It has to be said that to most of us the appointment of Garry Monk represented probably the best option of the numerous names that had been bandied about since relegation.
Like all incoming managers, however, he has much to prove and a lot of convincing to do before he is taken to the hearts of the ‘Boro faithful. Like me, most ‘Boro fans just want someone who takes the club to his heart, isn’t afraid to put his own stamp on proceedings and is as eager for success as the rest of us. Let’s hope that he can go on to demonstrate all those attributes.
His first major decision – the release of Stewart Downing – created something of a split between those die-hard ‘Boro fans who still think of Stewie as ‘one of our own’ and those who want a complete change going forward. Looking at the decision realistically I felt the decision was a good indication that Garry was not only aware of Downing’s unconvincing performances for the majority of the season but also the obvious problems he created behind the scenes that affected the smooth running of the club – and, some would say, accounted for the end of Aitor Karanka.
Although he ‘s obviously the Academy’s most successful product to date there comes a time when you have to admit that change would be the best option for all concerned.
I really do wish him well, though, and would love to see him go to somewhere like Brighton and produce some of the magic we have seen in the past. That the magic will certainly not be with ‘Boro is an excellent indication that Garry Monk has his own ideas and hopefully a short term plan that will also succeed in the long term. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing what those ideas are and how they are implemented in the potentially interesting few weeks before the first game at Wolves on August 4th.
While he’s spent some time putting his backroom staff together, the deafening silence regarding the future of Steve Agnew – combined with the aforementioned Downing release – would suggest he is doing things his own way. But in that respect I applaud him for giving Dimi Konstantopoulos a renewed contract.
Still a huge fans’ favourite for his two very special years as our number one, I still find it hard to believe Karanka didn’t give Dimi a single chance in the premiership. He deserved a lot better!
Players haven’t even returned back for pre-season so there isn’t a great deal happening at the Riverside. However, it is hoped that soon there will have been a number of comings and goings. We all know who should be in the latter category but it will be fascinating to see who will represent the former.
After the second half of last season exciting days are coming back to the Riverside with a vengeance.