Discussion Forum

Boro v Sheffield We...
 

Boro v Sheffield Wednesday

58 Posts
18 Users
257 Likes
394 Views
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2676
Topic starter  

Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wed

 

Monday 1st April 2024 KO 3:00

 

So we have come to this, which is my last planned match preview of the season. The season that is probably left for Boro and the fans.

 

May I take this opportunity to give thanks to all at Diasboro for your input, comments and to all the other contributors who have made this blog the best in the business. Insightful, thoughtful, wistful and just plain laugh at loud posts have warmed us all up during the long season following the Boro. Some highs, some lows, some very lows, some very highs!

 

I salute you all.

 

This season is getting wrapped up earlier than we all thought, hoped and expected it to be, (although the start of the season was a bit scary!)

 

It did cross my mind that I might get a play off match to write a preview for, but that now looks just a pipe dream or pie in the sky !

 

Lots of new players, some good, some outstanding and some poor. Most of the squad have been improved technically under the guidance of our coaching staff and one or two of the new players have been well identified and sourced and recruited by Boro’s often under fire scouting team.

 

Some great games to watch especially against Premiership opposition, but some really poor fayr at home against teams lowly placed in the league.

 

The defensive system adopted by the Boro of trying to play “keep ball” by footballers of inadequate passing ability appears to have been scrapped or drastically reduced. It was an expensive experiment and cost the Boro a lot of games and points against poor teams, who had studied the Boro tactics well. Our opponents maintained a high press forcing the Boro defenders into making errors and a lot of hearts in the mouths of the Boro fans nervously watching from the stands.

 

My player of the season? It has to be young Rav Van den Berg who has played right,left and centre back for the team. He has to be Boro’s youngest ever captain at 19 years of age. (If only Ken was here he would tell me who was the youngest ever captain for Boro! RIP.) Envious glances from a lot of lower position and even top Premiership clubs and we will probably see some speculative bids for him at the end of the season.

 

Will Isaiah Jones also be the subject of bids from other clubs  and also Riley McGree? Quite possibly and hopefully Boro can withstand the urge to sell and form the basis for a team prepared to make a push for automatic promotion and not just through the playoffs.

 

Hayden Hackney another Boro young player who has been the subject of transfer rumours and envious glances from other clubs may also depart for pastures new.

 

Boro do have a couple of outstanding young players coming through the ranks and they will be looking to make a breakthrough next season into the first team.

 

Will Jonny Howson pull on the captains armband, and lead his Boro team out for one more season? Or will he be allowed to move on for one more payday? I think that he will stay and eventually join the Boro back room staff like Leadbitter before him. Passing on his knowledge and good working practises of being a professional player for the team and not being too self indulgent.

 

Will Paddy McNair move on? Rumoured to be the highest paid permanent player on the Boro payroll, his performances this season have been calm and assured and worthy of his place. He recently skippered a young Northern Ireland side to a credible 1-1 draw in Romania during the opening round of International Matches but is now injured when returning to

Boro. I think Paddy’s days are numbered at the Boro to make way for fresh blood.

 

Anfernee Dijksteel was also on the international stage when he won his second cap for Suriname. They came from behind to draw 1-1 with Martinique in a friendly in the Netherlands. Probably another player to be moved on during the close season.

 

Riley McGree was the only other Boro player to feature in the opening round of international games, but injury saw him withdrawn during the first half of Australia's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Lebanon.

Riley returned to Rockliffe for his injury to be evaluated. The result? End of season for McGree.

 

He might have been something of a fringe figure in his first season at Middlesbrough, but Michael Carrick says he's "really excited" by the prospect of Sammy Silvera finding his feet and hitting top form on Teesside. Mmmm, I must confess that I haven’t seen that myself but I respect MC’s judgement and hope he’s right for a great 2024-2025 season. He certainly made an impression when he came on as a sub against Southampton yesterday and his energy seemed to gee up the team as a whole.

