This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand….
Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking as Tottenham manager was a huge surprise for those around the football world.
For others, his dismissal may go down as a word of warning.
Few can dispute the impact that Pochettino had during his five-and-a-half year spell in North London, after securing three successive top four finishes and reaching the Champions League final last term.
His manner with the players and his generally personable approach made him a real hit with supporters, but unfortunately what we’ve seen is that this isn’t enough.
Football is a results-based business, and while Pochettino was a popular around Tottenham, he clearly wasn’t deemed to be indispensable – something which could a real warning to Jonathan Woodgate at Middlesbrough.
The Boro-born manager was appointed as a man of the people – someone who grew up supporting the club, before playing for the club and working as a coach under Tony Pulis’s regime last term.
Woodgate was very much Steve Gibson’s appointment as he looked to alter the identity of the football club into one which fans could relate to.
However this won’t be the case unless results improve. Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking proves that.
In contrast to Pochettino, Jonathan Woodgate may be at the start of his managerial cycle but while Middlesbrough are taking a ‘short-term pain, long-term gain’ approach, it won’t excuse poor results.
Middlesbrough have won just twice in 16 games so far this season, and that means that pressure has to be building on the manager.
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In truth, Tottenham’s form under Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t been nearly as bad what Middlesbrough’s has been so far this term, and that must surely mean that Jonathan Woodgate is looking over his shoulder, as after all, plenty of managers have been sacked for less.
Woodgate deserves time to get his ducks in a row during a difficult time for the club, but it’s time to get some wins on the board as you don’t get points for good performances.
Thankfully, Steve Gibson is among the more patient chairmen in English football, but you can be sure that he’ll be willing to make a change if he believes that Middlesbrough are in danger of a genuine relegation battle.