Bizarre management?

coluka

Well-known member
The club could have sold Gestede and didn't.
They could have sold Assombolonga after the play off season and got some money back, but sold Bamford instead.
They could have recouped some money for Fletcher.
They got nothing from them staying and have let them all go for nothing.

If we cut our losses on Akpom that is better than dropping the whole £2.75m and three years of wages.
Exactly so
 

viv_andersons_nana

Well-known member
Actually no. AK referred to gifts straight after the signings of Forshaw and Rhodes, he was distancing himself from day one. In Jan 2017 he referred to signing Championship standard striker (Gestede and Bamford, although I concede he was not against Bamford coming in). AK was very clear Gestede and Bamford were not the standard he needed in his immediate fight to keep up. Recruitment processes are flawed, hence Warnock wanting players formerly scouted like the good old days and not via video or electronic stats. Stats can be manipulated or misinterpreted, they do not show the full picture. Warnock needed a striker, Moore, he went elsewhere. Recruitment identified Akpom, Warnock had little to go on other than clips and stats. It was a gamble the club put forward and was better than nothing. His reaction since says it all.
Karanka on Forshaw: "He's just the type of player I want here," Boro head coach Aitor Karanka told the club website. "He fits the profile of the players we want at the club. He's a good lad and he's a good player. It's important to bring in players who know the league and Adam fits that."

Karanka on Rhodes: “When we tried in August and at the end we couldn’t bring him here, we started to work with the new players. At the beginning of January he wasn’t on the list as I didn’t want to spend that amount of money when I needed different positions – a midfielder, a defender, and when Diego (Fabbrini) left I needed a number 10. For that reason he wasn’t on the list but at the end, when every player I had asked for arrived, we tried again and we were right. I don’t always want to speak about Steve as I can’t say any more good things about him. When you’re not expecting anything more he arrives with Jordan Rhodes. Sometimes I can understand how jealous other managers are because on January 30 I had my squad perfect – and then Rhodes arrived. The pressure is now on me. This season, I don’t want to say there are any excuses. I’ve got the best squad, for sure, it’s not the cheapest one – other teams have spent more money than us – but the aim is promotion. If we don’t get promotion, it’s my fault.”
 

viv_andersons_nana

Well-known member
What seems to happen is that people forget, say, Adam Clayton and David Nugent and Daniel Ayala when talking about recruitment but love to mention Jordan Rhodes and Stewart Downing and Chuba Akpom when talking about managers. I’m just interested to know how people separate some signings from others.
 

coluka

Well-known member
Karanka on Forshaw: "He's just the type of player I want here," Boro head coach Aitor Karanka told the club website. "He fits the profile of the players we want at the club. He's a good lad and he's a good player. It's important to bring in players who know the league and Adam fits that."

Karanka on Rhodes: “When we tried in August and at the end we couldn’t bring him here, we started to work with the new players. At the beginning of January he wasn’t on the list as I didn’t want to spend that amount of money when I needed different positions – a midfielder, a defender, and when Diego (Fabbrini) left I needed a number 10. For that reason he wasn’t on the list but at the end, when every player I had asked for arrived, we tried again and we were right. I don’t always want to speak about Steve as I can’t say any more good things about him. When you’re not expecting anything more he arrives with Jordan Rhodes. Sometimes I can understand how jealous other managers are because on January 30 I had my squad perfect – and then Rhodes arrived. The pressure is now on me. This season, I don’t want to say there are any excuses. I’ve got the best squad, for sure, it’s not the cheapest one – other teams have spent more money than us – but the aim is promotion. If we don’t get promotion, it’s my fault.”
You can quote all you like, and print it too as you did at the time. However, his initial reaction on screen described them as gifts. Gifts are mostly unexpected. Downing also admitted he believed AK did not want him too, or was he fibbing? AK was a club employee, head coach not manager (i am sure you appreciate the difference in JD and responsibilities) he was contractually obliged to say nice things at times too. When you have a fait accompli, you have to make the best of it. Just because things are said does not make them true though. Occasionally, AK went off piste though. I judge from actions, decisions and body language as much as verbal statements. People in power lie, deflect, cajole, say what people want to hear but occasionally do the opposite. Employees, contrary to popular belief, generally have to tow the company line from time to time and can’t always say what they want. Sometimes they say what they are advised to (See Woodgates pre scripted speech on appointment).
 

