In2views: Andy Campbell

The latest in a series of profiles and interviews, Orginal Fat Bob gives his personal view on the life and career of a footballing guest, before sitting down for a chat and asking a few questions. Our Diasboro special guest this week is Andy Campbell.

1. The Overview – the man and his career

I must admit that of all the Middlesbrough players I have met and will meet and talk with, I probably know Andy the best of them all. Watching him grow from a little lad of nine years old, to the mature family man he is today with his lovely wife and two daughters. His brother Neil, was and still is, close friends with my youngest son. They played for local T.J.F.A club member Nunthorpe Athletic together for five years, before Neil signed as a professional footballer with York City. Andy used to come along to the Nunthorpe games to watch, but was already heavily involved over those years with the Boro at junior level.

Whilst working in London, I went to see the Boro play Wimbledon in a cup game one cold and miserable night in the 2001/02 season. At that time Wimbledon were using Selhurst Park as their home base and walking to the ground with my youngest son, we saw our team coach approaching. Andy saw us and gave us a wave through the window of the bus. It somehow made the match and supporting the Boro more personal even though the match itself was dreadful. He is a close friend of both my sons these days and they still play the odd game of football together for fun, or for charity.

Andy Campbell 1

Born in Middlesbrough, Andy started his career in 1995 with his hometown team and was signed as a professional by Bryan Robson who gave him his debut at the age of 16 against Sheffield Wednesday. I remember when the Boro were away against Liverpool and he was called on to play as a substitute. Unfortunately, no one had packed a team shirt for Andy and luckily enough a Boro supporter in the crowd gladly handed his over so Andy could play. Some of his career highlights include scoring against Manchester United in the FA Cup in a 2–0 win for us and also playing for England at under 21 level. That flame haired head could be seen storming with pace down the pitch leaving defenders struggling in his wake.

He left the Boro in 2002 when Steve McClaren had taken over as our manager, to join Cardiff city and Lennie Lawrence, initially on loan, before making the move permanently for £1million. His Cardiff career got off to an explosive start, scoring 6 times in his first 4 appearances. He scored once on his debut against Northampton, twice on his third appearance against Blackpool and a hat-trick in his fourth appearance against Oldham. Overall, he had two fairly productive years at the beginning of his spell at Ninian Park, including a fine lob over goalkeeper Chris Day at the Millennium Stadium to give Cardiff a play-off victory over Queens Park Rangers to put them into the Football League Championship. He is still revered by the Cardiff fans who keep in touch with him to this day.

He moved to Halifax Town in 2006 although his season was interrupted by a serious knee injury. He made a good start to the following season by scoring two against Altrincham in the second game of the season and then a hat-trick against Droylsden later in the month.

He departed Halifax after the club folded at the end of the 2007–08 season then later went to Bradford and Whitby. In June 2012 he was appointed as manager for Norton & Stockton Ancients where he was extremely successful using his contacts within the game to sign talented players. In June 2015 he was appointed as manager for West Auckland Town, but he left last year. His career now, is that of a highly regarded and respected teacher. He can also be found at the Riverside Stadium most match days, where he joined this season as a match day host and M.F.C. ambassador.

2. The Interview – a quick chat

OFB: What year did you join Boro as a professional footballer?

AC: I joined the Boro in 1995 although I had been with them as a junior since the age of 10, which seems a long time ago now.

OFB: Where did you stay? Did you rent, or did you live in digs?

AC: I was and still am, a local lad and lived in Marton just outside Middlesbrough, which as everyone knows is where Captain Cook the explorer was born.

OFB: Who was your favourite Boro player that you played with at the time?

AC: It was actually not just one, but two players that were my favourites. The first was Jan Aage Fjortoft and the second was the gaffer [Bryan Robson] whom I grew up watching him on TV and admiring his style of play and leadership on the pitch.

OFB: Who was the best trainer in the team?

AC: Robbie Mustoe.

OFB: How do you think the match day has changed from the time that you played professional football to the present day?

AC: Now, there is comprehensive and additional media focus and football is more of a business today than a sport.

OFB: When did the team travel for away games, how did they get there, by bus or by train?

AC: We generally got the bus, or if it was a long journey then we flew. We travelled on a Friday afternoon once training in the morning was finished.

OFB: How many players usually travelled and did the Directors travel with you?

AC: There were generally 20 or so players and 5 staff, no Directors travelled with us.

