George Camsell: The story of Boro’s most prolific striker

As Tony Pulis prepares Boro for another crack at promotion to the top tier in 2018/19, many supporters will be hoping he unearths a striker who can knock in the required goals needed to achieve this ambition. Looking back at the club’s history, we can discover that Boro thankfully had found such a player and he was instrumental in firing the club to promotion in the 1926/27 season. Indeed, the player in question, George Camsell, went on to become Boro’s most prolific striker in their history. Diasboro’s resident historian, Ken Smith, tells the story…

A year ago I visited Dorman’s Museum to view an exhibition entitled “From the Bob End”. As most of you will know the Bob End was the name affectionately given to the uncovered East End of Ayresome Park where the admission cost a bob or a shilling (10 pence in today’s currency) prior to the Second World War and well into the 1950’s. This exhibition ran for about ten weeks leading up to Christmas and was sub-titled “The Camsell Years”. It was packed with features of the Boro’s history including three football shirts given to Camsell, a red Wales shirt given to him by Welsh international Tom Griffiths, a white international one worn by Camsell, and a rare blue one worn by him in the controversial international against Germany in 1935 when the home team gave the Nazi salute, a game which many people wanted stopped. However, it passed without any further incident and England won 3-0 with Camsell scoring twice and thus maintaining his amazing record of 18 goals for England in 9 matches.

George Camsell 1 - CropGeorge Camsell signed for Boro on 6 October 1925 from Durham City
for £500 and made his debut against Nottingham Forest 3 weeks later

Of course the main feature was the 1926/27 season when Camsell scored 59 league goals in 37 matches and the lead up to that amazing season when he had been greatly helped by an alteration in the offside law which suited his quick acceleration and brilliant opportunism. The George Camsell actually began in the previous season when Boro, having made a good start and being top of the Second Division table after the first 13 matches with 20 points and with centre-forward Jimmy McClelland having scored 14 goals. Herbert Bamlett, the manager, decided to supplement the attack by signing George Camsell for £600 from Third Division Durham City.

Suddenly McClelland hit a barren goal scoring spell, which sometimes happens to the best of strikers, and Boro lost 6 successive matches, although he recovered towards the end of the season finishing with 32 goals in 38 league appearances, but Boro still dropped down the league and only finished 9th, yet Camsell only played in 4 matches when McClelland was injured and never in the same team as him. Strangely, because Camsell hadn’t been able to usurp McClelland, Boro decided to place him on the transfer list for a cut price fee of £200. Barnsley appeared to be the only club interested in signing him but were unable to raise the finance, so when the retained list was compiled at the end of the season, Camsell’s name was on it.

Boro started the 1926/27 season badly, losing the first 3 matches and drawing the next one, what’s more McClelland didn’t score in any of them, so Camsell was selected for the 5th match which Boro won, although Camsell didn’t score. However, Boro then went on a winning streak of 9 of the next 10 matches with Camsell scoring 14 goals. After losing to Oldham Athletic in mid-November, Boro then went unbeaten for 21 matches (although typically, they lost away to Third Division Millwall in the 5th round of the FA Cup), and eventually accumulated 62 points, 8 more than runners-up Portsmouth, and scored 122 goals (still a record for the Second Division), Camsell scoring 59 of them in only 37 matches, including 4 against Swansea on 18th December and all 5 away to Manchester City on Christmas Day. The return fixture against City on Boxing Day saw Boro win 2-1 before a then record crowd of 43,754. Boro scored 5 or more goals in 10 league matches during that season and expectations were high for a good season back in the First Division.

1927/28 was the tightest season of all time; Everton were Champions with 53 points, Derby County finished 4th on 46 points, but Tottenham and Boro were both relegated with 38 and 37 points respectively. Boro went into the last match of the season at home to Sunderland who were bottom, needing a draw to avoid relegation – incidentally, a draw would also relegate Sunderland for the first time in their history. Boro had never been in the bottom two all season, but lost 0-3, went down, and Sunderland were safe. Camsell had scored 33 of Boro’s 81 goals.

Boro started the 1928/29 fairly well, winning the first 2 matches but had dropped to 7th place by early December, before losing only one of their next 13 matches which took them top, and that’s where they stayed. Going into the last match of the season and already assured of promotion, they were on equal points with Grimsby Town but had a superior goal average, so again a draw was needed to win the League. This time there was to be no mistake; Boro won 3-0 and Camsell scored twice bringing his league total to 30. Billy Pease scored 27 goals out of Boro’s total of 92.

George Camsell 2 - CropThe prolific George Camsell scored a total of 325 goals for Boro in his 418 appearances, as well as 18 goals for England in just 9 international games

Back in the First Division, Boro finished 16th in 1929/30, but the were never in danger of relegation. Camsell retired at the end of the 1938/39 season having lost his place to Mickey Fenton, with a total of 325 goals in 418 league appearances, and after missing his first penalty, never took one again. He later worked on the coaching and administration staff until retiring in 1963. He died three years later.

It’s amazing to think he might have been transferred less than a year after first signing for Boro, and at a third of the sum paid for him. It would seem that the then manager, having bought him, then decided he wasn’t going to make it, and that, after only 4 appearances. Shades of Karanka’s treatment of Jordan Rhodes perhaps? Or even Garry Monk’s of Patrick Bamford? Obviously nobody today has ever seen George Camsell play, but having heard so much about him from my grandfather, and also after visiting the “From the Bob End” exhibition last year, I am a great fan of his, and as November was the month of his birth, I felt obligated to share some of my thoughts of him on this forum during this international break.

As a final thought about George Camsell’s career let me unearth his achievements. We all know that he scored 59 league goals during the 1926/27 season, but that included 9 hat-tricks, a record that has never been equalled in English football, and is never likely to be either.

Much was made of Jamie Vardy’s record of scoring in 11 Premier League matches two seasons ago, but George Camsell scored in 12 consecutive matches in the 1926/27 season only to be beaten by Tom Phillipson for Wolves later that same season with 13. Camsell actually scored 82 goals in all matches in that record breaking season, which unfortunately was broken by Dixie Dean the following season with a total of 95 including 60 in league matches.

In total Camsell scored 348 league goals in his career (22 for Durham City, 326 for Boro), just behind Boro’s Steve Bloomer (1892 to 1914) with 352 (291 in two spells with Derby County, 61 for Boro), although a long way behind Arthur Rowley’s record of 434 league goals from 1947 to 1965.

I should add that George Camsell as well as holding the Boro record of scoring 59 league goals in only 37 matches in 1926/27, also has the highest scoring ratio for England, his 18 goals coming in only 9 appearances.

Boro’s Leading Scorers

Some readers might find this list of Boro’s leading scorers in league matches a little interesting? Note all players positions are centre forward unless indicated.

George Camsell ... ........................... 1925-39 .............. 325/418
George Elliott ... ........................... 1909-25 .............. 203/344
Brian Clough ..... ........................... 1955-61 .............. 197/213
John Hickton ..... ........................... 1966-78 .............. 159/415
Mickey Fenton .... ........................... 1932-50 .............. 147/240
Alan Peacock * ... ........................... 1954-64 .............. 125/218
Bernie Slaven * .. ........................... 1985-93 .............. 118/307
Wilf Mannion ..... inside forward ............ 1938-54 .............. 100/350+
Billy Pease ...... inside forward ............ 1926-33 .............. 99/249
Lindy Delapenha .. inside forward/winger ..... 1950-58 .............. 90/260
David Mills ...... inside forward ............ 1968-79 & 1984-85 .... 90/296
Jackie Carr ...... inside forward ............ 1911-30 .............. 75/449
Bill Harris ...... wing half/inside forward .. 1954-65 .............. 72/378
Johnny Spuhler ... winger/centre forward.. ... 1946-54 .............. 69/223
Bobby Bruce ...... inside forward.. .......... 1927-35 .............. 65/237
Steve Bloomer .... ........................... 1906-10 .............. 59/125
Billy Birrell .... winger/inside forward ..... 1920-27 .............. 59/218
David Armstrong .. midfielder/winger ......... 1971-81 .............. 59/359
Alf Common ....... ........................... 1905-10 .............. 58/168
Andy Wilson ...... ........................... 1914-15 & 1921-23 .... 56/73
Benny Yorston .... all forward positions ..... 1933-39 .............. 54/152
S.G. Cail ........ ........................... 1907-13 .............. 52/135
Arthur Horsfield . ........................... 1963-69 .............. 51/111
Paul Wilkinson ... ........................... 1991-96 .............. 50/161
Geoff Walker ..... winger .................... 1946-55 .............. 50/240
F.W. Warren ...... winger .................... 1929-35 .............. 49/160
Alex McCrae ...... inside forward ............ 1948-53 .............. 47/122
Alan Foggon ...... ........................... 1972-76 .............. 45/115
Ian Gibson ....... inside forward ............ 1962-66 .............. 44/168
John Hendrie ..... ........................... 1990-96 .............. 44/192
Derrick Downing .. winger .................... 1965-72 .............. 39/182
Jimmy McClelland . ........................... 1925-27 .............. 38/62
John O’Rourke .... ........................... 1966-68 .............. 38/64
Arthur Kaye ...... winger .................... 1960-65 .............. 38/164
Jim Irvine ....... ........................... 1964-67 .............. 37/91
Scott McDonald ... ........................... 2010-13 .............. 37/116
Hamilton Ricard .. ........................... 1998-2001 ............ 33/115
Craig Hignett .... midfielder/forward ........ 1992-98 .............. 33/155
Charlie Wayman ... ........................... 1954-55 .............. 31/55
Juninho .......... ........................... 1995-97, 99, 2002-04 . 29/120

* possibly deemed natural goal scorer in post Clough era?

Interestingly, Mark Viduka scored 26 league goals in 72 appearances, Yakubu 25 in 73, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 23 in 58 and Massimo Maccarone 24 in 80 – but all in the 21st century.

Ken Smith Banner

Since Diasboro was formed, Ken has been posting his recollections and thoughts on Boro’s history and sharing his statistical records. I’ve now collated some of these posts, particularly those over the summer break, to make them into standalone articles. Some articles are as he has posted them with just the general blog chat removed, whereas others have been carefully spliced together from several posts and edited to remove duplicated content or slightly rejigged to maintain the chronology.

I’m sure many Diasboro readers, especially those who may have missed them first time round, will find them interesting reading and a valuable easy-to-access resource for future reference. You can now find these articles on a dedicated page, which you can access by clicking on the banner above, which can also be found at the top of the right-hand column under ‘DIASBORO LINKS’ – Werdermouth.

317 thoughts on “George Camsell: The story of Boro’s most prolific striker

    1. Hang on Bob, I’m not that old. I know what you mean though, it’s as if I had seen him play, his legend so inbred in my youth by my grandfather and senior works colleagues who had seen the great man. I suppose in time people will eulogise about Wilf Mannion and Brian Clough in the same way despite never having seen them play either, and why not!

  1. It was interesting to read that George Camsell was nearly sold on before he’s established himself at Boro – that probably would have ranked up there with some of the biggest errors of judgement by any club. I discovered he only actually made 4 appearances in his first season (1925/26), though still managed 3 goals.

    I also found a internet site that gives his season-by-season record of goals, including for England – here is the link EFC Statto: George Camsell

    In addition, here is a link to an article on the BBC website from a few years ago entitled: George Camsell: The best England striker you never heard of – which I think also complements Ken’s article.

  2. What an interesting story from Eric Paylor in the Gazette about Johnny Crossan. I certainly remember seeing him play for the Boro but hadn’t heard the story of his early, if somewhat chequered career.

  3. Thanks Ken for all your time and effort with these historical facts on Boro, also to Werder for the formatting.

    Hope that you are coping Ken with your personal problem. Just take it easy.

  4. Well what was that all about yesterday?
    Phil from the Gazette alluding before the kick off, this may be the team for Millwall, starting with the “rock solid defence” of – x x x x x.
    Not a rock solid display from them by any means. Report from my brother was they looked as though it was the first time they had met.

    I know it is only early doors, but the two new signings are not the players we desperately need. Flint bought to possibly replace Ben if he he leaves or Ayala if he continues giving in sick notes.
    McNair may be slightly better than we have, but again we still do not have any forward drive and quality from midfield.

    Gestede and SD are not going to get you promoted.

  5. What is it with Yorkshire batsmen? On an Old Trafford wicket that usually produces lots of runs Joe Root seemed in fine nick with 5 boundaries in his first 18 balls, then suddenly is out lbw to medium pacer Jordan Clark, who then completes a 🎩 trick against Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow, three of the best batsmen in the World. Have they forgotten how to play red ball cricket? Defeat in this match and relegation beckons.

  6. Ken
    There’s something amiss at YCCC and I also feel we’ll be relegated.

    Agree with your sentiments. I’m extremely worried that, if fit, TP is going to persevere with Rudy as his preferred option.

    1. Steely
      I probably owe Yorkshire’s batsmen an apology. This side of the Pennines sunny and humid, t’other side damp and humid. As the saying goes in Yorkshire if one can’t see the Pennines it’s probably raining, and if one can see ‘em, well it’s probably going to rain. In glorious sunshine Old Trafford is a batsman’s paradise likely to take spin on the last day, but with yesterday’s humidity the ball was swinging around much of the day. Let’s hope for sunny conditions today so that Yorkshire can score 400 or more; similar conditions to today and we might struggle to reach 150. One fact I did learn yesterday was that there are 747 cricket clubs in Yorkshire – many more than in the whole of Australia.

      Regarding the Boro, I’m not as confident as I was a couple of weeks ago. Not a fan of Gestede, but will his injury mean a change of style, or is an aging Peter Crouch now on Boro’s radar? Also to concede 4 goals is a great concern. A defence of ‘telegraph poles’ might be good in the air, but perhaps too slow against a team that players football on the ground.

  7. I am feeling decidedly uncomfortable about pre-season so far.

    I do not see the two new recruits as being a significant upgrade on what we already have.

    The midfield creativity has still not been resolved.

    Yesterday we conceded four goals (should have been 5 if the penalty had not been missed) to a side a league below us.

    The pundits are all saying but it is only pre-season and it’s all about fitness etc.

    In my experience the good teams find a way of not getting beat even when they have an off day.

    This is not boding well!

  8. Thank you kindly for this Ken. You the historian, me the “memory man” (c. RR) – I guess we make quite a team. Along with RR the match reporter, Bob the interviewer and Werder the DiasBoro chief.

    I think, re: Rhodes-Karanka and Bamford-Monk, it’s like this. Some strikers just don’t fit, regardless of their intuition and instinct. Javier Hernandez is and always has been a fabulous poacher yet even Fergie considered him second rate to Welbeck.

    So what does this mean for the poacher? Do we accept that he has become second rate because the evolution of football tactics demands more of the centre forward? Where we once wanted Linekers, we now all want Drogbas, Agueros and Griezmanns.

    Or we can tell the Karankas and Monks of this world: “Mr Rhodes/Mr Bamford may not fit into your way of thinking but (a) he is popular, (b) the chairman has spent a sizeable amount of money to bring him back and (c) he can offer much to the team if accommodated and appreciated correctly. Remember that.”

    One can argue, as I used to, that there are more forwards in this squad, and that Karanka merely chose to pick his – Stuani against Brighton H, Negredo against, say, Swansea H – and that, in both cases, the forwards scored goals and the right results were explicitly achieved. But that doesn’t absolve him of responsibility.

    I have come to realise with time that if the only defence you can offer for a methodology is “So what? It works” then you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Just because something is effective doesn’t mean it’s right.

    1. Me I don’t like this 4 2 3 1 I much prefer to see a solid 4 4 2 with two strikers a big man to knock down and a goal poacher to score

      Gestede and Britt (or Bamford)

      Now you can call me old fashioned but I remember the days of Hickton and Mills Viduka and JFK we saw plenty of goals then and who cannot forget the Archie and Bernie combo?

      Happy days


  9. I would agree, while it may be OK for my mind to still be on the beach in northern Italy thinking the new season is still way off – the reality for Boro is actually the season starts in less than two weeks and the transfer window also closes soon.

    Perhaps it’s symptom of the World Cup occupying the close season but Boro just don’t seem anywhere near ready to go yet. The likelihood is we may probably lose players like Adama or even Gibson – there isn’t much sign yet of seeing the team that will be attempting to improve on 5th spot – hopefully there will be activity soon as the trickle-down from the big boys to the promotion hopefuls will start triggering some deals.

    We saw what happened last season when Garry Monk spent far too long bedding his players in and discovering who were the players who could deliver. Confidence is everything in the Championship and we saw how Boro struggled to find their rhythm last term after not living up to early-season expectations.

    I suspect Boro still need quite a few starters to arrive before we can feel confident that the team will be automatic promotion contenders – especially if some are still planning on career moves elsewhere.

    Time for actual evidence of moving forward me thinks and not these platitudes from Tony Pulis claiming that it’s all about fitness and cutting out mistakes.

  10. Elsewhere, congratulations to Molinari for winning the Open.

    One thing about televised golf that irritates me are the galleries. Tiger Woods stands on the tee with 550+yards to go and hits a shot off the tee and some moron shouts get in the hole!

    It is worse in the Ryder Cup when the shout follows every USA shot.

    As a grumpy old man I think they should be evicted from the course and taken to a secure unit.

  11. Ian
    I’ve always been a big Lee Westwood fan but realise he’s probably never going to win another tournament now, never mind a Major. So yesterday I pinned my hopes on Justin Rose, failing that Rory or Tommy Fleetwood – any European though over an American, and Frankie Molinari played a typical Faldo round and I’m pleased for him.

    Like you though, those ‘in the hole’ morons need evicting. One thing though is the respect shown by the crowd to all players when a putt is missed. I hope that respect will still be shown in the Ryder Cup.

  12. Well Ken, the old adage of seeing both sides bat before judging was highlighted to us yesterday. A Yorkshire win would boost survival hopes but I still think something is amiss in the Yorkshire camp. Time will tell.
    As for Boro, I think we’re all getting nervous at the apparent lack of progress in the transfer market. As a perennial pessimist it does nothing to enthuse me about the season ahead.

  13. Hopefully our fitness levels are at the required level or thereabouts after an apparently gruelling past few weeks. The consequences of it however do not seem to be positive ones at least based solely on the friendlies to date. I’m pretty sure that things will improve but the psyche of losing and conceding four goals to me is of greater importance than just fitness levels. A determination not to concede and not to get beat should be a camaraderie/band of brothers thing, I haven’t seen any of that unfortunately. These games are not important admittedly, they don’t count for anything except that deep down it hurts maybe not as much as losing in the Play Offs but it still niggles. I think a rocket needs to be fired up a few derrières as some of those who underwhelmed at Accrington are clearly mentally still in holiday mode.

    Randolph oozed the confidence of having a 78 year old Willie Whigham in goal, his positioning and attempts to reach crosses were frankly worse than woeful. Shotton seemed to be well off the mental pace and overall the entire back four looked lost and confused. There was no synergistic telepathic understanding from them. Granted that level of understanding does take time to develop but George, Ben, Ryan and Darren have all played together before, its not as if they were all new to each other. I’m sorry TP at this stage I’m not buying into this is all about fitness levels.

    Fitness is a mental, psychological state as much as a physical one. Professional Athletes with a short fifteen to twenty year career span should remain fit even after a few weeks beached in the Maldives or Mallorca. Football is about winning games, having a winning mentality and having the hunger and passion to win whether its beating kids at tiddly winks or a Champions League final. If it wasn’t for a shocking Penalty miss it could and should have been five goals conceded on Saturday.

