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BORO v Watford
 

BORO v Watford

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Our last teamsheet of the campaign

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This post was modified 2 months ago by K P in Spain
This post was modified 2 months ago by werdermouth

   
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@k-p-in-spain 

Interesting to see McCabe start ahead of O'Brien and Barlaser and also Greenwood only on the bench too - good to see Coburn on the bench but I guess he's unlikely to be risked.


   
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@Werdermouth. Sorry, yes I missed Coburn on the bench! Another senior moment!😎

I see no point in playing some of the loanees at this stage as they have nothing to prove as far as contracts are concerned as I suspect decions have already been made.  Good to see the new blood coming through and I hope they play well and enjoy their day.

Ps thanks for amending my poor attempt at trying to paste the team sheet.😎

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by K P in Spain

   
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So, ELL rounds off his season with at least one goal, in the 28th minute, assisted by Luke Ayling (his 18th of the season).


   
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Another good display from Latte Lath who looks better with each game - McCabe also looking composed and tidy in midfield with Luke Ayling providing a good outlet down the right he may be earning himself a contract. Watford look strong but are absolutely hopeless when they get sight of goal and may explain why they've had so many nil-nil's.


   
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CJ's assessment of the first half:

Boro ahead at the break with another goal from Latte Lath. 11 in 12 now for him. Ending the season in fine form. Been a decent contest in the main. Played at a better pace than the first half last weekend at Cardiff. Not many chances, but a decent game to watch all the same.


   
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Hoedt equalised for the Hornets in the 73rd minute (shame no clean sheet for Dieng), but Alex Bangura put Boro back in front five minutes later - CJ:

Boro back in front! Understandably, he's delighted with that, as are his Boro team-mates, with even Dieng right up to celebrate with him. Great feet by Greenwood in the penalty area to beat his man then fire across the box, Jones helps it on with a touch, Bangura arrives and side-foots a volley first time into the corner.


   
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Izzy makes it 3-1 in the 84th minute, assisted (again) by Luke Ayling.  Bob'll be happy!  🙂


   
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Posted by: @stircrazy

Hoedt equalised for the Hornets in the 73rd minute (shame no clean sheet for Dieng), but Alex Bangura put Boro back in front five minutes later - CJ:

Boro back in front! Understandably, he's delighted with that, as are his Boro team-mates, with even Dieng right up to celebrate with him. Great feet by Greenwood in the penalty area to beat his man then fire across the box, Jones helps it on with a touch, Bangura arrives and side-foots a volley first time into the corner.

Bangura & Barlaser replaced Thomas & Howson in the 65th minute, O'Brien & Greenwood McCabe & Gilbert in the 71st.

 


   
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Great way to finish the season with a good performance and contribution from all the players; a deserved win and rousing send off from the Riverside.

The signs are looking positive and with the right recruitment in the summer then we should be able to more than compete for a top six slot and even, given what Ipswich did, for a top two slot.

Ideally for me we need Ayling and O’Brien to sign permanently and add another striker and we should have a capable squad as long as we do not lose any key players.

Have a good summer one and all and thanks to everyone who has contributed to an amazing Boro blog. 😊😎


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Yet another good Boro performance as they continued with their good form until the end of the season - just fell short of the play-offs in the end by 4 points, which if you consider they somehow dropped 5 points to bottom club Rotherham then maybe the season should've been continuing after today. 

Some impressive performances from Latte Lath and Ayling in particular but also nice to see Bangura get his goal and that highlighted what a great team spirit there appears to be at the club - which will help enormously with next season as Carrick will already have the right atmosphere in the dressing room to push on.

Indeed, Rav van den Berg in the lap of appreciation interview made the point that all the players like each other and it's why many are happy to be at the club - let's hope Boro can keep on to the key players in the summer and add a few more quality signings!


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FLW puts the case for not signing Sam Greenwood & going after Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield) instead:

https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/middlesbrough-should-sign-sorba-thomas-over-sam-greenwood/


   
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Echo player ratings - Ayling & ELL both given a 9.  Includes a link to Dom Shaw's match report:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24299500.middlesbrough-ratings-vs-watford-ayling-latte-lath-star/

And the Gazette's:

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/middlesbrough-player-ratings-vs-watford-29113189

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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Posted by: @stircrazy

Echo player ratings - Ayling & ELL both given a 9.  Includes a link to Dom Shaw's match report:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24299500.middlesbrough-ratings-vs-watford-ayling-latte-lath-star/

It seems that the signing of Ayling is all but a done deal:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24299568.leeds-united-loanee-luke-ayling-close-middlesbrough-deal/

There's a similar report in the Gazette, which claims that Boro is in "pole position".