 

Others to move on could hopefully include; Tom Glover, Tommy Smith, Dan Barlaser, and Matthew Hoppe. Unfortunately Barlaser whilst he is a good passer of the ball, he doesn’t seem to fit into the style of play adopted by MC and Boro. His mistakes in the middle of the park have cost us goals and games unfortunately.

 

Of the players on loan I would only keep Luke Ayling and that would depend on salary negotiations as he is currently receiving a large pay packet which is unsustainable in the Championship. Lewis O Brien on a reported £45k per week is also an expensive player to have and that wage is not affordable in the Championship. Greenwood, after a few hustle and bustle games and an impressive goal scored from a free kick against Leicester seems to have drifted into anonymity.

 

Fry, Clarke,Dieng and Bangura to stay although the patience of the Boro backroom staff must be tested by the inability of Fry to last a full season. Lenihan on a reported salary of £26k a week could also be moved on to free up some room in the wages budget.

 

Forss who is currently injured until next season will only get better and has a sure goal scoring touch. Josh Coburn hopefully can put his Injury hit season behind him and go on and hopefully fulfil his promise with the Boro first team. Latte Lath is looking better each game and should score a lot of goals next season his goal against Southampton yesterday being typical of his endeavour and energy.

 

Our opponents today are Sheffield Wednesday who are currently in 23rd position after a 1-1 home draw with Swansea.

 

The stats between the Boro and Sheffield Wednesday for games played against each other to date are actually pretty even.

 

Boro v Sheffield Wednesday

Games won:

48

Games drawn:

19

Games lost:

49

My favourite game against them of course, was the 8 0 victory in April 1974. Hickton got one, Foggon got two, Mills and Murdoch fired one in apiece but a sublime hat trick by my favourite player of all time. Graeme Souness bagged three !

 

The team that day was :

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper

Jim Platt

Defender

Frank Spraggon

Defender/Centre back

Stuart Boam

Midfielder

David Armstrong

Midfielder

Bobby Murdoch

Midfielder

Graeme Souness

Midfielder/Forward

Alan Foggon

Forward

John Hickton

Forward

David Mills

Defender/Right-back

John Craggs

Defender/Centre-back

Willie Maddren

Substitutions:

Harry Charlton for Bobby Murdoch

 

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl refused to make excuses for his side as they spurned chances to draw 1-1 with Swansea City at Hillsborough - but did make clear he felt his side were hard done by with a couple of big decisions on the day.

 

Wednesday had the better of the scoring opportunities, particularly in the second half, but saw Bailey Cadamarteri's late first half opener cancelled out as Owls summer transfer target Jamal Lowe was allowed space to poke home a corner in the 76th minute - with more than a whiff of handball about his effort to control. Referee Geoff Eltringham turned down a penalty shout by Ike Ugbo in the second half.

"We take the point," Röhl said. "In our situation, every point is important. We are a little disappointed because, especially in the second half, we were so much more in and we created a lot of chance to win this game. You have to be ruthless and clinical in both boxes.

 

Hopefully the Boro can be ruthless in both boxes on Monday and come away with all the points to impress upon the holiday crowd at the Riverside.

 

So come on you Diasborians let’s have your predictions !

 

Me?

Me?

 

Well I’m full of the holiday spirit and sunshine and chocolate eggs!

 

I’m going for Boro3 !

 

OFB

 


Philip of Huddersfield
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 450
 

Enjoyable read. Thank you.

I couldn’t help look at the team which beat Wednesday 8-0 and ask myself how many of the current Boro squad would have got in that team .

Any advance on 1, or if I’m a bit more generous 2.

Wednesday will be a tough game what with Boro injuries and they have had some decent results recently and are fighting for their lives.

Philip of Huddersfield where the locals are fearing relegation and hoping for a Boro win


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1213
 

Thank you @OFB for that opener, delivered very shortly after the game at Southampton (I realise the games come quick and fast at Easter, so there really was very little time at all for you to post this).  An enjoyable read. WELL up to standard!

