Sometimes you just can’t win, and this is one of those weeks for Gareth Southgate even beyond the two losses. First, he got it right in the arse from Neil Warnock – who was not pleased that Gareth Southgate rested Mark Viduka, Jonathan Woodgate and Julio Arca against Manchester City on the weekend, allowing City to earn a 2-0 win to give position themselves nicely against Sheffield United and the other relegation battlers,
“Personally I think it is a disgrace. I know Stuart is a friend of Gareth Southgate’s and I know they’ve got Manchester United, but I’d love to see them lose the next six games, Middlesbrough, and see how they feel in the last couple of games when they are under that sort of pressure.
“I think it’s scandalous and I don’t think a club like Middlesbrough should disrespect Sheffield United or Charlton or anyone else scrapping for their lives.
“I’m absolutely disgusted to say the least.
“If I had a choice of three players not to play against us, for Middlesbrough, I’d pick Woodgate, I’d pick Viduka and I’d pick Arca, and to not have any of them playing against Manchester City, especially the way Man City are playing at the moment, quite honestly it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
“He’s got to know they’ve not got much chance of winning without those three players. Take those three out of the team and they are a shadow.”
“They play West Ham on Saturday, that’s another pal of his, so they’ll probably not bother there.
Hardly the first team to rest players, and Southgate didn’t really seem bothered, but it’s obvious to see where Warnock is coming from. We can’t blame Gareth though, with Boro not really doing anything of note in the Premiership the FA cup represented their best chance of silverware or a European spot.
But that all went to hell as they lost to another Cristiano Ronaldo penalty for Manchester United yesterday and while it looked that Woodgate clearly clipped the Portugese winger – deliberately or not – Boro were again making noises about diving.
Sir Alex stepped in and slapped Southgate with his ring hand,
“He is phenomenal. I don’t know what they (Boro) are going on about, it was a clear penalty kick.
“If it had been any other player they would not have bothered, but they have a guilt complex about him.
“It is a shame. They are putting a stigma against the boy that he doesn’t deserve.”