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

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Enjoyed the match ELL made mugs of the Watford centre backs a couple of times, he is a real handful. Clarke really impressed 


jarkko
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A nice win for Boro tonight. Something to build on next season. I love LL.

@dormo A win for my son' futsal team, too - so a second Champion's medal for him. Their team won it last season, too. My son is the goalkeeping coach there.

Up the Boro!

This post was modified 2 months ago by jarkko

Selwynoz
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Posted by: @werdermouth

Yet another good Boro performance as they continued with their good form until the end of the season - just fell short of the play-offs in the end by 4 points, which if you consider they somehow dropped 5 points to bottom club Rotherham then maybe the season should've been continuing after today. 

Some impressive performances from Latte Lath and Ayling in particular but also nice to see Bangura get his goal and that highlighted what a great team spirit there appears to be at the club - which will help enormously with next season as Carrick will already have the right atmosphere in the dressing room to push on.

Indeed, Rav van den Berg in the lap of appreciation interview made the point that all the players like each other and it's why many are happy to be at the club - let's hope Boro can keep on to the key players in the summer and add a few more quality signings!

I often think that people under-estimate the importance of signing good people who will both help create a positive spirit in the dressing room and are aware of the broader issues that affect the community. For example, reading about Finn Azaz and his work in hospices speaks volumes about his character and fits in with the tremendous work that the MFC Foundation does with a range of activities and support groups.

Clearly there is a great team spirit and to see the sheer joy with which the whole team celebrated Bangura’s goal was really heartwarming. For me this is another reason to sign Ayling. Hearing him speak about Latte Lath and the young players indicates the positive impact that he and Johnny Howson can bring to the group.

its easy to see it all through rose-tinted glasses from 12,000 miles away. I’d love to hear more local comments on the position that MFC holds in the community and how the club operates in general.

UTB

This post was modified 2 months ago by Selwynoz

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@jarkko - Absolutely delighted for you and your son.  Well done, him and his team!

Also delighted that BORO won the last game of the season. It was very enjoyable to watch. I won't attempt any analysis as I repaired to the Drunken Donkey after getting home, for a detailed debrief.  In fact the only people who'd been to the match and who then went to the pub were me and the lad who sits next to me, so the debrief was short as we'd already had our discussion as we walked back from the Riverside to our cars.  To replace the carefully constructed football analysis it proved necessary to hold a beer tasting session. The defintive anlysis is that the Sunbeam was "top notch".

Further delighted that Ipswich joined Leicester City in the promotion places.  No doubt Leeds supporters will look forward now to the Play-Offs (*cough, cough*).

The next step in BORO's campaign to dominate world football will have to wait until August. But I don't think the Blog sleeps, or has a close season....


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A good way to end the season one defeat in 12. Latte Lath scoring again, pity there wasn't a clean sheet. With his two assists yesterday Ayling is our top assister with 8 having only played 19 games. However he did pick up 8 yellows as well, which is quite concerning if we do sign him as that would equate to 19 in a full season and Smith is also a card magnet. There must be something about Leeds players as Greenwood has 8 yellows this season as well. Anyone who was at the match did Hayden Hackney and Paddy Mcnair take part in the lap of honour after the match?


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A great result to close the season and positive vibes coming from the squad.

I am in the let's give Ayling a contract camp, but of the loanees I would hope to keep O' Brien. Please, whatever happens, no Greenwood thank you.

I see the chatter about Hackney to the Hammers. To be honest, although I would love it if he stays to ply his trade in the top flight with Boro the season after next, £18m (surely more than that when the auction starts) could not be refused as that will enable us to find that little bit of additional quality we need to enhance what already looks a more than half decent squad.

I think the last 12 games has demonstrated we can be a very effective, entertaining and successful team without Hackney. So, if those rumours do materialise, I will not be overly concerned.

I am in a challenging phase time wise at the moment, so I have not been contributing much. Many congratulations to Jarkko's son and a belated Happy Birthday to the man himself. I will write up about how the Clairvoyant Of The Season challenge has ended up later this week or early next, once all the initial post season posts have all been made.

