Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Real Deal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Real Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Keith Lamb today claimed that Gareth Southgate's eye for a signing will take the Boro in a new direction.

Southgate kept his nerve during the summer, when several transfer targets slipped from his grasp, and ended up bringing in four proven Premiership players.

Two of them - Jonathan Woodgate and Robert Huth - are international defenders.

Now chief executive Lamb insists that Southgate has taken the club on a new course, away from the "reckless signings" of the past.

Lamb, pictured, said: "If anything Gareth has been cautious about who we are signing because he wants to ensure we recruit the right people.

"I can only applaud that because there have been reckless signings at Middlesbrough in the past and perhaps people who have been signed on reputation rather than performance.

"Hopefully Gareth will be more structured in his signings.

"It has been a bit of a disappointment for the fans and the media over the last few months in that we haven't signed the players that we have been linked with.

"But the arrival of Jonathan Woodgate, Robert Huth, Jason Euell and the earlier signing of Julio Arca proved Gareth is ambitious and can deliver the targets he wants."

Lamb has not identified the "reckless signings", but fans can make up their own minds.

Certainly several new faces in modern times have fallen well short of the necessary Premiership standard, leaving fans to believe that they were signed purely to ensure the money was spent.

Lamb has been chief executive at Boro for almost 20 years, during which time the club has been managed by Bruce Rioch, Colin Todd, Lennie Lawrence, Bryan Robson, Steve McClaren and now Southgate.

During this time Steve Gibson and Lamb have maintained a policy of backing their managers as much as possible, in particular when it comes down to signings.

The decision to appoint Southgate as the latest Boro boss was a slightly controversial one in that many fans questioned the former skipper's lack of managerial experience. …

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