OFB: Did you have nice hotels or was it just bed and breakfast?

AC: We always had very nice hotels that we stayed in.

OFB: Who did you room with for away matches?

AC: I used to room with Mark Summerbell.

OFB: Who was the joker in the team?

AC: Oh, it was Gazza!

OFB: Can you tell us any amusing anecdotes or pranks that were played?

AC: There were far too many, Gazza had us in stitches every day!! [None of these incidents and stories can be published – OFB]
OFB: Who was in your opinion the best manager that Boro have ever had?

AC: Bryan Robson.

OFB: Why?

AC: Because he gave me my debut in the first team and my chance in professional football.

OFB: Who is your favourite Boro player of all time?

AC: Bernie Slaven.

OFB: Who is your current favourite Boro player?

AC: Stewy Downing.

OFB: Do you still follow the Boro and their results?

AC: Yes!!!! [Andy insisted on three exclamation marks – OFB] I have started this season acting as one of the hosts for the Boro on matchdays and really enjoying it.

OFB: Do you still live in Middlesbrough?

AC: Yes, I live next door to you and have done for the past thirteen years! [Yes, indeed he does – OFB]

OFB: A huge thank you Andy for taking the time to talk to Diasboro and our readers.

93 thoughts on “In2views: Andy Campbell

  1. I have good memories of Andy Campbell – a rare youth product in a team of foreign stars and later aging “legends” who when called upon never looked out of place. A perfectly reasonable four goals in the second half of 1999-2000 (Derby, Leicester, Sheff Wed and Man United) wasn’t bad at all, nor was his cup goal against Sunderland and a run to help set up Ricard’s only Boro hat-trick away to Macclesfield.

  2. I remember sitting in a bar with my late wife in the Algarvian village of Praia do Carvoeiro (where I have spent the last 21 winters) watching Andy Campbell scoring a last minute goal to seal an unexpected 2-0 win against Manchester United in the 4th Round of the FA Cup in 2002. That was the year when we scored 3 first half goals against Everton in the quarterfinal and gave the mighty Arsenal the scare of their life in the semifinal. Such happy days. 🤗

  3. Ken

    I cant remember the timing of Andy’s goal but I remember the match.

    Lunch time kick off and my lad and I set off early. Tickets half way up the North Stand.

    In the first 30-35 minutes we didn’t get a kick, all the decisions went against us. Got a text from a Derby fan, the commentators were saying the same. Manu would be given a free kick in front of the East stand and allowed to take it 30 yards away. The ref just waved play on.

    Then we got a free kick to huge applause and we started to come in to the game.

    Second half we got better and Coops had a shot that just cleared the bar. Then the magic moment, a though ball chased by Whelan, Laurent Blanc ducked and Noel Whelan tucked it away. On came Ronaldo and co.

    A Boro break, a great ball in by Windass and Campbell nodded in the sealer with barely a break in stride.

    I may be wrong but my version of events makes me happy.


  4. Ken

    Was that the semi final when I developed a huge dislike of Arsenal. Henry put a corner in and Festa shinned it in to the net. Henry stood by the corner flag with his hands in the air as if he had played for it.

    Arrogant bar steward, and he pulled his socks over his knees. Really irked me. Didnt help that my son and I watched in a bar in Sorrento surrounded by Spurs and Gooners, Even the Gooners were apologetic.

    Then we got in trouble for getting back late for the ‘gala’ dinner.

    Great news, the Foxes have equalised against the Foxes. Dubious award but a club who employed Pires et al cant complain. I must admit Gray may get a call from the FA.

  5. Thanks for another nice interview OFB.

    Always thought Andy Campbell would achieve more than he did. He did not quite reach my expectations. But another local lad that has done OK in his life.

    1. He had pace which is important for any forward

      Coming into a Boro team that was being filled with foreign internationals

      His career was cut short by injury

  6. Just got a chance to read the Andy Campbell piece and thanks to OFB for another enjoyable read. It must have been amazing as a local lad to have been part of the Boro revolution under Bryan Robson and training with all those famous names that were at the club. Though I’m not sure I would have been happy working alongside Gazza – when sourcing some photos for the article I saw some of Gazza in a Boro shirt and he looked ill and well out of shape and made the baggy shirt of the day look like a lycra one.

    From what I remember about Andy Campbell he was quite pacey and at the time and thought he could have a good future at Boro but I guess the club had big-name options competing for starting places.

