Leon Wobschall: Son of a steelworker, no-nonsense Pulis is exactly what Middlesbrough need

New Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is a perfect fit at the club, says Leon Wobschall (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire)New Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is a perfect fit at the club, says Leon Wobschall (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire)
New Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is a perfect fit at the club, says Leon Wobschall (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire)
IT is safe to say that the sense of perplexity which some Middlesbrough players were said to have harboured regarding the side's perceived lack of a playing style under Garry Monk will be obliterated following the appointment of his successor, Tony Pulis.

For many Boro supporters - and some players if reports are to be believed - the team palpably lacked a clear identity, DNA and direction under Monk, who was dramatically axed just hours after the Teessiders’ 2-1 weekend victory at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

There will certainly be no grey areas with Pulis now in the building.

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Famed for his organisational qualities and strong man-management, Pulis is likely to quickly get his message across on the training ground - in terms of what is acceptable and what is not - from the earliest juncture.

It is likely to be similar, to a certain degree, to the ethos espoused by Monk’s predecesor Aitor Karanka, who made Boro supremely hard to break down with their success forged upon solid defence.

Players will know where they stand with Pulis as they did under Karanka, who was a results-based pragmatic manager whose record at Championship level was very impressive.

That is a fact which is unlikely to have been lost upon Boro chairman Steve Gibson.

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Gibson may have been labelled over the years as a patient chairman. But do not let it be said that he does not possess a ruthless streak when required.

Gibson showed that in sacking Monk, shortly after Boro’s best away performance of the season, with the Riverside chief acting decisively in order to bring in Pulis, who had been interesting two rival clubs.

Out of work after leaving West Brom in November, Pulis, whose home is on the exclusive Sandbanks pennisula near Bournemouth, had been planning on enjoying a family Christmas before setting his sights back on a return to management.

But the persuasive tongue of Gibson – a known admirer of Pulis from afar with the pair understood to have cultivated a healthy respect over the years – saw the Welshman make an earlier than expected return.

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Pulis forged a strong working relationship with Stoke chairman Peter Coates during a golden association with the Potters during his time in Staffordshire.

The similar nature of the Boro project - working closely with another local ‘old school’ chairman whose word is his bond and who has the club in his blood like Gibson - and the prospect of replicating those glory days will appeal to the 59-year-old.

Some may have ventured that the situation bares a resemblence to the time when Boro dramatically sacked another young and aspiring manager in Gareth Southgate and appointed an old head in Gordon Strachan - whose tenure on Teesside was an unmitigated disaster.

But Pulis, unlike Strachan, is likely to ‘get’ Middlesbrough and the values that Teessiders prize straightaway.

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From working-class stock in Newport, a town which possessed a once thriving iron and steel industry like Middlesbrough, Pulis – a steelworkers’ son – fully understands the value of graft, resoluteness, defiance and strength that defines Teesside.

Over to you, Tony.