Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Will Karanka and Clapham Become Our Dynamic Duo?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Will Karanka and Clapham Become Our Dynamic Duo?

Article excerpt

AITOR Karanka was appointed Boro head coach two months ago.

At the time, the club were working hard to identify and appoint his assistant.

The identity of the No 2 was expected to be revealed within a matter of days, certainly inside a couple of weeks.

That didn't turn out to be the case and, at the time of writing, Boro still haven't appointed an assistant manager.

Jamie Clapham has been helping out on the training ground and seems to have forged a useful working relationship with Karanka, who always speaks highly of the thoughtful 38-yearold.

Perhaps, the temporary partnership will become a permanent one.

It's understood that Steve Gibson would prefer Karanka's assistant to be British, with an intimate knowledge of the English game.

The chairman didn't want an entirely non-UK coaching team.

Of course, the candidate would have to have a chemistry with the Spaniard, so he'll no doubt have a big say in the final appointment.

But, if Boro continue their recent improvement, logic suggests that maybe the right candidate is already in place.

Clapham joined Boro in the summer of 2012 as Steve Agnew's replacement in charge of the under-21 development set-up.

During an eventful career, he played in all four professional divisions, so he knows how football operates and the top and the bottom.

A lack of senior coaching experience may count against him in the final analysis, but with Karanka very much a hands-on coach, the assistant role will be primarily one of providing support and offering a sounding board to bounce ideas off.

Time will tell. It's no doubt the case that appointing an assistant manager isn't easy in the middle of a season.

You've not only got to convince a candidate to leave the role he's currently employed in to link up with a head coach that he's never worked with before.

You've also got to get permission from a club to approach their employee. …

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