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George Caulkin


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Seeing as his articles tend to get quite a good audience on here and other sites I thought we could create a thread to post all of his articles in. Seeing as he has posted some fantastic ones in the past that I wouldn't mind reading again.


I know this article isn't about us but I thought I would post something in there to kick start the thread.




Why have Middlesbrough decided to sack Gareth Southgate now?


That is certainly the obvious question for anyone on the outside to ask. But while the team are fourth in the Coca-Cola Championship and within a point of the top of the table they have suffered some really poor results this season and the manager’s position has become an established source of debate among fans.


Last night's attendance of 17,459, was the lowest ever at the Riverside Stadium for a league game. Last Tuesday night’s 1-0 home defeat to Leicester was Middlesbrough's second lowest crowd and brought sustained spells of anti-Southgate chanting. It wasn't a healthy situation.


Southgate himself conceded that his relationship with Middlesbrough supporters had become fractured to a significant extent and Steve Gibson, the chairman, knew that link was in danger of snapping. Middlesbrough is still an economically disadvantaged area and supporters had come to the point where they just weren't prepared to go along and support their club anymore. Steve Gibson had to address that problem and he has lanced the boil.


Did Southgate struggle to impose himself as manager having been a player in that side?


His spell in the dug-out, which began in the aftermath of Steve McClaren’s appointment as England manager in 2006, has coincided with severe cost-cutting, the departure of senior players, but also relegation and in spite of his intellect and commitment, he has become a polarising figure.


Southgate knew he had lost the popularity he earned when he became the first Middlesbrough captain to lift a meaningful trophy five years ago. He openly admitted he found it difficult to move from being a player to becoming manager and maybe that put him on the back foot from the start. Since then there have been times when Middlesbrough have played some really attractive football but never for long enough.


I still think Southgate can go on to become a very successful manager.


Did he lack the aura and the passion to become a top class manager?


There were times, as a journalist, when you wanted Southgate to play the game a bit more, to lose his temper and show his anger after a poor performance or a bad refereeing decision - but he never did.


There was no doubting how much he cared about that job but there were times when you wanted him to really show that. It was almost as if he didn't want to become involved with any of that game-playing. He is an extremely genuine and intelligent man and he has no shortage of integrity.


Is Steve Gibson likely to have a successor lined up?


I don't think he will. Gibson is a very honourable man as well as a very tough one. He will have wanted to deal with the problem immediately and only then would he begin to think about the club's next manager. In the past when managers have left Middlesbrough they haven't always had someone else ready to come through the door.


Gibson will be aware of who is available and who is able to do the kind of job that is required to get the club straight back into the Premier League. There is not a lot of money available and it is an extremely young squad, but what the club does have is one of the best academies in the country and the infrastructure of a Premier League side.


Middlesbrough need a inspirational character and someone who can inspire the players and the supporters again. There have been genuine concerns within the boardroom at the lack of experience, both in the playing staff and in the coaching set-up, so it will be interesting to see if Gibson looks to favour a more experienced coach this time around.


Who are the main candidates at this early age?


Gordon Strachan is a name that has been mentioned and his availability and experience of working within a very limited marks him out as a candidate.


Alan Curbishley is another name. Gibson has approached him before about the job, although his ongoing dispute with West Ham over his settlement may get in the way of any possible appointment.


Other alternatives would include Paul Jewell, who has experience of taking clubs up to the Premier League and has worked on a tight budget.


And then there is someone like Paul Ince, who has Middlesbrough connections and has briefly experienced what it is like to work in the top-flight after some success in the Football League. It's probably too early to make any decisions at this stage though.


He's also on Twitter as http://twitter.com/CaulkinTheTimes if anyone uses that.

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I thought I would help by nabbing this from another thread


Quite lite George Caulkin from the Times view:


"CaulkinTheTimes It's late,I'm still in Sunderland's pressroom-almost on my own-and verging dangerously close to unprofessionalism. But ... ASHLEY OUT."

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I thought I would help by nabbing this from another thread


Quite lite George Caulkin from the Times view:


"CaulkinTheTimes It's late,I'm still in Sunderland's pressroom-almost on my own-and verging dangerously close to unprofessionalism. But ... ASHLEY OUT."


:smitten:  Fantastic.

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Renaming of St James’ Park is a flawed notion which must not and cannot stand


We may as well begin as we mean to continue: Ashley out. We may as well shed any notion of journalistic impartiality, because certain circumstances demand it: Ashley out. Just as no man is bigger than a football club - in spite of what those same men might think - some issues rise above work and professionalism and straddling a fence in the name of politics and this is one of them: Ashley out.


