Middlesbrough fans may have it tough at the moment with Tony Pulis, the embodiment of anti-football, in charge at The Riverside, but things haven’t always been like this. There was a time where they had Gareth Southgate in charge. The England manager is the only Boro captain to lift a trophy at the club, and his time as a manager wasn’t half bad either.
Pretty much every single Premier League fan is aware of the 8-1 thrashing that Middlesbrough gave Manchester City pre-oil money for the Citizens, but few are aware that Southgate was the Boro tactician who masterminded it. Southgate retired as a player at Boro and jumped straight into the role of the club’s manager, and it seems that wasn’t an entirely awful decision seeing as where he is now.
When Boro initially appointed Southgate it was a controversial appointment. Seeing as he’d been an England international and went straight into the role out of his playing days, the now 48-year-old didn’t have the necessary coaching badges to manage a Premier League side. However, Boro successfully argued his case and he stayed on, taking the club to three straight FA Cup quarter-finals and 12th and 13th placed finishes.
However, his third and final full season at The Riverside ended bitterly in relegation. The squad wasn’t up to scratch and the financial backing for a club like Boro was never going to be amazing. Regardless, Southgate went for it and stayed on, helping the club to 4th in the Championship and just one point off of top spot in October when he was sacked by Steve Gibson.
Now, Southgate has reached new heights and there seems to be little that can stop him in his current role as the England manager. Everyone knows what he pulled off at the World Cup back in summer 2018 and he may even get a chance at winning the first national trophy for the Three Lions since the 1966 World Cup when his England side travel to Portugal for the finals of the UEFA Nations League in a month’s time.
Boro fans, what are your standout memories of Southgate? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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