Boro v Huddersfield
BORO v HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (The Championship)
(Riverside Stadium, Saturday 19th August 2023, ko 3pm).
This "Thread Starter" is being written on the late afternoon of Saturday 12th August - after the Coventry City v Boro game and just after the Newcastle United game kicked off against Aston Villa at 5.30pm. I did manage to see the Boro home game against Millwall but I haven't seen the other 2 Boro games played, including today's match. I WAS able to hear most of the Carabao Cup game against Huddersfield Town and MUCH (but far from all) of the Coventry game via BBC Tees commentary but I was unable to listen to the no-doubt anguished phone-in after that last game.
Where is this Thread Starter coming from? Where is it going to? Will there be more questions than answers?
Well, it was NEARLY going to come from the Northumberland Coast where I've been at Camp for about 24 days/nights (I think - I had two counting attempts with diifferent results so I have decided I'll leave it at my first "estimation" on the basis that the actual figure won't change the history of the world). In reality I had today planned to set off earlier to return home. I knew the game was a 12.30pm kick-off and it seemed safe to assume it would be shown live on SkyTV. I thought I'd get back in time to park up at home, unload and then sneak off to the pub to watch the match. Sadly, "events, dear boy, events" conspired to delay my setting off for home. Hence the radio commentary during the journey. But since I am now at home, I can bash this out and hopefully send it to OFB (probably in a format he won't be able to use....!).
I am NOT going to begin by giving a potted summary of where Hudderfield Town is, as a team or in relation to Boro. That would be too much like "Groundhog Day" as Clive Hurren gave such a summary as recently as SEVEN DAYS AGO at the start of his Thread on the Terriers v Boro Carabao Cup game. Instead, I'll refer you back to Clive's piece dated 5th August rather than repeating his information. It does seem at the moment that we are trapped in a Groundhog situation as we appear to have games against Huddersfield and Coventry at too-regular intervals.
(It's already 2-1 to Newcastle against Villa, apparently, so clearly the Premier League is all action).
To bring things up to date though, it's right to say that apart from Boro winning that Carabao Cup game against Hudderfield 3-2, not much else in the regular season has been going as planned unless the plans are particularly odd ones. Boro has begun this Championship season with 2 league defeats: 1-0 at home to Millwall and today's 3-0 "shocker" at Coventry. Meanwhile Huddersfield lost 3-1 away to Plymouth and 1-0 at home to Leicester. Consistency is the key to a successful Championship season but not consistent defeats. I had the radio on whilst typing the paragraphs above, hence the news about Newcastle v Villa, but decided to switch it off when a Coventry supporter phoned up to tell TalkSport how good his team was today and how Boro had leaned too heavily last season on loan players who are no longer with the club, and that Akpom would now be leaving very shortly. Too much grief for my tender ears, I'm afraid. So, following a visit to the "Off" switch, the rest of this will be prepared in silence.
What we can say about the forthcoming league game against Huddersfield is that neither team will come into the game full of confidence. Do we, or does The Management, know Boro's best XI at this stage of the season? After a failure to score so far in the league, and the rather different attack subsiding into somnolence in the closing games of the last season, you'd be forgiven for thinking Boro's problem is up front. But the collapse today against a Coventry team also missing its stars of last season may paint a different picture, and lead us to the view that the defence isn't exactly watertight. Which brings me back to the old adage that when the defence is stuggling it's because it doesn't get the expected support from its midfield, and when the attack is struggling that's because it doesn't get the ammunition expected from its midfield. And when the midfield isn't working, that's because the midfield isn't good enough. It's the football equivalent of "it's the economy, Stupid!" It is usually down to the midfield.
What we CAN say is that, since a certain Mr Warnock is still in the hot-seat at Huddersfield, there will remain a gnawing feeling in the pit of the stomach that he will "do a job" on Boro. He has form for it. So I go into this next game full of confidence about several things. I'm confident that the game will go ahead. I'm confident that the groundstaff will have been sprinkling untold thousands of gallons of water onto an already drenched pitch even if the days before the game are "blessed" with continuous rainfall. I'm confident that the Boro supporters will have high hopes and that there will be a very good Championship attendance. But am I confident of getting 3 points from the game? Of it being a thrilling goal-fest? That we'll walk away from the stadium enthused for the season ahead and looking into the sun-drenched fertile uplands of a promotion run to the Premier League? Errr ... maybe not! Too much realism for that. I'd LIKE to believe. I'd LOVE to have faith. I reality I'd prefer to see even ONE loaf or ONE fish being produced from the crowd before I could bring myself to hope that there might even be the start of a feast.
