Mourinho Protege Could Be Dark Horse For Head Coach Position

41 year-old former Spanish International center-back Aitor Kranaka was signed on as the head coach at Middlesbrough on 13th November of 2013,  after just completing three years as the Assistant Manager at Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho.

Carlo Ancelotti was appointed the new head coach in the summer of that year,and brought his own coaching staff.

Aitor Kranaka with Jose Mouinho at Real Madrid

Aitor Kranaka with Mourinho at Real Madrid

So in the same way Jose Mourinho was mentored by the great Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona and other Spanish clubs – Aitor has been mentored by the Special One.

Aitor Karanka has done a fabulous job at Middlesbrough in the last 15 months and he them joint top of the Championship with 17 wins in the first 30 games.

He could be the dark horse for the Newcastle head coach position in the summer.

In their last 10 games in all competitions he has Middlesbrough unbeaten and they have won eight of those games.

And Middlesbrough play Arsenal tomorrow in the FA Cup 5th round at the Emirates – and of course Kranaka’s side beat Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad in the previous round.

Middlesbrough look a very good side under Kranaka, and the really impressive thing is he didn’t take long to make Middlesbrough into a top Championship side – and he looks like a top coach in the making and having been mentored by Jose Mourinho, he has a good grounding.

Middlesbrough fans will not be too happy about Newcastle maybe wanting Kranaka in the summer, but we would be surprised if he wanted to leave Middlesbrough, especially if he gets them promoted – which looks likely as they are hitting some top form at the very right time.

We were interested in Roberto Martinez when he was at Swansea City back in 2008, with the news that Newcastle thought he was a good up and coming coach.

That’s proved to be accurate although Roberto is struggling in  the Europa League and with injuries this season because Everton like Newcastle do not have a big enough squad for Europe.

But getting a top young coach onto Tyneside, who can get the very best out of the Newcastle squad is what the next big step for Newcastle is – and we hope the powers that be appoint a top coach and preferably one from the continent – since they are used to the head coach position.

This is what Aitor said on 3rd January in The Gazette after there was speculation linking him with the Newcastle head coach position:

“It could be a surprise for me but I am just thinking about Middlesbrough’s next game against Reading.”

And he was then asked if he was still committed to Middlesbrough and he said:


Kranaka looks like a top coach in the making,  and we wouldn’t mind at all if Newcastle make him the surprise head coach in the summer.

What do you think?

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39 comments so far

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 14, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #1

    would be very happy with this guy.


    Pardew has already got CP playing more defensively and devoid of any creative ideas, ie no pass and move. 2nd half v liverpool was pardew all over.

    you will still see when we get a half decent manager this squad is hardly as bad as you make out

  • martoon

    Feb 14, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #2

    I’d have no problem with Kranaka but in all honesty Steve Gibson is probably one of the best owners in football so why on earth would Kranaka come to NUFC with an owner like Ashley!

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #3

    Dear Clencher,
    Apologies for directing some of the blog misfits to your forum, the Ladies Wrestling Forum.
    They are a scurvy crew, however after their initial disappointent of checking out your forum and realising that there a no topless or other saucy poses I am sure they’ll settle down to be excellent contributors to your forum.
    Mr Tuff.

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #4

    20welshgeordie9 // Feb 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    BandB // Feb 14, 2015 at 8:08 PM


    Would I correct in rating your passions as follows.

    Swansea…would die for them.
    Alan Pardew…love him to bits
    Newcastle …one of a number of your second teams.
    Mike Ashley…despises Geordies, so he can’t be that bad.
    Geordies….oh, yeah! Ha Ha Ha!

    Answers to your 5 questions

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. There’s only two teams
    4. No
    5. laugh at some of the muppets on this blog.
    Ha ha ha

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #5

    Next question.

  • BandB

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #6


    I really don’t understand why Jeff from Benwell, scourge of the plastic fan, chooses YOU as his sidekick.

