Does Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka want the sack?by Simon Lillicrap / 31 January 2017, 12:11Tweet
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka seems to be digging his own grave in the North East after again hitting out as his board for a lack of new players.
This was in the week following an attack on his own supporters after a home defeat to West Ham, and it comes as no surprise to see the under-fire Spaniard leading the sack race at 8/11 to be the next manager dismissed.
What is driving Karanka so crazy and does he want to be sacked? We analyse the evidence below.
The latest falling out with the board could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back following a succession of outbursts. He has been frustrated by the club's transfers despite bringing in both Rudy Gestede and former loanee Patrick Bamford for a combined £12 million.
Failure to sign Bojan from Stoke and Robert Snodgrass from Hull, as well as missing out on Jese Rodriguez led to him telling the Daily Telegraph:
“We need to improve the team, and the club knew a month and a half ago the players that I wanted.”
He went on to criticise the signings they had made saying they would not improve his side, and he finished with a final swipe at the board:
“It is difficult, but when we got promotion last season, there were a lot of people who got a medal. A lot of people had a medal, and a lot of people had done their job. Now? I don’t know.”
The pressures of the being in a Premier League relegation battle would take its toll on anyone, but the 43-year-old has a history of cracking under pressure.
Last season, with his Middlesbrough side top of the Championship but being hunted down as their form slipped, he had a training ground bust-up with his own players. He reportedly threatened to quit during the argument and questioned the attitude of his squad.
Middlesbrough then confirmed he would not take charge of the next game and it looked as if the outburst had cost him his job. However, he was reinstated as manger and it proved to be the right decision as he led them to promotion, but it did sow seeds of doubt in the fans mind, and prove to them that they had a volatile man in charge.
The outburst against the supporters last week was intriguing. He declared that the atmosphere inside the stadium had been awful as Boro fans were became frustrated with their conservative style of play. He then stated that any unhappy supporters must have short memories given what he had done from the club.
Aitor Karanka is an odd fella. It's almost like he wants the sack— Philip Buckingham (@PJBuckingham) January 30, 2017
Karanka does have a point on this matter. When he took over at Middlesbrough they were in a relegation battle in the Championship. He proceeded to lead them to a respectable top-half finish, before reaching the play-off final the season after, before finally achieving promotion last season.
Karanka's managerial ability has been proven but having such an emotional character in charge of a football club does have its consequences as we have seen.
The Spaniard seems desperate to be valued and appreciated by his fans. He is desperate for the fans to be behind the team rather than criticise his approach as the below tweet shows. However, he would be more likely to resonate with fans if he didn’t criticise them.
As a manager, I cannot be any prouder of my players. They gave everything today. We need everyone to support them. #UTB— Aitor Karanka (@Karanka) January 21, 2017
Karanka is not irreplaceable at Boro but sticking with him is the best chance they have at staying in the lucrative Premier League - providing he stops his emotions from being a disruptive force as he attempts to save his side from the dreaded drop.