Tony Mowbray: once a legend, always a legend – time will tell

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In a move that will surprise – well, nobody, really – Tony Mowbray was yesterday confirmed as Middlesbrough’s new manager.

Despite the speculation and rumour in the press last weekend linking Paul Ince with a return to the Teesside club, Mowbray was the front-runner from the moment Gordon Strachan tore up his contract and walked away from the Riverside.

Much is already being made in the media about the circumstances in which Mowbray captained Middlesbrough in the aftermath of their darkest hour in the mid-1980s – how he led the club’s ‘rise from the ashes’ of liquidation and relegation – with obvious comparisons to the club’s current predicament being drawn.

Thankfully, these days the financial stability of the club is secure, and Mowbray will be welcomed with open arms by supporters who acknowledge how much he contributed at a time when Boro’s fortunes were in steep decline.

In some ways, Mowbray might find himself unable to live up to expectations, having being labelled a hero, a legend and an inspiration even before his official unveiling at Tuesday’s press conference.

That said, there is often a buzz of excitement around a club with a new manager; a renewed sense of possibility that is only enhanced when the manager is a huge part of the club’s history and is so fondly regarded by both the chairman and supporters.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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