    Anyway, he seems like a decent guy and had done well for himself as it sounds like he now lives in an exclusive neighbourhood in Teesside 🙂

    1. Thanks for doing the edit Werder

      Yes Andy is a great lad and as you say it was a difficult time for him to break into Robson’s team

      One thing I didn’t mention of course was opinions of managers as somethings must remain unsaid

      What Andy did say was he rated Warnock very highly and was a close friend


      It was an exclusive neighbourhood until I moved here !


    1. RR…..makes our purchases look like they have been made by a multi-millionaire with too much money to burn and little thought to what was being bought.

      There is a article today in the Gazette talking to Craig Honeyman (Boro based football agent) giving his picks in League One for the January Window.

      How come other teams like Brentford, Bristol etc continue to scout and find these hidden gems. I thought one of Mr Gibsons improvements going forward for the club was to upgrade OUR scouting system.
      Another failure within MFC and especially when the leader of it ( I may be wrong here??) Mr Gill is still with us. Or may be the leader is Mr Gibson?

    2. I get it.. good to see we are flying under the radar with our priceless collection of forward thinking elite professional athletes. I’d hate to think they were getting bigged up so much that the 23 underdogs in the championship would all instinctively raise their game against us

  7. RR,

    As I”m sure you realise this is just one of those witless Sky programme- fillers, where they make the unjustifiable leap from quantity to quality, where they ‘prove’ that one player is better than another because he ran further, or had more so-called ‘assists’ than someone else.

    You prove the nonsense of all of this fluff every time you write and particularly in your own excellent match reports.They are uniformly excellent because they are a product of an experienced eye and a mature judgment which is widely appreciated and trusted on this blog. You never mention a stat. thank heavens. You would never dream of saying that player X had a great game simply because he had so many successful pass- completions, or ran 14k. That’s because what is important in a game or in assessing performances may not be countable. And simply because you can count something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s important.

    Football clubs waste tens of millions of pounds by giving credence to the stats. of players they may never have seen in the flesh. In the Boro’s recent past players have been signed that no-one at the club had seen play- that seems to have been true of Omeruo and Blackman, and, I assume, de Pena. And who knows how many others.

    Regrettably players themselves give credence to frequently meaningless numbers by nurturing and promoting their own stats as part of their CV. I’m convinced that one of the reasons that there is so much pointless passing, particularly amongst defenders, in modern day football is that players are building up their own statistical profile. For example, there is one Boro player who is frequently commended because he has a 90% pass completion rate. When you see him play you can understand why. But not in a good way. He has his qualities, but he rarely makes the kind of incisive pass that might compromise his analytic profile.

    I mentioned last season on seeing de Roon for the first time that after about ten minutes it became obvious that here was a player who chased around unnecessarily after the ball and tended to lose his position rather than staying with his man. Consequently he was frequently on the wrong side of his man and had to make lot of unnecessary tackles. He looked to me like a runner and a trier, but not a player with the degree of quality you might expect for £10 million. I later floated the theory that he might have been on our recruitment radar because of his running and tackling stats rather than because anyone had made a judgment based on seeing a few live performances.

    For my money the old blokes in the shabby raincoats with their blunt pencils who used to get out in all weathers scouting for their clubs and who knew a decent player when they saw one – in the latter respect,the Redcar Reds of their day- were worth a great deal more than the current army of number crunchers ensconced by their video-machines, who quite literally never get their feet wet.

    1. Len

      Great summing new up amd as one who still goes to watch junior matches I can report the old guys with pads and pencils are
      Still there but these days they tend to sit on shooting sticks to rest their aching bones

  8. Len

    I am sure that is one of the reasons managers are wary of Bamford, you cannot measure the quality of positioning or shrewd runs or deft touches.

    Players still have to work hard and put in a shift but numbers are not the sole arbiter.

    Interesting that Barnsley have been taken over by a group one of whom is Mr Moneyball, Billy Beane. It will be intriguing to see how he gets on.

  9. Good post Len – I blame a childhood playing Top Trumps – everyone wants the killer stat these days and that’s coming from someone who finds crunching numbers relaxing – perhaps because it gives your brain a rest from thinking!

    I wonder what it means if after all those kilometers run and passes completed either the team fails to score or create any decent chances? They will probably come to the conclusion of ‘What have we forgot to measure?’. Maybe the art of football has been over complicated by over analysis – which perhaps leads to the condition of ‘analysis paralysis’ and ultimately the inability to make a decision.

