Craig Hignett on Karanka bust up

brain_in_a_jar

Active member
I think the way it ended was a disgrace. It's a strong word but I can't for the life of me understand how it was ever allowed to reach that point. The lad was the jewel in the crown of our modern-day academy and played over 400 games for us. Maybe that speaks to the lack of planning or long(er)-term vision at the club. Warnock recommended that players like McNair, Bola, Dijksteel et al get new contracts done and dusted so the club have some continuity and can plan properly. It suggests that it wasn't something that was being done properly before. We had a very high number of players out of contract last summer and a large number in on loan. It is unsustainable in the long run, I think(hope) Warnock will try and help the club organise that side of things a little better. Pulis was supposed to have done it but it turns out he did the square root of sod all.

Think the point on longer-term planning is a cracking one, I've wondered recently if this is what Warnock was referring too when he spoke about things not being right behind the scenes at the club. Reading between the lines with some players on podcasts recently (dating back to early 00's) I don't think we've communicated particularly well with our players and certainly haven't been great at sorting contracts out well in advance.

I've got to be honest regarding karanka falling out with downing, hignet and woodgate - All I'll say on that is I don't find it that surprising that he fell out with 3 individuals who all like a drink and who's professionalism has been called into question more than once.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Think the point on longer-term planning is a cracking one
player contracts are valuable multi-million pound assets. You either sell an asset and recoup it's value or you protect the asset.

It's simple economics buy low sell high. protect your investment, don't investment in assets that are naturally coming to end of life.

Football isn't rocket science, but it fails to learn from other industries, it thinks itself unique. Yes there are unique aspects, but it's still a business, with consumers to please, metrics that can be measured, and it still needs long term strategic goals and visions backed with credible and workable strategy.

We have failed dismally at this for a decade now, that isn't by accident.
 

PhillySpecial

New member
Both the Downing and Higgy situations appear to boil down to a simple lack of communication. Let's be honest, Gibson must have had a very good relationship with the Downing family throughout all of the years, and for for it to end like it did is pretty bad in all fairness.

And I cannot believe neither Karanka or Higgy had it in them to just sit down and offer to have a conversation with each other. You're talking about a manager and his assistant! Basic communication.

Even Schwarzer said the end of his time at the club was not good and left him pretty angry. These are all long tenured players that probably deserved a little better. Not necessarily a contract, but better communication from the club.
 

atypical_boro

Well-known member
Both the Downing and Higgy situations appear to boil down to a simple lack of communication. Let's be honest, Gibson must have had a very good relationship with the Downing family throughout all of the years, and for for it to end like it did is pretty bad in all fairness.

And I cannot believe neither Karanka or Higgy had it in them to just sit down and offer to have a conversation with each other. You're talking about a manager and his assistant! Basic communication.

Even Schwarzer said the end of his time at the club was not good and left him pretty angry. These are all long tenured players that probably deserved a little better. Not necessarily a contract, but better communication from the club.
Yeah I was saying above, it looks like sometimes the communication isn't great internally.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
I'd say it's more than just a communication thing. There is a sense that if you decide to leave, without the club/Gibson wanting you to, well he feels personally slighted and you are off his christmas card list.

It's not really the right way to behave, treat players as people, be honest and keep your dignity. Don't get petty, always thank for them for service, because word gets around.
 

Otto42

Well-known member
I would say a lot of this is down to Gibson's personality and the club is built in that image. Not necessarily a bad thing given the success we have had in the Gibson era, but one that makes Boro very much Gibson's thing and subject to his whims.
 

erimus86

Active member
The problem is all these people mentioned left under a cloud as the club didn't want to keep them on so no wonder people felt put out like Schwarzer and Downing. I'd feel like that if my employer said they were not renewing my contract. Footballers have egos. They need to get over themselves.
 

atypical_boro

Well-known member
I think its fair to say Gibson has complete control at the club and arguably 'too much' power but I just think in a world where the alternatives could be so much worse I'm happy to put with that. And I do mean 'put up with' rather than 'embrace'.

The last 15 years have been undoubtedly rubbish in comparison to the previous 20 (1986-2006), with only really one genuine 'achievement'. But I look at how its gone at some other clubs and wonder how the fans can actually call it 'their club' (and I actually include Man City in that).
 

Pog

Well-known member
Nothing new or surprising in that.

Karanka is a top class defensive coach, but he’s a terrible man manager.

It was always going to blow up eventually, the man was as toxic as a barrel of nuclear waste.
 

Sheriff_John_Bunnell_ret

Well-known member
He dropped carayol because he wasn't working hard enough. This proved terribly detrimental in the short term. A year later we were breaking defensive records with the team scrapping for every inch. It's far too simplistic to say he is terrible at man management. If you have a group of 30 people not everyone is going to react well to your style of management. The majority did which is why we got promoted.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
He dropped carayol because he wasn't working hard enough. This proved terribly detrimental in the short term. A year later we were breaking defensive records with the team scrapping for every inch. It's far too simplistic to say he is terrible at man management. If you have a group of 30 people not everyone is going to react well to your style of management. The majority did which is why we got promoted.
exactly, I'm sure Dimi, Ayala, Stuani, Leadbitter, Friend, Clayton and others got on perfectly well with him. In fact it was when Karanka contacted Friend that he changed his mind on going to play his last couple of seasons in Italy.
 

atypical_boro

Well-known member
exactly, I'm sure Dimi, Ayala, Stuani, Leadbitter, Friend, Clayton and others got on perfectly well with him. In fact it was when Karanka contacted Friend that he changed his mind on going to play his last couple of seasons in Italy.
Which Italian club was in for Friend like?
 

brain_in_a_jar

Active member
player contracts are valuable multi-million pound assets. You either sell an asset and recoup it's value or you protect the asset.