 


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@mw-in-darwin.  I watched via Riverside Live and saw Hackney and Engel taking part in the lap of honour but didn’t see McNair or Fry which is surprising given they both played this season; less surprising that I did not notice Smith or Lenihan who had limited or no involvement this season. 😎

This post was modified 2 months ago by K P in Spain

   
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In the end an exciting last day in the Championship where Birmingham may think themselves unlucky to be relegated despite winning against Norwich after all the clubs involved in the relegation battle also won too - though I guess they've only got themselves to blame after the rather strange decision to sack John Eustace when in a playoff position and appoint Wayne Rooney - who subsequently only won 2 of his 15 games and lost 9 before being sacked. Then came Mogga who won 4 of his 8 games in charge before taking leave due to ill health with first Mark Venus and then Gary Rowlett taking over as interim manger. Pretty much everything went wrong for the Blues this season and perhaps a lesson in what lack of stability can lead to.

Though well done to Sheffield Wednesday (my COTS challenge over-achievers 😉) and to 35-year old Danny Röhl for engineering a great escape after replacing Xisco Muñoz who failed to win any of his 12 games in charge - plus well done to the other League One promoted club Plymouth for also surviving their first season in the Championship - so all in all a good year for the promoted clubs with Ipswich amazingly gaining automatic promotion under Kieran McKenna, who is another young manager at 37.

As to who will prevail in the play-offs from Leeds, Southampton, West Brom and Norwich is hard to say but the Canaries are 4th in the last ten-game form table with the Baggies next in 9th, then come Leeds in 12th followed by the Saints in 13th. I should add that top of the last 10-game form table is of course Boro with 19 points and 19 goals scored to edge out Millwall on goal difference after they won their last 5 games. So a good end to the season and plenty to be optimistic about for next year after Carrick as both seemingly tightened up at the back and also got the team scoring despite being without several key starters.

This post was modified 2 months ago by werdermouth

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@mw-in-darwin -  I was at the match but didn't stop afterwards to watch the players do a lap of honour. The trip home plus the call of the pub were too much competition.

After the successful outcome to a case throughout my career, I "regularly" took the opportunity to walk around the Combined Court Centre, son gleefully sitting on my shoulders, waving to all and sundry to general applause and cheering. Imagine if train drivers did the same, on successfully navigating a train on its arrival at the destination on time. 


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@forever-dormo 🤣


   
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jarkko
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One player gone.

Former Sunderland and Manchester United man Paddy McNair has announced his Middlesbrough departure with the defender available for nothing during the summer.

The 29-year-old Northern Ireland international moved to Middlesbrough after the Black Cats’ relegation to the third tier in 2018. The defender-come-midfielder spent six years at the Riverside Stadium but has announced that he is leaving at the end of the season.

Taking to Instagram to announce the news, McNair said: “After six years and 219 appearances my time @theboroofficial has come to an end. Big thank you to all of the players, staff and the fans for the support throughout the years. Looking forward to the next chapter.”

I think he is a good player but never really nailed down his place in the line-up long term. Up the Boro!

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by jarkko

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Thankfully Boro celebrated the end of the season in the right way but when you look over your shoulder at results like those agains Rotherham and the poor start to the season it drives home what it cost in terms of lost points. Still, that's what it is to support Boro, a whole load of 'what ifs' and I'm sure there are a lot of supporters of other clubs feeling just the same about their situation. Whatever the season threw up in terms of results and injuries the season end has left supporters with a feeling of optimism and hope, next season will most interesting providing that the effect of injuries can be minimised as much as possible.

I'm delighted Ipswich were promoted and that Plymouth survived, it'll be interesting to see how they both build on it next season. FLW's article about Sorba was very interesting, facts and data versus hype for me. Greenwood? No thanks.

Thank you to all the headline writers, a great job and pleasure to read with no exceptions and often showing the journalists that a different approach and research makes for a more interesting and informative article and not forgetting the added value of a little relevant humour.

OFB, the 'eyes in the sky' have become a veritable constellation now.

Now it's onwards to the gossip and rumour laden close season so everyone on their toes please and keyboards primed to help Boro get their buying policy right.

All the best everyone.

UTB,

John


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It seems that Cameron Archer is going back to Aston Villa under the terms of his buy-back clause, possibly with a view to being sold on straight away. 

 
I wonder what are the chances of Aaron Danks using his Villa influence again to send him our way. Maybe, when he looks back on his Boro experience and contrasts it with his most recent time in the Premier League, he could be persuaded to take a one -season drop in wages, with the promise of an exhilarating season with big rewards at the end.
 