Wilf

Well-known member
So what Nobby, Wilf and El Guapo are saying, as I understand it, is that it's good management to play without a specialist centre forward, with only an 18 year old forward on the bench, and leave your only senior forward at home despite having a free space on the bench?

Can't say I agree with that analysis. What if Watmore and Coburn picked up knocks? I know the game's a dead rubber but you've still got to try and win.

Also implying that people are unhappy with a manager who "says it as he sees it" is a bit odd. Surely that's the opposite of what Warnock's done here. If he said it as he sees it he'd have said "I've left him home because I'm sick of him and I'm trying to sell him".
thats not what i'm saying at all - count me out of your analysis - go reference my comments on doing the same with Britt.
 

BoroFur

Well-known member
Not for the fans who can read between the lines it wasn’t. Akpom is toast and rightly so
Warnock can’t say that as he is trying to get money for him for our CLUB
don’t you get it ???!!!
Of course I 'get it' EFL. No need to be so arsey with me.

He's cutting his nose off to spite his face. NW sanctioned spending £2.75m on Akpom with a big contract to boot. Now he wants fans 'to read between the lines'.
 

Jonny Ingbar

Well-known member
I think it seems obvious that NW is a popular manager with players, even after he has left clubs too, which says something about his style.

But he's not immune from making poor signings. I'm not sure many of his bigger signings at Cardiff proved to be good value, Madine, Glatzel for example.

He seems to operate better with a smaller budget.
 

indeedido

Well-known member
I think the club has flip flopped a bit with recruitment, but in general the recruitment team, manager at the time and hierarchy all have input.
It is clear that Steve Gibson does have input and that might be only that he sometimes supports the recruitment team perspective re a particular player, which I know for a fact was the case with Vossen, as he personally told me so before we signed him on loan.
With Downing, Rhodes and Alves I believe Steve also pushed hard, just as I know that Schwarzer leaving was definitely down to Gibson.
But for balance, I am also sure that managers have had massive input into the signings. Monk got what he wanted and pulis too. I think it is clear that Karanka got some he strongly wanted too.
 

Nobby_Barnes

Well-known member
I think the club has flip flopped a bit with recruitment, but in general the recruitment team, manager at the time and hierarchy all have input.
It is clear that Steve Gibson does have input and that might be only that he sometimes supports the recruitment team perspective re a particular player, which I know for a fact was the case with Vossen, as he personally told me so before we signed him on loan.
With Downing, Rhodes and Alves I believe Steve also pushed hard, just as I know that Schwarzer leaving was definitely down to Gibson.
But for balance, I am also sure that managers have had massive input into the signings. Monk got what he wanted and pulis too. I think it is clear that Karanka got some he strongly wanted too.
Stop pretending you're ITK 😂
 

indeedido

Well-known member
Stop pretending you're ITK 😂
I'm not "in the know" and certainly not anymore. I don't think I've claimed to be so.
I do however know that Vossen was somebody Gibson was very keen on because he personally told me so. That Nobby is a fact.
Another Club Director told me at the time re Schwarzer.