    Talking of old blokes in shabby raincoats trying to stop people getting away with murder – There’s just one more thing Mr Gibson…

  10. My thoughts now turn to Christmas
    At this seasonal time of year,
    So to Boro fans around the world
    These greetings I do share.

    To the French JOYEUX NOELL,
    And BUON NATALE in Italy
    Should surely ring a bell.

    And also to the Dutch,
    Or GESEENDT KERSFEES in Afrikaan
    Perhaps may mean as much.

    In Sweden and in Denmark
    To Boro fans GOD JUL;
    HYVAA JOULVA in Finland
    To Jarkko sounds real cool.

    FELIZ NATAL to my Algarvean friends,
    And ATE BREVE in that domain,
    And FELIZ NAVIDAD I wish to say
    To all Boro fans in Spain.

    But to all our English speaking fans
    In Australia, Bahrain too
    I send this simple message –
    A MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you.

    1. Thanks, Ken. Hyvää joulua from the home country of Santa Claus. And all the Boro fans on here.

      Keep believing. Boro will reach the play-offs in May, with some luck we might just be second. Just.

      Like Mr. Bandera said. He is a keen Boro fan and works for the Yorkshire Post as a Cartoonist. But still a decent guy and a real fan.

      Up the Boro!

  11. Many thanks, guys.


    I suspect you’re right about Bamford. When he left us and went to Palace he had a great pre-season and scored a first half hat-trick in one game. I saw a bit of it on TV and he played little one-twos, got clear of the defence and finished clinically, as we know he can. I assumed Pardew had spotted how he could best be used; playing on the shoulder of defenders, and fed with little through balls. Next thing I heard was that the manager was critical of Patrick because his distance -monitor said that he wasn’t running as far as the others in training. So he didn’t get picked when the season started and left after a few games on the bench. Ridiculous.

    Course, we aren’t playing him in his best position, or in the appropriate way either.

    It is less than two years ago since he was the Championship Player of the Season. We of all clubs should be able to use him to his and our best advantage.

  12. I don’t think Pep, went on the same coaching courses the rest of the managers went on in England,
    And maybe that’s the problem,
    Most of our coaches are robots?

  13. Agrred Len. But that is where a good manager or coach would recognise which are the stats that really matter. To us all it seems obvious that number of assists and numbers of goals scored are much more valuable statistics for a striker than yards covered.

  14. Len

    The other thing the stats cannot measure is speed of thought and distance covered in the head. The ability to read the game will knock yards off the distances covered in training and in a match.

    Player X covered every blade of grass on the pitch. Of course he did, he was like a Jack Russell on Scarborough beach trying to control the ball in an easterly breeze.

    None of this absolves anyone for doing the dirty part of their job covering for their team, harrying the opposition etc.

    1. Good point Ian – what you’re basically saying is the most efficient players could end up with the worse stats. It’s a bit like Teddy Sherringham, for example, who was able to play at the highest level longer than most because he was able drift into the spaces that were left between the defence and midfield – it’s the opposite of a headless chicken – though ‘chicken with a head’ doesn’t really do it justice so there must be a better analogy for that.

      Anyway, all of which pretty much backs up Len’s point that some things you can’t measure but only observe.

  15. BTW there’s an interesting article in the Gazette that has been compiled by a group of journalists and provides an overview of the ownership of all the Championship clubs and how the owners made their money – something that I had been looking into in more detail with some of my match previews.

    Len and others may be interested to see how Brentford’s owner, Matthew Benham made his fortune – he’s a former City trader who was a pioneer in the use of statistical analysis within football – though I think he made his real money in the betting business.

  16. Werder

    I have drawn the analogy between Bamford and Sheringham in previous posts.

    The key is playing in the right part of the pitch to allow these players to prosper.

  17. Just on the subject of yards covered.
    It’s the most vital stat. In the game, not surprising really when you consider the following bit of logic.
    If your favourite player is bottom of the list for yards covered, then you should get him in and explain to him that it is important that he gets super fit because with his talent he should be playing in the Champions league and earning the big bucks.
    Makes sense?

  18. Len is spot on as are the others. I would add the phrase that always comes to mind in these situations

    There are lies, damned lies and statistics!
    Scouting by Internet is imo doomed to failure and the seamingly common practice of using Fifa games as a way to decide on a player a nonsense.

    Look at some of the disasters we have seen of late and even before. Who can forget Alves?!

