the club

Were not even close to going up but mogga has done well imo

Gibbo is to blame by not backing mogga

Trying to get to the so called promissed land on the cheap !!!

MMC, One Boro

Not sure what’s gone wrong with our squad. We all know the potential our players have and we all know just how well they can perform. Think we’ve just become too predictable. Hopefully Tony will mix it up and we’ll come fighting back. Fingers crossed this is the final straw before everyone gets a boot up the arse. Losing to the likes of Leicester isn’t so bad, but when we’re so many goals down to a team who are/were 4th from bottom, I think it warrants a tactical mix up and a team mix up. Chuck Bailey back in, get carayol playing. Put Luke Williams and Main on ahead of Emnes, etc. We can pull this back, and this is a good shot at promotion. I don’t think Mowbray will let us throw it away.

Chappy112, fmttm

I don’t think any other manager could have done better than what Mowbray has given what he has had to spend and the amount he’s had to cut back.

If you look at the teams above us and around us most of them spent millions in the summer, we spent next to nothing and were still up there competing with some of them.

I honestly think Mowbray has done amazing considering what he’s had to work with.

proletarius, Come On Boro

I do not like some things about Mowbray, such as not playing Wingers, his obsession with the other team and his poor use of substitutes, but when I look at the squad he has and the backing he has been given, he is over achieving. We are lucky we have him as our Manager. Gibson is the problem. he gave up long ago.

Les Dennis, Come On Boro

Mowbray is working with limited resources and he’s made some odd decisions but then so does any manager. Who else would want the job?

We’ve lost a few games and played shit. It’s a bad run. I’ve seen every other team in the league this year and we are the best I’ve seen. Just need to get a win and a bit of confidence back.

Agree about his obsession with the other team mind you, it’s annoying.

maxduke, One Boro

I’d put how I feel right now but there are no words.

The players are a joke and should take the majority of the blame for this, I’m not blindly defending Mowbray but no matter what team he put out they shouldn’t be losing to Ipswich 4-0 ever.

Absolute joke, can see what happened last year happening again and it makes me feel sick.

Prowler, One Boro

To be fair though, some of the players need to take responsibility, it’s not just the manager, your senior players need to do it on the field.

The likes of Williams (he is the captain, after all), Woodgate, Bikey and Leadbitter, they need to step up and either put a supportive arm around someone or give ’em a kick up the arse. They also need to sort their *** heads out and get their own acts together.

kev_scott, Come On Boro

Mowbray is 100% the right man for the job. We are Middlesbrough not Man U, Man City, Liverpool or Chelsea.

He has taken us from relegation possibilities to promotion contenders in a short space of time whilst ALSO trimming the wage bill, selling players etc etc.

Look at what he has spent compared to other clubs in the league. Its not his fault we’ve got no money. he is doing the best he can with a mixture of old-pro’s journeymen and kids. he’s trying to play football the right way and develop the youngsters. He realises, as everyone else should, that for a club like ourselves with very little money the only way to progress is to play our way out of the division ala Blackpool.

For anyone to want rid of the man is absolutely ludicrous.

Zhimai, One Boro

looking at the position where those teams just relegated from pl could surely shed some light on why many fans including me think we desperately need mogga
its sheer clear with the difficulty of the job to trim wage more than half yet maintain competitiveness. i think as yet mogga has done a great job this season having signed 8 players at 0.55m, sold 1 over-rated player at 4m and maintained a top 6 spot for most of the season
we might say he should have done better with his formation, player selection and motivation. those are always said easier than done. as yet i still believe he is a right manager for us

Twatfeatures, Come On Boro

It’s just the nature of the league. 90% of the league is much of a muchness and will go through poor spells and good spells and get shock defeats. Look at our recent crap form yet we are still there becuase palace, Millwall etc have been doing the same.

I said at the start of the season there will be just a few points between 5th and 12th and we would occupy one of those positions, If we get the top end of that group Mowbray has done a great job.

We’ll start winning again soon and other teams will start losing. It’s that sort of league

degsyspesh, fmttm

This has very little to do with Mowbray and far more to do with Gibbo.

Back in the 1998 transfer window when we were struggling to get promoted out of this league (with a far better squad than we have now), Gibbo put his hand in his pocket for Robbo and brought in the likes of Marco Branca, Gazza and Alun Armstrong.

Mowbray got Kieron Dyer.

I agree with some of the comments about him tinkering too much and playing players out of position, but given the financial constraints he has had to deal with his achievements are still remarkable.

Tony Mowbray: in or out, Boro fans? Have your say in the comments section below…