It's simple economics buy low sell high. protect your investment, don't investment in assets that are naturally coming to end of life.

Football isn't rocket science, but it fails to learn from other industries, it thinks itself unique. Yes there are unique aspects, but it's still a business, with consumers to please, metrics that can be measured, and it still needs long term strategic goals and visions backed with credible and workable strategy.

We have failed dismally at this for a decade now, that isn't by accident.

Yes totally agree, I think when warnock come out and said there were issues behind the scenes a lot of fans jumped to the conclusion that it was purely down to recruitment and bringing players in, but I think he was more talking about ensuring your best players are taken care of and you make sure you extend their contracts before they have a year left.
 

erimus86

Active member
Yes totally agree, I think when warnock come out and said there were issues behind the scenes a lot of fans jumped to the conclusion that it was purely down to recruitment and bringing players in, but I think he was more talking about ensuring your best players are taken care of and you make sure you extend their contracts before they have a year left.
But realistically of all the players who's contract came to an end and will come to an end in the summer (and that's a total of 10 players isn't it?) the only one we would have really wanted to resign is/was Howson. All the rest - Friend, Clayton, Johnson, Ayala, Shotton, Gestede, Pears, Assombalonga, Fletcher - were/are either too expensive, not good enough or very replaceable.

We'd signed up the likes of Tav, Fry, Coulson, Spence on longer contracts earlier that season or the season before with Fry.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
But realistically of all the players who's contract came to an end and will come to an end in the summer (and that's a total of 10 players isn't it?) the only one we would have really wanted to resign is/was Howson. All the rest - Friend, Clayton, Johnson, Ayala, Shotton, Gestede, Pears, Assombalonga, Fletcher - were/are either too expensive, not good enough or very replaceable.

We'd signed up the likes of Tav, Fry, Coulson, Spence on longer contracts earlier that season or the season before with Fry.
I guess the point is, if the asset is no longer valuable to your company, you cash in on it. That was difficult last year because we found ourselves in a bad situation in the league, but we should have known 12 months earlier that certainly players needed to leave and got it done.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Which Italian club was in for Friend like?
Sorry, I don't know which club it was, I'm presuming a bottom Serie A or top Serie B club. I just know that his mother was against him moving to Italy with the pandemic, but he was giving it serious consideration until Karanka called him. Once Karanka wanted him as his general, it was an easy choice.

I'm not the "I'm in the know" type, and I won't reveal the source, but it's legit. Would have been interesting to see him playing out there, probably a better experience than Birmingham under normal circumstances but in a pandemic, I doubt it would have been fun for his family.
 

indeedido

Well-known member
I think its fair to say Gibson has complete control at the club and arguably 'too much' power but I just think in a world where the alternatives could be so much worse I'm happy to put with that. And I do mean 'put up with' rather than 'embrace'.

The last 15 years have been undoubtedly rubbish in comparison to the previous 20 (1986-2006), with only really one genuine 'achievement'. But I look at how its gone at some other clubs and wonder how the fans can actually call it 'their club' (and I actually include Man City in that).
I genuinely don't get your position on Manchester City.

Steve Gibson loves Middlesbrough FC, no question, but is not the man so many think he is.
Football club owners are rich powerful people and they don't get to be so without treating some people badly.
There are very few players who leave the Club and speak well of the Club.
They speak well of the fans sometimes, of the area sometimes, of their teammates sometimes and of their playing experience sometimes. But of the Club - and that is Gibson - virtually never.

I am extremely balanced re Steve Gibson. He's enabled some unbridled joy in my life and for that I will always be grateful, but our Club is all about him. We actually need his financial input, as in 2012, 2014 and 2016, not just guarantees (crucial as they are).
As long as his Club owes his Company money we are completely beholden to him, there are absolutely no alternatives, and subject to the results of his decision making. For 15 years that's been...
 

erimus86

Active member
I guess the point is, if the asset is no longer valuable to your company, you cash in on it. That was difficult last year because we found ourselves in a bad situation in the league, but we should have known 12 months earlier that certainly players needed to leave and got it done.
You can't force them to leave when they're on good contracts with no chance of anyone else picking up that tab for them. Hands were tied. Not really the club's fault other than trusting them to take is forward 3 or 4 years ago when they signed them.

After two failed promotion bids we were in a financial mess and needed to see out the season, stay in the championship and wave them good bye. Same as this season, careful rebuilding on the cheap and see out another couple of big earners. Same as when Mowbray was here - waiting for expensive duds to leave when their contracts expired.
 
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