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Boro Vs Cardiff
 

Boro Vs Cardiff

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Dead rubber is a term used in sporting parlance to describe a match in a series where the series result has already been decided by earlier matches. The dead rubber match therefore has no effect on the winner and loser of the series, other than the total number of matches won and lost.

So here we are, at the end of all things. Two games to go and nothing to play for. Two teams on the beach(tm). Or maybe not.

epilogue /ˈɛpɪlɒɡ/ noun

  • a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.

This has been a curate’s egg of a season (better than a parson’s nose, in parts). Our worst ever start in the second tier but our longest winning run and longest unbeaten run under Carrick. Shopping in the basement bargain for marked-down players to replace an almost promotion winning side only to sell one of them six months later for what could be £16m when all is said and done.

Home form that is miserable but probably the best team away from home in the league.

So what will this epilogue be? Two games at the end of the season against two under-performing teams. Will Carrick turn to youth, drop loan players we don’t plan to sign or will we see Greenwood again. What will we learn about next season from these two games? Will Gilbert be allowed to play?

It feels to me that these two games hold a lot of importance for what happens next. Win them both and we end up on 69 points, which would be nice and would mean, despite everything, we ended up with roughly our par amount for points since relegation. It might also persuade Uncle Steve to dig behind the sofa for an extra few million in the summer. Tail off and maybe Gibson stops answering the phone.

It’s a bit of a cliche to talk of transitional seasons but this really has been one. We’ve given up on loans and old warhorses to get us back to the promised land and now we’re trying to do it with data and young players. 

So, get out your crystal balls, give them a polish and let’s all start wondering what comes next. 


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Topic starter  

Not about Boro but there's a really good piece from the Grimsby chair in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2024/apr/25/grimsby-town-football-club-difficult-year-love-emotion

He's talking about how they narrowly escaped relegation out of the league and the mistakes they made that led to it. One quote in particular, caught my eye when he talks about how they started to use data-driven approaches but screwed up.

Although we recruited technically superior players, their potential was undercut by a lack of clarity on their roles. It’s like going shopping without knowing what you’re planning to cook. You can buy the best eggs available but they won’t help much if you decide to make tomato soup when you get home.

This sounds remarkably similar to a certain team that plays in red and white around here. 

 

 


Pedro de Espana
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  Some may have seen this. Kieran Maguire’s on the EPL 2022/2023 Finances. 

it is eye watering. How clubs are sustaining it and getting around the rules, just baffles. 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68713522

Sorry, forgot the link. 🙁


   
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Clive Hurren
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@deleriad 

Thanks for the interesting starter. You sum up our season nicely - it’s a 5 out of 10 for me, cup run notwithstanding - and you pose some vital questions. 

It’s always a difficult game at Cardiff, but I think Carrick will seek to build on our Leeds performance and will set the team up to go out all guns blazing. I’m going for a Boro win, therefore. 


   
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jarkko
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Posted by: @pedro

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68713522

Sorry, forgot the link. 🙁

How does Boro compare with the "minnows" of the EPL? How far behind are we now in the Championship vs, Forest or Bournemouth,  for example?

Up the Boro!

 


   
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Deleriad,

Many thanks for the starter and really an article that sums up the season nicely. In the broader view of the season you've summed it up accurately and fairly.

I think Carrick will go for two wins as a of statement and be trying hard to get the points on the board. As always with Boro there are so many imponderables who knows what team, who's staying or who is going but I reckon those decisions have been made now but as always, and rightly so, nothing will be said until the end of the season. I can't believe the club haven't got targets lined up already but the interest is in who and where and no doubt some clubs will be looking at and coveting a few of our players.

Let's hope for some pleasant and intriguing surprises on the incoming front. And what of the youngsters surely some of them will get more than a ten minute substitute run-out?

All the best to everyone.

UTB,

John


   
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Martin Bellamy
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An excellent starter, @deleriad, for a match that is contractually necessary, but, in truth, is one of limited interest. I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Ullapool, ahead of catching the ferry to Stornaway in the morning, so for me it feels like the season has already finished.

 
Results in the dog days of the season are often odd, with goals flying in from the most unexpected of players, so anything could happen at Cardiff. I’m predicting a draw but it feels like any result could be possible - I’d like to see Ipswich win their final matches and achieve automatic promotion, giving the Dirties the difficult job of negotiating the play offs. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Martin Bellamy

   
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Thanks Deleriad for another excellent intro on our last away game of this season.

