This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Middlesbrough’s tough start to the season continued on Saturday as they were beaten at home by newly-promoted Blackpool.
The defeat leaves Boro languishing in the bottom half and whilst we’re still at a very early stage of the season, some fans are concerned at how the first six weeks have played out.
A busy summer recruitment drive saw the Teesside outfit make some big signings, with the club using their scouting system to secure a few additions from abroad.
Despite having a remarkable record at this level, boss Neil Warnock hasn’t got the side clicking yet, and a section of the support are starting to doubt the experienced manager.
Here our writers assess whether Warnock is the man to lead a promotion push…
His style of play can be questioned with the players he has at his disposal, that’s for sure. Is it the right match?
Like at Nottingham Forest, there does seem to be a divergence between Boro’s recruitment and the manager.
Back in 2004/05, a documentary about Neil Warnock at Sheffield United revealed he openly discussed targets with the board and was fully involved in the recruitment process.
He still strikes me as a manager, not a head coach. His track record has been fantastic over the years in terms of getting teams promoted, but the role of a manager has changed in recent years with Directors of Football and recruitment teams, so this could be his downfall.
Lee Peltier was definitely one of his own signings, but Martin Payero wasn’t and how well he can bring all the ingredients he has at his disposal together will determine how well he does his season.
He definitely has the capability of getting Middlesbrough out of their rut – but he needs to utilise the players he trusts and knows best, and the ones who are going to fit in his system. Then he can experiment with some of his other summer additions.
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Tough question to answer. I guess that the one thing we must say is that Warnock probably deserves the chance to work for a little bit longer with the squad he’s pieced together.
The summer was a busy one for Boro and you just can’t expect them to hit the ground running a month after finalising their squad.
That being said, it’s not really been a good start to the season for the Teessiders and Warnock will only get so long before the fans turn.
It’s the risk he runs with his style of football. It isn’t easy on the eye and when results aren’t there, it’s easy to become irritated with what’s going on in-front of you.
However, he should get time. You don’t back a manager so heavily in terms of bodies coming in only to rip it up after a few bad results. That’s been something Boro have been recovering from after the whole Garry Monk saga!
Neil Warnock has been an excellent manager at second-tier level, whilst also impressing in the higher division, and he is someone who has continually proved doubters wrong.
It seemed like he and his team had turned a corner after the victory against Nottingham Forest, but a disappointing game against Blackpool leaves them in a difficult position.
Middlesbrough engaged in a fair bit of late business, meaning Warnock, and the personnel he has brought in, are all still adapting.
They have a bright squad on paper who should be challenging for the promotion places, but there is plenty of time for Warnock to find the winning formula.
I think he is the right man, for now anyway, perhaps we will know a little more in three or four ages time.