  • optimistic prime

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #7

    No chance

  • optimistic prime

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #8

    Scourge of the plastic fan 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • BandB

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #9


    I do, actually.

    It’s because you two are the only successful partnership in the history of this blog.

    The only two I have ever known who have been able to organise and stick to your message.

    You can afford to laugh.

  • TemurisBaldyBonce

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #10

    The fact that you spell his name wrong all the way through this post obviously shows that you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #11


    You just jealous because we are bloody awesome, well i am.

  • BandB

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #12

    And you know Welshie,

    You are.

    You are The Champ. The King of the Blog.

    You, self-confessed Swansea fan, are the most influential and dominant voice on this blog.

    I am sincere.

    You are the future.

  • jimiley

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #13

    Carver is the man Ashley wants. Carver is a yes man. Besides, nobody with any self respect wants the job of a toady.

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #14


    Oh stop will you with all the compliments, you’re making me blush.

    Ha ha ha

  • BandB

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #15

    No compliments,

    They bellyache about Ashley and talk about fans coming together to bring about change.

    They can’t even cope with you.

  • toonbrother

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #16

    This endless stream of (clearly false) new manager threads is getting tiresome

    The next manager is going to be Mclaren.
    End of story
    If you have a problem with that feel free to open up the window and catch a cloud

  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #17


    i take every comment on here that’s been directed towards me as a compliment.

  • BandB

    Feb 14, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #18


    The fan base isn’t here. It is having a normal Saturday, away from their lass. That doesn’t need a match.

    I don’t know who you will argue with now.

    I surrender. I have other things to do.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 14, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #19

    isnt it funny , i said he would be my no1 choice at the begining of the season , got laught at ,

    like the way boro play
    like the way he presents himself
    he is a top coach

    glad I got my own mind 🙂

    unlike some on here

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 14, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #20

    So Welshy…you follow Newcastle because?

    …and think AP is all that because? Good Riddance to me would be for Swansea to appoint the man, maybe that would open your eyes!

  • jayphoto

    Feb 14, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #21

    @toonbrother – agree! I think its McLaren no matter what Derby achieve this season!
    Hes an improvement on Pardew and i’d take him over Carver for sure but there are such better alternatives available! Personally i like Tuchel! De Boer is great but maybe destined for bigger things! I like Remi Garde too he laid a lot of foundations at Lyon that are paying fruition!
    Don’t know much about Boro or Karanka but if Catchy rates him i’ll accept hes probably decent! Hes usually a source of rational thought

  • jimmysmith

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #22

    This season like last has become almost unbearable. If in this coming off season Ashley doesn’t deliver a better coach and a better squad and the clear goal of a better league place and run at a cup, with the money so clearly there to do it, then I hope the few thousand passionate voices left on match day howl long and loud against him. I suspect thats the only power fans really have, a distinctive voice in the ground against the owner and no one else. I still have some hope, but really this ennui on the pitch can’t continue any longer than this season without some real resistance to what Ashley is delivering, or you fear the worst.

  • expatmag

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #23


    Guess who is out of contract in June, desperate to coach Newcastle and would be cheap as chips

    STEVE BRUCE will be the next Head Coach

  • stan anderson

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    Comment #24

    All i want to say is the fat slimy slug being a good business man,he really should realise that it would take no effort to get the people on his side.Just put someone in charge who has an inkling about football,not accounts and realise that he has a huge fanbase to match any and spend a few quid on some better than average players,show some ambition to win a trophy.We would give him all the support in the world if he just did that.
    It would take very little to get us on his side.