    The constant selection of Gestede is one which I hope is down to shrewd financial management rather than serious tactical consideration. Ignored and on the fringes of the bench means his value plummets faster than his goals scored ratio. Selecting him is raising serious doubts in the minds of many fans judging by certain sites with less considered contributions with shall we say a more blunt approach to blogging. A potential suitor for his services will be squeezed for as much cash as we can wrestle from them and sitting on the sidelines isn’t going to convince them that they are buying a prized asset. Having said that having both ankles strapped up probably isn’t going to help either. I think a fresh start is best for all parties, as Simon alluded to above some Players generally and Strikers in particular just don’t fit comfortably at some clubs/managers.

    The Adama to Wolves story is gathering pace as bedroom journalists furiously copy and paste news articles, fake or otherwise that are now several days old. After Ziege would SG have agreed to another release clause for one of his players? If so at the time it may have been simply dismissed as a throwaway “double what we paid for him”. Lets face it if someone offered £12M for Fletcher or Gestede I doubt many on here would bemoan those release clauses if realised, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I am still of the belief that if the lad goes he will rot on a Premiership bench somewhere and left wondering where his career could have gone had he remained under TP’s tutelage at Boro. His agent and Adama himself should compare and contrast the last six years of his fledgling career with the last six months. Another new Club, new Manager and new expectations and surroundings are the last thing Adama needs just now if he is to realise what up until now has been nothing more than potential.

    It may be that the supposed £18M is what TP is banking on to bring in some fresh faces for those key positions. For example that cash would fund Bryan from Bristol and Besic from Everton and maybe even a wild card Icelandic journeyman Striker to become the new Bernie Slaven (but more likely a new Kike Sola).

  14. Thanks for a very interesting piece Ken.

    No doubt the likes of George Camsell and Dixie Dean will never be seen again which is a real pity. And as for only getting 9 England caps despite scoring 18 goals in those 9 games shame on the FA selectors for that appalling decision.

    I met George Camsells son, also called George a couple of years ago in the town. I was signing a petition and saw the name above mine was George Camsell, and asked the elderly gent who was sat on the bench if he was any relation to the great man, ” I’m his son” he proudly replied. After a few minutes of putting up with me asking questions about his dad I thanked him and let him get on his way.

    I’m sure he’s had to put up with complete strangers asking him about Boros greatest ever goalscorer for years but he seemed more than happy to talk about his famous, (on Teesside anyway), father.

    Looking down the list Ken compiled it’s interesting to note both Mickey Fenton and Wilf Mannion lost 6 years of their careers to wartime service but still feature high up the list.

  15. Having watched the highlights I was not overly impressed, the defending was shocking and it didn’t look like we wasted a sack full of chances.

    The line up looked close to what we are likely to get with the current squad and looking at who played it was Flint for Ayala in defence but the core of the squad was as last season.

    We need a step in performance or we will struggle again in the early part of the season.

    1. Exactly Ian, then as like last season playing catch-up. Only this time with the squad we have now, there may be no catching up.
      Adama apart, who will probably leave, we have no pace what so ever in the squad and certainly nil in terms of creativity. In racing terms it could be left at the post and the favourites in the distance.

      Werder was right, it is time for Mr Pulis to stop the platitudes and for him and the recruitment team to bring in players who are far better than we have and importantly have that missing creativity.

  16. Two Boro away matches now live on Sky, Leeds has been moved to Friday 31 1945 ko and Ipswich is still Oct 2 at 1945.

    As for pre season so far, I don’t think we have dropped any points yet and as far as I am concerned I will reserve judgement until after the first 10 games.

    Transfers are what they are, McNair could have had 4 goals on Saturday, OK he only put away one but last season we were all crying out for a midfielder to get in the box, now it appears we have one. I look forward to see the Howson – McNair pairing in midfield with Clayton as the holding midfielder in front of the defence. I understand that the transfer window shuts on 9 Aug and I expect a flurry of movement in the last week to 10 days, amongst all clubs.

    Come on BORO.

    1. Clayton, howson and McNair!! If that’s our first choice midfield you can forget promotion now. We’ll be fighting relegation instead. And that’s before you stick that big donkey/cart horse/lame horse up front!!

  17. Why have a release clause?
    Serious question.
    The giant clubs have fun with them, as in, anyone can have Ronaldo for one hundred and twenty million, which cut the candidates down to, oh, about three, and one of them was real Madrid.
    But for a middling club to put a price on a player with real promise is foolish in the extreme.
    The price they set is the most that they can get. There is no lowest price ( except nothing of course) it’s a price we are fairly familiar with.

  18. We seem to have a habit of, ” not bothering” to win our friendly matches pre season, hoping to give the impression that we are too good to bother against minnows, it generally ends badly once the season starts.

  19. Generally I can’t stand the John Terry’s and Roy Keane’s of the footballing world but I will give them one thing to their credit if they were playing a Sunday Pub Team in a fund raiser for a kids playground or Man City for a Premiership title decider they would put the same amount of energy and determination into winning.

    I like sportsmanship, its good to see and Gareth oozed it in abundance these last few weeks but when I am supporting my team I want to see winners, someone who really gives a damn. Put simply it was why Grant was one of AK’s favourites and as a side right here, right now, I’m not sure that we have that sort of character if Grant does go.

    Ben is a nice lad who likes to shake his fist but not very believable. George seems almost identical to Gareth in personality while Clayts seems a little distracted at times and perhaps needs to mature in a footballing sense. Stewy likes to be liked, and the rest just seem bland or “magnolia” to me in the personality stakes. Every team or group needs a leader, a driver, a motivator, an instigator, someone who will go ballistic or mental even if a sloppy pass goes astray. Somebody who takes charge, somebody who sets the tone, It keeps everyone alert and at the top of their game. Collective responsibility is great and very PC but sometimes a good old fashioned Captain is worth their weight in gold.

    1. That’s why the likes of Clough had “Captains” in his teams. They may not have been the most gifted or technical players, but certainly were winners as it proved.

  20. Something here which many may find interesting in terms of looking at the development of Middlesbrough over the years. There are a series of historical old maps. I noticed that opposite Albert Park there was a farm called Oldgate Farm which would be where the old General Hospital and Ayresome Park would later be built on.,54.555332662271496,-1.1826309309082028,54.58436475718375&q=&date_from=0&date_to=9999&scale_from=&scale_to=

    I wonder if Oldgate and Holgate maybe linguistically morphed at some future point when the Workhouse was built and being called the Holgate Insitution?

  21. I stated last season , and some thought I was nuts, but I did say we need a new goalkeeper Randolph let’s too many saveable shots in. I’d get Mignole from Liverpool, he’s had some issues, but three seasons ago he was in the top three in the country.
    Interesting the Camsell piece I guess we all have our memories from different eras , mine late fifteen on, most centre forwards rely on service and are great finishes the one centre forward we have had in my time, the one who could actually dominate defenders themselves, and I’ve seen change games, was Hughie Mclmoyle, when he was at it, he was unplayable .
    Today his value would be through the roof.

  22. Rumour coming out of the Midlands tonight is that Adama is putting pen to paper for Wolves. Seems a bit strange to me as just this morning he was puckering up to Paddy in a photo shoot.

    If true at £18M Villa will allegedly pocket £3M of it leaving £15M for our recruitment team to waste on unheard of fourth rate Europeans with a dodgy injury background but who were once on the books of………………………….. insert your own Dutch/Italian/Spanish side.

  23. We seem to be getting our gripes in earlier this season than most. If we’d been offered £18m at this time last year we’d have been thrilled.
    I think the fact he looks like he’s off to Wolves doesn’t help. If he’s been going to Chelsea we’d probably have felt better about his leaving.
    I’m still optimistic that TP will do what he needs to do. It might not always be pretty but I hope the players will give it their all.

  24. RR
    That would be par for the course for Boro. It’s about the only consistency they’ve shown for years.
    I don’t think it will benefit AT himself in the long term either. I’m close to despair.

  25. I tend to agree with TP. It’s about getting back in the groove and honing fitness. We don’t need players flying into tackles and getting unnecessary injuries.

    More importantly they players need to be mentally prepared. It’s imperative to get off to a good start, the last thing we need to be doing is playing catch-up with the leaders.

  26. Elsewhere the saying springs to mind ‘what goes around comes around.’

    Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari gloated when they won the British Grand Prix at Hamilton’s and Mercedes expense.

    Sure enough, Vettel went off the track and Mercedes had a 1;2 at Vettel’s home grand prix with Hamilton shhoting 17 points clear.

    Have a quiet private moment. As the other saying goes ‘every time I open my mouth, some fool speaks’.

  27. On to Adama, if the goes he goes. If we get over 4x what we paid for him. That is good business for someone who was a huge question mark twelve months ago.

    If you don’t get promoted clubs higher up the food chain will take the better players.

    It is nothing new. Clough went to Sunderland, Knowles went to Spurs, Butler went to Chelsea. Souness/Hodgson/ Johnstone/Ziege went to Liverpool. Pallister went to ManU. The list goes on.

    Just have to accept it and move on. That is life in the position we find ourselves in.

    1. Ian

      Your list is enough to bring tears to the eyes of any Boro fan.
      It is the whole point of the current angst over Traore.
      All of those old transfers were the result of incompetence on the grand scale, and like all buffoons we got insulted as part of the bargain.
      Liverpool, for instance, told the world that they had improved him ( that would be after six weeks)
      We paid 8 million for Traore, so after Villa’s cut we are selling him for 5 Million net.
      We did this to ourselves, without assistance from anyone.
      Had we set the release at thirty million someone would have met it.
      Had we kept out of it, we would have had him to a contract.
      Are we insisting on a cut of any profit made on him 50 per cent at least?
      We shall see.

  28. In monetary terms, AT’s sale may prove sound business (sold for huge profit) but only if the money is spent wisely. The proof of the pudding etc.

  29. Well said Martin B

    The mood of pessimism on this blog is getting a little hard to stomach. Why are there so many people posting who only have negative things to say. It’s not even as if we have seen any real football. Pulis has been flogging them up and down mountains and then we’re surprised that their football brain may not be quite as sharp as we would like. Even against Accrington, it was interesting to note that TP only used three subs to give people more playing time so that they can ease back into the routine of real games. Tonight the rest of the squad will get their chance under similar conditions. It all seems very intelligently thought out to me. I’ll wait to see some real matches before getting out the razors.

    I think that we have made two very good Championship signings but some posters seem to think that were still living in Robbo’s dreamland and can always buy something better. With regard to the uncertainty around Gibson and Traore, i reckon that we are set up OK if Gibson goes. We have Ayala, Flint, Fry and Shotton who are experienced playing there and Friend as well, particularly in a back three.
    If we bring in someone else so much the better or else one of the good youngsters. Traore is a different matter. he would be a loss precisely because he can do things that are Premiership class. Whether he does them for 90 minutes doesn’t matter. It’s the highest level at which someone can operate which determines their potential. Sadly, unless Wolves turn out to be the surprise packet of the year – not impossible – he may not get the chance to grow if he goes to them.

    One area that I am curious about is how TP will use our crop of really good youngsters. Leaving Fry aside as an established first team player, Tavernier looks to be a real gem. Does he stay with the first team squad? How about Wing or Chapman and some of the others. We seem to have a really strong nucleus of players. Are any of them worth a real shot in the Championship?

    Anwya, to me Pulis looks to be a great professional and I’m prepared to give my support until something proves otherwise.


  30. Just done an analysis of the transfers in the Championship, from the BBC, so far this window. In total there have been 55 transfers in and 62 out for all clubs. Bristol City have signed the most with 6 and Sheffield United and Bolton have let go the most with 5. With loans in there are so far only 18. This probably reflects that the Premier League teams have only just got all of their players back and won’t finalize their squads until just before the window closes. There are three teams with no permanent signings Leeds, Wednesday and Villa. Wednesday and Villa have no signings of any kind so far. It looks like the next two weeks will be busy throughout the league.

  31. I have to agree with Martin and Selwynoz.

    In the past we’ve had very good pre seasons and what were deemed as good transfer windows and as soon as the season proper started it all turned into a Typical Boro pot mess.

    I’ll reserve judgement and not hit the panic button until we’ve played the requisite 10 games.

    1. My concern stems from that we didn’t do ourselves any favours against Villa in the Play Offs. Our performances in those two games (down to tactics in the main) varied between disappointing to underwhelming. That is the legacy of how our season ended and that is what has remained in the players and fans minds all summer just as it did with Reading last season albeit they at least went to Wembley.

      Pre season is about getting fit and getting players back in the groove and integrating new lads when they arrive. There is also however a danger that just as winning becomes a habit, getting beat becomes a habit as well. Getting out of a tailspin isn’t easy regardless of how talented the Pilot is. I shouted for TP well before his eventual arrival. I still think it a shrewd acquisition but it is only a shrewd acquisition if or when he achieves the desired outcome. Right now I’m a little concerned, not about his style of football but the manner of what I’m not seeing out on the pitch.

      This is now his real start with Boro, his season with an opportunity to shape and hone things in his own image if that is what he wants but based upon those games in Germany, Austria and Accrington Stanley I’m not seeing anything clicking or gelling yet. Maybe its too early and it will all come good in the end, I certainly hope so but we finished last season on a downer and have started pre season looking distinctly disorganised.

      As the old saying goes its not where you start its where you finish and maybe we will be late bloomers this season but I don’t think that is in SG’s plan. This time next year we are either going up to the extravagance of the Premiership or selling off Players to get costs and wages down to fall in line with FFP as TP departs like as not and we all know how that scenario pans out. Early days yet and the next two weeks will be an indication of what we are likely to achieve depending on who comes and who goes and even who plays!

  32. It is the phoney war at the moment and we dont know what transfer moves will transpire. The World Cup pushes everything back and we are down the food chain so a lot will happen quickly.

    There is no need for panic but you wouldn’t expect largely last season’s defence and midfield to concede four at Accrington Stanley.

    However you dress it up I would rather nor see that sort of performance even in pre season.

    There is no reason to panic but is deserving of comment.

  33. Redcar Red

    Agree with all that,

    I watched TP’s interview following the Accrington match and he did seem interested in miles in the tank, understandable in pre season. He also expressed the view we were a bit open and wouldn’t be like that in the coming weeks.

    My view is that it is never too soon to be organised, you cannot just switch it on like a tap or light bulb.

    It is just observations.

  34. I agree that its perfectly sensible to be concerned about the goals conceded and one would hope that everything looks a lot tighter in the remaining games.

    I’m also a bit surprised that more hasn’t been said about Ayala and how he came to be injured. Equally, I haven’t seen any suggestion as to when he might be available to play. Even if Gibson goes, Ayala and Flint together for corners and free kicks is going to make any defence turn a bit sick. I wonder if our resident spy 00FB has anything to add on this.

    Sadly, the press seems to be working itself into a frenzy about Traore leaving. Maybe we should just bite the bullet, get it done and find some replacements. The Monopoly money can go round the board and we can hope that we land on the right square.

    The most interesting question is whether we are going to buy a new forward. The most logical first option is to buy someone who can be an alternative to Gestede. That is where we have no backup plan. Beyond that we have Assombalonga, Bamford, Braithwaite and even Fletcher and we can find one player (or even two) from that lot. It’s my guess that if someone offers PDS15 mill for Britt, he’s out the door and then we’d need to buy a replacement for him as well unless TP persuades Braithwaite to stay which seems unlikely. If Traore, Britt and Gibson go, we should use the money and spend whatever it takes to get Mitrovic. Anyway, as others are saying, it looks as if Boro are waiting for some serious offers for our expensive assets and will sit on their hands until then.


    1. From what I understand there are a couple of loan signings in the wings as well as permanent players but the World Cup and Prem player organisation of squads takes time

      Let’s all have a bit of trust and not panic !


  35. Hear, hear, selwynoz at 12:35, as you support my post at 2:17 yesterday. If Traore does leave (nothing on any site about him being at Wolves with pen in hand) what do people think of him being replaced by Ojo of Liverpool. As thing stand (rumour) there is a number of clubs interested in Traore and it will only take the first bid to start the ball rolling. Things will hot up from Aug 1.

    Come on BORO.

    1. Please no, not Ojo, he is overrated and has an injury record that would make Dani Ayala embarrassed!

      The lad is quick tricky and impressive, the drawback is that its one game in ten (OK probably one in six). The rest of the time he is fairly anonymous and the game passes him by. That certainly sounds a little familiar but whilst project Adama has progressed and hopefully under TP will continue on an upwards trajectory (if he stays) the last thing we want when pushing for promotion is a new project.

      Reports out of Liverpool suggest they are willing to sell Ojo at around £15M, I know of a 14 year old Corsa on Teesside that someone can have for £15K. That sort of a price is nothing short of ridiculous and no sensibly run Club would remotely consider anything like that and then you think of Fletcher, Gestede and Braithwaite. I just hope we don’t sell Adama then blow the lot on Ojo!

  36. I like the thinking of Martin B and Selwynoz.

    What was it the much-missed Paul said after Boro’s routine 2-0 win over Rotherham near the end of 2014-15, that kept us 4th or so?

    “Reading some of the comments you would think we were fourth bottom. We really do like to beat ourselves up.”

    Robbo’s Dreamland, as Selwynoz calls it, was probably the worst and best thing to happen to Boro. If I told you about the amount of stick I got at school every time Boro lost a game, well… I still feel the psychological burns during the closing months of a 1996 where we mustered just six league wins all year.

    To the southern press, we were an easy target for ridicule. Newspaper reports about Juninho, Ravanelli and Emerson wanting to flee were effectively an everyday occurence. In the days when there was no transfer window, any move was possible, any when, and it reached the stage when I was relieved to pick up a paper and not see anything about Boro.

    And we weren’t helping ourselves. When confronted with a tactical query about no width, for example, Robbo said: “How come, when we beat West Ham and Coventry by four goals, nobody mentioned it?” Or, when it came to a grim stat of five wins from thirty-two games, Robbo would say that we were three points better off than last season and we had no choice but to look forward. Deja vu?

    I still remember thinking the tables had really turned after Emerson returned from going AWOL and we beat KeeganToon 3-1 in the cup. Three days later, in a game that effectively mirrored AKBoro’s loss to Spurs in 2017, we lost 1-0 at Villa to a very dubious penalty, yet you couldn’t say we were unlucky. The consensus was the scoreline flattered Boro. Within a couple of weeks we were rolled over at Anfield and the stage was set for, er, not turning up at Blackburn…

    And yet. And yet. For all the negatives, for all the misguidedness, we dared to dream. These were the days when we had the money to compete for the top players and we did. And when actually on our game, we played the best football I’ve seen from any Boro side. The 3-3 draw against United was almost as good as it gets – I was devastated at throwing the lead away.

    With that in mind it’s easy to think that the relegation was when Robbo’s Dream, or for that matter the modern Boro Dream, died. My latest theory is that it wasn’t the football that died so much as the naivete. 1997 was a turning point for football in general – to borrow Jonathan Wilson’s words, you could no longer simply pick the best players you had and let them get on with it, as KeeganToon and EvansPool also had. You had to do what Fergie and Wenger were doing – organise them appropriately, and/or add all around dimensions to their game. By the end of 1997-98, Tony Adams (!!) was scoring volleys fit for a striker.

