Pulis Departs
By Rob Nichols
Friday 17 May 2019 14:48:00
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The expected happened today as it was announced that Tony Pulis had left the building. The manager has gone and the hunt is now on for a successor. But before that hunt hots up chairman, Steve Gibson, paused to offer his thanks for the work completed by the man in the cap. Also underlining that thanks to the former Stoke and West Brom the new manager will have firm foundations to work from.

The club issued the following statement today.

Chairman Steve Gibson said: “I’d like to thank Tony for his hard work and commitment over the past 18 months. He has been a joy to work with and a complete gentleman.

“Two years ago we invested heavily in the squad in terms of transfer fees and salaries in an attempt to regain our Premier League status. This happened before Tony’s arrival.

“Over the past 18 months Tony has been proactive, not only in the ambition to win football matches and promotion to the Premier League, but also in addressing our financial position in order to comply and respect the Championship Fair Play criteria. He has ensured that the club is stable and strong for the future. He leaves us in excellent condition.

“Tony’s backing of our Academy has seen many youngsters make their first team debuts. I am sure that Dael Fry, Lewis Wing, Marcus Tavernier, and Nathan Wood will be grateful for the faith he has shown in them.

“I’m sorry to see Tony leave but our friendship and my gratitude will remain. Tony and his family will always be welcome at Middlesbrough Football Club.”

Personally I found Tony Pulis to be a warm, friendly and very approachable guy. I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect at all when he stood in his cap at the first press conference. But his degree of honesty and simple plain speaking was really refreshing. I was reminded of Gareth Southgate and Tony Mowbray in that in person he seemed a very decent guy and that he would not duck a question.

I do believe he was in control of the transfer policy this season but that he worked hard to ensure we did not overspend. He was very careful to save some kitty for the future, a future after parachute payments.

I think his legacy will come from thinking long term again and having young players to build around. Pulis integrated the academy back in with the first team again, they had drifted apart. This makes pathways easier to take. But he was very protective of some of the younger players, he saw them day to day and could access whether they had the maturity to take the pressures and trappings of first team land.

Obviously few enjoyed the football served up by Pulis teams but on the other hand, Pulis succeeded where none before or since have in polishing a rough diamond in Adama Traore, surely the most exciting talent any of us have seen since Juninho. Imagine if he had stayed this season. Where might we have been now? That is the big what if for me of Tony Pulis second season and I wonder what Traore himself thinks about this now.

 



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