    Football is a game that is best seen in the flesh to gain the best impression.

    Good interview agsin OFB and interesting to hear that Andy Campbell is a teacher now. Bet not many of the current players (not judt Boro) will end up doing that admirable profession!

  19. BBD
    You’re so right. I’ve never given much credence to all these stats. The newest one “expected goals” was a real head scratcher for me.
    The only stats that matter are goals scored and conceded as they will, ultimately, determine your standing in the league table.
    I’m also a fan of the old tried and tested scouting system but I doubt there’s anybody in the Boro recruitment team who has done any.
    Merry Christmas one and all. Let’s hope we get some festive cheer from our beloved Boro.

  20. Good little read that Bob.

    Very well put Len and I wholeheartedly agree. Robbie Savage covered a lot of ground when he played, but a good footballer? Never ever in my opinion.

  21. As I have just said, why is Mr Garry Gill and probably others stilled employed?
    Would you hand over another large wadge in January? Not if Mr Monk is still leading us.

  22. OFB, one good blog again. And again a player I have played against. A great person and still good footballer.

    BTW, is Andy’s son at Boro? Or was he?

    Up the Boro!

  23. Now that Swansea have cut ties with Clement this evening I wonder if they will make a move on Monk to try and resurrect their season? If it helps the Swans I’d drive him down myself and provide the fuel free of charge.

  24. And they play in red and white which is where the similarity ends!

    Interesting article in The Times today about how they operate and bring on the young players, average age of team 25. They appear to have a good team spirit and are reaping the rewards, fair play to them. Play to their strengths and Flint scored 6 goals so far from centre back. Mmmm………

    RR – if we all club together, then maybe we can help Mr Monk return although I can’t help share any driving at the moment. I don’t think Swansea will want him back, it’s not as if he has been a roaring success since he departed!

  25. Great reason OFB, I’d love to read the unredacted version.
    I think I was at that Wimbledon game back when I lived in south London and posted under the name Croydon Boro. Remember him from the Bosko Jankovich stand, Jarkko? If memory serves it was a terrible game and we started with 4 centre halves in our defence and played along our six yard line. Dreadful stuff.

    I appreciate our scouting is less than effective but Moneyball isn’t in itself an evil. As I understand it’s a method of identifying players whose skill set serves a defined team purpose and are financially undervalued in a league in which teams are limited in their overall spend.
    Baseball and football teams are finically regulated in different ways. Plus as in other YS sports such as basketball and their football, positions and tactics are more hugely regimented. This may explain the relative lack of success in translating moneyball across the pond to our shores.
    The underlying and U.K. applicable message of moneyball seems to be the importance of doing ones homework when signing players and having a clear idea of how to best deploy their strengths.
    Whereas as posters have pointed out, Boro seem to understand it is about quantifying players to the nth degree.

    On the plus side, it’s a great film. I also love Escape To Victory, I’m sure everyone here has their own thoughts on their favourite sports movies.

  26. Great read Bob, how about asking if the players had any unusual clauses written into their contracts.
    Werder, when I read that the Swans had sacked Clement, my first thought was maybe Clement for Boro. Could a swap be on the cards?

    1. Well he would certainly tick the right boxes for Steve Gibson – young, relatively inexperienced and as yet no proven track record. Though he does seem to have a methodology and has worked alongside Carlo Ancelotti for a number of years as his right-hand man – the question after two failures on his own is whether he has what it takes to be a number one. It sounds like Swansea want Louis van Gaal so Monk is probably not on their shortlist.

  27. Paul Clement may be one of those technocrats who make great number two’s alongside top managers.

    The future of our own manager may become clearer over the festive period, we seem to be continually saying a crunch spell of games is coming up. It is that time again.

    We really need to get a good haul of points over the next four games. We already need two points a game to fight for the 6th play off game. win – lose, win – lose just wont be good enough.

    We need to be unbeaten and beat Villa in that run. Two home wins and two away draws would be acceptable, just. In reality we probably need three wins and a draw to really kick on.

    Will it happen? It may go belly up before Santa arrives.

  28. OFB,

    Interesting interview OFB. I always like Andy Campbell and I can remember the disappointment when he moved way. I rated him as a proper Boro player. I think his squad number was 18 and I did a large print of a steel ladle with the number 18 on it. A copy of the print hangs on the landing at the top of the stairs so I see ‘Andy Campbell’s ladle’ every time I go upstairs!