    Of course, money is part of it too. Back then Gibbo’s millions kept him among the biggest players, nowadays we consider even £18 million small change.

    It may be as simple as saying that we get the players we can afford.

  37. Scanning through the BBC football website I’ve never seen so many comments for an East Fife v Forfar Athletic match. The main reason is that the game played on Sunday ended in a 1-1 draw but Forfar won the penalty shootout 5-4. The BBC make great play on the fact that the late Eric Morecambe often used to meet up with James Alexander Gordon (the man who used to read out Saturday’s football scores for the BBC) and always greeted him as ‘East Fife 4 Forfar 5’. Most of the 169 bloggers then go to question the merits of Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies, Cannon and Ball, Peter Kay, etc with some hoping that season tickets for the two clubs might soar because of the tounge twisting result and the publicity given about the result. I found some of the comments quite amusing, but that one stretching credulity! Nevertheless discussing comedians is not what I expected to read on a BBC football forum, but certainly preferable to politics in my opinion. Whilst football is the basis of Diasboro, we have had debates about other subjects on this forum also which is fine, as I imagine when bloggers meet socially in the pub or wherever, they don’t discuss football ALL the time.

    As I think I might have mentioned before, we still await the East Fife 5 Forfar 4 result, but the reverse result did occur on the 22nd April 1964 – Forfar 5 East Fife 4, but as it was played on a Wednesday, it may never have been spoken. I do recall though the Two Ronnies in one of their late news reports saying something along the lines of ‘The latest score from tonight’s football match is East Fife 5 Forfar, so far 4”.

  38. I see that Tom Ince has been sold from Huddersfield to Stoke for £12m, will that start the transfer ball rolling I wonder.

    Come on BORO.

    1. £12M for a lad who trades on his Fathers reputation rather than his own sparse, wayward and petulant ability. Including his many loans Stoke will now be his ninth Club.

      Every Club has eventually seen through him but there always seems to be yet another one willing to take that desperate punt on him turning it all around. The lad will be 27 in January, if he was going to achieve something surely by now the magic would have worked.

      There’s an old Golfing joke in there somewhere!

  39. Elsewhere, the House of York prevails over the House of Lancaster. They will be cheering from the parapets of Middleham Castle.

    Joe was the root of Lancashire problems taking 4 wickets for 5 runs in just under 8 overs. When Jos was caught by Williamson I can just hear Joe saying ‘I hate you Buttler’.

  40. Thanks Simon, after watching that compilation it makes you wonder if £18m is enough, not just his pace, his skill, technique and strength. The amount of times I burst out laughing when he turned players inside out or just left them for dead. I wonder if any of his fellow team mates have suggested to him to go “beep beep” (road runner) when he passes the opposition.

    Come on BORO.

  41. Did I tell you that the famous Adama v Adomah debate post-Barnsley inspired my latest set of writings? I am hoping to find time tonight and/or tomorrow morning to finish them.

    I still think it might be as simple as this. Under Mogga, and under Bruce during 2017-18, Adomah was trusted to be or found himself at the focal point of the attack. Under AK he was more disciplined, a component in a collective around the Magic No. 10.

    Note how central he was when he scored those braces vs. Barnsley and Doncaster. As if all that mattered was instinct, intuition and edge rather than graft, discipline and adherence to a coherent collective – and the hardest thing to do in football is score.

    1. Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one’s view’s and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one’s valid opinion, I honestly believe that I ….erm, completely forgot what I was going to say.

  42. Well I’ve departed northern Italy today with the relaxing waters of the Adriatic and have just arrived in southern Bavaria for some walking in the fantastic vistas of the Alpen foothills before gradually working our way back to the predominantly flattish Bremen at the weekend.

    Anyway, just catching up with the comments and it appears to be the delicate balance between pre-season pessimism and optimism. As we know anything is possible before a ball is kicked – especially before Schrodinger has let the promotion cat out of the bag.

    If Adama is offered Premier League football (and more importantly PL wages) he’ll no doubt be prepared to lower himself to kiss another under-11 designed badge such as that of Wolves. Ben Gibson may hold out for another season since there’s no international glory on the agenda this season and besides he shares Teesside blood with his uncle – though his value may diminish if the current leaky ‘fitness’ games continue into the real thing.

    Hopefully, our recruitment plans are not dependent on one or both of our potentially valuable assets being banked with a few days to spare to throw the cash around in similar fashion to last season – we now know that spending big money doesn’t necessarily equate to value for money or even make the player you bought any better because you’ve inflated his price tag.

    I believe Adama cost £6m so £18m would sound like a decent return but the inflationary market minus Villa’s cut puts him at a last season’s Britt kind of price and not the hot property many see him as. Although we shouldn’t forget he wasn’t even a starter at Villa and that price tag was the the default punt valuation Boro generally placed on anyone who might possibly ‘do a job’ – which was a similar price we paid for our current ankle-creaking goal-machine big Rudy Gestede and I believe his stock hasn’t risen to match his own physical height.

    Whatever happens in the next few weeks, the object of the exercise is to end up with a better squad than the one that fell short last season – Flint and McNair may prove to be useful additions but they have not really addressed the short-comings of lack of quality in the final third or indeed pace and decisive passing that our midfield appeared to lack.

    Anyway, there’s no point in not feeling at least a little positive or excited before the season has started – as there’s plenty of time to let despondency take over as the season progresses and kills the hope 🙂

  43. Did anyone go to Rochdale tonight. We lost 3-2 after being 2-0 up.

    It is only a friendly so we shouldn’t be bothered about conceding goals against lower league teams.

    Honest! It is all about getting miles in to the legs. Of course these teams started pre season training in April and have had their squads settled for ages. It is only Boro who lose and bring in new players in the entire EFL.

    It may not matter but it would be better to win and get the odd clean sheet in these matches.

    Luckily we dont have a history of ‘never seen it coming’. Dont panic, but this is starting to be a habit. We do have injury worries, Gestede will be fit!!

    A bit of fun, or not. Delete as appropriate.

  44. Sounds as if a lot of the kids had a good run out tonight. Not sure what to make of the result but good to see so many of the younger players getting a chance.

  45. Interesting to read that Woodgate ran the match from the pitch side with TP in the stands. Does this make it an U-23 side?

    Also, just read that Bordeaux sold a winger to Barcelona for a big fee. Maybe fhey’ll come in for Braithwaite.

    It’s all starting to heat up.


  46. Nice to see young Rippers get a game at last and he made a good save apparently

    Chapman pushing for it and I think we’ll see Fletcher in the squad next season . He’s big and quick and still young enough to be told what to do.

    A few on twitter ranting and raving about the result Friday is the key game against Sunderland


  47. I am not being negative just trying to provoke discussion. I would have been happy with positive results at Accrington and Rochdale, in both cases they were poor results.

    Wins against Pools and Sunderland would be great….

    1. Ian
      Apparently Pulis always intended NOT to use last night’s match with any first team players, just first team bench warmers and youngsters. Therefore it might be said that the result was an improvement on the Monk team’s 0-2 defeat against Rochdale a year ago. This might also suggest that Bamford is ahead of Assombalonga in his thinking. Presumably the match against Hartlepool will be treated similarly as last night’s match, and the one against Sunderland will probably show his intended first team squad.

      1. I’m wondering if TP will use the Hartlepool game for the first team squad and the Reserves against Sunderland. Neither opposition is exactly a “test” in the real sense of the word which judging by results thus far into the Friendlies is perhaps just as well.

        A defeat at home to the Makems won’t do morale much good despite it being a nothing game and all the spin of getting fitness won’t wash with either players or fans. A resounding win against Pools would set things up for Millwall if the senior squad played. It will be interesting to see which game Woody takes and which game TP takes charge of. Personally I’d be tempted to play last nights side again on Friday.

        Last night Fletcher and Chapman linked up impressively for the two goals setting each other up with clever well played balls and deft finishing touches. It was good to see and showed that both of them may have something to offer this season depending on incomings and outgoings. Johnson also had a couple of neat moves in fairness to him.

        The conceded goals were scrappy and down to momentary hesitation in one case and a failure to clear lines and a bobbling ball falling unkindly for the winner. Britt switched off his defensive duties for the first one which will not have gone unnoticed, with concentration and/or attitude and application in question.

  48. If you lose Ian it is a poor result. Yes give the young-uns game time, we all support that, but not wholesale.

    Two up to lose 3-2 is not what is needed and no excuses that it’s only a kick about. Is young Trav on International duty?

    Interesting that Britt played and no sign of Patrick.?

    What will be made of the final two games. Time is running out, players will leave and new ones come in. If we are to have any chance of a successful season ahead, we desperately need some more pace and mid-field quality.

    I would be reasonably happy to see Adama leave if a Ramirez type player came in.

  49. It was an interesting starting lineup, let alone how many “kids” were on the pitch when we started conceding goals with 20 minutes to go ! It is an interesting point that selwynoz made earlier about Woodgate being manager for the match, with his “tutor” in the stand, I wonder if that was a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s match against Hartlepool as I don’t see the first team playing two matches in 24 hours.

    Come on BORO.

  50. Ken,

    A lovely article, thank you.

    My father worked at Ayresome park as a steward and counting the cash at the end of the game. Boxes taken to the bank by taxi and full of bagged copper, silver money and notes. I worked in the half-time scoreboard, until I went up to Newcastle to study in 1964, and Mr Camsel worked in the office just behind the old Ayresome Park gates and he was always charming and interested in what I was doing and my football was going, a very unassuming and modest man remembered with pleasure. If my memory serves me correctly Mickey Fenton worked in the office too along with a lady secretary called Norma.

    Lovely memories, many thanks.



    1. PS I should have said seeing the old scoreboard where I worked up above the ‘Bob-end’ was a bit of nostalgia too. Those metal sheets with the number on were dreadful to handle in a high wind and they were just hung on rusty hooks above a little metal basket as a nod to Health & Safety!



  51. In the good old bad /old days Boro didn’t even have a scoreboard. The halftime scores used to be shown at pitch level in front or the main stand. I occasionally used to attend the reserve team matches and at halftime a man used to circumnavigate the pitch with a scoreboard on a pole showing the first team’s halftime score. It was rather like the scoreboard/pole used at golf tournaments today. I never understood why a tannoy announcement wasn’t made instead.

  52. Derby are allegedly offering £8M to Ipswich for Waghorn whilst Leeds are allegedly about to offer £11M for Vydra and Forest are now being linked to Ojo with an offer in excess of £10M.

    I wonder where FFP comes into all of this because Forest seem to have a lot of “Loanees” as well as splashing the cash and I thought that Derby had to sell in order to cut costs. Now I get that selling one player for £11M and replacing him for £8M reduces costs and I would also guess lower wages but even so there seems to be a lot of serious cash for Championship level clubs being spent this Summer if the deals go through.

  53. It could be said that we raised the bar for Championship fees when we paid £15m for Britt last year. Everybody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.
    Like RR, I wonder how this all squares with FFP.

  54. A clean sheet would be nice, indeed. Once upon a time we were spoiled with them.

    In the 2016-17 pre-season, we won 4, drew 3 and lost 1 of eight games, averaging two goals a game and keeping five clean sheets. Would that what followed was anywhere near as impressive.

    In other news, Eamon Dunphy leaves RTE after forty years to focus on his podcast. With that RTE’s “Holy Trinity” of Bill O’Herlihy (died 2015), Johnny Giles (retired, now 77) and Dunphy (72) have gone. But they had their time and they have left us with no end of memories.

    In Boro news, it does look like Adama’s off to Wolves for £18 million – and Villa will pocket 20% of that as part of a sell on clause.

  55. Strange to see the absolute shambles surrounding the giving away of Traore(I think it’s called selling)
    We possess a very valuable player, we always knew that he would be coveted by other clubs, but at least we would be witness to some hard bargaining, and of course a good sell on bonus ( a certainty)
    I would have thought that it would be in our interest that he went to a giant ( better to play with talent than waste your career keeping some dreadful club in the prem)
    So, we have no say in the matter, any piece of rubbish can tell us that they are taking him.
    May we know who is getting fired for gross incompetence?

  56. Oh dear this season is looking a shambles before it starts. Our only creative player in the entire squad being sold. Look at how many chances our dynamic midfield created last year. If it was double figures between them all I’d be amazed. And for £15 million when we’re being quoted over £10 million for a player who couldn’t get in the Fulham team last year. By my reckoning with this £15 million we need three creative players a central midfielder and there’s a case for two new full backs. That’ll be some wheeling and dealing with only two weeks till the new season and watch the prices go up when people know you’re desperate. Meanwhile in other news no one wants gibbo who is replaceable and gestede who is struggling to continue his remarkable career goal scoring record of a goal every seven games is our lone striker. Reckon that’ll improve with all the creative players we have at our disposal?

  57. The list of talented young players belonging to us grows by the week, Tavernier, Wing, Braithwaite, Fry, Chapman.
    Having had a good look at Chapman in a youth European cup tie I was captivated by his brilliance, and a great goal, two years ago.
    Fry should now be installed as our defensive mainstay and allowed to get on with it.
    Tavernier is getting so much attention from the media and people who know a thing or two that it seems futile to loan him out.
    Wing is of particular interest to me, simply because he was rescued from non league football( which is good) his performances have been outstanding since, and I would hope that he is not made to wait his turn behind the other youngsters. That would be perverse in the extreme.
    We should be as keen as he no doubt is to explore how far his talent can take him.
    We all love a fairy story.

  58. I repeat what I posted earlier, many posters would have gladly taken Adama to wherever he wanted free of charge.

    There is no guarantee he will be a success at Wolves, there was no guarantee he would step up a level if he stayed with us. If he goes I wish him well. It could be he gains enough points for Wolves to ensure a good season in the top flight but he isn’t there yet, with any luck he will stand and stare during his medical and be sent back as a deceased parrot,

    We have a creativity shortfall if he stays, him leaving will not help the situation.

    Besic looks to be flavour of the month at Everton.

    Some of the youngsters need to make their marks and the recruitment team need to front up.

    1. I wouldn’t have let him go. Always thought it was ridiculous in a team with a dirth of creativity that your one creative player doesn’t get utilised regardless of lack of positional nous. Thought the same with adomah. Also as a fan I enjoy watching players like that, players that get you on the edge of your seat. If he goes there will be not one exciting player left. It will be an attritional grind. Try and keep it tight at one end and hope one falls for one of your 6 foot plus guys at the other. You don’t need creativity if you’re just lumping it in the box and that’s what I’m worried about.
      Not surprised about besic, great attitude and clearly a talented player. Made Clayton look like a Sunday league player the way he controlled the ball and constantly made time and space for himself. People seemed to be oblivious to this. If adama goes our two best players from last season aren’t here and for me those two were the only reason we got anywhere near the playoffs. I really do hope the recruitment team have some irons in the fire because for me we’re a million miles away from a promotion side. And even with a big recruitment drive wasn’t everyone’s big gripe last year that it was wholesale changes rather than a tweak here and there and it would take time to bed new players in. Well this feels pretty much like de ja vu all over again. Sorry simon my pessimism continues!!

  59. You’ve nothing to be sorry for. I think the pessimism is a Boro thing.

    Me, I think I’ve given up on cult manager heroes after the pain of Mogga and Karanka’s final days combined.

    They did a lot right. Of course they did. But too many online voices couldn’t help but amplify the wrong during the wretched final year (2013 and 2016-17).

    Understandable on reflection – hurt, combined with the obvious exposure of failings all too many, me included, were happy to gloss over as long as the majority of results were explicitly the right ones, will do that to you.

    Doesn’t mean the manager’s a “fake”. It might just mean he had his time and is the victim of his own success. It is what it is.

    It happened to Lennie too, albeit to a lesser extent. Those around during his time can recall “scuffles on the Holgate” as “the pro and anti factions drew their battle lines.”

    Robbo? “There were fisticuffs in the North Stand at various stages” but “never a public outpouring of dissent until it became obvious his time was up.”

    Again, it is what it is…

    (Extracts: Andrew Glover.)

  60. With spare time on my hands I thought now might be appropriate to continue the history of Middlesbrough FC.

    Football League matches resumed following the First World War in 1919 with the expansion of the First Division and the Second Division to 22 clubs in each. This provided an opportunity for 5 new clubs to obtain League status following the demise of Glossop North End. As I previously mentioned Derby County and Preston North End were promoted as Second Division Champions and runners-up, plus Arsenal from 5th position to the detriment of Tottenham Hotspur. The new clubs elected to the Second Division were Coventry City, Rotherham United, South Shields, Stoke City and West Ham United who had finished 4th in the ever expanding Southern League. This now meant that London had two clubs in the First Division (Arsenal and Chelsea) and four clubs in the Second Division (Clapton Orient, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United). But note that there were no other Southern based clubs, although that was to change the following season when the Southern League became the Third Division of the Football League and then renamed the Third Division (South) the following year after the introduction of the Third Division (North). So we now had a Football League of 88 clubs in 4 Divisions and that’s how it remained until well after the Second World War.

    Now let’s get back to the Boro who of course were still a First Division club. Jimmy Howie became the new manager and Boro still had the services of strikers Walter Tinsley, George Elliott and Jackie Carr in their ranks. Boro made a good start to the 1919/20 season winning 6 and drawing 3 of their first 11 matches to reach 4th position by mid-October. Unfortunately Tinsley, who had scored 42 goals in his previous two seasons, was then injured and Boro won only one of their next 11 matches which had them dropping to 16th by the end of the year. Two successive home wins in January against Burnley 4-0 and Preston North End 4-1 with Elliott scoring five in those two matches plus a hat trick in the FA Cup at home to Lincoln City raised hopes of a recovery and eventually stabilised the season in 13th position. Boro scored 61 goals of which Elliott scored 31 and Reuben Butler who succeeded the injured Tinsley scored 11 in his 27 appearances.

    Jimmy Howie decided to take away the captaincy from Elliott before the start of the next season, preferring to give it to right half Stewart Davidson but Boro made a poor start failing to win any of their first 7 matches that had them languishing 3rd from bottom. However a tremendous recovery of 9 wins in their next 10 matches shot them up to 4th. This sequence of results not only included their first ever win at Roker Park which until then had included 10 defeats in 14 matches, but a double over their nearest rivals and in successive weeks too. The fixture format in those first postwar seasons was quite bizarre where teams played the same opponents on successive Saturdays with only the Easter fixtures intervening. This odd fixture format, having worked so well for Boro up to the end of December, didn’t work well at all in the new year as Boro won only 2 matches in the next 13 yet only dropping as low as 8th which is where they finished at the end of the season. Goals had been harder to come by with only 53, and once again George Elliott accounted for just over half of them with 26.

