BY Pete Starr
Middlesbrough parted ways with manager Tony Mowbray last night as he paid for their shoddy start to the season; assistant manager Mark Venus (no relation to Val) is temporarily taking the reigns.
So, who should Boro's next manager be? The thing with Middlesbrough is that they like to do things locally up there. Long standing chairman Steve Gibson is a home grown, self-made millionaire and the club has a long history of appointing managers and staff from the North East or from within the club such as Tony Mowbray, Gareth Southgate, Bryan Robson, Colin Todd and Jackie Charlton to name but a few. The Smoggies also pride themselves on their fine academy which has produced household names like Adam Johnson, Stewart Downing, Lee Cattermole and of course, the unforgettable ‘black Bruno Cheyrou’ – Herold Goulon – in recent years.
Such is the willingness to do things the local way, Middlesbrough were famously the last side to pick an entirely English born squad for a PL tie in 2006, with 15 of the players born within 30 miles of the Riverside stadium and raised through their academy. That side soon flourished, delivering relegation into the Championship just two years later and they’ve knocked around the second tier with varying degrees of ineptitude ever since.
Anyway, since Boro are so keen to keep things local, I thought I’d look at a number of high profile replacements for Tony Mowbray who could help get those feel good vibes kicking around the Riverside once again.
Soccer Saturday’s least switched on reporter was a childhood friend of chairman Steve Gibbs and they regularly attended games together at Ayresome Park. After a long career in football he's now a vital cog in the Sky Sports media machine.
* Used to be an actual manager – gained promotion with Bradford City winning the Second Division playoff final in 1995.
* Ex Navy - disciplined and hard working with conversational semaphore.
* Certain to get his players ‘fighting like beavers’.
* Owns one of the great modern pencil tashes.
*Daft as a brush.
*Got sacked by Stoke after just 14 games and 1 win.
* More than likely to base his training drills around the hit Playstation game Chris Kamara Street Soccer. Released in 2000 it somewhat strangely features a picture of Kammy playing for Sheffield United in 1992/3 and triumphantly claims that ‘5-a-side soccer has never been this tough’ on the back.
Despite being born up the road in South Shields, Hollywood director Scott, grew up in Teeside and studied at the West Hartlepool College of Art before going on to make bazillions of pounds as a big dog Hollywood director.
* No stranger to huge budgets and star names. Dealt with Hollywood A-listers and their egos such as Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise and Charlize Theron all his career - highly unlikely to be fazed by the likes of Mustapha Carayol or Stuart Parnaby kicking up a stink over the inclusion of a League Cup win bonus in their 12-month contract extensions.
* As a director used to seeing the bigger picture, the wider game. Vital for whenever aiming at Kei Kamara’s forehead with goal kicks doesn’t seem to be quite prising open the opposition’s defence as expected.
* Possibly man best placed to bring world-class lighting and CGI effects to the Boro. Ideally he’d get his special effects guys to conjure up the illusion of some actual fans inside the Riverside these days as they’ve become rather thin on the ground of late.
* Responsible for GI Jane.
* Almost certain to try and sign Russell Crow in the January transfer window. Boro had their fill of contrary chubsters in the mid 00’s with the likes of Yakubu, The (orginal) Duke and Mido. Not sure another fat tearaway would be progressive.
* Actually a Hartlepool fan. Do Boro really want a monkey hanger in their dugout?
* Comedian Bob is Teeside through and through. He actually had trials with the club he supported as a boy but any career with the Smoggies was curtailed by his rheumatoid arthritis.
* Proof of his love for the club can be seen in this abomination recorded with Chris Rea ahead of the 1997 FA Cup Final.
* Knows football.
* Mirthful atmosphere around training ground will come as standard.
* Strong financial grasp as proved by his twitter account. Knows how to turn a profit on farcical commodities, a vital skill in managing Boro (imagine trying to shift Alfonso Alves for anything more than half of what you paid for him?).
FOR SALE : framed photo of Aled Jones in powder blue sweater holding golden Labrador in headlock.. expressionless ..shotgun on wall : £8.00
— bob mortimer (@RealBobMortimer) August 18, 2013
BURKAS FOR MEN: Avoid the inevitable gossip..Play table tennis, drink lager and smoke your tabs anonymously : £8.00
— bob mortimer (@RealBobMortimer) June 23, 2013
* Does the voice-overs for the Churchill Insurance adverts. A fact that becomes hard to shake from your head once you know it. Would the players still respect a man they primarily associate with a jowly cartoon character? Lets ask the guys at QPR.
* Prone to hats like this. Not sure whether that fits within the FA’s codes for touchline conduct.
Wotsits wig for church pic.twitter.com/ydFpzZoH4d
— bob mortimer (@RealBobMortimer) October 20, 2013
Probably Middlesbrough's most famous son, Cook did the world a frightful disservice when he went and discovered Australia, as part of his many boat based hi-jinx around the planet.
* Explorer, navigator, dream weaver.
* Exceptional Southern Hemisphere scouting network.
* Fearless leader of men – exactly the sort of thing needed to grind out a point on a wet Tuesday at Bloomfield Road.
* Susceptible to scurvy.
* Tactically in the dark ages. Hasn’t even heard of football.
* Killed by Hawaiian’s in 1779.
Who would you rather took over the dugout up at Boro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and we'll pretend to care.
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