  29. A lot has been said about the number of defensive errors Boro have been making recently, and conceding 9 goals in the last 6 games is certainly a major factor in our poor form. However taking the season as a whole, conceding 22 goals in 22 matches doesn’t seem so bad as only 4 teams have conceded less than Boro so far. It’s the nature of the goals that is so galling.

    I’ve been delving into statistics from previous seasons and have come up with some (un)interesting facts. For example, apart from the two automatically promoted teams in the Championship last season, only Sheffield Wednesday with 45 goals conceded less than a goal a game, and in fact Huddersfield Town conceded 58. Historically, excepting the two Championship years under Karanka, Boro have only conceded less than a goal per game only 3 times in the last 29 seasons, and those were all promotion seasons. From the Clough era onwards for several years Boro conceded in excess of 60 goals per season. However Boro regularly scored 70 goals per season even after the Clough era, and even scored 68 and 63 in Karanka’s two recent Championship seasons. Okay, those figures seem paltry, but this season we are unlikely to score much more than 55 goals at the current rate.

    Considering that Monk is supposedly playing a more attacking formation and that Assombalonga is scoring almost a goal in every second game, that is an appalling return. I’m also now doubting whether Assombalonga is the goalscoring forward he has been heralded. He has missed several sitters so far, and in my opinion fairly poor in anticipating goal scoring opportunities. Twice against Millwall he failed to get into position for tap-ins from crosses, and is often too greedy in shooting when a pass to a colleague is the better option.

    Is he low on confidence and in need of a rest? Would Bamford and Gestede be a better fit in a 3-5-2 formation? Or would dropping him be too much of a risk?

    1. Ken
      Stats can be killers.
      Your stat about conceding less than one a game three times in the last twenty nine seasons explains everything that’s wrong with this club.
      There was the problem, there was the solution, (enter AK, instituted a regime of clean sheets and start an upward movement in the fortunes of MFC)
      Big problem.
      The players became unhappy(no, me neither)
      Solution,(tried and tested) get rid of the, not quite, turned out they decided to get rid of the manager.
      Still anybody can be a manager, I think, how difficult can it be?
      Start conceding goals for a start.
      If clean sheets were the problem then you have solved it in an instant.
      Start scoring goals, oh dear, now there’s a real problem.
      So, to sum up, we have solved the problem of clean sheets(with bells on)
      We have not solved the problem of scoring goals.
      Watch this space?

  30. Stats can be useful but they can also mislead. The old adage that they can conceal as much as they reveal comes to the fore in this discussion.

    I look back at AKBoro and remember not so much the stats but how incredibly confident and commanding we looked on our best days. Not to mention Bamford, for one. Even a fan who didn’t like AK said that when we were good, we were good, and some of the passing was sublime. He just couldn’t stand the safety-first philosophy – which, I assume, AK carried from his mentor. The fear of risk in case it backfired and chipped away at a fragile ego keen to be big boss and desperate to be loved at once.

    It is, quite possibly, this desperate desire to have it both ways that played a part in dooming AK.

    1. Simon
      What doomed AK was a senior management at its worst, things were going it’s way even if the fans had hated it, progress was being made.
      They indulged players who were not good enough to be indulged, and they are reaping the whirlwind, as they deserve to do.
      Unfortunately we, the fans, are the ones who have to live with their failings
      And the players who caused this disaster are still there.
      And there may still be a final kick in the teeth for those fans, for this team is abysmal and there are plenty of matches to be played with not many points between us and oblivion.

  31. OFB
    It would be interesting to know if any former players or present players read the blog.
    It’s the best Boro read by a mile.
    I look on Boronews but seldom open any of the pages, including the Gazette.
    I would guess that the players would have to show some interest. Can you ask around?

  32. Good piece OFB, thanks.

    Good point Ian regarding players being ‘measured’ by how far they run. Bamford certainly seems to have the skills and awareness that we need.
    What puzzles me though is that he must have covered just as little ground under Karanka as he has since, yet AK consistently picked him.

    Surely, if you have a player who isn’t ‘working hard enough’, you get him in the office and tell him to up his work rate?
    For me, if he scores a goal a game and does little else, then fair enough.
    I wonder what Bernie’s work rate was like…….

  33. Nigel

    I think it depends on how they define movement.

    The much lauded Colin Bell was called Nijinsky because of his running. Sadly his trapping skills were the same as the aforementioned thoroughbred. Half the distance he covered was spent trying to control the ball.