I don’t see this as a seven goal thriller, more likely a 0-0 or the home team coming out on top by the odd goal in three.  This is Cardiff’s last home game so they will want to end on a high in front of a home crowd so it won’t be easy and could be a difficult afternoon if we concede early.

As I post this I see that Leeds are losing at QPR, which poses the question what went wrong earlier in the week and is our expansive game going to prove to be our Achilles heel?

Tomorrow, what will be will be and I just hope we can come away with at least a point and win next week to end on a high. COB. 😎

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

   
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Many thanks Deleriad for a very different opening post which I enjoyed.

I’m afraid I’m going to be consistent again !

Cardiff 0 Boro3

You know it makes sense !

OFB


   
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

As I post this I see that Leeds are losing at QPR, which poses the question what went wrong earlier in the week and is our expansive game going to prove to be our Achilles heel?

As I posted a short while ago on the Leeds thread, QPR somehow maanged to put four past the Dirties without reply, though I pointed out that Rangers had a real incentive to win the match:  safety from relegation.  😉

 


   
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Posted by: @martin-bellamy

I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Ullapool, ahead of catching the ferry to Stornaway in the morning, so for me it feels like the season has already finished.

If you get a chance, get the haddock tempura wrap from the seafood shack in Ullapool. Freshest fish and crispiest batter imaginable.


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@deleriad   Thank you for the Headliner, and once more a different take on the delivery.

You always come up with something that stairs the mind.

Just seen the QPR result, and all of a sudden, our performance last Monday does not look quite as good as we all thought it was.

Leicester promoted and it is Ipswich’s to lose second spot now. Good luck to them, they deserve it. A beacon for the rest of the Championship. 

 


   
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Selwynoz
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Posted by: @pedro

@deleriad   Thank you for the Headliner, and once more a different take on the delivery.

You always come up with something that stairs the mind.

Just seen the QPR result, and all of a sudden, our performance last Monday does not look quite as good as we all thought it was.

Leicester promoted and it is Ipswich’s to lose second spot now. Good luck to them, they deserve it. A beacon for the rest of the Championship. 

 

One could also argue that the impact of Leeds' game against us can be seen in their defeat just four days later. 

UTB

 


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @selwynoz

Posted by: @pedro

@deleriad   Thank you for the Headliner, and once more a different take on the delivery.

You always come up with something that stairs the mind.

Just seen the QPR result, and all of a sudden, our performance last Monday does not look quite as good as we all thought it was.

Leicester promoted and it is Ipswich’s to lose second spot now. Good luck to them, they deserve it. A beacon for the rest of the Championship. 

 

One could also argue that the impact of Leeds' game against us can be seen in their defeat just four days later. 

UTB

 

I think last night's Leeds was a much  weaker team that was nursing more than a few knocks. They couldn't even field the same eleven.

 


   
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Ullapool - The Shack's food is consistently rated higher than The Seaforth (the least said about which, the better).  But the Shack is not always open & serving.  Or nip along to the Ferry Boat Inn for a couple of drinks and maybe a bowl of mussels (other food is available).  What do you think of the new harbour/marina?

Leeds...my heart bleeds. Two wins out of the last 3 for Ipswich and I will be delighted. And if Southampton could "do a job" in the Play-Offs the vicarious pleasure will be warm enough to bathe in.  It's heart-warming and affirming to enjoy the happiness of others, so if this season ended with Leicester, Ipswich & Southampton as the 3 promoted teams, I could live with that.

I hope for a win at Cardiff but, in reality, we have little idea what the team will look like. Youngsters thrown in to see how well they could possibly perform next season? Or just the best of the currently-available squad in the hope of ending the season positively after the reverse against The Dirties? Certainly if Boro were to end the season with two wins then, bearing in mind the run of positive results only ended by the last home game, Boro will have finished the season with a string of results to encourage the faithful for the next season. 

I hope The Minch is calm today. The beaches and the scenery generally in Lewis & Harris are to die for. Have a great time, Martin!  And here's to a Boro win. Latte Lath is on fire as the season approaches its end. It would be great if he and the Boro team could end 2023-24 on a BANG!