Of course I might feel differently in a few days time. Maybe the players will feel differently. Maybe, as a team, they'll all have a collective good day at the office. Maybe the world will be a different place? Maybe next Saturday will really be a new start?
What do YOU think? Have you got the answers the Boro team needs? Don't be shy. The torrent of replies might tell the club management, or the players, where they have been going wrong. Or maybe it is some of US, supporters, who have been wrong all along? Too MUCH faith, possibly? Much, but probably not all, will be revealed at The Riverside on Saturday 19th August 2023 at 3pm. Will our collective hearts be able to bear it all....?
(OK. Maybe I could catch the end of the Newcastle game now).
A great starter by Forever Dormo who hasn’t condemned the Boro but quite simply told it how it is. That is the mark of a true fan not a lip spitting gurgling flow of invective hurled at our team. A rational thought if where we are and what our problems are.
Boro don’t have a lot of Middle East or American monies thrown at them to but players and let’s face it we have been the underdog since 1986 since the FA tried to kill our club. We shall come good believe !
We have a lot of talented bloggers on this site and FD has shown that we can all rise to the occasion and he has produced a great opener for us all to use and comment on. It’s been a great idea for everyone to use this format this season well done you Diasborians!
By the way Forever Dormo noticed a slight error that Alpom was going to leave the club and the text said differently. Unfortunately I couldn’t amend it so it’s my fault !
What a brilliant Headliner Dormo, aided by OFB. Completely different in its format and great to read.
So many questions, but not many answers and certainly no hints even from MFC.
One can only hope that we have a few reinforcements by next Saturday. Mind saying that, probably MC will want to integrate them first and possibly stick with todays starters.
Even though they were poor.
I’ve no confidence that Boro will beat Huddersfield mainly because of a certain Mr. Warnock who in his post match interview yesterday he introduced how much he has looking forward to playing Boro.
He did a job on Boro last season and there’s the issue of how he was relieved of his duties / sacked at Boro which still riles him.
I watched a 15 minute highlights of their game yesterday and was impressed by both teams. Huddersfield play a high energy game, closing opponents down quickly and set out to win the game. Based on Boro’s performance yesterday it will be men against Boro boys.
Ok they didn’t win yesterday but had enough chances to do so.
Also, forget the cup win against Huddersfield as they only had one established first team player.
So for Boro to have a chance of winning MC needs to get the team to massively improve in every aspect of the game.
In the meantime, in the next few days let’s hope some new players arrive even if they start by being on the bench.
Philip of Huddersfield 👍👋
When the loan players left there was always going to be a problem and the problem is here alright. This is the big test for Mr Carrick and my concern is that self-belief and confidence will drain away from the youngsters before they have even got started, then the problem gets ever bigger. I hope and pray we beat, and beat convincingly, Huddersfield next week but I think we'll be very lucky to do that, should Boro go a goal down against them just watch the belief drain away from the supporters first. I have a sneaking feeling that that home supporters are very different from the fabulous travelling support and obviously the home supporters vastly outnumber them. that in turn will affect the team.
This will be a different game and Boro need some points on the board, points from a team that will be hard to beat. Just like Millwall and Coventry then.
I know it's only two games in but nil points does not make for happy reading and the form was just as bad at the end of last season. The new Boro3 side have evaporated to Boro03 so a point would be progress. Or would it? As always more questions than answers.
I think I'll be happy when Boro reach the number of points for league safety.
Now it's Sunday do I have a beer at lunchtime? I think not, beer goggles can work both ways so a tea it is.
All the best to everyone.
I know X is not a reliable feed for news but a few supporters who were at the game yesterday concerned that McGree might be wanting away. Apparently he was the only Boro player who refused to sign autographs yesterday.
Or was he upset that Crooks took his place in the team?
I hate these unsettling rumours I’ll have to stop reading them !
@original-fat-bob. I got the impression that McGree did not look happy when he came on, probably a combination of being replaced by Crooks and then introduced to replace Coulson at fullback. 😎
Last season, with 4-5 matches to go, our dribbling wonder reappeared in the team, and yes I do refer to the Young lad who will not leave the touch line, and gets shoved out of play by nasty defenders, with great regularity. That was the end of us being promoted. We have started the season with the same character playing the same way, and got the same result. We are talking of loaning out our tall young striker, I would very much prefer the coaching skills of our Manager to be cast over him here on home soil.