    Incidentally Boro’s record against Sunderland was abysmal right up to our relegation in 1954:-
    Home Pld 37 Won 14 Drawn 7 Lost 16 Goals 58-58
    Away Pld 37 Won 3 Drawn 10 Lost 24 Goals 33-71
    Since 1954 much better:-
    Home Pld 29 Won 16 Drawn 10 Lost 3 Goals 45-22
    Away Pld 29 Won 9 Drawn 7 Lost 13 Goals 34-44x

    The 1921/22 season saw the return of centre forward Andy Wilson. During the War his left hand and forearm had been shattered in by enemy gunfire and he wore a black handgaurd over his withered limb for the rest of his life. After the War he had returned to his native Scotland and played for Dunfermline Athletic who were part of the rebel Scottish Central League in 1919. When that league was eventually absorbed into the Scottish League part of the agreement was that those players who had played in the rebel league had to return to the clubs who had formerly held their registration, so Wilson returned to Boro for the start of the 1921/22 season. His scoring record pre-war with Boro had been a respectable 5 goals in 9 matches, so Boro were happy to have him back. What a season he had though as he found the back of the net 32 times in his 37 appearances. He scored 7 of Boro’s first 9 goals which had Boro 2nd after their first 5 matches. By mid December Boro were still up there in 3rd spot with 9 wins and 6 draws in their first 19 matches. That sequence had been a little topsy-turvy, beating Aston Villa 5-0 at home but losing the away return a week later 2-6. Also after losing 0-4 at Champions elect Liverpool, beating them 3-1 at home the following week. From then on Boro lost as many matches as they won and finished the season again in 8th position but only 3 points behind Burnley in 3rd position, and again accumulated 46 points but this time scored 26 more goals mainly due to the return of Andy Wilson. George Elliott scored 13 in his 26 appearances and George Carr (the youngest of the four Carr brothers) 15 in 28 appearances. Boro also took 7 points from their 4 fixtures with Arsenal and Manchester United, although the Gunners did finished a lowly 17th and United finished bottom and were relegated along with Bradford City.

    The 1922/23 season started tremendously well for after the first 4 matches Boro were never outside the top 4 all year. They won 10 and drew 9 of their first 23 fixtures. They maintained 4th position on the 30th December with a 2-0 home win against Tottenham Hotspur. However they had won only twice away from home at Huddersfield and Preston. From January onwards they only managed one point on their travels, and in fact only won 3 more times at home finishing a disappointing 18th. George Elliott scored another 23 league goals, Andy Wilson 11 and veteran Billy Birrell 9.

    Unfortunately the inevitable happened the following season as Boro were in the bottom two almost from the word go. They won only once away from home and that was in December which momentarily elevated them to 20th, but in only scoring. 27 goals all season and only winning one of their final 19 matches, relegation was inevitable. Boro finished with a mere 22 points, ten from safety. Elliott scored only 7 in his 25 matches, and Wilson 8 in 13 before being sold to Chelsea in December. However his transfer didn’t save the Pensioners as Chelsea were also relegated with Boro.

    Thus ended Boro’s 22 year reign in the First Division, and their first relegation. There was little to suggest a quick return to the First Division as Boro finished mid-table in the 1924/25 season. George Elliott was retained but only scored 5 times in his 17 appearances in what became his last season. However his 203 goals in 344 appearances spanning 16 years places him second only to George Camsell in Boro’s goalscoring chart, and now Boro desperately needed goalscorers. James McClelland signed from Southend United made his debut late in that season as a fullback, but the new manager Herbert Bamlett decided to start him at centre forward for the opening encounter at Fratton Park on 29th August 1925. Boro won 5-1 and McClelland scored. Boro followed that up with two 3-2 wins over Blackpool and a 4-1 home win over Wolves – 4 wins, 19 goals of which McClelland had scored 7, and Boro were top. Despite 0-4 defeats at Swansea and Stoke, Boro were still top after 16 matches with 12 wins and 39 goals McClelland having scored 15. However 6 consecutive defeats derailed their season and thereafter Boro finished 9th with 44 points. McClelland scored 32 goals in his 38 appearances and Billy Birrell, who played in every match, scored 17.

    That season was notable for the fact that only two matches were drawn, and also for the signing of George Camsell who in 4 spasmodic appearances scored 3 goals. As those who have read the leader to this article are aware, for some reason the manager wanted to sell Camsell for a third of the price it cost to buy him, but could find no takers. Also despite only finishing 9th he had decided that McClelland would be the better option. Certainly McClelland’s scoring record was impressive, but thankfully there were no satisfactory offers made for Camsell. McClelland had been signed shortly after an approach had been made to Tranmere Rovers for the purchase of Dixie Dean, but the valuation of £2,000 put Boro off. I’m not aware of the fee paid for McClelland but the fee paid for Camsell was £600 and maybe McClelland cost more than that. In any case it was McClelland who started the 1926/27 season as Boro’s centre forward, and after taking only one point in the first 4 matches, George Camsell was given his chance.

    We all know what happened next, as I have previously documented the Camsell years up to the Second World War. But what if Boro had signed Dixie Dean, would he have been a better purchase than Camsell? Certainly his record of 349 goals in 399 appearances for Everton is highly impressive? That works out at each goal scored by Dean would have cost Boro £5.73 if we had bought him, whilst Camsell’s would have cost £1.85. Who was the better striker? Internationally Dean scored 16 times for England in 18 matches, Camsell scored 18 times in only 9 matches. I know who I would choose – a Durham lad over a scouser, no contest!

    1. It’s great reading Ken, thank you. It’s interesting to see that the Boro’s traditional post Christmas slump really does have roots l the way back almost to the beginning. No wonder so many supporters are pessimistic to the core, no matter what run of form we might be in !

      1. Powmill-Naemore
        Boro in their early days always had so many Scottish players, good players at that. Without casting aspersions I wonder though whether they returned home for Hogmanay and came back the worse for wear. It is a fact though that after the Second World War Boro only progressed to the next round of the FA Cup eleven times in those 20 years losing 4 times to lower league clubs, a poor record for a predominantly First Division club. A coincidence? Probably, but there had been cases of players turning up inebriated before the First World War.

      2. I suspect there have been a few Players turning up inebriated well after the Iraq War Ken let alone before the First World War. I think if we all made a list we would probably have agreement with 90% of them. Best not to name and shame on here for legal reasons of course.

  61. It’s lovely to hear from supporters that we are getting rid of a poor player for a lot of money ( far more than he is worth).
    what price do you put on entertainment ? Because he provided 70 per cent of it last season, he even, nearly, got rid of slow passing ( sideways).
    Cast your mind back to the home game against Wolves, just trying to deal with him cost them two sent off, six booked, and two more who should have been sent off for serious foul play.
    Their antics alone were worth the money, in one incident the final defender( the first two were already on the floor, and got booked for their trouble) was so frightened that he flung himself on the floor in front of Traore just to slow him down.
    You remember that sort of thing a bit more than slow sideways passing.
    Any idea what sort of cut we will insert into any sell on?

  62. I like Adama, I hope he stays, this is in my opinion and as others have said the best place for him to develop, but I prefer to deal in facts so amidst all the hyperbole regarding his status and apparent destiny to play for one of the big boys may I point out two facts:

    1. To the big boys £18M is little more than loose change if they see a player they want.
    2. None of those big boys have publicly shown the slightest interest in signing him.

    In my opinion, that word again, if they had, he’d be gone at a speed that would be astonishing even for him.

    To me, that suggests that the view in the game is that actually £18m is a pretty realistic fee and that whatever Adama goes on to achieve in the game, at the moment the professionals are far from convinced.

    As for the notion that we should have simply set a higher release value, well perhaps it isn’t as easy as it seems on Championship Manager. Who knows, maybe if we had doubled the fee, his Agent would have very unreasonably asked that we double his wages? That would have been a tremendous stick to beat the club with this time last year. Or, maybe he wouldn’t have signed at all?

    Based on potential I don’t want him to leave, but if he does go, based on what he has actually done doubling our money for 5 goals and as many assists, none of them in the top flight looks like a decent deal to me.

  63. Oh dear, I just don’t know what is going on with Boro at the moment. Sounds very scary to me. The mention of Waghorn for example beggars belief. A player discarded by Glasgow Rangers
    For me we should not sell Gibson or Adama. Surely if we want to mount a serious challenge for promotion you don’t sell your best players. TP by all accounts has a season long contract . Could it it be another mess we are left in and worst scenario S.G. appoints JW as manger. Oops sorry guys I have just had a bad dream.

  64. Wiggy’s mate

    Seems reasonable to me. I think we paid £4.5m or thereabouts for him. It looks like we will get about £14.7m after paying a cut to Villa.

    If we could buy then sell at 3x the value we would laud the dealings.

    The problem is that Adama went from zero to hero. Why did we effectively swap him for Albert?

    I dont normally stick up for MFC but I am struggling to think what they could have done.


      1. At the time it seemed a smudged swap to me with nobody clear who paid what for whom and which bits and when. It covered MFC’s blushes in moving out AA and probably helped Villa in paying for him. A figure of around £7M or £8M seemed to be what I recall at the time, it seemed that nobody was willing to be drawn on the subject. Villa fans certainly seem to be confident that they got the better of the deal in terms of impact on the Club and that was/is before any sell on wind fall.

  65. Whether it’s £18M for Traore or £200M for Neymar, once you have a release clause in a players contract you’re effectively relinquishing control over keeping a player at your club.

    It’s out of Middlesbrough’s hands now. I’m more worried we will bring in PL clubs young players when we already have plenty of our own.

    S.G. is back to where he was last season at this time. If he’s serious about getting promotion then the club need to buy established PL players. The blueprint of buying Championship players has proven to be a failure.

  66. I share your concern. For me as a supporter, I would far rather see the development of Chapman, Wing, Tav and Fry than Chalovah, Baker, Harrison and McEachran. If we don’t play them, we’ll never know.

    We missed out it seems on a very promising kid from Hartlepool (Vinnie Steels) this week and you can’t help but think that if you were the father of a young prospect you might look ar our recent record for bringing players through and think that your ambitions might be better served elsewhere.
    It’s probably not a popular view but I think that both Fletcher and de Saart have more to offer but we have failed to provide a suitably nurturing environment.

    I’m an old romantic but given the choice between blooding those kids and bringing in a bunch of journeyman hoofball merchants I know what I would prefer.
    I accept that I am in the minority though.

    1. No count me in too!

      The match report the other evening said that Fletcher and DeSaart had good games.

      I have seen a few young players over the years and I thought both showed promise when I first saw them.

      The problem was signing these players with inflated fees meant we expected quite naturally they would be the finished product and they obviously are not.

      Don’t be surprised if one or both or on the bench and play this season


    2. Wiggy’s mate
      You most certainly are not, no sensible supporter can reason why any club but one of the giants, would even think to put a price on the head of their most entertaining player.
      Why would you place yourself in the position of helpless onlooker as your most precious commodity was argued over by a few strugglers in the Prem.
      we are bereft of any low animal cunning in the market, I would bet that we have no intention of playing hard to get, such as telling any prospective buyers that the deal will include a sell on of 50 per cent of any future sale profit, plus the sale will not go through until the final day of the window.
      We will not even think about talking to a few of the leading teams to test the water as to whether they would be interested.
      We do seem to be friendless and clueless when it comes to the market, which is a pity because it is the most important part of the game.

      1. I would imagine that most of the leading teams run to the price of a morning paper and so are well aware of the circumstances. If they haven’t shown an interest, it’s because they aren’t interested. Not because they are too shy to ask.

        As for inserting the sell on and release clauses as I said, my suspicion is that doing so was the only way to persuade the player to sign for us and probably was part of the fee negotiation with Villa.

        Of course there is a way around that, “give him/them what he/they want”. We haven’t heard that for a while. Surely no sane person is advocating a return to that?

        1. I’d go along with that and I’d go a step further

          I’d give Villa their £3 m sell on fee as well tell them to shut up and concentrate on us winning the league


  67. Boro bought Traore for that much, Boro sell him for twice as much plus a bit and pay Aston Villa their slice. That seems fair.

    Now, presumably when his next club, (Wolves?) sell him to a footballing giant we get a slice of the fee with a sell-on clause just like Villa will? We will won’t we? We’d better.

    On a slightly different topic will Boro be utilising some of the youngsters that other managers are scratching each other’s eyes out for to use as loan players, or are they are a permanent work in progress as far as Boro are concerned?

    Good heavens, if some of them came good they’d probably put some of the recruitment department out of work. Oh, hang on.



  68. I suspect if the much vaunted £18m release clause turns out to be true then it was probably a mixture of Adama being a product of the Barcelona academy and wanting to move forward at some point and him basically being sidelined at Villa and seeing his career stalled.

    With all release clauses, it has to be either a value that you think will be paid by another club that you’d be happy to accept or basically a ridiculous sum that attempts to prevent a galactico being poached.

    At three times the sum we paid for him, then £18m wouldn’t have seemed unreasonable at the time for a player who couldn’t get in a poor Villa side that had just been relegated. We should note that no clubs came knocking on the door when Boro were relegated based on his coached-from-the-sidelines cameos under Karanka. In truth before Pulis came along, most (obviously not Plato) would have been happy to get our money back.

    Pulis transformed the player by giving him a decent run in the team and letting him do what he does best and as his confidence increased he became better at crossing and shooting. Perhaps the lesson is that players with potential need to be given a decent run the team, particularly while Boro are in the Championship as it’s unlikely they will ever get blooded in the PL these days.

    If he does go then we need to replace his pace in the starting XI, perhaps Tavernier needs to be nurtured in a similar way as Adama was – and perhaps even Chapman would prove to be the goal-scorer we seek once he’s had a dozen games playing with the first team – the same should apply to Fry, who did little wrong last season compared to Gibson. Time to invest in the future and not be suckered into paying ridiculous fees for average players in an over-inflated market where weaknesses are overlooked in favour of physical attributes and skewed stats.

    1. Werder,

      I agree and it seems he is going to be leaving sooner rather than later, unless he decides to stay, and whatever the fans think I feel it is a difficult personal decision for him.

      I wonder as well if the majority of the fans would be patient with the settling-in and acclimatising period the ‘youngsters’ would need. Or would they need it?

      There’s one thing about supporting the Boro be prepared for the unpredictable, there’s never a dull moment.



  69. All this angst about selling Traore, yet before TP, a lot of the websites (including this one) fans would have drove him to a new club for free ! Since he came I have read a lot of comments about how we got the short end of the deal which saw Adomah go in the opposite direction, in fact some were saying a few months ago that they would gladly swop the two back, now I ask you do you see any reports/rumours that a single club is willing to pay £18m for Albert Adomah.

    Finally, would anyone complain if we sold Traore and used the money to but Mitrovic and change.

    Come on BORO.

    1. Exmil

      The point is that the foolish 18 mil ( no doubt inserted in a fit of bravado) Is the very thing that has cost us his services, no release clause, no strange club telling us that they are taking him.
      Very few people on here seem to grasp the fact that we are onlookers in this whole affair.
      Any talk of a profit being good business is foolish, as we have no hope of replacing him with anyone similar.

    2. Emil
      Thank God, you have cheered me up, I thought that the 18 Mil was a come and help yourself invite.
      I like your view that it is deal killer.
      Let’s pray that it is so, for all our sakes.

    3. Yes I would complain very loudly. We don’t need a striker we need creative players. Traore is the only established creative player we have. Name another? There isn’t one. Our strongest positions for me are centre back and centre forward. Bear in mind TP plays with one striker. One! when we have two of the most coveted strikers in the league. Why would another striker be a good purchase. Who’s going to create the chances for all these strikers. Clayton? Howson? McNair (a centre half by trade) Downing? (Was it two assists last season). The only way we’ll score is set pieces. So no I wouldn’t be happy with letting traore go for another striker. Maybe three creative players but that’d be it!!

      1. ON TWITTER

        I’m hearing that LEEDS are very close to having a £14m offer accepted from #Boro for striker Patrick Bamford, potentially rising to £20m if they get promoted. Not 100% official yet as a few details to iron out but it’s VERY close


  70. At the moment Boro fans reading news stories are inundated with Adama to Wolves or Paddy to Leeds with zero balance in Boro links to Messi or whomever. The fact that we all know we have weak or areas of concern on the pitch which have not as yet been addressed isn’t helping our collective mental states seeing those potential departures.

    The reality is that MFC do not comment or indulge in Transfer speculation or even afterwards in the contract details. That makes them a difficult club for Journalists to deal with as we know only too well but it also means that any “news” will be kept under wraps until concluded and the ink has dried. Other clubs are perhaps less formal in their approach but even putting that to one side virtually all the stories are from “sources” rather than a direct interview with anyone involved. I haven’t seen any official Wolves statement on who they are chasing nor from Leeds but I have seen what is now sadly classed as Journalism which is repeating and regurgitating stories from elsewhere which snowballs, gaining momentum as more (lets face it largely unreliable) sources keep copy and pasting.

    Fans forums/websites and Twitter accounts start a rumour and before long some Journalist on a slow news day picks it up and runs with it. The next thing is because Journalist “A” has alluded to it it must be true despite the fact that bedroom “experts” from as far afield as India printed the same thing 24 or even 48 hours earlier. On Monday Adama was putting pen to paper to wear the old gold shirt yet the same day was being photographed in a Boro shirt. Today he is still nailed on to go to Wolves but Huddersfield may also put in a bid and what happened to that French Connection?

    The Paddy story supposedly started as a mischievous rumour on-line to see how far it would go with people waiting to see if a certain website would take the bait and run the story (which it did). It has now grown legs with Leeds fans supposedly being interviewed on the merits of Paddy (which judging by their responses have never ever seen him play). Would Boro sell Paddy? Well my guess is no but every Player on this Planet has a price regardless of the selling Club so never say never although I personally would be fuming if we did.

    Most of us anticipated that Ben and Adama would leave in the Summer, it hasn’t happened yet and if they remain thats great but the likelihood is that Flint was captured quickly in the likelihood that Ben does go. McNair was available and fills the Besic gap albeit with a different style. Thus far we haven’t really added to the squad which is disappointing. Its similar to when Mrs Red goes shopping for a new Dress or Shoes, comes home empty handed and is in a bit of a huff because “they didn’t have what she was looking for” despite there being a multitude of shops at whatever Mall or City she descended upon.

    The World Cup has stymied things this summer along with the shorter transfer Window and Premiership sides are now only starting to shuffle their packs with the usual detritus yet to cascade down to the Championship. Maguire is rumoured to be subject to an Old Trafford bid so that may start a Leicester scramble for Ben as the Window starts to close, if it does we have Flint already in-situ. Personally I think Fry alongside Ayala would be the best combo but not a bad problem for TP to have.

    With Adama who knows and being realistic if we sold him for the £18m (ending up with circa £15M) and then picked up prodigal son AA again for say £5M and Joe Bryan from Bristol for £8M that still leaves some cash in the bank and being honest AA is more likely to “definitely” influence this season than a hopefully improving AT who could and should but yet again may not.

    The mercurial No.10 type is much needed but there are not many around (Forestieri?) and who would have wanted or even thought about Gaston Ramirez before he arrived. Finding another such talent at sub £10M (or more likely a fund swap with Braithwaite) isn’t going to be easy for anyone. AK’s Forest like Wolves last season may have an astute Iberian or two arriving that could surprise but there again how many Clubs including ourselves have gambled on the same and lost. Its very frustrating but the reality is that the last 48 hours will have Sky Sports ticker-tape in meltdown and as a consequence the first four or five games for most clubs this season will be a disjointed settling in period.

    For me I have seen enough of Tavernier to know he can do a job even as an impact sub and the same goes for Wing and Chapman. I’d even include Fletcher in that because deep within I think lurks a decent player but just needs a decent manager “Adama style” to coach and nurture. We are still a couple of Players shy of where we want to be but I suspect that TP is under a financial balancing edict from above and we need to move out before we add to what could be a squad top heavy with Players TP doesn’t rate for whatever reason.

  71. Redcar Red, I agree with a lot of what you have said, the point I was trying to make is there any real substance in any of the rumours.

    I believe the transfer window will gather real momentum in the last 7-10 days, that is when clubs will drop the asking price of players they need to move on (because of the players wages) and the value of players clubs don’t need to move on (Traore/Bamford) will increase.