But you know best.
 

coluka

Well-known member
I think the club has flip flopped a bit with recruitment, but in general the recruitment team, manager at the time and hierarchy all have input.
It is clear that Steve Gibson does have input and that might be only that he sometimes supports the recruitment team perspective re a particular player, which I know for a fact was the case with Vossen, as he personally told me so before we signed him on loan.
With Downing, Rhodes and Alves I believe Steve also pushed hard, just as I know that Schwarzer leaving was definitely down to Gibson.
But for balance, I am also sure that managers have had massive input into the signings. Monk got what he wanted and pulis too. I think it is clear that Karanka got some he strongly wanted too.
I agree with that. Managers and Head Coaches clearly have input, but they do not always get their preference, sometimes the owner puts his foot down (given it is his money thats fine....... if you know your onions). Unfortunately, we bought a good few spuds to go with them sadly. I have no doubt AK wanted certain players and got them (alongside his gifts), Southgate, less so, Strachan sadly persuaded our leader that the SPL was better than it was. the phrase flip flopped sums it up well in truth. Monk was instrumental in those signings, he had coveted Fletcher at previous clubs. I have no truck with a recruitment team set up, but to me the head coach must always want the man coming in and agree outgoings otherwise they are coaching with one hand tied behind their backs. It is unfair on a player too and must unsettle changing rooms and morale (see Downing)
 

Nobby_Barnes

Well-known member
I'm not "in the know" and certainly not anymore. I don't think I've claimed to be so.
I do however know that Vossen was somebody Gibson was very keen on because he personally told me so. That Nobby is a fact.
Another Club Director told me at the time re Schwarzer.

But you know best.
That's right, I do 👍
 

go-nads!

Well-known member
Those players, everyone mentions them but nobody mentions, say, Clayton or Ayala or Tomlin. Or Vossen. Or Nugent, or Shay Given. Do you think Karanka hand-picked those players as well? Or do you think the club run a recruitment staff who are actively scouting and recommending players to a manager or head coach who knows full well what the system is before a ball is kicked or a player is bought? I don't get why some of our supporters seem to think our men in the dugout are shrinking violets who have to suffer a dysfunctional club forcing their dysfunctional signings onto them. Do you really see Karanka, Warnock, Pulis sitting back and allowing Bausor or someone sat behind a computer to spend their budget, hamper the sessions and team team set-up when it is their jobs on the line? Or do you not think there is even a slight chance that will be some sort of collaborative element behind what the club do when looking at players and potential signings? And some of these managers who have players forced onto them, why don't any of them ever resign? Presumably they've been lied to, or misled, about the way the club works in the build-up to them being appointed? Who would want to manage/work for a club that buys players without his consent?

How come the club and/or recruitment staff are criticised for signing Alves when Southgate didn't want him but not credited with signing Luke Young or Tuncay? Or Robert Huth. What makes people leave those players out of these lists? Is it because they were actually quite good for us? Why do people always mention Rhodes and Downing but never Nugent and Tomlin? Or Adam Clayton? Do you think Karanka personally scouted each and every signing or do you think they were recommended to him and he snapped the club's hands off because they were better players than he had at his disposal at the time and gave us, and him, a much better chance of promotion? And people used to mention Guedioura in those lists as well didn't they, up until Karanka took him to Forest.

If you are saying the club forced players onto Southgate and Karanka then why have I barely ever read anyone saying the same about Garry Monk? In fact if you read about Monk's time here you'd see that the club actually appear to give the manager too much of a free hand in terms of signings, which is the opposite of what a lot of people seem to believe.

I said this on here a short while ago - our recruitment staff were routinely hammered for signing Bola and Dijksteel. Now they're playing well it's forgotten. You never see anybody saying "one of our scouts has a good eye and the club have picked up two decent lads for a couple of million." Nobody mentions those players any more really. The club were being criticised for doing things on the cheap, or trying to. For trying to buy from lower down the pyramid in the hope of developing and selling on for profit but, of course, getting it wrong. Warnock quite rightly gets praise for getting a tune out of them - the improvement in those two since Warnock arrived has been remarkable - but someone at our club was involved in actively scouting and researching them before they were signed.

