The last days of Pulis? How previous managers met their end

Two wins in 10 games, 10 goals scored and 10 goals conceded. All culminating in an embarrassing defeat to lower league opposition in the quarter finals of the League Cup.

For the first time in his reign, Tony Pulis is under real pressure. There have been quiet rumours that he might have only two or three games to convince Steve Gibson to keep him on. And if that’s the case perhaps he can have few complaints.

Fail to beat Reading at the weekend and Boro will be pretty much in the same position as when Garry Monk was sacked a year earlier.

In fact, Monk’s last 10 games in charge produced more wins, points and goals than the last 10 under Pulis.

Boro currently look deflated and disjointed, and Pulis is running out of time to make things tick again. Steve Gibson has become more ruthless in recent seasons and he won’t hesitate to make a change if he’s not happy.

So could Pulis be on the brink? I’ve looked back at previous sackings to see what could push him over the edge.


Garry Monk – sacked 23/12/2017

Garry Monk

Garry Monk never really seemed to connect with the Boro fans and struggled for consistency during his short tenure. But he had actually won six of his last 10 in charge, which is better than the current run.

The problem was the nature of the defeats during that period – 3 consecutive away defeats and a shambolic 3-0 home defeat to Derby.

Boro were being outfought by limited teams and overrun by their supposed promotion rivals.

Despite winning his last game against Sheffield Wednesday, it wasn’t that surprising to see him go the same day.


Aitor Karanka – sacked 16/03/2017

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka was widely praised for finally taking Boro back to the Premier League, but once he got there it all went downhill.

Following a 3-0 win over Swansea in December, Boro looked like they would have enough to steer clear of relegation. But they then embarked on a remarkable run of 16 matches without a win.

During that run, Karanka openly criticised the club for not making significant signings in January, and it seemed inevitable that he would soon be gone.

He clung on until the end of February, when insipid displays against fellow strugglers Stoke and Crystal Palace seemed to seal his fate.

He was allowed to stick around to oversee an FA Cup quarter final against Man City, but was shown the door soon after losing the tie.


Tony Mowbray – sacked 21/10/2013

Tony Mowbray

Club legend Mowbray returned to the club in 2010 as manager to clean up Gordon Strachan’s mess and steer them away from relegation trouble.

In the following two seasons, he had Boro competing at the top of the table at Christmas, before twice fading badly in the second half of the season.

In his second full season, the team could only manage 3 wins after New Year, and they carried that poor form into the following season.

They could only muster two wins from the opening 12 games and a farcical 3-2 defeat to bottom of the table Barnsley was the final straw for Gibson.


Gareth Southgate – sacked 20/10/2009

Gareth Southgate

England darling Southgate could and should have been sacked at the end of the previous season as Boro sleepwalked their way to relegation with a quarter final FA Cup defeat to lower league opposition (sound familiar?) thrown in for good measure.

But Gibson kept faith that Southgate could lead Boro to an instant return and was rewarded as Boro started the season unbeaten in four matches without even conceding a goal.

However, after some big names departed at the end of the transfer window, Boro struggled to maintain their form and lost four of the next nine.

The nadir was the 5-0 home defeat to fellow relegated team West Brom.

Just like Garry Monk years later, Southgate won his last match in charge but Gibson’s mind had already been made up.


Bryan Robson – demoted December 2000

Bryan Robson

Not really sacked per se, but he was definitely demoted in his final season in charge.

Robson had overseen the Riverside Revolution with cup finals, superstar signings, two promotions and one relegation. Boro had also made a solid return to the Premier League with two consecutive mid-table finishes.

However, in the 2000-2001 season Boro were really struggling with only two wins from the opening 17 matches.

Terry Venables was then brought in to ‘assist’ Robson, but in reality it was clear who was calling the shots.

Boro set off on a remarkable recovery to finish the season well clear of the relegation places, and in the summer Robson officially left the club by ‘mutual consent’.

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