    I am happy with the business (McNair/Flint) we have done so far, do we really want to pay £8m for Waghorn ? TP has already stated that they have looked at certain players but did not want to pay the asking price, which in my opinion, is the best attitude of a manager/club we have had for a long time, take last summers buys as an example.

    For years, Boro fans have been calling out for an experienced manager, we now have one but with that comes the need for patients and trust that he will use that experience for the good and benefit of MFC in the long term and not to appease armchair critics in the short term (Monk).

    Come on BORO.

  72. What must be done? Well, I will merely re-iterate what I implied (with the help of Jonathan Lynn and the late Sir Antony Jay) last August.

    That being, to put it simply, dear ladies and gentlemen of the DiasBoro, certain informal discussions absolutely must take place among the hierarchy and management, including a full and frank exchange of views, out of which there at the very least ought to arise a series of proposals which on examination prove to indicate certain promising lines of enquiry, which, when pursued, will most certainly lead to the realisation that the alternative courses of action deemed to be the answer to our problems only a short while ago might in fact, in certain circumstances, be susceptible of discreet modification, leading to a reappraisal of the original areas of difference and pointing the way to encourage fresher possibilities of compromise and cooperation, which, if bilaterally implemented, with appropriate give and take on both sides, might, if the climate were right, have a reasonable possibility at the end of the day of leading, rightly or wrongly, to a mutually satisfactory resolution.

    We need to do a deal. For more creativity.

  73. Waghorn was sold by Rangers for…..wait for it…..250,000. Supposed to worth now 8 million…..what a joke. Hope Boro keep clear of him.

    1. If and its a big “IF” we sold Adama and cleared £15M from the deal and then sold Ben for a similar amount of £15M and say Britt and Braithwaite for a combined £20M for arguments sake that provides TP with a war chest of circa £50M!

      Problem is in not having the precious time to spend it wisely by bringing in the right players to not only replace but improve and fill gaps. There could be a danger in having to shop in the local five and dime shop at five to eleven with a reusable bag rather than in the Supermercado with a large Trolley!

      As with all things timing will be paramount.

    1. GHW
      Why did you have to rake that up? I’ve only just got over it.

      I see Yorkshire are making a return to Acklam Park. Shame it clashes with Boro’s first home game.

  74. Players come, players go.

    If Adama stays will we be one dimensional as we were in the second half of last season with ‘give it to Adama’ as the option.

    If course, if he leaves we could revert to the other one dimensional approach of passing it side to side.

    A week and a half to go, I suspect Friday’s team will be pretty close to our line up at Millwall. Any absences from that squad will get chatter going on sundry boards

  75. Teesside Live (I have to get used to the new name) on Adama’s highs and lows.

    With him it has always been far more than “a two month cameo”** (c. RR, post-Barnsley). I agree with the poster who said that the talent was always there, it just needed time to be unleashed. We, and he, were eager for him to prove he was ready. The reality, as with the Class Of ’92 in 1994-95, was “not yet”. Except when you don’t have United’s squad depth and your dependable RW has suddenly decided to leave, you don’t have that honing in time.

    **People say unfair or unreasonable things when they’re hurting. I’ve done it many times too. The things I read about Negredo…

  76. One year ago, I think Lille were supposed to be interested in Adama at around 9 mil euros. MFC said no, Adama was not happy but he stayed. Would we have lost money on that deal if there is a sell on clause?

    As I said previously, if there was a Ramirez available (although with a more stable mind) I would sell and buy.

    We are desperate for creativity from the middle, without it we will struggle just like last year.

    1. The problem as I see it Pedro is that a lot of the Players who have that creative flair and talent and not afraid to express it tend to have a Latin temperament as inevitably that is where most of them come from. Lee Tomlin aside of course!

  77. Redcar Red

    Not to mention Latin agents. That is not meant as a slur but you tend to see endless movements of coaching staff never mind the players.

    I listened to a discussion about Latin and South American players. They come over to Europe for the opportunities with better wages that we can offer. They move about from club to club, TLF was a rarity in that he loved the area, so did Mendi, but if you do not have roots it is difficult to stay in one place.

    It is not like getting a flight back to Spain for a few days from numerous airports in the UK – excluding Teesside non International Airport. We have seen the journeys these players make on International Duty. Some such as Viduka were fine on the long haul flight club class to Oz but suffered on the EasyairJet5 flight back from Sydney in grasshopper class. Other space restricted options are available.

    I look forward to resolution of sundry issues in due course.

  78. Ok. I’m convinced. I’ll not bother watching us this season – we’re hopeless at any transfers, the manager and management haven’t got a clue and AT is the world’s best footballer worth double the £18m.
    At least the Rugby League season hasn’t finished…

  79. Martin

    Panic early to avoid to avoid the rush or just go with the swing, I started supporting Boro in the early sixties and that is what counts.

    Chat on here is just that, chat, we dont influence any decisions. As I put it, this is a virtual Navi for those living away. Some live closer and their contribution is hugely appreciated to give us a local view.

  80. Went on NewsNow website, a good compilation of stories but the problem is half of them are of the Boro Live variety and many of the rest are cut and paste.

    May as well just wait for official news.

  81. Sad news indeed and it does put matters into perspective.
    But… this is a football based blog and so, IF there is any truth in the Bamford rumours my mood will go from “Resigned Ambivalence” to “Outright Hostile”. Sort of Defcon 3 to 4. Defcon 5 is “ Full Chicken Run” if anyone is interested.
    In a squad lacking creativity and invention to decide that the only player we have with real footballing intelligence is surplus to requirements would feel like a kick in the pods.
    What is the rationale? “He’s good but he’s no Rudy Gestede”. At least I can agree with that I suppose.

    For the sake of clarity, as with the mishandling of Jordan Rhodes it’s the waste of resource bordering on dereliction of duty that infuriates. not any perceived bias toward the player or against the manager.
    This is bigger than one player, this speaks volumes about the type of team we may be about to become. The prospect is unedifying to say the least.

    1. Wiggy’s mate
      The real puzzle is how on earth Bamford managed to play so well( plus goals) and play so rarely. If this sounds like a black mark against Pulis, then I’m sorry but it’s time his foolish selections were challenged.
      There were others, the right back position should have belonged to the little Brazilian from the start of the season, Downing should have been persuaded to actually try during matches ( as opposed to cruising through matches at half speed) his record of never being booked, never being sent off, never going into the box, and above all never trying to put the ball in the net( as opposed to floating it over the bar) is quite outstanding.

  82. Surprised at the lack of transfers in. we seem to be missing out on creative players.
    Morrison could have done a job for a year or two.
    If AT does go to Wolves then how about Helga Costa in part exchange.
    An while we are talking about Wolves, why are we not in for Barry Douglas who looks like going to Leeds for 3m. 4 goals and 15 assists from left back last season.He would have been a great replacement for Fabio or even George.
    Keep clear of Waghorn and Mat Phillips please. They will be worse than what we already have.
    And if Britt goes then get Mitrovic from the geordies.
    Please dont let Paddy go to Leeds, I can see that one coming back and biting us in the ar$e.
    Forshaw crosses for Baker, heads it down to Bamford who volleys into the roof of the net. Boro 0-1 Leeds.
    I am putting my crystal ball away……

  83. Well we will see as the rumours turn to transfers.
    I would be spitting feathers if Bamford went no matter the fee.
    More and more it looks like most of us have always suspected……we will get the team we deserve when we appointed Mr Pulis.

  84. And Gibson to Leicester for £12m if Maguire goes to ManU.

    All stories but if the stories are true added to fees for Bamford and Traore that is a lot of incoming money. FFP well catered for.

  85. Apparently every player has his price these days so no surprise if Bamford leaves – the problem always seems to be it’s the ones we would prefer to keep and not the players we’d be prepared to see leave. My main concern in what I read in the local press was that Bamford had moved ahead of Britt as second choice striker behind first choice Rudy Gestede. I’m struggling with the concept that Big Rudy is going to be the man to spearhead our promotion campaign – he’s a bench option for me at best and besides he appears to be quite injury prone too.

    Hopefully, Pulis is wily enough not to cash in his assets before better replacements have been acquired – not to do so would wave a red flag of desperation at any selling club and probably we’d be forced to pay over the odds or even miss out. Whether Bamford would be attracted to a move if he doesn’t believe Pulis will favour him ahead of others is another matter – he only got his chance last season due to injuries and the failure to land Mitrovic.

    1. Thanks, Werder.

      What a shambles. And if Bamford and Traore follow Fabio (three of our most creative players last season) out of the exit door then the same applies to the Boro. What we will be witnessing will be a major de-skilling of the squad. At least then I hope we can be spared the articles claiming that Pulis is more than a one- trick, long-ball, anti-football pony.( Motto: ” We can’t all be Dave Basset, but at least we can try”).

      It’s significant, I think, that the Championship team TP expressed most admiration for last season wasn’t Wolves or Fulham, but Cardiff. That looks like being this season’s template, albeit that we have the financial resources to aim so much higher. OK, Cardiff were promoted, but they are everybody’s favourites to come straight back down, whilst both Wolves and Fulham look well equipped to survive.

      Like many other posters on here, my main concern is what Pulis’s legacy will be when he finally leaves. The evidence so far suggests that it will be a shed load of heavies with minimal creativity or skill, requiring a major reorientation of the club and a rebranding of its philosophy and reputation.

      I’m unable to stockpile much in the way of either food or hope. I prefer both of them fresh.

      All of this is premised on that word “If”. Schroeder’s cat isn’t yet out of the bag. Traore would be the Championship’s player of the season if we kept him, and Bamford would guarantee us 20 + goals if we were to play him as our mainline striker (and get in QPR’s Freeman as our No 10.) But who now thinks that any of those common-sensed options will come to fruition?

      1. I think we just have to wait and keep our powder dry until we see the whites of their eyes. The reason so many of our Players are being coveted is because they are pretty good at this level. The problem (for most of us on here) is that the players being talked about exiting are the ones which are our best players and the ones we have the most hope and confidence in for getting us promoted and in the case of Fabio, Traore and Bamford our most exciting.

        Now, if Paddy gets sold I would be less than impressed and probably bordering on spoilt, petulant, Season Ticket throwing into the dug out level of pique, frustration and disbelief. If however he is replaced by say Mitrovic I would still be frustrated and disappointed but more accepting that the Manager sees him as a better tactical fit and arguably could be more productive to his system. I think Paddy is one of the best strikers in the division and selling him would be madness even for Mitrovic but I could at least bite my lip and hold back my doubts.

        The breaking point would be if Paddy gets sold with no upgrade and Gestede is the main Striker. If that were the case I feel my attendance at the Riverside would be in grave doubt and my allegiance to TP would be immediately withdrawn. I personally would rather take up other hobbies on a Saturday afternoon until this period of the clubs history passed should that be the intent. That Paddy only got a run because of an injury to a poor mans Lee Miller still niggles at me deep within.

        I have no problem with TP’s style of Football but Paddy proved last season what he lacked in physical brute force he more than compensated for by skill and intellect and most crucially goals. For those that think Paddy doesn’t get stuck in I witnessed plenty of opposition CB’s complaining to Officials that he was fouling and using his arms and elbows. Being concussed against Bristol showed his levels of determination and then coming back to the ground after being carried off doesn’t sound or look soft to me.

        I have belief (and high hopes) in TP’s experience and knowledge (see Adama’s progress) but those two Villa games added to the current transfer speculation I have to admit are almost a carbon copy of what a Stoke season ticket holding mate and a lifelong Baggies fan warned me about when we appointed him (and I chose to ignore). In eight days time all will be a lot clearer and more upbeat and positive I hope and all the speculation and so far groundless rumours have dissipated.

      2. Sadly Len, I’m beginning to come around to what you’ve been saying for some time.

        Besic, Traore, Bamford and Fabio. Two have gone. Without the other two (and a few incoming) I can see little hope of any football being played in our nice new strip.

  86. Fabio, Adama, Besic and Bamford were my favourite players last season.

    Two gone, two speculated to depart. This isn’t good.

    Note that three of them arrived at the club during AK’s reign. His much maligned recruitment is looking better with time, especially since we made profits or broke even on the likes of De Roon and Espinosa.

    1. Simon
      Two really progressive moves, hire a foreign manager, and let him do your dealing in the market. We did that an had some fun and watched our club get richer and more watchable.
      Then the owner decided that if a couple of local veterans were unhappy, then the manager had to go.
      Cue decent back into the pit, sell the winners for nothing and buy trash for money.

  87. When it comes to the misuse of Jordan Rhodes, I would simply say that he was a victim of the evolution of football rather than a Eurocrat coach’s whim.

    Like Chicharito – one of my favourite poachers – he just didn’t fit into the kind of game the majority of coaches wanted to play. The demands of the modern No. 9 are to work, drop deep and link up with the rest of the team, otherwise it feels like the team is playing with ten men.

    I give credit to those who feared Rhodes was in trouble before he even signed. One fan apologised for his gloomy tone, but added: “either we’ve got to change Rhodes into Viduka or we’ve got to change the system”.

    The infamous Leadbitter substitution (to be fair, Mourinho did something similar to Rooney, England’s record goalscorer warming up for a while before the not-as-Special-as-he-used-to-be One sent on Fellaini), I feel, wasn’t anything personal against Rhodes. If it was personal, it may well have been aimed more at Steve Gibson – “Why didn’t you spend that money on a player that actually fits my system? Your country has won one World Cup in fifty years. Mine? Three trophies in the last decade. QED.”

    Just theorising.

    1. I agree with that Simon but then when SG later bought the type of player with his World Cup pedigree they all pretty much bombed, Barragan, Negredo and the poisonous vertically challenged one between the sticks. The problem for me was that whilst AK rightfully had an issue that the squad was largely Mogga’s type of player rather than in his own image when he got what he wanted they were even less effective. In balance admittedly at a higher level but I wouldn’t want any of them here and now even at this level.

      1. When Negredo actually delivered, mind, it tended to be pretty impressive. A front two of him and Stuani/Rhodes with Nugent on the bench? It could have worked pretty well.

        That said, I watched Stuani in the WC and he genuinely struggled to make an impact. In contrast to Cavani, he seemed invisible.

        I should add, he’s not the only Uruguayan to thrive in Spain but disappoint in England. Look at a certain Diego Forlan.

  88. I should add, RR.

    I’m definitely with you on Barragan although he had a reasonable start in the centre of defence. Chambers was fine, De Roon did okay. Valdes, well, the only reason I felt for Valdes to start with was because of my notorious weakness for “hard luck cases” (those who can do no right in the eyes of fans despite pedigree and/or evidence to the contrary) and because some wanted him out after a solitary match and the concession of a solitary goal.*

    That, if you’re judging a player solely by footballing arguments and not personal ones, seems a bit overboard. The benefit of the doubt is essential to the very nature of transition, which happens at every promoted club, everywhere.

    Only now do I understand the suspicion that AK was filling the club with yes men in the aftermath of Charlton. It was, I guess, his way of trying to regain the image of control he knew he’d lost. Though a relatively successful pre-season and good first half against Stoke suggested otherwise.

    *He went on to make a number of fine saves but Ribgate and the part he played in the dressing room split did him no favours. As with AK, one cannot and should not point the finger at individuals, but they were part of the problem.

    1. The defence was jittery and at sixes and sevens when Valdes took over from Dimi possibly because of a language barrier, unfamiliarity or more likely simply not used to having to make regular saves. Throw in the fact he was rusty as anything and it was a car crash in slow motion from the off.

      I remember him and Clayts very early on having a ding dong because of him not commanding his area and yelling instructions. At that point is was blindingly obvious he was AK’s choice and the Team were not comfortable with him behind them and he them. He improved as the season went on but not enough and there were too many howlers, Everton and Burnley spring immediately to mind.

      Negredo tried and bust a gut but with zero support or service it was a ridiculous signing. Stuani or Kike were more mobile and more capable of linking up than the big lone Striker but at that point AK was already on a highway to hell unfortunately of his own making. I best not comment on Barragan other than to say at CB in the early days he done OK in fairness.

  89. I’ve always tried not to worry about things I have no control over. I’m not saying that’s always been easy especially where the Boro are concerned. However, although I’m not a fan of TP’s tactics, I’m sure with his vast experience he knows what he’s doing regarding the type of players he wants. Let’s just wait and see. Que sera, sera.

    1. Ian

      It looks as if BBC Radio Tees are broadcasting the match. Not seen anything so far as to suggest there is anything via the club website.

      I have been hoping that they would provide a free stream of this game as a test bed for the streaming of league games but it doesn’t look as if that will happen either!

    2. BBC may have radio commentary but I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t waste their money. A very strange and bizarre choice of Friendly match I must say and if there are any serious injuries as a result of a certain overzealous head case then the true cost could be far greater for Boro.

      The Policing bill for the sake of a thousand travelling Makems alone makes no sense at all.

  90. I don’t know if its been mentioned already but Carl Ikeme has sadly decided to retire after his battle with Leukaemia. I have fond memories of him and always rated the lad and thought he and Paul Smith done well for us (I’d have chosen either over Valdes) when they came up here when we were on our backsides.

    1. RR
      It’s sad indeed. I, too, rated him and Smith (whatever happened to him?).

      If Bamford were to follow Fabio out of the door, I would be well and truly miffed.
      As I said weeks ago, the prospect of Gestede as our main striker doesn’t bear thinking about. Unless MFC are about to reveal some shock quality signings in the next week or two, it’s going to be a long hard season (IMO).
      We fell short last time. Although I’m happy with our two acquisitions, they will not turn us into promotion contenders.

  91. I seem to be in a minority of one regarding Bamford. I just don’t think he has it for top level. A view shared by the managers at quite a few clubs.

    I’ll be surprised if he goes for a large fee. It’s ofren said in recent times that Boro were inept against clubs higher in the league. I’d be interested to see Bamford’s record against top half clubs.

  92. GHW

    I think Bamford was the least of our problems against top half clubs, the whole team didn’t function and when that happens there is no service to the striker.

    1. Didn’t Paddy score 19 goals in 44 appearances for Boro just a few years back (and equalled or close to Ravs Riverside record from memory) winning Championship Player of the Season? In terms of minutes played he was our top scorer last season and by some way. To me that makes him by far and away our best Striker currently at the club:

      Had he played every Championship game he would have bagged around 23 goals at his strike rate, minutes played per goal and based on a strict 90 minutes a game. Britt would have averaged 20 goals and Gestede 16 goals as would have Braithwaite interestingly!

      As regards Managers liking him or not, for some reason some do and some don’t (Dyche and Pardew didn’t off the top off my head). At MK Dons he notched 17 goals in 30 games so when given game time he has scored goals.

      I’m not sure what more he can do. Dyche certainly seemed to have a chip on his shoulder about his background and elsewhere Pardew was reluctant to use him. He didn’t fit Dyche’s style or personality and didn’t get much of a look in at Burnley, Norwich or Palace so its difficult to judge him at Premiership level but look at Negredo’s record with us in the Premiership with an equally struggling side? Right here right now we are in the Championship and here he scores goals as he proved again last season before being literally knocked unconscious and lost his place.

      To add balance to the supposed Paddy/Manager “issues” what doesn’t get mentioned is when his loan was cut short by Chelsea at MK Dons the Dons Manager Karl Robinson said ““Whoever does get his signature will be getting a very, very talented footballer. We wish him luck, he’s a wonderful boy and he’s somebody who I’ll always stay in contact with and one day, hopefully work with again. I do wish him all the luck in the world and I want the fans to give him a tremendous send off.”

