Northern Exposure: Kris Boyd sums up the disaster of Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough reign

08 March 2011 04:37
At last Kris Boyd makes a contribution to Middlesbrough's season - by leaving Teesside!

The former Rangers striker is everything that was wrong about Gordon Strachan and his reign as Middlesbrough manager.

Over-hyped, over-paid and over here, the Scottish league's most prolific striker has not been able to cut it in the Championship with Middlesbrough. And he never looked capable of doing so from the day he arrived.

Off already? Kris Boyd has failed to settle at the Riverside

    More from Colin Young. Northern Exposure: Sunderland boss Bruce confident of bouncing back04/03/11 Northern Exposure: How being Given's understudy made Harper stronger23/02/11 Northern Exposure: Ignore Quinn's last orders at your peril16/02/11 Northern Exposure: Newcastle's Plan D. ?35m Carroll to journeyman Finn11/02/11 Northern Exposure: Broken promises, sackfuls of cash and a star departure01/02/11 Northern Exposure: Barton's form has earned him a second England chance26/01/11 Colin Young: Bent's fantasy deal brings Sunderland crashing back to earth18/01/11 Northern Exposure: Three reasons why the hotbed of football became a laughing stock during a weekend of FA Cup shocks 11/01/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEBoyd, the SPL's record goalscorer, and a free signing on Premier League wages, came with a reputation as a natural finisher.

Now Boyd can't even get a regular place in a Middlesbrough side which is fighting for survival in the Championship. He has scored five goals all season and last started a game at the start of last month.

So good luck to Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies now that he has signed the Scot on a loan until the end of the season, swapping goalkeeper Paul Smith in the process.

An injury to young keeper Jason Steele, which forced the even younger Connor Ripley into making his Boro debut at the weekend, has forced Tony Mowbray to act.

And Mowbray may need a keeper in an emergency, but the Boro manager will be relieved he has stayed the clear-out of the many Strachan flops. He will just be hoping Boro are still a Championship side as he completes that task in the next six months.

There is no excuse for the pre-season Championship promotion favourites Middlesbrough being at the wrong end of the table, relying on youths just out of the academy to survive the drop to League One.

Players like Steele, Jonathan Grounds and Seb Hines have found it tough, but have no doubt gained valuable experience along the way.

But it has been painful to watch at times for their sympathetic fans. And the trouble with schoolboys is that they make schoolboy errors and Boro are dicing with relegation with a rookie team, just when they need the experience and know-how of players like Boyd to guide them through these troubled waters.

Strachan plundered the Scottish leagues to bring in talent he was convinced would take them out of the Championship in the right direction. Injuries haven't helped but only two started when Forest visited the Riverside last week, and no doubt there will be the same playing Derby on Tuesday night.

inexperience: Middlesbrough's Jonathan Grounds has been thrust into the team

Players like Julio Arca may not be enjoying this season, but they continued to do their bit for the cause. Players like Boyd have bled the Boro bank account dry, and continue to do so without making a decent contribution to their survival campaign.

Former Brentford and Southampton keeper Smith, now aged 31, will add some much-needed experience to a Boro defence which has struggled with consistency over the last month.

Grounds and Hines were the central defensive pairing last week but they have only just reached double figures in appearances for the season between them.

Mowbray is gambling on these Boro boys to get them out of trouble, but he has no choice. He has to hope they have enough talent, and can eradicate the mistakes to steer clear of the bottom three, but it won't be straight forward as the last week has demonstrated.

They were seconds away from beating the impressive and experienced Forest side a week ago, but threw away a lead, two points and two places up the table. Then they went to Reading and received another lesson, and cling to the relegation places like a magnet.

A win against Derby will make the table and their predicament look a lot healthier, and leave Mowbray convinced he can clear out and re-invest, even with limited resources. A defeat to the fellow strugglers and getting Kris Boyd off the wage bill is the least of Mowbray's problems.

 Explore more:People: Gordon Strachan, Tony Mowbray, Billy Davies, Paul Smith

Source: Daily_Mail