When I've thought about the perfect strike partner for Latte Lath, in my head I've used Archer as the template, but assumed that he's out of our reach.
 
Maybe he isn't. Just imagine.....

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Posted by: @peter-surtees

It seems that Cameron Archer is going back to Aston Villa under the terms of his buy-back clause, possibly with a view to being sold on straight away. ...

... When I've thought about the perfect strike partner for Latte Lath, in my head I've used Archer as the template, but assumed that he's out of our reach.
 
Maybe he isn't. Just imagine.....

Now that would be an excellent use of the money we could get for HH...

 


Philip of Huddersfield
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It was good to finish the season on a high- only 1 defeat in the last 12 games. This compares favourably with the previous season which ended with few wins in the last dozen or so games and poor performances in the play offs.

So, how do we rate the players performances?
On a rating of 5 being  poor, 6 average, 7 above average and 8 being very good  here’s my overall assessment .

Dieng 7/8 a good first season

Glover. 6 ok but made too many mistakes. 

Ayling 7/8. Improved as the season progressed .A good professional to keep  - albeit short term.

Bangura 6 Didn’t see enough of him due to injuries. Expect better next season.

Clarke. 7/8  I like his 100% effort. Old fashioned defender 

Dijksteel  5/6 Disappointing season. I firmly believe he is a better player than his performances have shown.

Engel  6 ok but gives the ball away too much in own half. Expect improvement next season

Fry  6 A massive disappointment. A couple of years ago I thought the defence would be built around him. Too many injuries this season . Does his style of play suit Carricks way of playing ?

Rav vandenBerg  8 A wonderful first season. Has all the qualities to go far in the game  On paper, can only improve.

Azaz 6/7  A quiet first season. Expect an improvement next year.

Barlaser  6 I think he has the talent to do well at this level. Makes  good forward passes better than other midfielders but prone to losing the ball in defensive positions. No idea if he’ll improve.

Greenwood 6  A disappointment. Does a lot of running. Commits too many fouls. Happy if we don’t sign him

Hackney 6   I thought that this year he’d really show how good he could be. It hasn’t happened- unlucky with injuries 

Howson 7  The model professional who just keeps going. Worth another year even if he doesn’t play  2 games per week. If short in central defence he makes the job look easy.

McGree 6   Potentially a stand out player but not consistent enough for me. Goes missing  for long parts of some games. Injuries affected his effectiveness .

O’Brien 6  Unlucky with a bad injury early in the season. Got into his stride as season was ending. Very much hope Boro sign him. A good Championship player but not quite Premiership quality. Applies to most Boro players

Coburn 6   I thought he would benefit from another loan spell. He did better than I expected. Then injuries took their toll. Can only improve

Forss. 6/7 A player I like mainly for his directness and ability to score goals. Like many players suffered injuries. Expect an improvement next season

Gilbert  5  A low score because he never really played but I believe there is a player in him. Can’t see the point in sending him on loan for obvious reasons. Should improve.

Hoppe. 5 Really disappointing. Expected better as an international. Not Championship material . He needs to leave to find his level of play.

Latte Lath 8 The star of the team. At first I thought he missed too many chances and his first touch of the ball was average but he improved enormously in goal scoring. I admire the effort he puts in for the team. Hope we don’t get any silly ( high) bids for him 

Silvera 5/6 A promising player but needs to improve to be consistently effective at this level.

Jones 7  Perhaps  a bit generous - I’ve given this rating mainly on his 9 goals scored. He would be much better if his crossing of the ball improved but he is still relatively new to this level of football. Hope Carrick and Co. can improve him next season.

Not included eg Lenihan, Smith, Thomas and McNair because of injury, a loan player and a departure. Hopefully Lenihan can return and challenge for a place but Clarke will take some shifting.

All in all , I think Carrick has a decent group of players and say 4 new players capable  of being first teamers plus 1 or 2 emerging  from the academy to replace the half a dozen or so expected to leave gives belief that Boro will have a better season next year and be realistic challengers for a top 6 place.

Philip of Huddersfield 


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@philip-of-huddersfield 

Philip - genuine question, since you're our man on the spot, so to speak:  how would you rate Sorba Thomas, whom FLW suggested as a summer acquistion by Boro in preference to Sam Greenwood in an article to which I posted a link on Saturday (here for ease of reference:

https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/middlesbrough-should-sign-sorba-thomas-over-sam-greenwood/ )?


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