Thank you for a very enjoyable opener Forever Dormo/OFB.
It’s going to be a very interesting Saturday from a number of perspectives.
How will we perform against a “first team” Huddersfield with 11 men. Will we be Warnocked. Will we have new players to introduce. Will MC continue to play players out of position. Will he have improved our defending. Will he have a plan B. Will we score. How will the crowd react if we go behind/lose again.
More questions than answers and I for one am looking forward to the game but with a degree of trepidation! 😎
Reported on Boro Fan TV, Ajax have reached an agreement with Boro to pay a fee of €12m plus €2m add ons, for Akpom, who will travel to Holland tomorrow for a medical prior to signing a 5 year deal.
Come on BORO
Thank you, Forever Dormo, for a different opener but very good nonetheless, I have said my piece on when I will judge Boro I will only say that I am looking forward to the match on Saturday with optimism for our first 3 points.
Come on BORO.
@john-richardson - Agreed. I also recognise we are currently only 2 games into the League season so there is no need to hide all the sharp knives in the house, but Boro already finds itself 6 points behind Leicester City & Ipswich and 4 points behind Watford, Norwich & Southampton so the question is whether, for the rest of the season our team is likely to be 6 points better than Leicester & Ipswich etc (and more if we are to overtake those teams). It isn't a problem only for Boro because even mighty Leeds United finds iteslf only a point better off than Boro whilst Sunderland shares Boro's points haul but has a better goal difference. But I'd very much prefer to be 6 points better off and we can't even console outselves with the thought that the team played well in both games but was unlucky in them both.
Obviously I don't fear that the team will go 38 games without a point or a win. I also don't realistically fear relegation (though I hope that doesn't come back to bite me in a few months time!). But I am conscious the team started last season poorly in terms of results and ended the season in decline. It really isn't likely to result in the "longed-for" promotion if the team has grim results at the start AND at the end of the season but relies on turning on Championship-winning form in the (let's say) 25 games in the middle of the season. I mean, it's POSSIBLE, but the team would have to be performing like Burnley did last season to achieve that and, as things stand, that looks very unlikely.
I know that we haven't had the best of starts but I thought that a bit of perspective might help. Here is the bottom three of the Championship on the 1st of October last year.
I'm not sure what odds you could have got on Boro and Coventry meeting each other in the play-off semi-final.
Lets hope that after 11 games this year we have substantially more than 10 points. 15 points would have seen us 10th.
ps. .....and by the way Norwich, Reading and QPR were in the top six!
On top of that, you can factor in that our peak last season had SIX players unavailable to us now - Smith, Giles, Howson, Akpom, Ramsey and Archer. You could include Steffen too though I think everyone is quite satisfied with Dieng.
Still 6 or 7 players different, all of them of a higher quality than we have in the side today, shows the size of the task. Even if the quality was similar it would take some time to settle.
People also forget that Archer and Ramsey were not available to us in the first half of the season. They only came during the January window. If we add the two purchased players under discussion, Howson and Smith/Dijksteel back to full fitness and two loan players of equivalent quality to Archer and Ramsey coming in for a whole season, we're going to be in reasonable shape. Of course, Akpom is a loss but his departure will finance a lot of the rebuild.
Back from holiday and after a day cutting through the jungle that used to be grass I've tuned into Diasboro again
Many thanks for the opener Forever Dormo with that cutting edge of disappointment running through the text that perhaps speaks for many on our less than illustrious start so far.
BTW I've managed to visit the Diasboro database and amend matters so that you're no longer OFB in disguise 😉 I also edited down the title to just 'Championship - Boro v Huddersfield' now that you're outed as the author!
Anyway, I hoping for three points on Saturday - especially as it will be the first game that I'll get to watch! Whether there'll be a sofa involved at some point depends on how scary the game is.
I'd agree with those who have highlighted the size of the rebuild currently being undertaken and with Howson and a recognised right-back still missing then Boro are at the moment a shadow of the team that could blow teams away.
With luck some of the new recruits will add quality but we clearly have not replaced Archer, Ramsey, Giles or now Akpom with anything of that level - plus Howson is only just been gradually introduced after injury.