What I don't understand is the constant attempts to put distance between managers and signings made under them who haven't worked, whilst not applying the same context or rules to those that have. How do people make the distinction between the signings? It would be interesting to know how people decide. I like to think of it as Gary Gill Syndrome. If a player is sh*t then Gary Gill signed him. If a player is good it was the manager in place at the time. It is something that has been going on since Mowbray brought Gary Gill in as a scout ten years ago.
There’s no ifs or buts about it, this club has bought players without input from the manager. I’m merely pointing out that it is impossible to know who to criticise over Akpom, his poor quality or why Warnock has thrown him under the bus.

I’m not going to reply to the majority of your rant because a lot of it is conjecture, none of it can be commented on because it needs inside knowledge.

All I will say is there would be no need to try and pick players up on the cheap if the club hadn’t spunked tens of millions on players with no resale value and poor on field contribution.

I have no beef with individuals as such, I was alarmed at the onset of Monks reign as I didn’t understand what he was doing, I didn’t want Pulis, I certainly didn’t want Woodgate and I see no long term benefit in appointing Warnock - other than stabilising after Woodgate.

The running and long term vision for the club has been a shambles for over a decade. I just want some one who is semi capable to take it on and get it right. Making sound decisions without lurching from one approach to the polar opposite.

Its those decisions that have left us with no recognised strikers for next season and without a pot to p@ss in to buy new ones.
 

viv_andersons_nana

Well-known member
There’s no ifs or buts about it, this club has bought players without input from the manager. I’m merely pointing out that it is impossible to know who to criticise over Akpom, his poor quality or why Warnock has thrown him under the bus.

I’m not going to reply to the majority of your rant because a lot of it is conjecture, none of it can be commented on because it needs inside knowledge.

All I will say is there would be no need to try and pick players up on the cheap if the club hadn’t spunked tens of millions on players with no resale value and poor on field contribution.

I have no beef with individuals as such, I was alarmed at the onset of Monks reign as I didn’t understand what he was doing, I didn’t want Pulis, I certainly didn’t want Woodgate and I see no long term benefit in appointing Warnock - other than stabilising after Woodgate.

The running and long term vision for the club has been a shambles for over a decade. I just want some one who is semi capable to take it on and get it right. Making sound decisions without lurching from one approach to the polar opposite.

Its those decisions that have left us with no recognised strikers for next season and without a pot to p@ss in to buy new ones.
It wasn’t intended to be a rant but probably came across as that. It is more exasperation at times. I think to simplify - I just wonder why some signings are associated with the recruitment team whilst others are associated with managers. It’s partly why I mentioned some of the players I did. Nobody asks about Clayton, Nugent, Given, Ayala or Traore. In fact the majority of our signings really. But those players who do really struggle and/or turn out to be unmitigated disasters, for whatever reason, are almost always attached to the recruitment staff.


Akpom has been a poor buy but I think Warnock is as culpable in that deal as anyone else. As o said earlier in the thread, he himself said he didn’t want a particular defender last summer so it didn’t happen. With Akpom, he was absolutely loving it when he first arrived. Then he struggles and he just tries to distance himself, just a little bit, before having to qualify his comments in the local press. It’s interesting because he hasn’t tried to distance himself from Morsy, or Fisher. And I think that’s because they’ve been good/decent/fine. I just think Warnock or Karanka or whoever it may be just plays the media when it suits, adding a bit of doubt here and there amongst the fan base, passing the responsibility onto those people the public will probably never see or hear from.

I would say Boro run a collaborative recruitment system. There are definitely players you can pick out as being a Karanka player, a Pulis player, a Boro player… but these people know how it works before they take the job. The club might offer them players from their own contacts or research or whatever. I think the managers can say no though, that has always been my impression/understanding.


I agree about an overall strategy - we should be identifying what we want and where we want to go before appointing people and signing players. I’m not sure the club have modernised enough in that respect in terms of structure. Which leads to inconsistent appointments and approaches, and inevitably sees a lot of money wasted.