      I’m sure Hickton had his boo boys and hecklers as did Bernie and there were a fair few derogatory references about the Viduka’s, Hasselbaink’s and Boksic’s of the Riverside era for various reasons. Paddy is just another great Boro Striker who unfortunately doesn’t score enough goals presumably? Can anyone name me a better one post Southgate? Boyd, Kamara, McDonald, Kike maybe?

      1. It might be an apocryphal tale but my Derby supporting family told me of an exchange between “working class hero” Dyche and Paddy when the player asked why he wasn’t getting a chance in the team.
        “Your trouble is that you’ve had it too easy in life, you’ve never had to get anything the hard way” growled the Matalan security guard.
        “Oh I don’t know about that” replied the posh predator, “I’ve got grade 3 violin, and that wasn’t easy I can tell you!”.

        If it’s not true, then it should be.

        Best wishes to Carl Ikeme, good pro and there is more to life.

  93. Really, really saddened to hear about Ikeme.

    I, too, liked him and Paul Smith and would definitely have taken them over Valdes. As RR has helped convince me, it’s not necessarily about technical ability, but synergy and the ability to instill confidence in the back line. Given had the latter. Ditto Smith. Ditto Ikeme. Ditto Dimi, despite his errors. Though to be fair to Valdes, by the time he arrived, the team were playing at a higher level, the dressing room split was widening and the manager wasn’t trusted like he once had been. But that is for another discussion. (Something that lots of football reading has helped me at least try get to the bottom of.)

  94. While I may well be in the minority (I’m almost sure of it) in actually liking Gestede he absolutely cannot play up front by himself. The best we saw of him came just before his injury, at home to Hull, where a combination of nice link-up play with Adama and Bamford saw him net a brace and hit the post.

    With Rhodes, at Blackburn, he thrived. With Bamford, and with the right supply on either side, he may thrive even more. But this is, to put it mildly, unlikely.

    Confidence players like him are passengers when they’re not surrounded by the right players or in an upwardly mobile team. But one can say that of many Boro players.

    Who do we have that will, to borrow that overused phrase, get stuck in and dig Boro out of the rut when it matters?

    Or in said situation, will they put themselves before the team? It’s reminiscent of what the great Lois Smith said in Minority Report: when the chips are down, and the pressure is on, every living being on the face of the earth is interested in one thing, and one thing only: its own survival.

    1. I’m sorry Simon but I still can’t get past “that” game.

      The performance of the self indulging Ref, the over the top scenes of jubilation after the Blackburn equaliser and ensuing subsequent events which led to Higgy’s departure and then Cleveland’s finest joining in with spoilt, petulant obnoxiously behaved multimillionaires in picking out a solitary pensioner (whose frustration was probably 20% of my own feelings at the time along with 10,000+ others) that they had goaded by their after the whistle excesses aided and abetted by ill informed MFC officials.

      The huge misplaced indignation of Political Correctness gone mad which ruined a loyal supporters reputation by what I can only describe as bullying by all those mentioned above who were not man enough to firstly grow a pair as they were clearly intentionally dishing it out at the time directed at the home support and secondly to do adequate research that would have educated their obsessive beliefs that want they wanted to believe was in fact far from the truth.

      To make matters worse the Club then felt it OK to recruit one of the main perpetrators not long afterwards. I guess you had to be there that day to understand the 3D atmosphere of the entire scene but my views towards the Ref, those handful of Blackburn Players and AK towards Higgy and the subsequent handling of it by the Police and the Club live long in my memory along with that Steaua night but for completely opposing reasons.

      1. Hi RR.

        I read your opinions on that game a while back in relation to Rudy’s arrival, and took them into account when writing my “Can We Really Let It Go?” Talking Point.

        As I wrote:

        “The consequences in the aftermath of Rudy Gestede’s wrongly allowed equaliser and the celebrations that followed have had serious ramifications for several who were at the Riverside that day in November 2014.

        “To his credit, Gestede has knuckled down, acclimatised to his still relatively new surroundings and clearly won a series of fans over with his commitment.

        “Unfortunately the scars still linger for those most affected three years ago, and we have to accept and respect that. Not everyone is in the position of being able to appreciate his form from a distance.”

  95. I think that Bamford has a real talent, a real poacher’s nose kind of talent and I am baffled that managers with so much experience can’t see it. His background matters nowt, however it is his ability that does.

    Remember Philips and Quinn at Sunderland? For me Bamford’s name should be on the team sheet every week. He can to feed off the big boy and I’m sure the synergy would work both ways and he would trouble defenders. If you were the oppositions manager and he’s not on the sheet I’m sure you would breathe a sigh of relief. Two lumbering centre forwards would be easy to deal with compared to a Bamford plus a whoever combination, Bamford for me would be like a Will o’ the wisp compared to the big men.

    Only my opinion, but, if he is sold we’ve lost the unpolished gem that some people don’t know we’ve got.



  96. I think we have the best strikers in Bamford and Assombalonga – since about the time we had Viduka and Hasselbaink, me thinks. We need a manager who can build the team around them.

    Up the Boro!

  97. We are talking Championship level here NOT Premier.

    He cost us 6mil was it, and Ipswich are asking it is believed 8mil for a 28 year old one hit wonder. Patrick is 24 and has scored goals wherever he has played at this level and below when younger. He is by far our most intelligent footballer and played in the team week in and week out, given service he will score plenty of goals.

    GHW…..we all have our favourites and opinions and I respect yours. So who would you have leading the line out of what we have, surely not the plank???

    1. It all depends on the system TP decides to utilise.

      If we are to play with an up-tempo then Assombalonga would be my choice. If it’s direct, then Gestede. We could even line up without a recognised striker and play our way into the box.

      TP is the manager and he will play whoever he thinks is the best fit. Results will determine how right he is.

  98. Bamford is a poacher and much more. He can drop deeper to pick it up and link with play. He has proven he can hold it up. His control, intuition and touch can be exemplary. I’ve not known him to moan if shoved out to the wing (Scott McDonald, take note). He even has a burst of pace.

    Some may think he’ll not do it at the top. Fine. But, in the Championship, I see a flexible pro with no end of watchable skill – and a concretely proven goal scoring record.

    And someone who, quite possibly, has the uncanny ability to make his teammates dance to his tune. Remember the joyous link up play between Adomah, Tomlin and Vossen that led to the Millwall opener?

    Admittedly he is a confidence player. When it goes, he can disappear. But that is where we require the leader I talked about, who will take the game by the scruff of the neck.

    Usually a guy in the engine room, although I’m inclined to think Leads has had it.

    Which reminds me. That we’re still mostly reliant on a four year old spine, however strong it’s been, is probably greatest cause for concern.

  99. So Adama trots off injured! We don’t know how serious it is but how significant will it prove?

    The injury to Gary O’Neill stopped Boro’s rebuilding under Stricken – that was AV’s view before he airbrushed history. Gosh, Journo’s airbrushing history – I better draw the curtains and switch the lights off.

    0-0. Starting with Britt in a 4141 formation.

  100. Simon
    RR and yourself have eloquently summarised Paddy’s talent.
    As for Gestede, history shows he only works in a partnership. He is not lone striker material.
    I do hope TP has a plan for how we are going to score the goals required to mount a realistic promotion challenge.

  101. The players who started tonight. Clayton, shotton, friend, howson, Downing. None of them are anywhere near the level required to gain promotion. Yes you can carry one or two of them but five in a defensively minded system. No way. Sunderland outplayed us for most of the game by all accounts. In fact once Traore came off we did absolutely nothing. Well there’s a surprise, given as (and I’ll say it again!!) he is our only creative player in the entire team.

    This season is going to be an unmitigated disaster unless there are a whole raft of signings coming into the club very quickly and providing we don’t sell all of our prized assets. If we do the latter and not the first I genuinely think it’ll be a relegation fight. Clayton, howson, Downing laying on chances for Gestede. Heaven forbid!!

  102. Get in, 0-0 at half time against Sunderland following the match being called off due to weather.

    A step forward because we didn’t lose against a League One team. We play Pools tomorrow so avoiding defeat against a non league team is another step forward.

    Or not! Listening to the commentary of the game against the Mackems we hardly seem to threaten and Randolph was the busier of the keepers.

    A plus? Adama hurt his shoulder so maybe that rules him out of a move.

    Not being overly negative, evidence based view,

    1. It seems like the concerns many of us had about “that losing feeling” haven’t gone away and if anything been exacerbated. I think I did mention the stupidity of this particular “Friendly” beforehand and its potential to leave Players crocked but what would we old codgers know about Football eh?

  103. Redcar Red

    Until we start playing in the league and the squad is settled it is difficult to make a judgement but we can only comment on the evidence in front of us.

    That isn’t great.

  104. We still have Dimi, Leadbitter, Clayton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend and Downing. At least seven of the promotion winners are still with us.

    The trouble is they’re two years older and not necessarily wiser.

    We also have to ask – cruel though this may sound – how much do they want it now? Have they got too comfortable? Who among them still has the drive, the motivation even, to inspire a third promotion charge? Moreover, will they have the time and energy for it?

  105. Simon, Gibson apart, the rest are not promotion material. Where we are now is going nowhere. TP can make all the excuses he wants, but as Werder said previously, time for the platitudes and sound bites to finish.

    What we need is real evidence of making progress and being better than we finished last season.

    I have seen none to date, in fact we look worse. It does not bode well. But we will see.
    Plenty on here will give TP time. Fair enough and it will be interesting to see where are after ten.

      1. Thats what worries me OFB!

        We have problems at RB and LB, we have problems in Midfield and have two of the best Strikers in the Championship. Our only link of late has been with a 35 year old keeper. We have 5 maybe 6 Players who are head and shoulders above the rest and two of them Traore and Bamford are likely to depart whilst Assombalonga is being ostracised by the looks of things. Our problem isn’t with our Strikers its service to them.

        Say we smash our Transfer Record and bring in a modern day Ravanelli type signing, great but there is still no recognised RB and an ageing LB with no cover for either and no creativity on the flanks if Adama goes and no creative No.10 in the middle. What is the point of tweaking where its not needed?

        A bit like being on the Titanic while the Captain orders a fresh coat of paint for the Lounge.

  106. The champo is undoubtedly getting more competitive but there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a shame to see us lining up with a 5 man midfield which will struggle collectively to reach double figures. I dont want to sound like the prophet of doom but there is a distinct lack of creativity and from the outside it doesnt seem like a number 10 is a priority, that there is going to be “competion” for Downing on left wing or that TP thinks there is an issue there.
    Plan A in place so we better get used to it.
    Flint, Ayala (and probably Gestede) fighting to get in prime position at corners.
    Shotton taking up yoga for mr tickle arms to use for throw ins.
    Braithwaite and Fletcher sold at a loss.
    Bamford getting splinters until January – grade 4 violin pass achieved.

  107. He looks like another ‘project’ and injury prone. Would prefer if we need 21 year olds they should be from our ‘much vaunted academy’.

    1. Usually, and despite being a Boro supporter, I feel optimistic that a new season is about to start and Boro will do well. Promoted even. Somehow I’m beginning to feel a little depressed about the coming season.

      As always other clubs are sniffing around and testing the water regarding our best players, Traore will probably and inevitably depart but why are we even contemplating selling Bamford to Leeds or is it simply dis-information from the ‘cut and paste’ brigade? However if it is true what the hell are we going to do with the lumbering strikers we will have left?

      Here’s hoping some of our potential filled young players get a chance rather than over-hyped loanees from some Premiership club.

      Typical Boro at work I suppose, get rid of your best and help somebody out by taking their worst on loan.



    2. If true about Paddy then not for the first time it shows reckless levels of detachment from the fans from MFC.

      I don’t recall a pre season where the undertone is as pessimistic and negative as it is currently on Teesside. During the Southgate era it took until Huth and Tuncay were sold off a few weeks into August. The ineptness in those 45 minutes last night cemented that feeling even more unfortunately. The fitness arguments go so far but they does not appear to be a team, a unit with a common identity, understanding or camaraderie. They are looking like a bunch of individuals, even more confused and mixed up than under Monk.

      Those two Villa games raised serious doubts that haven’t gone away especially the last desperate introduction of an unfit Gestede and shoving Paddy out wide after just coming on himself let alone not being selected to start either game. We have Britt apparently having had a fall out with TP and now Paddy rumoured to be exiting, that leaves us with Gestede and Fletcher. Two of the best Strikers at this level possibly departing leaving us with an under-performing youngster and a wooden injury prone plank. If true there had better be some awesome inspirational incomings to lift spirits.

      Having belief in someones experience goes so far and at the moment I’m not seeing what the plan is (any Plan even Hoofball). I know we have to give the ten game marker but my instinct at the moment leaves me with a very uncomfortable feeling almost bordering on Barraganesque levels. Hope I’m wrong but things don’t feel right and more importantly don’t look right.

  108. Before we all sink into a swamp of doom and gloom, let’s just wait and see who ( if any) depart and who ( if any ) replace them.

    And please, stop reading transfer rumour pages.

      1. As Kenneth Williams said in Carry on Cleo

        Infamy Infamy they’ve all got it in for me as the Roman Emperor was assassinated

        Apologies to the younger bloggers who don’t know about the carry on films!

        Just like the Boro what a carry on !!!


  109. Pre season these days is nothing more than boxing day like sales, hence underwhelming performances
    Transfers usually take weeks of negotiations, and when your manager states some will have to leave,and probably has told those who can,then you won’t see much of a commitment from them,
    The manager will say its about fitness not results,but really the is saying its in the hands of agents.
    This is one of the reasons the window was voted in to end early,

  110. I have to say I share some of the pessimism of bloggers above. I was at the Accrington game. Boro played well in patches, scored three great goals, but were often run off the park by an enterprising, fast and creative Accrington side. Defensively, we were a shambles, especially Shotton, who had a nightmare. Given that TP played what is currently our strongest side, probably, and for almost all the game, it set a few alarm bells ringing. Other results, and apparently last night’s flat performance, have done nothing to dispel that alarm.

    I think there are gaping holes everywhere. We have only two recognised full backs, one of whom, Shotton, is not the most reliable. TP surely can’t be contemplating using McNair or Marvin Johnson at full-back?

    We really haven’t solved the creativity problem in midfield. I’m worried that we won’t create enough chances, as ever. Hopefully McNair will do that, ultimately. In the meantime, it might be worth trying Braithwaite there, though TP clearly doesn’t fancy him, especially as he only wants players who want to be at the club. Unless we get someone else in by 9th August, that might leave us with Tavernier and Chapman, either of whom could do a short-term job, but probably not as sustainable season-long solutions.

    We still need to find a balance on the left wing, again our perennial problem. And if Adama goes, that would take away our attacking threat on the other wing, too.

    As for the strikers, I would be very worried – and very cross – if Boro were to sell Bamford. I would definitely keep Brit, but I don’t think we have the players to service him effectively (see above, under wingers and creativity!) That leaves wooden, ineffective Gestede. I agree that he doesn’t work as a lone target man. In fact, I’m not sure what he does bring.

    As someone said above, let’s wait and see what happens in the last two weeks of the window before rushing to conclusions. Thus far, however, I haven’t seen many reasons for optimism.

  111. Just seen the starting eleven for the Hartlepool game. I’d forgotten about Lewis Wing. Perhaps he might be a reason for optimism in the creativity department?

    1. One of my concerns is that we sell Bamford and bring in say a Hugill/Vokes/Vydra. If we are trying to strengthen the squad all we are doing is swapping out a known for a similar at best but unknown with this squad and Manager and on paper not an upgrade for me just simply a like for like swap out.

      Moving out Gestede for one of the above would make sense. Worse scenario is that Paddy goes and we don’t bring anyone in and TP believes Gestede is the answer and worryingly that is what I really fear may happen.

      My head agrees with GHW about not panicking just yet until we see who actually comes and goes but reading about other Clubs activities and the links to our best players doesn’t inspire confidence. Still I’m sure Bevington and Gill have a few aces up their sleeves (removes tongue from cheek).

  112. The news that Boro have accepted a £6.75 million bid from Leeds for Bamford is in.

    If it is to be believed and it does go ahead, then there is more than cause for concern. Along with Adama he is the sort of player that makes me enjoy watching football because he has that ability, to conjure something out of nothing. What he lacks in pace he makes up with in touch, control and intuition, three things that Adama has had a lot of time to learn about in his quest to shake off the Forrest Adama tag.

    More than that, he’s only 24.

    Shades of Beardsley to Everton in 1991. Beardsley might have been thirty but his skill and vision were still invaluable assets to Liverpool. Offloading him was bad enough, but letting an Anfield hero go to a rival or next-door neighbour? That’s an act of charity.

  113. Just read the report on the Hartlepool game.
    Yet another glowing report on Wing, Chapman, and Tavernier.
    The emphasis on the type of game they played fills me with hope for the future.
    We simply must play them, somehow, from the bench, for the first half, however we do it, they must not be left out of things.

    1. Listened to the Hartlepool game on the radio

      Maddo was raving over The through ball passes of Wing which fed fletcher resulting in goals


    2. Chapman caught the eye today with skill and guile beating 4 men then creating goals for Britt

      A good day for the lads well done to them

      The only problem is Chapman is only 5’8” Wing is alright he’s 6’0” so has a chance of making the first team


  114. Totally agree with all RR comments.

    If Boro were to sell Bamford to Leeds there would be uproar / strikes / demonstrations / marches / boycott of the club / SG hung out out to dry / TP forced back home to his wife and house, the list goes on….
    I feel at the moment I am on a long haul flight with turbulence all the way.

  115. We learned from AK, and we may yet learn again here, how a solitary game, a solitary chance missed, a solitary slip at the back, and the omission of a solitary player can cause such outrage.

    One player or incident when a squad and season is full of them? It doesn’t seem logical captain.

    But it is what it is.

  116. My wish for Bamford to play the Teddy Sheringham role looks to be just wishful thinking. To my mind his football brain, skill and vision make him a perfect fit to play in the hole – a potential number 10.

    I must admit it does look a little gloomy from afar.

    At least we put 5 past Pools including a hattrick for Britt. The fact Paddy didn’t feature and de Sart came on for Britt sets alarm bells ringing for me.

  117. One thing is certain. If we lose our better players and get off to a bad start the fans will not give Mr Pulis the obligatory ten matches to wait and see, they will make their feelings known.
    I still think he is unwanted by many.

  118. The lack of denial from MFC about the Bamford rumour/reports tells it all.

    We can’t get rid of players who don’t want to play for us but are prepared to let our most intelligent and skillful forward to go to a rival for a song.

    If the figure quoted of £7M is correct then when judged against what Ipswich are asking for Waghorn it is laughable.

    If the deal proceeds and TP fails to bring in significant replacements and the team gets off to its usual slow start, then I cannot see supportters being paitent until ten games have passed before they start calling for heads to roll.

    I said a few weeks ago that pre-season and our transfer dealings were making me feel uncomfortable and that feeling has got significanlty worse in the meantime.

    To me, this has the hallmarks of another “Typical Boro” season in the making!

    1. If Bamford goes its bad enough but if he goes for £7M someone at the Club (probably several) need locking in a padded cell. We seemingly overpay on incomings and are then selling out our best players at 50% of their value, you literally couldn’t make it up. If Britt was worth £15M then Paddy is at least equal to that value, personally I’d rate him the better and more flexible of the two.

