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Boro v Sheffield We...
 

Boro v Sheffield Wednesday

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Boro leads at half-time through a Wendies OG (the first for Boro this season?  Who cares?  😉 ) initially credited to ELL.  CJ:

Decent first half from Boro. Settled after a fast Sheff Wed start and asserted their control in the game. Could have maybe created more with a few decent openings coming to nothing, but always looked the better side. Goal somewhat fortunate, but it counts, that's all that matters.

CJ on "unlucky" Barlaser:

He's had a good first half - playing with a lot more authority in the middle today. He picks the ball up just outside the box by winning a 50-50 and then feints to beat one and get into the box before his effort is blocked.

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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Izzy makes it 2-0 in the 73rd minute, assisted by Ayling.


   
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Greenwood misses a penalty in the 82nd minute - CJ:

Greenwood smashes it off the post. Feel for Greenwood. He's done well today. Deserved a goal. Really unfortunate. It remains 2-0.


   
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Engel on for Thomas in the 75th minute, Dijksteel for Jones in the 83rd minute & Silvera for ELL in the 84th.

Gilbert replaced Azaz in the 88th minute.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Greenwood did that on purpose. He saw I predicted 3-0 to Boro and he has also read in here that I don't rate him, so he missed a penalty just to spite me !!!!


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A straightforward win against a nothing opponent.

i didn’t think we played very well going forward today but we didn’t have to such was the lack of resistance from Sheff Wed.

O’Brien and Barlaser were decent, Clarke and especially Howson were commanding and good on the ball. Howson my man of the match and I’d be tempted to play him at centre-back even when Hackney returns.

Much more quality needed from the front four but job done comfortably today.


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Comfortable win and with everything else going away it keeps us pretending to be interested in the play-offs for a while longer. If Leeds beat Hull by 2 goals we overtake them and then we get to play them ourselves.

Sometimes the best time to be critical is when it's comfortable. I wasn't happy to see Greenwood start but fair play, that was his best game this year. A low bar and he still missed a penalty. I think, for whatever reason, he's lost all self-belief. Bit like watching Connolly floundering with us.

Judging people by their actions rather than what they say, Carrick clearly has no interest in playing any academy player if he can help it. Needing to replace Jones he has a right winger on the bench in Willis but turns to Dijksteel who has no future here. Gilbert still doesn't get any meaningful chance to impress. I hope that's Thomas's last appearance for us because if he's going to turn his career around, it won't be here. I can only assume that Hoppe isn't playing in case we can sell him to a US team because otherwise his non-appearance is mystifying. Presumably Finch is injured. 

On the credit side to Carrick, since Norwich got a man falsely sent off, we've won 5 and drawn 2, conceding just one goal. We may have managed to net 17 points from 21 without ever looking convincing but football is a results business and you can't argue with those results especially when you consider that we have something like 10 potential first team players missing* plus Rogers and Crooks sold without replacements. 

So you can't be too critical. 

*Smith, Fry, McNair, Lenihan, RVDB, Bangura, Hackney, Forss, McGree, Coburn


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Posted by: @andy-r

A straightforward win against a nothing opponent.

i didn’t think we played very well going forward today but we didn’t have to such was the lack of resistance from Sheff Wed.

O’Brien and Barlaser were decent, Clarke and especially Howson were commanding and good on the ball. Howson my man of the match and I’d be tempted to play him at centre-back even when Hackney returns.

Much more quality needed from the front four but job done comfortably today.

Echo player ratings - cf. comment on Barlaser, its MotM, & Howson:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24224334.dan-barlaser-man-match-middlesbrough-win-sheff-wed/

 


   
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jarkko
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I think Clive said we must finish above Sunderland at least.

Well, we are on a nice run now even we have a lot of injuries. But Sunderland was "pathetic" after their 5-1 hammering at home to Blackburn. So we are on target at the moment there to make Clive smile.

At least the two last matches has been desent to watch, too. Let's keep the run going and see where we end up in May. Up the Boro! 


   
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jarkko
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Next we will play Swansea at home and Norwich City will play at home to Ipswich Town. The latter being a derby match in Norfolk. Just saying, like. Up the Boro!


   
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@powmillnaemore 

Oh yes and me !

I said Boro3 !

OFB


   
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Clive Hurren
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I quite enjoyed the game. Let’s face it, it really doesn’t get any easier in this division than against this supine, hopeless Wednesday team, but Boro did what they had to do with minimum fuss. For long periods in the second half Wednesday provided us with shooting practice. Given that we missed most of them, then it’s clear we still need more practice, but hey, I’m not complaining! 