Anyway other long post. But no ranting.
 

viv_andersons_nana

Well-known member
You can quote all you like, and print it too as you did at the time. However, his initial reaction on screen described them as gifts. Gifts are mostly unexpected. Downing also admitted he believed AK did not want him too, or was he fibbing? AK was a club employee, head coach not manager (i am sure you appreciate the difference in JD and responsibilities) he was contractually obliged to say nice things at times too. When you have a fait accompli, you have to make the best of it. Just because things are said does not make them true though. Occasionally, AK went off piste though. I judge from actions, decisions and body language as much as verbal statements. People in power lie, deflect, cajole, say what people want to hear but occasionally do the opposite. Employees, contrary to popular belief, generally have to tow the company line from time to time and can’t always say what they want. Sometimes they say what they are advised to (See Woodgates pre scripted speech on appointment).
I just added quotes because it adds context and nuance. What is it about quotes that you don’t like? Maybe it isn’t as straight-forward as you or I like to think it is, if we are being fair and honest with each other. I do wonder how or why everyone in football seems to love Kim Jong Gibson though…

Anyway, on Rhodes - Karanka may not have wanted him, I don’t think I would agree with that but others might do. But take his contribution away and we don’t go up. Certainly not automatically anyway. And are you not prepared to accept that there is small possibility that Karanka said what he said as a way of self-preservation? The club backing him to the hilt essentially meant there was no excuse to hide behind if we didn’t make it. And he strikes me as the kind of bloke to walk out if he wasn’t happy with interference from above. But maybe that is me being naive(why would he walk away from his money, etc).
 

festa5

Well-known member
I just added quotes because it adds context and nuance. What is it about quotes that you don’t like? Maybe it isn’t as straight-forward as you or I like to think it is, if we are being fair and honest with each other. I do wonder how or why everyone in football seems to love Kim Jong Gibson though…

Anyway, on Rhodes - Karanka may not have wanted him, I don’t think I would agree with that but others might do. But take his contribution away and we don’t go up. Certainly not automatically anyway. And are you not prepared to accept that there is small possibility that Karanka said what he said as a way of self-preservation? The club backing him to the hilt essentially meant there was no excuse to hide behind if we didn’t make it. And he strikes me as the kind of bloke to walk out if he wasn’t happy with interference from above. But maybe that is me being naive(why would he walk away from his money, etc).

I'm with you Viv. I think there are certain players managers have "accepted" rather than pushed for, but I don't believe for a second managers don't get the final say. Warnock has basically admitted he signed off on Akpom.

Take Rhodes and Downing. They might not have been Karanka "picks" (although he spoke a lot about Rhodes, seems slightly bizarre if he didn't want him. The alternative is the club forcing him to say things, which given AK's stubbornness seems very unlikely) but no manager in the championship was going to turn those players down.

"Do you want a premier league quality AM who was picked for England 6 months ago?".

He's not going to say no is he? that's hardly forcing players on managers, although if those signings don't work out, they might feel they weren't their buys and try and distance themselves from the signing.
 

go-nads!

Well-known member
It wasn’t intended to be a rant but probably came across as that. It is more exasperation at times. I think to simplify - I just wonder why some signings are associated with the recruitment team whilst others are associated with managers. It’s partly why I mentioned some of the players I did. Nobody asks about Clayton, Nugent, Given, Ayala or Traore. In fact the majority of our signings really. But those players who do really struggle and/or turn out to be unmitigated disasters, for whatever reason, are almost always attached to the recruitment staff.


Akpom has been a poor buy but I think Warnock is as culpable in that deal as anyone else. As o said earlier in the thread, he himself said he didn’t want a particular defender last summer so it didn’t happen. With Akpom, he was absolutely loving it when he first arrived. Then he struggles and he just tries to distance himself, just a little bit, before having to qualify his comments in the local press. It’s interesting because he hasn’t tried to distance himself from Morsy, or Fisher. And I think that’s because they’ve been good/decent/fine. I just think Warnock or Karanka or whoever it may be just plays the media when it suits, adding a bit of doubt here and there amongst the fan base, passing the responsibility onto those people the public will probably never see or hear from.