    As Dyche liked Joey Barton and forgave his excesses you can see why Paddy wasn’t his cup of Keemun.

    Players still have to work hard because if they don’t the team will get over run. Even the top teams have discipline. I watched Henry talking to de Bruyne who said if someone bombed on he dropped in to the space.

    Pep talked about tikka takka and said it needs to be played with purpose not for it’s own sake, the intention is to get an overload and someone in to space.

    All this is way beyond what we are achieving, there seems to be little teamwork in our play. It cant have been helped by formation and personnel changes but what can you do?

    George and Clayts were sent off in to the Gulag of an U23 friendly against Darlo. They need game time but that will hardly help their self esteem, it is a squad game but how can you call on someone when they been moving furniture on a Saturday afternoon.

    It is very difficult especially when you think one wrong pass and I will be on shopping duties again.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bamford missing again on Saturday plus another couple of changes. It looks as if you are not rotating players because of workload over the festive period but because you don’t know who to play.

    You could argue that Bristol City didn’t panic last season and are now reaping the benefits.

    It will all come down to whether Gibson can see any progress and if he thinks there is somebody better.

    The key may be if the crowd turns, the Gazette boys think it is largely social media mutterings but even the journos are talking about potential change, the local Diasboro will be able to give a better handle on the views of the masses.

    1. Ian

      It would not suppose me to see Clayton reinstated covering the back 4

      Gestede will be on the bench and will come on if we go a goal down

      I have heard that the EG have hardened their stance as a tactic for Gazettegate

    2. Ian

      Progress is the one thing we haven’t seen hide nor hair of since August. Worse still I believe that we have actually gone backwards since then.

      Next 4 games are interesting, the Owls away, then Bolton and Villa at home with Preston away on NY day. For a team looking seriously at Promotion they are four games I would expect a serious contender to win, the chances however of GM picking up 12 points are I suspect a fairy tale at best.

      I think the results now are almost irrelevant, reasons for optimism no longer exist with reality set in. I expect to be disappointed and underwhelmed. I expect to see a confused, disjointed display and I expect GM to keep Boro wallowing in mid table mediocrity at very best.

      The thought that GM may be here over the summer to oversee next season’s transformation fills me with trepidation.

      1. It is Christmas when the Miracle Birth may or may not happened so anything is possible. As Greg Lake sung, ” I believe in Father Christmas” and if you believe that then we can believe in 15 points over the festive period!’

        Sorry, cancel that, I’ve clearly been having too much of the festive spirit………….

        Maybe 7 points which isn’t enough before the post New Year Boro slump.

        Now, altogether now “he’s behind you”!

  34. Thanks Powmill, what a super read. Of course I knew of Camsell’s goalscoring feats having seen the exhibition at the Dorman’s Museum last year, but to hear so graphically how the goals were constructed was wonderful. Boro’s average attendance that year was 21,836 (not bad considering it was the period of the General Strike) but that Christmas Day crowd of 43,754 broke the ground record at that time, and stood for over ten years.

  35. Who was the lastesi Boro player to score four goals in a league match?

    My guess is Micky Burns but I don’t know. I also guess that Britt will be the next to score four in a league game. Let’s hope so. Preferably during the coming festival season.

    Now I take my medicine.

    Up the Boro!

  36. Three observations from the MFC website:-

    1. A good workout for Gestede and Johnson against Darlington, but without being too critical, the Quakers’ goalkeeper was probably the worst I have ever seen. He was at fault for all four goals, and I doubt any Championship keeper would have conceded any of them.

    2. The last time Boro played Sheffield Wednesday Stuani scored within 60 seconds of the kickoff without a Wednesday player touching the ball as Boro made 16 passes. However 12 of those passes were either backwards or sidewards mainly in our own half of the field. Strange that, as most of us have been critical about the “to you, to me” phases.

    3. Darren Randolph in an interview said that Boro were only thinking of talking one game at a time, but then more or less contradicted himself by saying we need to get a run of wins, The old adage of taking one game at a time is commendable and one I subscribe to, but I guess it’s hard for most fans to think that way. Even AV is saying Boro need to win 4 out of 6, or even 8 out of 10 to get back into a playoff position. However, I think it’s imperative that the players don’t think that way, but just concentrate on winning the next match. The other saying that it’s a marathon not a sprint also comes to mind.

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