   
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Many thanks for another excellent opener Deleriad and a spot on assessment of where Boro now find themselves in what was a stop-start-stop-start season that ultimately saw the team regroup to avoid scratching around at the bottom of the table looking for points. 

Indeed, Boro have had something of a dead-rubber bounce in recent weeks that technically kept them with something mathematically to play for far longer than most has anticipated. But the season is now over and surely time to be planning for next year in terms of who plays and who Carrick gets to look at as potential squad members for the next campaign.

OK, Carrick may want to bank as many points as possible to strengthen his own hand but surely a word in the Chairman's ear to explain it's probably better to test a few youngsters rather than field loans who have had a long time to convince.

Though, we shouldn't take Cardiff too lightly given they've beaten Ipswich, Coventry and Southampton in recent weeks and of course it's their final home game of the season where they'll be hoping to at least sheepishly give a lap of honour around the stadium.

Still, for Boro it is season that will be easily forgotten that never really convinced from the off that this team was built to challenge for promotion given its obvious holes and regular uncomfortable defensive displays - particularly at the Riverside. Has Michael Carrick learned enough for next time for his side to be more consistent? possibly but I still think he's a head coach who often hopes for the best with what he's got - big job required in the summer and it's anybody's guess who will remain for next term.


Clive Hurren
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@selwynoz 

Indeed! It would be nice to think that, by giving Leeds a hell of a game on Monday, we might have played a key part in confining them to the playoffs! Come on Ipswich! 


   
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Team News...

Barlaser and Gilbert in for O'Brien and Silvera but other than that no surprise starters as Ayling returns for Dijksteel

Image

This post was modified 2 months ago by werdermouth

   
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Alex Gilbert starts ! Pleased with that 

OFB


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Just noticed I didnt hit save on a small post I had written tjos morning. The match is underway now, but here's what I wrote at 7h30 this morning...

@deleriad just adding my thanks for your opening that gives a fair take on just where we are now. It is always worth reading your posts.

How we will do today? I expect 3 points seems as it is no longer consequential.

 


   
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Martin Bellamy
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@forever-dormo Unfortunately, with time at a premium, we ate at the hotel ( The Caledonian) - the food was as average as our defence!

I’m currently in a small cafe in Tarbert, awaiting access to our cottage on the shores of Loch Seaforth, at 4pm.  The ferry crossing was very smooth with a slight swell, so Ralf’s first boat trip went off without incident. 


   
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Matt Clarke, of all people, gives Boro the lead in the dying seconds of the first half,  assisted by Azaz - CJ:

Boro lead! A strong end to the half rewarded with a goal. Jones break leads to Boro winning a FK. Azaz puts it into the backpost and Clarke escapes his marker to get in and put the ball in off the underside of the bar.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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Azaz adds a second in the 48th minute, assisted by Gilbert - CJ:

Boro have another! Barlaser picks up the ball in a wide area in the box. He cuts it back to Gilbert, who is under pressure, but does enough as the ball drops kindly for Azaz who, with little time, provides a little dink over Horvath.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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And Boro3 turns up courtesy of ELL's 17th of the season (10th in 11 games) in the 56th minute - CJ:

Long ball over the top by Azaz. Latte Lath running in behind with two chasing and he still has so much to do with the ball bouncing awkwardly for him. He manages to get it under his control and then produces a lethal finish.


   
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OFB.  I love your predictions! 😊😎


   
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OFB.  You just got another one wrong! 😉😊😎


   
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Posted by: @stircrazy

And Boro3 turns up courtesy of ELL's 17th of the season (10th in 11 games) in the 56th minute - CJ:

Long ball over the top by Azaz. Latte Lath running in behind with two chasing and he still has so much to do with the ball bouncing awkwardly for him. He manages to get it under his control and then produces a lethal finish.

Make that Boro4 - Alex Gilbert with his first for the club in the 60th minute, assisted by Ayling.

 


   
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McCabe & Silvera on for Howson & Jones in the 62nd minute.

CJ on the Gilbert goal:

Boro have another. What a moment and finish from Gilbert! Ayling gets it down the right and produces an excellent cut back to the edge of the box where Gilbert awaits and produces a clinical finish. Great goal.

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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Boro running riot in the second half following from the late Clarke goal. This after Cardiff arguably wasted a couple of good chances in a game looked more like a training session. 

For me, I think Gilbert has been the pick, showing some good movement and passing. 


   
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