No team could expect to cope with those losses and still be a force - the question is whether they will ultimately be replaced with enough quality to make Boro into a top-six side? It may well be that Steve Gibson will sanction some last-minute release of funds garnered from the Akpom windfall or what's left of the Spence-Tavernier cash (if any).
I suspect transfer fees are not the main problem but signing up to high wages is not a gamble a sensible chairman could allow in the current climate.
Looks like Boro need some luck on and off the pitch to revive their season - another taxing defeat at home would certainly test the optimism of those of non-doom status.
Prediction: Another 3-2 for Boro (fingers crossed)
@werdermouth I think we all realise, and did so during the play offs, that if we did not get promoted, then it would be very difficult to get to the level of our “stellar” period, this season.
I think we all knew in our heart of hearts, that Akpom would move on, given a bid of around 8 million pounds and upwards.
We are now up against better financed clubs, better and bigger squad clubs and, by the looks of it, a model that will require very good scouting of relatively unknown talent, including a good dose of luck that the signings pay off.
We have had some luck with players costing nothing. Tavernier and Spence and some failures costing reasonable fees in Payero and Hoppe.
However, as hard as it is to accept, especially after the football played at times, last season, we will probably just have to live with a club ran safely from a financial sense, and a team that may struggle to match those clubs with more cash.
As for cash available, given that that money for Tav and Spence is possibly spoken for, and with only the income this season to date, is Akpom and Bola, then there cannot be much left, taking into account fees paid for:
Dieng, some of the “projects” although that should be small, and then the two new lads if they sign. Possibly enough for two quality loans
The biggest saving will be Akpom’s wages.
Thanks for a very enjoyable opener, Dormo. Considering that you (partially) wrote it while listening to Boro getting hammered at Coventry, I think you've stayed remarkably positive!
I think Huddersfield have one of the weakest squads in the Champo this year, but they’ve also got the wily old fox as a manager, who will no doubt make them very hard to beat. It’ll be a tough game.
MC still has an enormous amount of credit in the bank after the miracles of last season, but we’re now in a different phase which will really test his mettle as a progressive young coach. We’ve now gone 7 league and playoff games without a win, and indeed have lost 5 of them. Given that he’s having to bed in several new young players at the same time as losing 3 or 4 really key men and others to injury, suddenly, for the first time, he finds himself under real pressure. Has he ever had to deal with such a difficult scenario before? Previously, everything he touched turned to gold. How well he manages this phase may enhance or weaken his reputation, and it may well define where our season is to go.
I don’t think he’ll change his methods or his attacking football philosophy, and I don’t think he should. The new season is only two games old. Plenty of time to get it right. We’re not yet in ‘must win’ territory for the Huddersfield game, however a defeat would leave MC needing to rebuild confidence and morale, making his task even more challenging.
Meanwhile Sky report that Chuba is having his medical at Ajax and that Burnley are going to sign Aaron Ramsey. We’ve missed out on Giles and it looks very unlikely we’ll bring Archer back. To lose 4 such key players in one fell swoop is almost unprecedented. Replacing them is going to be a hell of a job. To start with, we’ve lost 44 goals and at least 20 assists!! I think my previous post about this phase really challenging Carrick has just been re-emphasised.
Boro have completed the signing of Danish left back Lukas Engel! Four-year contract.
Ivory Coast striker Emmanuel Latte Lath has joined the Boro from Serie A side Atalanta. https://www.mfc.co.uk/news/2023/august/15/emmanuel-latte-lath-joins-boro/
Two signings today. We do them in patches. Up the Boro!
@jarkko - It's hard to beat a nice batch of signings to lighten the mood.
Quiz question, playmates:- who was the last player Boro signed from Atlanta? Answers on a postcard………
I remember watching the the Man from Atlanta when I was a kid - let's hope we won't be holding our breath as long as he could until Boro's fortunes are revived...
@forever-dormo What I like most is that we have not yet loaned a single new player. Perhaps we have learned something from last season.
Though nine new players in one single season is a lot for me. It takes months to get the new players gel. So no surprised with the start we have had.
Up the Boro!
@jarkko. I agree nine is a lot but I don’t believe they will all be ready for the first team. Probably some in the next 12/18 months, whilst some never, possibly. 😎
Just picked this up from MFC website. Quality of balls into the box are as good as any from RG. Looks promising.