Last night the news broke about Tony Mowbray leaving the club after 3 years in charge. When Mogga was appointed he was the fans choice and it was a dream partnership with our chairman Steve Gibson both fans with club at heart in charge of our club. Sadly it has not ended that way and has left me personally gutted at the news.
After the previous manager we had who tried to rip everything Middlesbrough out of it. It was great to have appointed Tony Mowbray as our manager, he lived and breathed the club he was one of us. Telling us how he use to go the Holgate with his dad and could smell the Bovril, talking about the steel works, he understood what Teesside meant to people and the football club is a big part of people lives in this area. It’s sad that Mogga will not be the one to take us back to the Premier League. He wanted that more than anyone, no one can question his commitment to the cause.
He is one of the nicest guys in football. He always tried to play the game the right way, always spoke to the media after games he never hid and should be respected for that. A lot of other managers would have refused. When Tony took over from Gordon Strachan he was left with a big mess to sort as the team looked like heading for League One. Plus a big wage bill to reduce and no transfer funds as the previous manager had used it up. Mogga gave us a team to be proud of again as we finished 12th in the league.
The next two seasons would see Boro have a good first half and a poor 2nd half sliding down the table. We finished 7th and 16th after promising starts. It was always important after last season’s dreadful end of season to start this campaign well. Looking back at the games we had 3 shockers away at Ipswich, QPR and Barnsley. We should have had more points on the board in games at home v Sheff Wed, Bournemouth, Huddersfield and away at Wigan and Nottingham Forest.
I have been very critical of Dean Whitehead so far as I don’t think he offers much in games. He is not very mobile apart from putting two good balls through that resulted in goals I don’t think he has done much for a player with so much experience. One of his best games was at Wigan where he must been near to 100% pass rate til late on when he conceded a sloppy freekick which resulted in us getting a point instead of three. He is not the only one through there have been plenty of individual mistakes and basic errors have proved costly this season.
One thing for sure is Mogga has left the club in a much better shape than when he took over reducing the wage bill massively. Plenty of work has been done behind the scenes getting a scouting system in place. He has left a decent squad of players that should be able to compete for a place in the top 6. Watching us this season we didn’t look far away from cracking it and getting the balance right but sadly we leaked too many goals. Results were not taking us anywhere.
It’s a sad way for a Boro legend to depart from the club. It’s painful. The same can be said for Liverpool with Kenny Dalglish that didn’t work and he’s now rejoined the club as part of the board room. Maybe one day Tony Mowbray can return to the club in some capacity. For now I like to thank him for his efforts and give him the respect he deserves. There’s Only One Tony Mowbray!
(FMTTM Column Doncaster 25-10-13)