I would say Boro run a collaborative recruitment system. There are definitely players you can pick out as being a Karanka player, a Pulis player, a Boro player… but these people know how it works before they take the job. The club might offer them players from their own contacts or research or whatever. I think the managers can say no though, that has always been my impression/understanding.


I agree about an overall strategy - we should be identifying what we want and where we want to go before appointing people and signing players. I’m not sure the club have modernised enough in that respect in terms of structure. Which leads to inconsistent appointments and approaches, and inevitably sees a lot of money wasted.

Anyway other long post. But no ranting.
Traore was another example of a poor signing for the circumstances. We needed at least two experienced right side players going into the PL season, we sold Adomah and didn’t even bother to replace him.

We then had Traore, hardly played him and to top it all we had a buy out clause in his contract. This is the kind of poor planning from the club that drives me berserk, there’s no joined up thinking, no long term strategy or thought, it’s make it up as you go along.
 

coluka

Well-known member
I just added quotes because it adds context and nuance. What is it about quotes that you don’t like? Maybe it isn’t as straight-forward as you or I like to think it is, if we are being fair and honest with each other. I do wonder how or why everyone in football seems to love Kim Jong Gibson though…

Anyway, on Rhodes - Karanka may not have wanted him, I don’t think I would agree with that but others might do. But take his contribution away and we don’t go up. Certainly not automatically anyway. And are you not prepared to accept that there is small possibility that Karanka said what he said as a way of self-preservation? The club backing him to the hilt essentially meant there was no excuse to hide behind if we didn’t make it. And he strikes me as the kind of bloke to walk out if he wasn’t happy with interference from above. But maybe that is me being naive(why would he walk away from his money, etc).
Not sure why you think I don’t like quotes 🤔 My comment was that people say things they don’t always mean or believe themselves, sometimes they speak to an audience, sometimes for a business etc, because it is said does not make it true, some things are for public consumption but may not always be accurate. As for self preservation, Karanka said his gift comment about 2 of the signings immediately after their official announcement and on Gestede, after a game, (WHU I think), so hardly self preservation. As for backing him to the hilt, I don’t buy that.

They gave him tools, just not the ones he needed to get the job done. In Jan 2017, AK rightly ranted on about wanting pace and creativity and about being given 2 championship centre forwards instead (although I am pretty sure he did want Bamford). He knew without pace and creativity we were doomed. I was calling for it from 2015/16 season myself. Gibson acknowledged it in his ‘smash the league interview’. He then sanctioned a £50M splurge on a lack of pace and creativity in the final third, only a poor RB had pace and we sold him 6 months later (amazingly for a profit).

I think you know why managers like/liked Gibson, he was happy to spend ££££, managers like that and he wasn’t known then for being trigger happy. I wish he trusted AK’s judgement more in the Jan 2017 window and Monk and Pulis’s afterwards less mind. Most clubs operate similar recruitment identification methods, I am not sure their owners get so involved mind (therein may be an issue), but as I don’t follow other teams as closely, who knows.

Since his sacking of Woodgate and appointment of Warnock, I think (and hope) he will trust Warnock‘s judgement more about future signings. The issue will be getting them over the line now we can’t and wont overpay. As for Akpomb, bearing in mind it was a gamble in a pandemic, Warnock wanted a striker and he and the club jointly rolled the dice, ‘craps’ is an appropriate name. I believe Warnock agreed his signing, but Warnock likely openly fibbed about him being first choice tbf, that was clearly Moore from all we were led to believe. Who knows where Akpomb really was on the list. I doubt even AC-12 could help there.
 
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