  • Mag52

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #25

    If you put a list of all the possible, and remotely possible , future managers for the club come the end of the season, with the best at the top and the worst option at the bottom, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows how this club has operated in recent years, that we’ll end up with one of the bottom three on the list – that is, of course, if the powers that be decide to look any further than the present incumbent.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #26

    @expat – don’t reckon they’ll go with Bruce! Could have had him for nearly nowt in jan if theyd have wanted and that 3-0 defeat won’t have done him any favours! Bruces record of introducing youth players is a bit suspect too! Hoping Carr gets a say and im hoping Charnley is somewhat a football fan! Bruce seems to start well at clubs and get worse the longer hes there! Personally fancy Hull for the drop along with Leicester and QPR! No way they’ll risk him if he takes a club down

  • lesh

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #27

    Ed’s inferring that because Mourinho worked under SBR and Kranaka worked under Mourinho that that would give him credibility as Head Coach.

    Has Ed forgotten that a SBR had another assistant in a certain John Carver?

  • optimistic prime

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #28

    Carvers got the job full time!

  • wolfshead@toon

    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #29

    theres always a lot of by play between bb and welsh it gets like a blog version of fifty shades of grey sometimes 🙂

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #30

    Watching the football on the telly tonight -Derby v Reading and Watford v Bolton.
    The standard of football overall was a mile better than that dished out at SJP. Whilst there were one or two “lesser” players the overall standard of individuals and the way the teams actually played was excellent stuff.
    Definitely a higher standard than we serve out.

  • BarcelonaMag

    Feb 15, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #31

    His name is Karanka. Note the spelling! It’s a Basque surname, not a Croation one.

  • one fine day

    Feb 15, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #32

    Please no BRUCE …. A coach who bottled as many derbies as Pardue.
    Would love Karanka but why would he leave boro if he takes them up,
    Has them playing some great stuff and scoring for fun,however so did hughton with us in the championship.
    Does anyone ever consider the fact managers talk to each other when vacancies come up?
    Who’s to say a few haven’t spoken to Pardue,Hughton even Keenan or big Sam for arguments sake ?
    Maybe words got round about how things are working for ash and most are having conversations and barge poles are being mentioned .
    Just a thought

  • one fine day

    Feb 15, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #33

    Stan Anderson @24
    It is very puzzling why Ashley chooses to run us in this way as surely he can see that a more successful team on the pitch will in turn bring in more of the stuff he likes to sleep on .
    And your correct all it would take is him to simply bring in a good DoF (not a crony) and trust him to make the football decisions .
    He has to realise the potential of how the club he owns( and got for relatively peanuts) could boom in a global market .
    And if he doesn’t we can only hope someone else ,who has a similar bank balance does

  • smiler

    Feb 15, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #34

    At least get the guys name right that’s an insult who do you think you are joe bloody kinear his name is Karanka and not Karanaka

  • chuck

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #35

    Ed. or whoever writes this garbage, do you actually dream up this stuff, or is it part of a plan, that if you write something outrageous enough you are more likely to get hit’s.
    Which after all is what you are looking for, init!

  • Moonraker15

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #36

    Ed, I am an eternal optimist re nufc but use your common sense man!

    What coach with any ambition would come to Newcastle under the terms of the current regime ?

    How is he gonna fulfil his ambitions in the PL by finishing mid table, not winning a cup and being paid peanuts ?

    I have no idea what the future holds for us but we do not deserve a twat like Ashley and a total nomark like Charnley and a second rate coach like Carver and mediocre players .

    Very depressing when other clubs are trying so hard to be the best they can and we are just drifting !!

  • Moonraker15

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #37

    Seeing a winner like Tim Sherwood take over Villa and be so excited about the challenge, emphasises the low to which we have sunk. Every other club has taken a good manager; what have we got? Ffs Ashley show ambition!!!!!

  • Moonraker15

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #38

    It’s obvious they are looking for someone who shares their ambition; there are not many coaches with so little ambition.

    This job should command a salary of at least 2 to 3 million plus bonuses, but they want someone to finish mid table so the bonus would be hard to calculate.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Feb 16, 2015 at 4:21 AM

    Comment #39

    Don’t rule Joe Kinnear out of the equation. There are rumblings…


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