Now that he is staying, it warrants repetition: Ashley out. There is nothing to be gained by not speaking minds, even if Mike Ashley’s tattered regime at Newcastle United is limping on regardless and even if supporters know damn well their battered old club has not been listening. Over the past two years, they have been stripped of their pride, dignity, status and reputation; take away the howl of rage and what are you left with?


This is not simply about sport any more. This is about the most iconic structure in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a building which looms above the city and, even after the Chinese water torture of the last few years, a club which burrows its way beneath a people’s skin. It is about a region and history and tradition and heritage, things that cannot be wiped out with the flourish of a cheque-book.


There are debates to be had about a takeover saga which was drifting on without resolution. There are debates to be had about Chris Hughton’s managerial situation at Newcastle. You can pose reasonable arguments that lingering uncertainty in both areas did not provide the stability necessary for a promotion campaign and yet, for all of that, Ashley has undermined himself. Again.


(One point: nobody should start playing fantasy football with the £20m which Ashley has stated he will be ploughing back into the club. Now that Newcastle are officially off the market, Barclays will insist that their overdraft, which recently stood at £22m, is kept to the £10m level they insist upon for Coca Cola Championship clubs. Heady activity in the transfer market remains desperately unlikely).


Like black follows white, Ashley’s Newcastle is institutionally incapable of stringing two good decisions together. Preach the long-term, sack Sam Allardyce. Hire Kevin Keegan, appoint Dennis Wise. Back your manager in public and then tell him to look up new signings on YouTube. Joe Kinnear! Herald Alan Shearer as your “best decision” and then jettison him. Put the club up for sale and then refuse the only realistic offer.


And then we come to the Keegan tribunal, at which Newcastle officials admitted to consistently misleading fans as “an exercise in public relations,” where their testimony was described by the three-man panel as “profoundly unsatisfactory,” and their case as “wholly without merit,” when “entirely unfounded allegations against Mr Keegan,” were made. Keegan won and Newcastle’s rotten core was exposed.


Renaming St James’ Park is a muddle-headed, flawed and divisive notion which must not and cannot stand. In an era of recession, there may be a need for Newcastle, in their own words, to “maximise their commercial revenues,” but if it comes at the expense of goodwill (what little there is left of it), hope and a sense of community, it would also come at a bitter, prohibitive, self-defeating cost.


More than 44,000 supporters watched Newcastle struggle their way to victory against Doncaster Rovers last Saturday. It is a remarkable figure given the travails of the last few months and years, the crushing disappointments, the moribund football that led to demotion, the faulty decision-making they could not influence, the lack of communication from their club.


There are all sorts of reasons why people persist in turning up, from passion, habit, a feeling of belonging, of place, to those who want to walk away but cannot quite bring themselves to do so. For all his attempts to portray himself as an ordinary bloke, Ashley has never quite grasped that the plaything he bought for £134m is not bricks and mortar, but a collection of heartbeats. Without them, he owns a shell.


Sir Bobby Robson: “What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”


It has been said before, but ties are being stretched and bonds frayed, because the love that Sir Bobby talked about is utterly unrequited. Fans - and that means everybody who cares about life and football in the North East - have been dragged through the mud and then, just for good measure, had their faces rubbed in it. It is thoroughly and miserably unsustainable.


It has been heartening this season to attend matches at St James’ (say it while you still can) and see a Newcastle team winning, to witness a pared-back squad stumble on team spirit in desperate circumstances.


Heartening, but in the context of the state of the club, also misleading, because since Shearer’s departure, strategy has been absent. Newcastle’s guts have rusted.


As the Newcastle United Supporters Trust put it, Ashley “seems intent on dragging this farcical situation through even more embarrassment, without any regard for the damage that he is placing upon the city, the supporters, the team and the long-established good name of Newcastle United in world football.” To come back to the start, now more than ever, futile though it seems, that howl of rage: Ashley out.



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George Caulkin speaks for all Newcastle fans, and far more eloquently than most of us could ever hope to emulate.


It's such a shame that we don't have a journalist working at Thomson House who has the journalistic nous or bottle to get stuck into Ashley the way Caulkin has. We need a strong anti Ashley voice ringing out from our local newspaper, a voice that the fans can rally behind in order to rid ourselves of Ashley and his cronies.


Keep up the good work George!

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Guest Roger Kint

Compare George's excellent views to the fucktard on talksport right now, Alvin Martin blaming us, the fans for being where we are! Its our fault every manager left, its our fault for wanting Shearer, its our fault KK came back...... :kinnear:

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Bob Yule wrote:


Oh get over yourself, George.


October 28, 2009 4:50 PM GMT


So not EVERY NUFC fan is a George fan. But I suspect 99% will be.


read a couple of things today where Bob yule has replied,  he was having a dig at nufc.com & NUST on the other one.

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