Who from the team likely to be available for Monday's game would get into the team that stuffed Wednesday 8-0 in 1974?  I think it would be a bold man to suggest one (RVDB?) but more that one?  I doubt it.  That 1974 team was as good a "2nd Tier" team as we've ever seen.  Ran away with the league like Usain Bolt, and with only 2 points for a win and with, at that stage, a record margin over the teams below (unless my memory is fooling me).

Since this is your last opener for the season, OFB, can I thank you for all that you have done and contributed to the Blog this season and before?


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2307
 

Great opener OFB, thank you.  Thanks are due to you and all those who have taken the time and trouble to put together match opener’s which have been of the highest quality and a delight to read; thank you one and all.

As others have said, Sheffield Wednesday will not be a pushover and certainly there won’t be a repeat of that glorious game, all those years ago, when the best ever Boro team, in my view, trounced them.

The injury situation this season has been a real concern and I hope that the  back room staff have been able to identify some of the causes with a view to minimising them next season.

I hope we can win on Monday but would settle for a draw again if it keeps the unbeaten run going but who knows these days at the Riverside which is no longer the fortress it used to be.

Have a good Easter one and all. 😎


Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1122
 

Another excellent opener from OFB - I’d like to echo my thanks for all your efforts on here this season- here’s hoping the team can reward you with three of those foam handed goals. 


Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1178
 

Many, many thanks for your excellent Headliner OFB, which unfortunately will  be your last of this current season.

You and all the other Contributors have come up time and again, with a spectrum of varying productions of the highest calibre. Thank you to one and all.

As for the match itself, at the moment all our home games seem to be difficult games, not helped by the injury situation. I guess Monday's match will be probably no different, so I will take a draw and hope for more.

OFB's little look to next season and which players of the current squad we would like to keep or release will result in many varied views from the members on here.

It will I am sure, depend on ticket sales, which will very likely to be down from this season. Also who we can push through the revolving doors and possibly more importantly, who we can retain.

I cannot imagine Dieng going anywhere. Ayling, I would consider, but he would want a two year contract I imagine and then we have Smith, who I think would be difficult to move on. I would go for a new youngish Championship ready player.

Of the others OFB mentioned, Glover, Hoppe and Barlaser, well they could all go for me, especially if it is thought Sol Brynn is ready to step up as a number two.

I think MC will want to retain Howson, if a reasonable deal can be done. O'Brien is supposed to be on 15K according to Capology, so if true, that may not be impossible.

As I posted, the injury issue is a worry, and although I have generally enjoyed MC's style of play, and would not want to go back to Pulis or Wilder as exmil suggested, there has to be a compromise somewhere, if it is thought that our current system of play contributes to those injuries. The reality is we cannot continue as we are.

We have players that do appear to be injury prone. Fry, Forss from this season and past. Latte Lath and Bangura are probably susceptible given the type of player they are. Discounting the younger players, such as HH and Jones, there are a couple of older players that may not come back as good as previously. Lenihan and Smith?

So, Mr Gibson, Scott and MC have a rather difficult job on their hands to produce a squad that could possibly challenge for the top six even. Hopefully we will get lucky with some of the recruitment.


   
ReplyQuote
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 633
 

I would also like to proffer my thanks to you, OFB, for all your contributions over this season and many previously, and also for this excellent opener.  

In normal circumstances, we should win this one. But these are not normal circumstances: we know we’ll definitely be without McGree, Forss, Fry, Bangura, Smith, Lenihan, and almost certainly without Coburn, Hackney and McNair. We may even still be missing Van den Berg, and possibly also Jones after his knock on Friday. Heaven knows what side Carrick will be able to field or who he will have available for the bench. We know Wednesday are fighting for their lives. So while I would be very disappointed not to get three points, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Owls held out for a draw. I hope I’m wrong, but I can see it finishing goalless. 

Your reminder of that great Boro side was very timely, OFB. As I recall, that squad was relatively small, yet seemed to play together in most games very consistently over a long period of time, to such an extent that we can probably all still chant off those 11 names in our sleep, perhaps as well or better than England’s World Cup winning team. Curiously, in an idle moment last week, I did just that - and lo, (or lol, as the young people say), I reeled off all 11 Boro names exactly as you listed them! Perhaps that consistency was one of the factors behind their success and their greatness? Contrast that with the injury misfortune we’ve suffered this season and just prior to the playoffs last season and the plain fact that Carrick has rarely been able to field a settled side. 