      As KP has said a bad start and TP won’t be given ten games before the fans turn. Making life difficult when its unnecessary isn’t a smart management trait. OFB has hinted that we may break our transfer record for Paddy’s replacement, that alone seriously scares me. With Britt and Paddy we don’t need to buy another Striker, those two are not the problem and it is so blindingly obvious that to think MFC (Gill, Bev, Pulis and Gibson) see otherwise is astonishing if true.

      We need a minimum of five Players in and if we are discounting and selling cheap then please take the losses on the Donkeys and free up the stables and pastures. For a ridiculous argument sake lets say we sign Harry Kane for a massive fee whats he going to score, 25 goals? I’ve already highlighted above that Britt and Paddy are around that mark at this level if they are played instead of rotated or benched. Its madness of maniacal proportions To break the club transfer record that means its going to be North of £15M!

      To splash eight, nine or ten million more than we are supposedly receiving for Paddy for another two goals maybe three at very best over the season and remember Negredo didn’t deliver because he didn’t have the service (e.g. a RW, LW and a mercurial No.10) is so flawed it screams at full volume STOP!

      Where are all the statisticians and number crunchers at the club in all this. Say we pay a kings ransom for Mitrovic (the likely target if Bob is correct), is he seriously going to score 45 plus goals with no service or sedentary service from an over the hill Grant an ageing Stewy or perhaps George’s Zimmer is getting refurbished over the summer and Ryan Shotton turns into Cyrus Christie on speed?

      We need a RW and a LW even if Traore stays. We need a RB (Shotton isn’t one) and a LB to replace Fabio and put pressure on George. We also need that mercurial play maker in the middle. If they come in then it means that Stewy, Grant, Howson, Gestede and a few peripherals like Johnson and maybe Fletcher can be jettisoned to balance the wage books. A massive fee wasted on a single Player in a position which doesn’t need improving is not what this Squad needs.

      If this is being done over TP’s head then he needs to preserve his dignity and walk, if he is behind it then I think he needs to be invited to walk. This is about as mad as the story we were interested in a 35 year old goalkeeper a few day back.

      1. No, I can’t agree, OFB. That’s nowhere near enough for our best player, who is a proven goal scorer at this level. I’m absolutely with RR on this one. It’s madness.

        1. Clive

          Interestingly enough when all the blogs said £7m and I said no it’s £7m plus adding up to £10m most of the journos are now reporting that!

          Do you think where we lead others follow ???

          Sorry I’m not agreeing with the fee just what I’ve heard.

          Personally I like Bamford and would like him to stay


      2. Ofb
        add on’s are not money you can use in the transfer market.
        Pulis failed to play Bamford with Traore even after paddies eight in three burst of scoring (all accomplished as a fox in the box, short clever passes at speed)
        He failed to play our fast Brazilian fullback (and sold him)
        He’s selling Traore, check. We are In the midst of football armageddan
        A veteran Manager who does not really want to be here, many miles from Sandbanks.
        A desparate shortage of centre backs in the top teams, we possess one who ticks all the boxes, age, build, talent, character, hmmm, should bring in about ten million.
        Unless we swap him for a time expired veteran with a gammy knee.

  119. Ian,

    At least we put 5 past Pools including a hattrick for Britt. The fact Paddy didn’t feature and de Sart came on for Britt sets alarm bells ringing for me.

    The fact that 10 other players didn’t feature in the Hartlepool game, does that mean they are all on their way out !

    Come on BORO.

  120. Let’s look at it this way. With the words of the brilliant Anthony McCarthy, and a smart Burnley fan, to help.

    For all our lack of proper preparation and limiting methodology in the Premier League – to put it mildly! – getting the club promoted, scrape or not – and many, many, many promotion or championship battles have gone to the last game, as it is, after all, football – was the absolute priority in the 2010s, and we achieved it.

    We had to put behind us the days of running the club at a massive loss, something we couldn’t sustain in the days of FFP.

    Breaking even, profiting or recouping a decent amount of money on the likes of De Roon, Fischer, Espinosa, Rhodes and Stuani, along with enormous parachute payments, gave Monk and Pulis the opportunity to bring us straight back up again – an opportunity not taken.

    Now, as the Burnley fan said…

    Life in the Premier League is hard. The demands on and off the pitch are very, very difficult. Whether you survive or not isn’t necessarily about money, but about experience. Implying you have a PL infrastructure when you actually don’t is folly.

    What’s his point? If you want the right experience, a “hire and fire” strategy with both players and coaches isn’t the way forward.

    While the fan couldn’t claim total premonition – how could he? – he pointed out that everything the Clarets had done during relegation in 2014-15 and promotion in 2015-16 had played its part in the club’s success to date. Defour didn’t exactly live up to his price tag, but he was absorbed into the team in a way that neither, say, De Pena, nor Negredo, were.

    That’s why Gibson, and Boro, need a long-term plan.

  121. KP
    What you are seeing is a complete reversion to off the wall transfer dealing, and it is the selling of the treasure left by AK.
    I believe that these people will speak to anyone, offer one of our dummies, the other club pats us on the head and tells us that they prepared to help us out by taking a player that was their object all the time.
    The price is always a bargain, never failing, never changing.. And we always say yes.
    I must say that Pulis’s team selections can now be assessed realistically, and he does not come out of it very well.
    His selections for the two play offs against Villa were simply awful, we knew that they were a team of crocks, with Grealish and Terry utterly unfit, it surely made sense to play fast and tricky strikers ( Bamford anyone?)
    With the slow crocks it made sense to give them a really hard game, run the legs off them, attack and give them no peace, try to build a lead up at home and finish it in one.
    None of the above happened, and it was confirmed by the same lack of tactics in the second leg( not surprisingly)
    The apparent intentions in the transfer market are beyond belief, to sell players you cannot replace, and follow up by buying aged rubbish, meanwhile loaning out several ( very) good young players when they should be playing for us( Fry, of course, should be in our first team, period)

  122. Exmil

    TP said players needed minutes on the pitch, Bamford had 18 minutes against Accrington Stanley, 0 against Rochdale, 0 against Sunderland, 0 against Hartlepool, With Gestede injured, Fletcher got more. Britt got more and he was on the naughty step. Brathwaite got 25 minutes.


    Just saying like.

  123. Social media is going crazy over the Bamford link. Everyone thinks it is absolutely crazy for the club to even contemplate selling him. Time for the club to immediately deny the link or confirm.

  124. Exmil

    By the way, I dont think Bamford is the best striker ever. I would like to have seen him play in the hole but if he leaves then I wish him well.

    I think the club is between a rock and hard place. We do not know the brief that SG cave Pulisaurus.

    Once the season starts and squads are sorted we will have a better view.

    Of course there are different views about many players. We have discussed on here before about many of the squad. Our view doesn’t matter, It is the club that decides the fate of each player.

  125. Bamford. One goal every two games when played as a striker. Let’s see if we can get someone with those stats for 7 million? Thought not.

    Absolutely insane!!

  126. Re-Bamford the world, sorry the club, has gone mad. Why flog one of your finest assets when there is no need to? A lack of imagination by the manager or is it just good business? In that case flog Rockliffe and the Riverside and call it good business.

    Without doubt the jury are out now. They’re waiting and watching. Then they’ll be judging and that will come fairly rapidly too. When the family silver is sold what will it be replaced with? For me that transfer is filed as a bloody ridiculous decision, it will come back to haunt us.

    Right our much vaunted recruitment department, surprise us. Or not.



      1. OFB,

        You are a wind up merchant! Or are you serious? I will not look at collated Boro news, every time I think I will I’ll write that out one hundred times.



        PS Please check with the eyes in the sky…

      2. A 33 Year old Spanish Striker whose best days are behind him with like as not no support other than long throw ins. The Bamford fee might just cover his wages for the term of his contract as he walks away with fat pockets and us languishing mid table in the Championship with parachute payments a distant memory. At whatever he costs I don’t believe he will score more goals than Paddy would and be less mobile and adaptable. We already have one lamp post as a Striker now it appears we could have a second even rustier one.

  127. Oh Dear!

    Mrs OFB very annoyed at Bamford going possibly Traore and Gibson !

    She wants me to get our season ticket money back!

    She won’t be calmed down even when I said we were going to sign an expensive striker !

    She said

    “remember the last expensive striker we signed from Holland”

    “No im not happy with the Boro at all!”

    Decisions decisions !

    But not about seeing the Boro!

    Only kidding pet ! X


    1. The writer of the above has obviously not seen Patrick play and has very high expectations of players. He thinks that a return of 1 goal in three makes grim reading. I would have thought that that was about par for a striker in this day and age at this level. It also contains errors as Patrick has 29 goals in 85 appearances for the Boro.

      1. Patrick Bamford career stats are as follows:

        League – 29 goals in 76

        If you include all cups and playoffs

        34 goals in 87

        Since his return to Boro he has scored 13 in 43 all competitions

        Come on BORO.

    2. Its from HITC whose writers are generally ill informed and print either dross, nonsense or just copy and plagiarise others content. As MW says he has clearly never seen Paddy play, has no idea what he is talking about, even his stats are seriously flawed.

  128. This season is going to be about attitude, both from the players and staff, a club that finished in the play offs should not drop off,
    A big shake up is not what we need, maybe a left back priority, a number ten, and another midfielder with vision and pace through the middle.that’s it, now if the ones here are not up to it ,fine , gone, otherwise what’s the panic,
    OK if we sell,then that’s Uncle Steve’s call, he could say no.

  129. Being realistic, turning a profit on a player that is obviously ( why sell him otherwise) not wanted at the club, has to be good business.

  130. For all my praise of Bamford, I certainly don’t think he’s the best striker in the world. He hasn’t proven himself at the top level, and shares a similar weakness to Sheringham – intelligent defending can force him out of the game.

    In 2014-15 he played best in games when he, or Boro, got that early goal. When they didn’t, or went behind, the best sides in the division simply cut off the supply to him and that was that.

    That said. Him and Boro as Championship contenders just feel right together. His goal record alone in 2014-15 and 2017-18 should be proof.

    There is, however, another thing we haven’t taken into account – the dreaded wages. Would that relative qualities on the pitch were enough to judge a striker. Scott McDonald was judged a failure despite having probably the highest strike rate of anyone at MoggaBoro. 1 in 3 is fair on its own terms but the relative fee and wage we paid was not for a “fair” striker. Simultaneously we paid a big fee and what must be relatively big wages for Rhodes.

    Of course the fees and wages aren’t either the striker or necessarily the manager’s fault* (see: Rhodes) but they play their part in how a forward is judged, especially when Gibbo’s millions can’t compete for the Ravanellis anymore. The £3.5 million we paid for McDonald is something most big clubs would wipe their proverbial with – to us, back then, it was a lot.

    *Roy Keane used to complain about the board paying much more for his Ipswich signings than he wanted them to. I think he suggested a fee of £400k for Tamas Priskin but Ipswich ended up paying Watford nearly thrice that. This was part of the lack of trust with the board that he blamed for his failure at Ipswich.

  131. OFB…….you must be having a laugh and winding us up. Fernando Llorente thirty three years old on PFL wages.
    You just could not make that one up. That would be stupidity in the extreme.

  132. If as TP states we need to sell before we can buy I can see the sense in selling Bamford especially as TP is unlikely to select him anyway. The players we need to get rid of are unlikely to attract what Boro consider reasonable bids, but the fee for Bamford is about right. We’re stuck with Braithwaite who wants away, Assombalonga and Fletcher whether TP wants them or not, and Traore may or may not attract bids if his injury is long term. After beating Pools yesterday we might be better with a strike force of Assombalonga and Fletcher after all, especially with the service they received from Wing, Chapman and Tavernier. We can then use the Bamford income in strengthening our full back positions. Just a thought!

    1. Ken
      Ha, Wing, Chapman, and Tavernier, ( plus Fry)
      Big problem, our record with young players is not good, be they never so brilliant, we tell them to Wait until they are 23.
      Big mistake, the very best always show their talent early, wing is a different case, he has dragged himself up from non league and should not be asked to wait for anything, the people who comment on him always comment enviously on his majestic through balls.
      This is the gold standard for playmakers and we should not die wondering but get him in.
      Chapman was always immensely promising, and is showing it right now, so he must be moved closer to his first team debut( does not matter how difficult it is, it’s a matter of urgency)
      Tavernier has been performing a heroes role with the England set up so should be training with the first team squad.
      Fry is a complete no brainer, anytime he gets on the pitch no one notices, so comfortable is he.
      If the above suggests that the manager has problems, then so be it, there is big money at stake.

  133. It matters not a jot who you replace PB with if the midfield/creativity aspect of the team is not properly addressed.

    This has been our main problem for three/four seasons and is our primary Achilles heel in my view.

    1. Spot on KP…… many keep banging on about, no creativity and no pace.

      I can only assume TP is just going to boot it forward quickly and hope. Not much hope for me though.

  134. Ken

    I think Bamford is at his best in a two, at Derby the fans view was that he scored goals but was a bit of a luxury. They played 433. I dont see him as a lone striker in what looks to be 4141..

    It reminds of listening to Tony Delgado of his time playing for Leeds. Wilkinson was manager he kept getting frustrated by Canton and his lack of tracking back. The squad were happy to put in an extra 10% work to give Cantona the freedom to do what he did best. The manager hated it.

    If Paddy doesn’t fit the system there is an argument to take the money.

    By the way I dont think Pulis has the same views as Dysche.

  135. I’ll be at Millwall this Saturday and I couldn’t tell you with any confidence what half our team will be or what formation they’ll play.
    I wonder if Pulis is any clearer in his mind?
    I’m not encouraged by pre-season and strongly discouraged by the thought of Bamford’s departure.

    1. GHW

      Yes, saw it last night. Excellent antidote to Brexit, Trump, Sky Television, Chubby Brown, and a multitude of third-rate “observational” comedians who usually clog up the TV schedules. I bet it will be another 3 or 4 years before we see him again.

  136. Exmil, then lets hope it is just a rumour. Ten mil for an unproven player with a little bit of pace. he could not even get his place in the Fulham side at the end and when the were in full flow.

    He is young and inexperienced…..we have plenty like that already and signing the likes of him will just p*** *** our other young fringe players. That would mean stalled progress for the likes of Wing, Tavernier and Chapmen unless they were loaned to a decent Championship club.

    But Mr Pulis would not allow that as they may just prove to be too successful and he would end up with egg on face.

  137. Do we pay ‘top bucks’ and sell at a cheap rate?
    £7m for Bamford ( forget the add ons as they probably won’t happen) and compare to the £15m for Assombalonga, or £7m or so for Braithwaite or £6m for Fletcher.
    And the rumour is paying around £10m for a Liverpool youngster who was not a success at Fulham.

    We need tried and tested players who know this League and have proved their pedigree at this level and who have an ambition to make it to the Premiership.
    And certainly not any player from the Premiership who is looking for his last big contract.

    I hope there is a lot of movement out and two or three solid incomings in the next few days as otherwise, if we get off to an average start and fail to score then it could all go pear shape with the sale of Bamford coming to haunt TP and co.

  138. I have never felt as flat as a boro fan ever. Any player with any technical ability….sold. Fabio, bamford, traore (if he hadn’t got injured). Instead mr pulis prefers shotton, friend, gestede etc. We are going to be left with a team full of cart horses and certainly a far weaker first eleven than the team that scraped into the playoffs. Our first eleven heading into a season where promotion is our aim is a million miles away from where it needs to be. Our first eleven outplayed by Sunderland at home. Yes it’s preseason but there’s no creativity in the entire team. Nobody who can pick a pass. One dimensional footballers who can do a job, but require players with some technical ability around them to make something special happen. But there’ll be none of those left all sold because they don’t fit the pulis boils. Depressing, depressing, depressing!!

  139. I have never felt as flat as a boro fan ever. Any player with any technical ability….sold. Fabio, bamford, traore (if he hadn’t got injured). Instead mr pulis prefers shotton, friend, gestede etc. We are going to be left with a team full of cart horses and certainly a far weaker first eleven than the team that scraped into the playoffs. Our first eleven heading into a season where promotion is our aim is a million miles away from where it needs to be. Our first eleven outplayed by Sunderland at home. Yes it’s preseason but there’s no creativity in the entire team. Nobody who can pick a pass. One dimensional footballers who can do a job, but require players with some technical ability around them to make something special happen. But there’ll be none of those left all sold because they don’t fit the pulis mould. Depressing, depressing, depressing!!

      1. I pressed send and then realised autocorrect had changed mould to boils (don’t ask me how!) so quickly pressed the back button, changed it and then pressed send again. Hence it’s now come through twice!! Doh.

  140. I have read regularly the Echo and the Gazette or TeessideLive. And they are not very convinced that Bamford, Gibson or Traore are leaving. But reading this site, it looks like all three have been sold already for half a price!

    Come on, let’s be a bit more positive. TP is not going to make big changes to his player squad. And if needed he has more money to spend on new players than 80 % of the Championship clubs.

    We have seen two arrivals, we might need a winger and possibly an attacking midfielder. And definately some fulbacks.

    I hope we keep both Bamford and Assombalonga, too. I wish they could play together under Pulis.

    And I must believe the team is better than last season. We have Wing, Chapman and Tavanier there ready to play. And as I said TP has money available if he needs to.

    Perhaps he is concentrating on making the team playing better – we as fans look only on the players as individuals but the team work is the key. As we saw with Sheffield United and Millwall last season.

    So let’s hope the demanding pre-season has improved our team as well as training at Rockcliffe under TP. If we can make the team just 10 % better than last season, we should be OK this season.

    Up the Boro!

  141. Jarkko

    Re your last paragraph, there is no evidence of any of that to date and things are not shaping up well.

    It looks as if TP needs to sell before he can buy unfortunately it appears to be the family silver he is disposing of!

  142. You know me. Ever the attempted optimist, despite evidence to the contrary. We honestly can’t judge PuBoro 2018-19 until we’ve seen them in competitive action, but nothing we’ve seen in pre-season gives grounds for serious optimism.

    Now, The Tale Of The Deadly Wages. Part II.

    This afternoon I dug out a piece, penned by Craig McCracken, on the most gifted natural goalscorer to grace the Riverside turf. Inside were some insightful but not really surprising anecdotes about The Silver Fox from Perugia who scored a lot but also missed and moaned a lot.

    “I have thought about it so many times and I still don’t understand why Juventus got rid of me. In the last two years I’ve scored 53 goals for club and country.”

    Step forward, Fabrizio Ravanelli.

    The piece pointed out that he actually “didn’t want to move at all, and when he grudgingly accepted there was no Juventus future for him, he REALLY didn’t want to move to Middlesbrough.

    “When summoned to a meeting he expected to be handed the captain’s armband following the departure of Vialli, but instead he was told to talk with Boro manager Bryan Robson to discuss personal terms for a move.

    “Unbeknown to Ravanelli, discussions between the clubs had started in earnest in February, a whole four months earlier.

    “…Determined to scupper the (forthcoming £7 million) deal, he instructed his agent to request a salary so ridiculous that it would cause Boro to walk away from negotiations for good.

    “Ravanelli was earning £7,000-per-week at Juventus (!! – Si) so a demand was made for a six-fold rise to a then unprecedented £42,000-per-week.