I think Greenwood had by far his best game for us. I was seriously impressed, penalty apart. His work-rate, his desire to get on the ball and his willingness to close down opponents were phenomenal. He frequently took on and beat defenders. If he continues to play like that, I may be forced to rethink my view of our releasing him. 

That said, nobody had a bad game. in particular, Barlaser and O’Brien dominated the midfield and formed a strong partnership, Azaz and Latte Lath buzzed around and caused Wednesday loads of problems, and Howson was simply sublime at centre-back, showing great confidence both in defending and in moving forward with the ball. I agree with Andy - Howson would be great at centre-half and this might even be a role for him in the future, if we want to play others in the midfield slots. 

Bring on Swansea! UTB. 


   
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Selwynoz
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@jarkko 

It is a very long shot indeed but it is fun to speculate what might happen over the coming games. A few more match days when we win and the five teams above us all lose and it might really be the time to sit up and take notice. This is obviously the cue for a 'typical Boro' performance against Swansea but who knows.

It makes it a bit tricky to know what to write for the preview of the Hull game. Speaking of Hull, the third goal that they conceded was one of those lovely 'missing goalkeeper' moments and was enough for us to overtake them.

UTB


   
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jarkko
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@selwynoz Yes, we passed Hull without playing as they went down to Leeds late last night.

My post about Norwich was a bit provocating - I now see Coventry, PNE and Hull all have a game in hand over us and Norwich. Norwich are up there in the 6th position, but all the others are watching if they slip.

At least we can all agree on being in safety against relegation - we have passed the 54 points barroer against relagation a long time ago. Up the Boro! 


   
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Posted by: @clive-hurren

I think Greenwood had by far his best game for us. I was seriously impressed, penalty apart. His work-rate, his desire to get on the ball and his willingness to close down opponents were phenomenal. He frequently took on and beat defenders.

Agreed. I wonder if he works out that he may end up as a bit of a Tav style player. He has a good engine and likes to get stuck in (albeit stupidly at times) and he does have a good set piece delivery. He's not that creative but if he can get his head around what he's trying to do, maybe there's hope for him.

Something that did occur to me is that although we have an option to buy it looks like his wages double if Leeds go up and that will put his wages out of our reach. If Leeds do go up they won't want him and they aren't going to be able to sell him to anyone willing to equal his wages so we might see him back here on loan again with us paying half his wages. I've been anti playing him because I didn't see how it benefited us for building a team but I think there's a fair chance we see him back on loan and that changes things. Like Jarkko, I feel that the continual massive rebuilds have stopped us from progressing as a club so anything which allows us to minimise the rebuild in the summer seems like a good idea.

 


   
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Martin Bellamy
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Away from football, feast your eyes on the photos in this article, then dab them dry, as you remember how things used to be (although some things haven’t changed too much - apart from Skinningrove which now has a fantastic beach). 
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2024/apr/02/north-east-chris-killip-graham-smith-heavy-industry?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@martin-bellamy.  Great photos Martin. 

I remember Clay Lane and Bessemer furnaces very well from the late sixties. Somethings don't change.


 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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Well hear is a rumour, from the horses mouth. So very valid?

Riley McGree just cannot settle on Teesside and wants away. Apparently it is too cold for him. Possibly other reasons I guess.

Just awell he did not sign for Celtic.

Of course, first off all he needs to get over his operation and get fit. Then another club needs to be interested. 

 


   
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Posted by: @pedro

Well hear is a rumour, from the horses mouth. So very valid?

Riley McGree just cannot settle on Teesside and wants away. Apparently it is too cold for him. Possibly other reasons I guess.

Just awell he did not sign for Celtic.

Of course, first off all he needs to get over his operation and get fit. Then another club needs to be interested. 

 

If it is true, what price would diasboro expect MFC to accept for McGree.

Come on BORO.

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil. I guess only time will tell if it is true. I do not, obviously, want to say who it came from, however it does have credibility.

3/4 million tops?? Especially it he does want to leave. 


   
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Clive Hurren
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@pedro 

No. More than that. When he’s fit, he’s very skilful, and scores goals. I’d say hold out for £6-7 million. But personally, I hope he does stay next season. 


   
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Selwynoz
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@clive-hurren 

He's under contract until mid-2025. That means that he will only have one year left from the end of this season. That's typically the time to extend or sell.

UTB


   
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There has been a lot of talk that McGree wanted to go in the summer but we didn't get a bid that we were prepared to accept leading to a bit of a fallout. This season has been a bit of wash out for him and with just a year left on his contract I doubt we'll get any decent bids. McGree made it plain when he joined us that his aim was to get to the Premier league but that hasn't worked out and I don't see any Premier teams coming in for him. 