I must say I’m not in any sense trying to equate our present squad with that great 1970s Boro team - clearly the present bunch are nowhere near as good, and few if any would have got into the Charlton squad on merit - but it does make you wonder just how many more points we might have won had we had a settled side for many more matches.


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2307

   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1178
 

MFC anounce 17000 ST sales at the end of early bird. 


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1178
 

@k-p-in-spain. Sorry KP, we both posted at 16.21. 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 382
 

@pedro 

17k they must have put something in the water, not criticising since I renewed both of mine


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2307
 

@pedro.  Great minds! 😉😎


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1307
 

On injuries, how many have been “impact” injuries as opposed to hamstring etc, McGree was out with an unusual foot problem, so maybe it’s nothing to do with training or our style of play, just a thought 🤔.

Come on BORO.


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 762
 

Thanks Bob for another first-class preview, and I echo the sentiment that every single opener this season has been well worth reading and is a tribute to the quality of the contributors to this blog.  Thanks to all for the time and trouble taken to produce such creative and committed work.


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1178
 

@exmil     I believe a fair number have been hamstrings. Of course we do know now that O’Briens was a fracture/break from an unpunished foul. HH’s original was a knee injury. Lenihan and Smith more serious obviously.

We also seem to get a few “knocks” 

 

 


   
ReplyQuote
Selwynoz
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 753
 

To be fair, it does seem to be a problem across the whole of professional football and even worse in some areas of the women's game.

Is there a fundamental difference in the way that the game is being played? I can only offer the suggestion that players are being trained to a higher level of fitness which may, paradoxically, leave them on the edge of injury and, at the same time and perhaps because of the extra fitness levels, the game is much faster and more combative than it ever was before. I'm not saying that its tougher - there have always been loads of hard players around - but it's possible that the collisions and falls are happening at a higher speed and causing worse problems.

UTB


   
ReplyQuote
Selwynoz
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 753
 

@Original Fat Bob

excellent opener but it has caused a certain gnashing of teeth down under.

I'm due to write the preview for the Hull game. I was hoping that we would still be in the play-off race - I accept that it was unlikely even with wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea but hope springs eternal etc etc - and I was preparing a cunning backup plan which involved getting a jump on everyone else in reviewing the players and who was likely to stay and go. Unfortunately, I have been gazumped by your excellent piece and so it's back to the drawing board. 

On a general question, the main issue that interests me for the games to come is just who Carrick will pick. I accept his comments on still playing until playoffs are mathematically dead, but once that happens is there any point in picking players who will not be at the Boro next year? It may be that a number of players are only going to be kept if terms can be agreed and so the whole thing will be up in the air until the transfer window opens in June. However, I would like to get a look at some of the players who are on the bench.

 UTB

 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2676
Topic starter  

@selwynoz 

 

Sorry! 

I jumped the gun !

OFB


   
Liked by Selwynoz and Clive Hurren
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 231
 

Thanks for the opener OFB. I remember the game in 74, incredibly 50 years ago. The attendance was 25287, I wonder what it will be tomorrow? One thing I remember is that the crowd wanted a penalty so that Jim Platt would take it so every player had scored that season. Going back to Friday I see that Lukas Engel made the Whoscored team of the week. I have only seen the highlights does anyone think he deserved to be MOM?


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1178
 

@mw-in-darwin    Not me. He had a decent game, and if he he could improve another level would be worthy of a first pick LB next season.

However, he did let himself down with his execution of the crosses he created. Probably 6/7 in total, but I would say the majority poor deliveries. That is an area he has to improve on. He gets there, but the quality is nowhere near that of Giles.

Of course if can acheive that improvement, he would be worth a lot more money than we paid for him. 
Only my opinion, others may see him differently. 

