Middlesbrough Fans To Strachan: Thanks for Nothing?

Jonathan NimmoContributor IOctober 20, 2010

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan looks on during the npower Championship match between Middlesbrough and Sheffield United at the Riverside Stadium on August 22, 2010 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

A week may be a long time in politics, but a year in football can feel like a lifetime—and Boro fans should know having endured two of their worst years since Steve Gibson has taken on the club.  

Though fans need little reminder, this time last year Boro were sat in the top six of the championship with Gareth Southgate at the helm, and thought there were rumblings of discontent over performances the team were getting enough results to see them well-placed to challenge for promotion.  

Then came one of the strangest decisions of Gibson's chairmanship, to sack Southgate the night after a win with Boro in touching distance of the top of the table, and install Gordon Strachan in his place.

Though fans were not exactly happy with Southgate, it was the timing that seemed odd.

This made it tricky for Strachan to come in mid-season, and he enjoyed no honeymoon period as some managers do, swiftly dropping to mid-table and never threatening the playoff places all year.  

He then spent big in the summer bringing in several players, mainly from his days in Scotland, like Kris Boyd a notable asset brought south of the border.

As a result, Boro now have the biggest wage bill in the championship and were tipped by many as preseason favorites to win the league.

Sadly Strachan couldn't transfer preseason optimism into results on the pitch. Not only were the results bad but the performances were worse, a 3-1 defeat to Ipswich in the first game of the season only a sign of things to come.

By the time Strachan tore up his contract, he had won just 13 of his 46 games in charge.

So what did Strachan bring to Boro?

1) A lot of players from the Scottish leagues, most of which (Barry Robson the most notable exception) have struggled in the championship.

2) A high wage bill that will be unsustainable for the long term

3) An imbalanced squad with no natural left backs and too many strikers

4) Very few points

5) A sense that even at the end he had no idea what his best starting 11 was.

Perhaps these are just points of bitterness from a disappointed fan, but as Boro begin their search for a new manager, it is no longer an attractive job to take on.