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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 5, 2006

Boro chief slams 'Kingmaker' Dein over England saga

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has launched a scathing attack on David Dein's role in the saga which unfolded before Steve McClaren's appointment as England manager.

Dein, the Arsenal and Football Association vice chairman, argued vocally for the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari after Boro had been informed that McClaren was leading the way in the race to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Brazilian's withdrawal opened the door once again for the Englishman, but Gibson cannot understand why, if highly-qualified foreign coaches were being considered, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was not pursued more vigorously.

The Boro chairman said: 'How someone like David Dein can be kingmaker, I don't know.

'The FA is there for the good of English football, but was Arsene Wenger interviewed? Why was he protected?

'How many England internationals are there from Arsenal? And yet he presents us with a Brazilian living and working in Portugal.'

Gibson too was critical of the lengthy selection process, which left him waiting to see whether he would have to find a new manager five years after taking a gamble on Manchester United's former number two.

'It has taken so long,' said Gibson. 'Has it damaged our football club? Definitely.

'If he hadn't got the job, I couldn't actually replace him. So how do I recruit?

'The process was far too long and I don't quite understand whether the process is right.

'I think the structure of the FA makes their life difficult. I think there are some great individuals - and I would not want to be critical of them - but I would be critical of the structure.

'Whether they change it is for them to decide. They have a good man in Brian Barwick and good men at the top, but they have to be more professional.

'The Premier League is a great model. It is efficient, well run by individuals such as the chief executive, and the FA has to become that and they have to be ruthless in their pursuit of it.

'But will it happen? I don't know.'

For all his misgivings about the way McClaren eventually landed his dream job, Gibson has few doubts about his ability to succeed in it.

The 45-year-old brought Boro their first ever major trophy, the 2004 Carling Cup, and his final game in charge will be next Wednesday night's UEFA Cup final clash against Sevilla in Eindhoven.

Gibson said: 'I am disappointed to be losing him, but this was his first job in management so this club has contributed to the England cause and I am very happy for Steve and for us.

'He has a lot of talent in given areas and is a very intelligent guy, he will learn very quickly and I believe he was the outstanding candidate.

'It is a huge compliment to the club because it shows in the last five years we have moved forward.

'One individual cannot move a club as far as we have moved, and Steve would admit that he has a great team around him.'

McClaren's appointment may not have been universally popular, but that is not a situation which will faze him.

There are large sections of the Boro support who have not taken to him fully despite his success, but Gibson is convinced his results will speak for themselves.

'It is a popularity contest which you win by winning games, and if Steve wins games for England, his popularity will soar,' said Gibson.