Middlesbrough fans must wonder what is going on at their club after what looked to be a decent season has been ripped away over the past couple of months.
For a team that started the season winning five and drawing two, of their first seven games, it is hard to fathom where, and how, it has gone so horribly wrong for the Teessiders.
Losing their last six games has ruined months of good work, and regardless of the role the players have played, the brunt of the blame must be shouldered by Tony Pulis.
Many managers would have done the decent thing: admitted they have done as much as they can and walked away — but not Pulis.
His belligerent approach to his future has seen him bunker down and soldier on, passing the buck of responsibility onto “the man that counts” and “good fella” Steve Gibson.
Speaking about his future, he told The Northern Echo: “Like I say, I came up to Middlesbrough for Steve [Gibson]. He’s the man that counts.
“Whichever way you cook it, we’ve got a good relationship and he’s a good fella.”
His comments seem like a ploy to deliberately make it difficult for Gibson to drop the axe, but any pleas, suggestions or games should be met with a deaf ear.
It would be an easy decision for Gibson to let things plod along until the summer, knowing he can let Pulis’ contract run out, without having to do anything.
It would be easy — but it would be wrong!
It would be a better financial option to let his deal expire — but it will cost the club a fortune in missed opportunities!
It would be the friendly thing to do for someone you have a”good relationship with” — but it will make more enemies!
He simply must make Pulis leave now.
It may well already be too late for this season, but surely let a new man come in and have a few weeks with the players in the hope of salvaging something — even if it is only pride!
What is the worst that could happen?
A new manager can have a few weeks to see who he thinks has a future, and who he wants to get rid of. He could, at least, lay some foundations for the next campaign, while then having the whole summer to reshape the squad.
Failure to act now, will make Gibson — the once saviour of the club — as culpable for his inaction, as Pulis is for his inability.
On behalf of all loyal, passionate Boro’ fans, we say:
Stop pussy-footing around the issue. Do the best thing for Middlesbrough FC, and sack Tony Pulis now!
What do you think of what’s gone wrong at your club, Middlesbrough fans? Should they have changed manager before now? Is it too late? Let us know your thoughts…