Three names in the frame to replace Tony Pulis at Middlesbroughby Jack Kitson / 17 May 2019, 09:49Tweet
Tony Pulis has left his post at Middlesbrough after the club opted not to offer the manager a contract extension following his failure to win promotion from the Championship.
Pulis, who replaced Garry Monk over the 2017 festive period, had overseen two unsuccessful attempts at promotion to the Premier League with a shambolic six game losing streak between March and April costing Boro a place in the top-6 last season.
The next Middlesbrough manager market is up and running, so without further ado here are three managers that could replace the Welshman...
Former Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate is surprisingly slim at 4/11 in the betting. The 39-year-old is the club’s first team coach, but his CV is empty as he’s yet to dive into the chaotic world of football management, although neither had his former England teammate Frank Lampard and he’s currently one game away from leading Derby up to the Premier League.
Boro went down the experienced route with Pulis and it didn't quite work out, meaning a gamble on local lad Woodgate could be the way forward. He knows the club inside out and could prove to be a popular pick with players.
As a player he had a sparkling CV, featuring league, domestic and European silverware with both Barcelona and Ajax, winning the Champions League under Louis van Gaal with the latter.
The Dutchman then spent a single injury-ravaged season at Middlesbrough (2004-05), and in 2017 entered in the managerial arena with Ajax’s second team with whom he led to the second-tier title in 2017/18.
BBC Sport journalist Steve Crossman has revealed that Boro are considering a Dutch coach, so make of that what you will.
Understand Middlesbrough are seriously considering coaches in the Eredivisie. A more crowd friendly, attacking approach is what they’re looking for and club hierarchy have been canvassing opinions from Dutch sources on possible replacements for Tony Pulis.— Steve Crossman (@Steve_Crossman) May 15, 2019
Could Middlesbrough look to the last man that led the club up to the Premier League?
Aitor Karanka spent three-and-a-half-years at the helm, during which he steered Middlesbrough to promotion (2nd) in his second full season.
It didn’t quite work out for him in the Premier League - he lost his job with 11 games remaining before Boro were relegated.
The Spaniard returned to management in 2018 and spent a year at the helm of Nottingham Forest through to the start of 2019 when he asked to be released from his contract.
"Now it is impossible because Tony is in charge,” Karanka said earlier this week, but did add that "the relationship I have with (Middlesbrough owner) Steve (Gibson) is amazing.”