May 28, 2024

The following statement is excerpted from an interview with Kieran Scott featured in the Northern Echo. In the discussion, Scott touches on various topics, including his collaboration with Michael Carrick and the coaching team.

“As we continue and invest more time in our work, it becomes increasingly seamless. I previously expressed a similar sentiment during my time at Norwich regarding Daniel Farke. The longer I collaborated with him, the more I could discern a ‘Daniel Farke player.’ We are witnessing a similar trend here now. Chris and the team are recognizing this, and the more we engage in the process, the more successful it becomes.”

For those unfamiliar, Scott served as City’s head of recruitment during the successful Farke era but made the move to Teesside in August 2021 to assume the role of Boro’s sporting director. While Boro anticipates Carrick’s prolonged tenure as head coach, they recognize the importance of continuity when selecting future replacements. The focus is on finding individuals aligned with Middlesbrough’s vision and style, avoiding a scenario where a new manager necessitates a complete overhaul of the recruitment strategy.

Under Carrick’s leadership, Boro exhibits on-field prowess and off-field tranquility, demonstrating a cohesive and stable approach.

This prompts contemplation about how City might have fared if Stuart Webber had faced the same fate as Daniel Farke, and Scott had taken on the Webber position. Much of what Scott discusses in the interview aligns with City’s original ‘new sporting director plan’ from seven years ago. The current sporting director, Ben Knapper, echoes similar sentiments.

While data-driven recruitment has gained attention, the article emphasizes the importance of complementing it with on-the-ground observations. A proficient scout attending a game can uncover nuances that may be overlooked in data analysis.

The example of Milot Rashica raises questions about the scouting process—was he extensively observed before the substantial investment, or was it primarily a data-driven decision? The author emphasizes the need for caution if relying solely on data for future signings.

The piece speculates on the potential success of David Wagner with effective recruitment but raises concerns about the risk involved. Knapper, the new man in charge, may have specific ideas for the team’s playing style and could be assessing the current squad’s compatibility with these plans.

The article concludes by acknowledging the delicate balance Knapper must strike—being transparent about his plans without alienating the fan base. The impending AGM is anticipated as a potential forum for clarity on the club’s direction and any statements from Attanasio and the Norfolk Group regarding the club’s future.

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