Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has claimed that he would have rather Bournemouth had appointed Thierry Henry as their new manager as opposed to former Boro man Jonathan Woodgate.
The former Boro boss and player was recently appointed as successor to Jason Tindall until the end of the season at the Vitality Stadium following strong speculation that Henry was in line to take over the reins.
Woodgate had previously overseen a run of three wins during his time in caretaker charge, including an impressive away victory at Premier League Burnley in the FA Cup, leading to many fans and pundits giving the ex-Real Madrid man their backing to take the job full time.
Speaking to the Hartlepool Mail, Warnock was quick to make the following claim:
“Personally, I wish Thierry Henry had taken over if I’m honest.
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“I’m not being disrespectful to Jonathan, but I was hoping they were going to appoint Thierry Henry.
“I thought, wow, he’ll wonder what’s hit him coming to the Championship.”
The 41-year-old’s only previous spell in management came at the Riverside, where he averaged a win percentage of just 21.95% before being sacked in June 2020 as Boro just staved off the threat of relegation.
This is a classic tongue and cheek gag from Warnock and I doubt many people of a Bournemouth persuasion will read too much into it.
Woodgate has arguably earned the right to take on the job full time and he’ll be eager to prove to people that he can do the business at this level of management after a largely forgetful spell during his time at Boro.
Expectations will be as high as ever at the Vitality Stadium, with anything less than promotion sure to be viewed as a failure by a club that have been up near the top since the start of the campaign.
From my point of view they’ve made the right choice, they’ve gone with experience over reputation in the case of Woodgate and Henry and it will be interesting to see how he fares between now and the end of the season.