There's current rumours about Forss wanting a move. He has had a strange couple of years with us but he's definitely a better all-round player now than when he joined. He has 2 years left on his contract so it is, in many ways, a good time to sell. He is one of the most clinical finishers in the league but I don't see a Premier team coming in for him so I don't know who is prepared to offer a significant amount for him. I could see him going to a top tier league on the continent or even someone like Rangers or Celtic offering around £5m for him. 

I could see the merit in letting McGree go, even if not for a great amount of money but I hope we're able to reduce turnover this summer and hang onto Forss as well as Izzy who is also moving into his last 12 months.

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@deleriad   Depending on who we can keep hold of and how much money we have to spend, then possibly we may unfortunately have more turn over of “first team players” than we would want.

There are a number in their last year and unless something happens quickly with Jones, he may join McGree and Dijksteel through the door. He would be a loss.

Forss, given his injury issues, and if we could get 5+ for him, so be it.

I also think that if MC stays, then Mr Gibson will have to show him some commitment in the transfer market. This season has been a disappointment overall, and we need to have the look at least, of a better chance next.

We need a RB, midfield will need a re jig certainly. It appears that we will need somebody on the left and another option upfront who could be expensive in terms of us.

None on the current bench players and under 21’s look as though they can jump up a grade.


   
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jarkko
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Jones wants to stay. We can of course speculate as much as we want. But there are too many moving parts at the moment.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24226253.isaiah-jones-will-hold-contract-talks-middlesbrough-summer/

Up the Boro!


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@jarkko - I'd like Jones, Forss and McGree to stay at BORO because they are clearly 3 of the players at our club who are the most likely to create/score chances, and that is what any team needs to succeed.  Of course keeping an unhappy player causes its own problems.  Jones is the one with a bit of pace who can rip up the right wing to tear a defence open.  I'd want his contract extending.  If you put all of our forward players through on goal 10 times, Forss is the player who'd put the highest number of those chances in the net. McGree is the one most likely to create an opening in the middle of the field when there are players around him, the one most likely to put a colleague into a scoring opportunity.  If we sold all three, what is the chance they'd be replaced with better?

It has seemed that there has been "something wrong" between McGree and the club/its management for some time. It's just that, with so many unfortunate absences for illness/injury, he's has precious little opportunity to play to his best and plant his flag with a great big message saying "LOOK AT HOW GOOD I AM" in the centre circle. He has had a very frustrating period. Coming on for brief late cameos is not what we need.  Maybe he is not REALLY top quality in terms of consistency and product but, at his best, he's up with the better players in our league and, if we'd had him (and been able to start him) for 38 league games that would have offered an improvement to our season. His injury/health situation over the last year has meant McGree hasn't been able either to show his best for BORO (if he'd wanted to stay) or to put himself in the shop window (if he'd wanted a move "upwards"). In his autobiography I'm sure he'll say that 2023-24 was a disappointing, wasted, season.

What if the manager gave everyone a 360 degree appraisal form to complete before the end of the season? How do you think you played (rate your season - good games and not-so-good/bad games and why)?  What are you pleased about and what has disappointed you in your performances?  Have you made progress (better player now than 12 months ago)?  What can you do to improve or to lengthen your career?  What can the club do to make you a better player?  What can you do to make this a better club or your team a more successful team?  I'm sure there could be many more questions.  After all, the people in the middle of all this (the playing/management/fitness staff etc) surely know more than those of us on the outside, what has been going right and what has been going wrong.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Forever Dormo

Powmill-Naemore
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I think Azaz was brought in to provide options when McGree is unavailable, arguably to replace him, as it has been known for some time now (or assumed to be known), he is unhappy. From the relatively little we have seen of Azaz so far I think he will prove to be a more than adequate option for us if (or when) McGree says goodbye.


   
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jarkko
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Posted by: @forever-dormo

@jarkko - I'd like Jones, Forss and McGree to stay at BORO because they are clearly 3 of the players at our club who are the most likely to create/score chances, and that is what any team needs to succeed.

Absolutely, we should keep them all. At least I hope so. I totally I agree that we must keep our best players.

I believe Hackney will stay, too. Hopefully we could get O'Brien signed for next season, too. I would keep the changes as minimum as possible. So that we won't start the season as badly as this year. I guess we missed so many points in our first seven matches, that we should easily be in the too six now.

I like our current policy - we need a few experienced players but we should not buy too many of the older players. I remember fondly the times when we had Craig Johnson, Mark Proctor and David Hodgson in the first team. A part of our DNA is young players coming trough the academy. And also buying some new. 

I also hope we have a few experienced players - at best someone like Howson. Bought at his prime and gradually taking over as a senior statesman. Occationally we could buy experience, but not too many. Generally the new players must have some resale value.

Up the Boro!

 


   
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