Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Hear a Lot about What a Good Coach Karanka Is, but I Have Yet to Hear He Is a Good Man Manager

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Hear a Lot about What a Good Coach Karanka Is, but I Have Yet to Hear He Is a Good Man Manager

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernie Slaven Bernie's Bolt

BY the time Bruce Rioch left Middlesbrough the players had stopped responding to him - and I'm seeing elements of that same sort of faded chemistry between the Boro squad and Aitor Karanka now.

I've heard numerous times that Karanka is a fantastic coach, but I've yet to hear anyone say he is a fantastic man manager, similar to when Steve McClaren was at the club.

It's a year on from Karanka's alleged walkout before the Charlton game, but the time for man management is now because the last two performances have been alarming.

Stoke was a high profile game but where was the passion, the commitment and the enthusiasm? It was dreadful, a continuation from the Palace debacle.

Boro were lacking in even the most basic departments and it's downright worrying.

I've worked with good man managers, mediocre man managers and rank-bad man managers.

But what I will say is that whether you're a player on 400 quid a week or 400 grand a week you still need a pat on the backside, an arm around your shoulder every now and again.

I'll be perfectly honest, when Colin Todd was in charge of Boro and players were leaving I switched off.

And I'm looking around and thinking that's the case in areas of the team now.

Gaston Ramirez looked like he wanted to be anywhere but Stoke on Saturday, but that's where man management comes in.

Karanka needs to be stroking Ramirez's ego, telling him he understands his situation and recognises that he wants away.

But at the same time he needs to be reminding him that he is the best technical player we've got and a game-changer.

Ramirez can put himself in the shop window from now until the end of the season and play for a move, and help himself and Boro into the bargain.

That's what I would be telling him, anyway. …

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