    “To the amazement of the Italian contingent in the contract negotiations that lasted eight hours, Boro agreed without any attempt to negotiate down this figure randomly plucked from the ether.

    “Ravanelli had painted himself into a corner, but at least would be paid eye-watering amounts to endure an unwanted Teeside sojourn.”

    Ouch. Though when you recall that Robbo doubled Merson’s Arsenal wages…

  143. As usual, I agree with you KP.
    I’m feeling as depressed as Paul and, like Mrs OFB, wishing I could get my money back.
    Things can only get better, I hope!

  144. Jarkko, you have said it yourself. Two in and no better than we have probably. Then even you admit the need for a winger, attacking mid-fielder, and oh, two full backs.

    Mr Pulis had better get a move on. Plus this having to sell before we can buy. I guess he has spent 12mil or so against Barragan and Fabio out. (3mil??)

    AV has said in the past there should be plenty of money available. To be spent sensibly of course and I think TP will spend sensibly. The problem is who he will spend it on? At the moment there are no creativity player rumours going around. Then as somebody said (Werder?) we may not need a number 10 if we just lump it forward for Gestede.

    OFB……what is it with Ayala, nothing coming out of MFC about his injury. Is it serious, it has been some time now..

  145. You know. Maybe it is a good thing that so many of us are a little flat about things just before the big kick-off. Far better not to have too high expectations and to enjoy when/if we do alright, than to over anticipate and feel disappointed I we just do alright.

    1. My head agrees with you Powmill but my heart says differently. Football is an emotional game and us sad supporters support from the heart otherwise we would all be Manchelskiarsepool fans. Its the hope that kills you and when that hope balloon is burst before a ball is even kicked with the thought of having to watch Gestede out of his depth and knowing Paddy is elsewhere banging goals in will only make that festering linger long.

      To me there are three groups of Players at any club, the best group who you want to hold onto and build around, the middling group who are OK at what they do but are generally replaceable then the last group who are mistakes for whatever reason. Its reasonable and normal for a club to clear out the mistakes but we seem to have bought middling so far and are shipping out our best group of which there are only four maybe five at best .

      I’m wondering if SG has told TP that he has to generate his own funds and having already spent on Flint and McNair maybe now he is being asked to balance the books (Bank pressure on the entire group and not just MFC?) and Paddy and Traore seem to be the only two who are attracting interest and possibly Ben next week as we get closer to the close of the window. Purely from a business perspective it doesn’t make sense to me to sell a Player who will net 20 plus goals when we have three (including Braithwaite) who would do well to reach 70% of Paddy’s return and then try and replace his goals by either not recruiting due to constraints on the purse strings or by overspending on another “Typical Boro” low or non scoring Striker.

      Replacing any of Gestede, Fletcher or Braithwaite with a Hugill or Vokes type player could be seen as strengthening and improving the squad but shipping out Bamford for them isn’t. As I’ve said before Strikers and scoring goals with Britt and Bamford on the books isn’t a problem for us, its in other areas of the pitch and selling Paddy over moving out all of those three does not fix the problems and if it happens then its robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  146. According to the latest news, I am afraid it does not sound good. Bamford to have a medical at Leeds. I feel so angry about this. For me, the club has let down the loyal supporters for this madness in letting a young skillful player go to one of our rivals.
    Unless there are some dramatic signings in the pipeline and some names mentioned beggar belief. I for one will feel totally robbed by TP/ SG and the recruitment team. At this very moment we will be lucky to be in mid table. So, I am a doom-monger you may say but until the club comes out and is honest with the fans, I will remain one.

  147. I can’t think of anything to more to add or say. Time to be surprised or further dismayed. If Bamford is going I honestly wish him well and hope that his new manager recognises his talents and abilities fully. And he stays clear of injury.

    I’m going to bed because tomorrow is Monday. Does anybody like Monday?

    UTB from under the duvet.


    1. Jarsue
      I hated Mondays when I worked, had that churning feeling in my stomach. Once I retired it became my favourite day of the week. Nowadays in my dotage I sometimes forget what day of the week it is.

      1. The same for me Ken, I lose days and add them back in as the wrong day sometimes.The other thing with being retired is that Bank Holidays have lost all relevance. At least the weather is cooler now, thank goodness.

        So a new week and what surprises are Boro going to pull out of the hat or throw in the bin?



      2. Ken

        My Grandmother who passed around 25 years ago always said “Youth is wasted on the young, if only I knew then what I know now”. It’s only these last few years as I have started to creak and groan myself that I fully appreciate and understand what she meant all those years ago.

  148. Bamford closer to the Dark Side.

    I it does happen I will be disappointed but I will hold my fire until I see the net situation.

    Looking at the current situation it doesn’t look encouraging but who knows?

  149. Ian
    We’re all hoping that one or two Rabbits will be pulled from the hat but names being bandied about do nothing to enthuse me. I have never been as pessimistic pre-season as I am now.
    I really would love to be proved wrong as the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

  150. If OFB is to be trusted about a new striker arriving, then it must be the Newcastle forward called Mitrovic.

    Fulham have signed German World Cup-winning forward Andre Schurrle on loan from Borussia Dortmund. So most probably they are out of the chase for the Newcastle forward now.

    If that happens, we still need a right back and possibly a winger. For attacking players we have Braithwaite back after World Cup. Interesting to see if he stays or goes. You never know about TP, do you?

    Up the Boro!

    1. I think Mitrovic is already at Fulham having his medical today with the fee rumoured to be £22M rising to £27M but these days fees change depending on what you read and where you read them.

      Personally I have steeled myself to be underwhelmed and disappointed by whatever unfolds in “Typical Boro” default fall back mode. Really hope I am wrong. What strikes me most is the management of this by the club. Spin management or whatever we want to label it makes things less painful and it doesn’t take a genius to have cobbled a story together to soften the impact by raising intrigue and hope. Maybe they can’t because the answer is we are sticking with Britt, Gestede and Fletcher (I think Braithwaite will be farmed out on loan again if not sold).

  151. Assuming it is not too late to stop the sale of Bamford, then Steve Gibson must step in and do so immediately.

    This is a folly perhaps even beyond the dying days of Karanka and will be a sledgehammer to the club that will cost us dearly, now and in the long run.

    Paddy is personable, a trier and not a player given to ego driven disruption. He is the antithesis of many modern players and has been an example to all who follow English football, let alone Middlesbrough.

    That alone is not enough to keep any player but throw in that he was our best player last season, as he was three years before, and it does not stack up. He brings a new dimension and skill set otherwise lacking and is reliable week in, week out. He is adaptive, unpredictable in a way no other player, I would argue, in this league is.

    More than that he is a beacon for the fans and by extension the area and community. Having a player you like and admire leading the way matters a lot and can make the difference to the depth of how you support a club. It offers a bonding and vicarious identity and these things matter. Ben Gibson, George and Adam apart, no-one else offers that. But Paddy is a striker and scores goals and that elevates it all the more. He matters, deeply.

    It is little consolation to think that he simply does not fit the Pulis template. If what TP has in mind is a succession of predictable, albeit difficult to play against, Rudy Gestede types then we have lost not only the way but the soul of the club.

    It makes no sense, least of all financially, when with fees etc we will not be able to spend the money on a small fraction of what Bamford can, and does, do.

    It is no good to nod and accept this is the Pulis way. To do so is a disaster.

    Steve Gibson needs to ask himself what, as a supporter only, he truly feels about this. Not with ‘insight’ about TP or conversations with the staff but he needs to look at what his gut feel is. As a Boro man through and through he will know this is all so wrong. Unless Paddy has had a screaming fit and is about to walk out, it is a pointer to a demoralising and down hill season, and maybe seasons, only.

    It is difficult to know when, if at all, to criticise Gibson but his judgement meanders much in truth and sticking by a mistake is far more problematical than making it in the first place.

    A poll today I imagine would give TP minimal backing indeed. He, and not Bamford, has to go today.

    Gibson has not served the club well in his decision making for some now, 12 years or so really. There is a point at which his local saviour factor will come into question, and the Bamford nonsense sadly does just that.

    There is a big difference Steve between being a corporate or foreign owner and the detachment that brings. You have the loyalty of the fans because you do the right thing for the club and we have long loved that. Mistakes haven’ mattered.

    But this is so, so wrong at any time and not just five days before the season starts. Gibson needs to ask himself how many Boro fans would care if we lost at Millwall if this sale (and to Leeds too) and incoming Gestede types, take place. Few at all I suspect.

    Stop the sale now Steve and if TP walks, then so be it. There is a joy to supporting your club and right now it isn’t here and will not be so under TP. Have the balls to think like a fan and act on it. Stop the sale, Steve.

    Worse still, if Steve Gibson walked today, would many people right now really care? And that would be a mighty shame.

  152. We could certainly do with something to lift the mood, normally an exciting time as the season approaches but it is all a little flat.

    If the squad stayed as it is and the kids given a chance to add a bit of spark I would be happy with that. To lose Bamford and still a chance for Adama to go as well, throw in the disappointing pre season results and things dont look too bright.

    Hopefully things will work out.

  153. Clough, Peacock, Souness, Johnston, Ripley, Hodgson, Mills, Armstrong, Pallister, Juninho, Emerson, Ravanelli, Merson – just some of the players we shed tears metaphorically over the years when they departed. It’s what Boro do best, sell their Crown Jewels not always out of necessity. But we still survive. Erimus!

  154. If the Ojo link is true I hope we have enough sense to make it a season long loan first that can be converted into a full transfer come next summer on a pre agreed fee. If he is worth it great and if not we can walk away with some cash still in our pockets. I haven’t seen enough of the lad to be convinced yet, I have seen flashes of something but not enough or consistent. Chapman to me looks like a more productive outlet than the Liverpool lad and Tav had one bad game against Leeds but other than that has looked the part. I can see a bid for Adam Reach in the offing based on TP Profiling.

  155. I see Jack Harrison is at Leeds apparently for a season long loan. So thats Jamal Blackman, Adam Forshaw, Lewis Baker and soon to be Bamford all at Elland Road. “Are you Boro in reserve” would be funny but not if Paddy knocks in a hat trick. Just wondering if they will be putting bids in for Stewy, Friend, Leadbitter and Clayts before the window shuts?

    1. Redcar, as you said previously, nobody has come knocking for any of those.
      All past their best and more and no pace at all between any of them.

      With Patrick off today it looks like and Wolves supposedly still sniffing around Adama, it’s not looking good is it?

      We are so short of promotion quality in many areas, and unless they pull a couple of Rabbits out of the bag as Steely said, then I think we will struggle to get in the top six, never mind the play offs.

      Most of the teams that will be competing at the top end appear to be recruiting now and even Villa look to have had a stay of execution.

      This time last year Mr Gibson had lots to say and in fairness splashed the cash. Not wisely and how Mr Gill is still here beggars belief. This season to date, not a murmur. It does not bode well for the coming nine months.

  156. First of all a very belated thanks to Ken for the article and to the History of Boro pieces. A great read. I really hope that the new drugs are starting to have some benefit for you.

    I have trying to keep up with all the comments although apologies if I make any points that have already been covered, memory not what it used to be and my filing system is not as good as Simons!

    I have not been bowled over by the transfer window although will reserve judgement until I have seen the mighty Boro in action (ticket purchased for the first home game). Hopefully TP will know what is preferred staring team is and will stick to it, no tinkering please. The loss of Bamford is a real shame but if he was surplus to the plans, then I guess the cash will help, providing that it is spent wisely.

    The incoming players do not add much in my view and I do hope that we can keep Traore as he will give us options and excitement which otherwise I fear may be in short supply.

    I was reading an article the other day about the skill set to get off of the Championship and whether Boro have what it takes. Certainly TP has some experience although I am not expecting the football to be that pretty to watch. I won’t mind too much providing that we can score enough goals to win games and keep us in a promotion place.

    England showed that you can win with well worked set pieces, starting with a good ball in. Can our players manage that I wonder? Time will tell I guess.

    I have seen the slightly pessimistic views and I try to be optimistic although with a touch of realism thrown in. So how do I feel about the season I hear you ask……….

    Well, my prediction without a ball being kicked in anger is that we will be there or thereabouts through sheer determination and dull football. Whether that will be enough to keep me spending my hard earned money on travelling up remains to be seen!


  157. For anyone excited by all the pre season activity and cracking performances since those unforgettable 180 minutes without a shot on target against Villa here is where you can go to ensure you don’t miss out on what is bound to be another fantastic Riverside Revolution!

    Just five whole days left before we can enjoy the thrills and excitement once again that only supporting Boro brings. And remember folks in “Typical Boro” fashion, when they’re gone they’re gone (tickets that is not our best players)!

  158. Well reports are filtering through that Paddy is now a Leeds player in a £6.5million deal rising to £10m. If true then Leeds have an absolute bargain and it now appears that as bad as our procurement skills our sales and marketing skills are now just as bad. I thought Bevington was going to sort all this out? Just seems like more jobs for the boys with even more forelock tugging.

    Of perhaps greater concern Teesside Trinty Gazette Mirror Evening Live are running a Waghorn article. I just hope that it is a void filler and padding out a slow news day because the thought of Waghorn arriving makes me squirm but the thought that we may have sold Paddy to acquire another Donkey is heartbreaking. I can see the day when carrots are banned from the Riverside.

  159. Bamford’s goal scoring prowess seems to be rising by the minute. Is everyone at the club so blind as to not see what an asset he is? Before his beatification let’s see how he does.

    I’m sure people are willing him to rewrite the Championship goal scoring records in order to give them a stick with which to beat the club to death. Personally I think £10m is a steal, not to mention getting a high earner off the books.

    There seems to be a stark lack of expectation from posters on the coming season, and perhaps that’s a good thing compared to the “ smash the league” talk last season.

    I’ve followed the Boro for long enough now to not get my hopes up too high, let’s just wait and see. Maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised once the season gets underway.

    1. His goals per minute played ratio is the most fruitful of all our current Strikers. We had two decent Strikers and the rest are either garbage, don’t want to be here or unproven. Of the one remaining decent Striker apparently he and the Manager have some sort of “issue” or “bust up”. The fact that Britt seems to be playing for Woody’s U23’s certainly paints a corresponding picture.

      Had we been told that Paddy had been sold for say £20M I think most of us would have baulked at losing him but accepted that it made commercial sense but for him to be sold for £6.5M when we paid as much if not more for him and all our other Strikers is insanity. Nobody is bigging Bamford up, he is our best Striker and our best hope for goals. What is a worry is that we do not seem to have people at the club who recognise it and we are reliant upon them to deliver. Meanwhile what we are left with is not promotion material and thats before we even look at all the obvious gaps and weaknesses in the squad that haven’t been addressed.

      If we do eventually get £10M (the same way Villa are waiting on their Traore cash several seasons later) who do we get thats capable of scoring 20 goals a season for that sort of money let alone for £6.5M? The answer of course appears to be Rudy Gestede at this point in time. From serious promotion hopefuls to selling off our best assets and mid table obscurity, this summer is starting to look and feel like one of Trashcan’s eccentric efforts.

      We might indeed be pleasantly surprised once the season gets underway but everything since Villa points to a totally dysfunctional car crash this summer and thats coming form probably TP’s biggest supporter prior to him arriving. On a positive note the Midlands press are saying that we have rejected the Wolves offer for Adama. The cynic in me thinks that once they saw the Bamford price they offered £2M rising to £5M should they win the Champions league in three seasons.

      Players come and go and we have always been a selling club more than a buying club but we did think and foolishly believed that this summer like last we would be trying to put a squad together to mount a serious challenge. We have all the same deficiencies but with an inferior squad of players with any skill or creativity being drained away. There are ten days before the window shuts and we will end up with anything we can get our hands on rather than a carefully planned strategy or at least that is how it looks to me.

  160. Sunning myself on my balcony listening to Tees. News comes on and they report Bamford due to have a medical at the dirties. This is the first mention by Tees on this so I’ll take it as a true story.

    Now I’ve kept my powder dry so far on Bamfords alleged transfer but I’m afraid the fuse has been well and truly lit!

    In a previous thread I said I’d give Pulis 10 games and see where we are then. After today as far as I’m concerned he can “do one” (edited for blog rules) right now. Selling our best all round striker and goal scorer is nothing short of disgraceful.

    Brit is a goal scorer, sometimes, but not in the same class as PB as far as I’m concerned. After his Tyrolean tet a tet with Pulis I’d be surprised if he leads the line at Millwall which would be a better option than what may well be the case.

    We may well be starting off the season with Gestede and Fletcher up front and with little or no pace from midfield or out wide. Assuming Adamah isn’t fit or even still at the club.

    Totally disallusioned and underwhelmed with our transfer dealings to now and I don’t see things improving to a point where we are better as a squad come kick off on Saturday. I realise the loan window is open until the end of August but given our usually poor record in the loans department I don’t hold out much hope.

    However I support the Boro, and will do until the day I fall off this mortal coil, and we’ve had worse times than this. Hopefully we’ll come through the present shenanagins and all will be rosey. Or not.

    Bamford story just been on the Tees news again. Going to be a grumpy old(ish) man at work later on.

    1. FAA

      The Transfer window shuts on August 9 at 17.00pm. It was changed to stop all the uncertainty of the season starting and clubs playing games with players who didn’t want to be there or believed they were headed for pastures new much like Flint this time last year when everyone was convinced he was off to Birmingham. Loans can still be arranged until the end of August and also Players brought in who are out of contract until August end.

  161. I like PB as a person and he’s done a good job for us but there might be something that we’re missing. He’s had a lot of different clubs over the past few years but every one has let him leave.
    Is it a training and attitude problem? Is he too intelligent to fit in? I guess we’ll never know now.
    For me he’s a decent Championship striker but not up to PL standards as he lacks a bit of pace.
    On a general note, I’m still not convinced that being in the PL is that much better than being in the top 6 in the Championship. Yes, we’d all enjoy a promotion season but if that’s followed by a relegation PL season, what’s the point? .

  162. Totally agree RR.
    I feel sick at the moment about PB going to Leeds. Surprise that Teesside Live (way behind everyone else on their stories) has not run a poll about PB.

    Also, I read about Waghorn. Glasgow Rangers got him on a free, scored 7 goals then sold him for 250,000.
    A bad day at the office for all of us.

  163. How about Vydra? The fee to move to Leeds was agreed but they wouldn’t pay the wages. Dont know what they were but the story here is that he was after double what he is currently on. Good as he is he has dropped down the pecking order at Derby.

    Initial bid Wolves for Adama rejected, lets see if they come back in with an improved offer.

  164. Got back late Saturday and spent Sunday unpacking and started writing my first article of the season.

    I’m going to do things a bit differently this season in that I’ll publish my article on a Monday, which looks ahead to the coming week – so in some cases will cover more than one game. This weekly article will be the anchor for the blog discussion – so all comments can be posted in one place from Monday to Monday. Other articles and Match Reports will be linked from this page but comments can only be made on the weekly page.

    It will make the discussion easier to follow and give me more flexibility to post other articles during the week, whether it is the match report, Simon’s Talking Point, OFB’s In2views piece or Ken’s historical article. Plus I wasn’t sure if I can fit in over 50 pre-match articles in nine months as they generally take a day or so to write and I’ve got a long list of projects pending – especially towards the end of the week! Writing on Sunday and finishing off and publishing on Monday is far more manageable and it means only 36 weekly articles instead of potentially 56.

    So we’re just about into Week 1 of the season and the question is are Boro ready? Here’s my first weekly preview…

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