MOTM had to be Dieng. O’Brien had a good game I thought.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Pedro de Espana

   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2307
 

@pedro.  I agree on Engel, his delivery yesterday was poor and was certainly not MoTM with Dieng and Clarke the outstanding players for me.

Crosses into the box need a big improvement if we are to improve our scoring record as we are poor on both flanks.  That being said the delivery from Gilbert for Latte Lath’s goal was superb. 😎


   
ReplyQuote
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 633
 

On another matter entirely, would someone be prepared to swop with me to write the opener for the Leeds game? I did the away game earlier in the season, so I fear I’d simply end up repeating myself! I don’t really want Cardiff, as I did that one earlier, too! 

Ideally, I would take on either Ipswich or Watford. I don’t know who is down to do these two, but would either of you be willing to do Leeds instead? 


   
Liked by jarkko
ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1122
 

@clive-hurren If you can’t find a swap, I’ll take over the Leeds game if that helps.


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2676
Topic starter  

@clive-hurren 

 

Andy Regent and Forever Dormo for the two games you mentioned 

 

OFB


   
Liked by Clive Hurren
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2676
Topic starter  

@clive-hurren 

clive 

I’m sure the guys would be prepared to swap as we don’t want any of the previews to be onerous. Let’s face it this blog is for enjoyment. Just post if you are struggling and we’ll help out !

UTB

OFB


   
Liked by Clive Hurren and Selwynoz
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1297
 

Posted by: @clive-hurren

On another matter entirely, would someone be prepared to swop with me to write the opener for the Leeds game? I did the away game earlier in the season, so I fear I’d simply end up repeating myself! I don’t really want Cardiff, as I did that one earlier, too! 

Ideally, I would take on either Ipswich or Watford. I don’t know who is down to do these two, but would either of you be willing to do Leeds instead? 

 

Happy to swap, Clive. You do Ipswich and I’ll do Leeds.

 


   
ReplyQuote
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 633
 

@andy-r 

Brilliant, Andy! Many thanks. 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 669
 

OFB,

Super job with that opener, collectively I don't know how you all do it. Different approaches and angles, plenty of humour, Boro supporters need it and excellent research. However I do miss Ken's statistics and I'm sure others do too. I hope the weather up there is better than here in Norfolk so the choice is behind the couch or a Terrier walk. Even when Boro are playing for pride, well I hope they will be, my nerves have been shot to pieces this season. 

I admire OFB's optimism but we all know how the Boro chemistry reacts to lowly placed teams, just do not concede Boro.

All the best to everyone.

UTB,

John


   
ReplyQuote
Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1367
 

@original-fat-bob 

Another excellent opener.  Thank you.

I expect that you are just enjoying a pint in the fans zone outside the front door at the Riverside as I am writing this, enjoying the pre-match atmosphere as you have said you are wont to do. I hope it is warmer there than it is here in Perth today.

That lineup , that season.. I agree with others that that was simply the best Boro team in my time. So consistently good. That 15 point margin would have been 22 points in modern money. I am sure that has never been surpassed since and it will be some team that ever does.

The Sheffield Wednesday game was the only home game I missed that season. I think I have mentioned previously that my older sister got married that day. The compensation was that the reception was held at Charlie Amer's Marton Hotel and Country Club where the team had its pre-match lunch. Jackie Charlton joined the newly weds for a photograph and arranged for me and my kid brother to be photographed with the team. One of those memories that is as clear today as it was on the day.

We could do with a convincing home performance against a struggling team today. I can't imagine this group scoring eight, but one of your (OFB) Boro3 scores would be welcome.

3-0 Boro is my hopeful and optimistic prediction.

CoB

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Powmill-Naemore

   
ReplyQuote
jarkko
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2230
 

A deserved lead at half time. Greenwood's been much better than on Friday when we hardly saw him. 

Still some work to do. We are good until the final ball in the box. Hopefully we are better in their box in the second half. Wednesday will leave more places to attack in the second half when they chase the game. We must be more lethal.

Up the Boro!


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Share: