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Boro Vs Cardiff
 

Boro Vs Cardiff

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Dijksteel & young Charlie Lennon on for RvdB & Gilbert in the 74th minute.


   
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

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

At least he was wrong for the right reasons.  😉

 


   
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Ajay Matthews replaces ELL in the 82nd minute. 


   
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The Bluebirds pull one back at the start of injury time.


   
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And it finishes Cardiff City 1 Middlesbrough 4 😊 


   
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Made the mistake of nipping out to the shop for something I'd forgotten just before half-time - came back and Boro just went 3-0 up but at least saw the replay of Latte Lath's well taken goal 🙄 At least got to see Gilbert's super strike. Well that was a comfortable win despite Dieng playing silly buggers in injury time. So the season is ending with Boro looking like they can only ponder on what might have been as their form is suggesting they could have been a top four side instead of falling short of the play-offs.


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Well, a cracking way to end Boro's travels this season: a 4-1 away win at Cardiff and even the gift of a Cardiff late goal can't take the shine off that result!

Maybe tomorrow I'll give thought to the Watford starter.  Plenty of time because I suspect there will be a lot of incoming posts following the Cardiff game!


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Deleriad, a belated thank you for another brilliant opener. In defence of OFB, Boro did win by 3 goals, soon a way it was Boro3 🤔. It is difficult to pick MOTM between Gilbert and Clarke, Lath getting his customary goal, also finishing with 4 kids on the pitch.

Come on BORO.


   
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Dom Shaw's player ratings for the Echo:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/24283290.middlesbrough-player-ratings-cardiff-finn-azaz-stars/

Finn Azaz MotM.


   
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Good second half from Boro today and a deserved win.  

Only two comments. First, another terrific goal from Latte Lath who controlled an awkward bouncing ball with a lot of skill and then buried it with a thunderous finish.  He really is looking a very useful striker.  Second, how many goals have we given away this season by messing around in our box between the goalkeeper and defenders? Enough that without them we would have easily made the play-offs?


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Posted by: @pedro

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. 

Boro News agrees, Pedro:

https://www.boro.news/news/8-10-middlesbrough-star-hailed-after-emphatic-performance-vs-cardiff-city/

The article quotes the Gazette's player ratings comment on him & which are here in full:

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/middlesbrough-player-ratings-vs-cardiff-29071821

An 8 for Dieng, despite his playing what Werder described as "silly buggers" in the closing minutes of the match, & MotM for Azaz.


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A flavour of what we lost when Morgan Rogers departed for Aston Villa (extracted from the Beeb's live text commentary on the Villa-Chelsea match):

1)  That is a swift counter-attack from Aston Villa and a fine finish from Morgan Rogers to double their lead.  Matty Cash sweeps the ball into the feet of the January signing and Rogers coolly picks his spot in the bottom left corner.

Rogers has scored a goal in each of Villa's last three home Premier League games.

2)  That is the difference between the two sides, Villa have been clinical, Chelsea haven't.  Morgan Rogers has come into this side, bringing physicality and driving midfield runs, which Unai Emery really likes.

Villa move the ball quickly, get into some good positions and when they do get in there, they are not closed down. Again the ball sneaks into the near post, Rogers shot going into the bottom corner.

3)  Morgan Rogers aged 21 years and 276 days is the first Aston Villa player in the Premier League to score in three successive home games while being aged 21 or under.  Rogers joined Villa for £8m plus add-ons in a deal that could rise to £15m.  He only scored once in 20 appearances while on-loan at Blackpool in League One last season, but seems much more at home in the Premier League.  Pretty good business in today's market.

No mention of the fact that he'd started to make real progress at Boro immediately before the move!  🙁

Lastly, a comment posted by a Villa fan:

So many people doubted the Rogers signing and couldn't understand the perseverance in chasing him through January, myself included. But what a signing he's looking to be. They know what they're doing!


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Very surprised and pleased to see that result when I got up this morning. With the 4 goals scored we have become the highest away scorers(41) in the Championship and will remain so unless Leicester score more than 2 at Preston on Monday, although we are way down the league on away goals conceded(36).


   
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jarkko
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Posted by: @exmil

Deleriad, a belated thank you for another brilliant opener. In defence of OFB, Boro did win by 3 goals, soon a way it was Boro3 🤔. It is difficult to pick MOTM between Gilbert and Clarke, Lath getting his customary goal, also finishing with 4 kids on the pitch.

Come on BORO.

Yes, very nice to see Gilbert starting for the first time after a couple of good performances from the bench. It was a good performance by him, too. Before the match, I didn't know much about him and where he could fit in our team. Hopefully one for next season.

And it was nice to see McCabe given half an hour on the pitch, too. I love the way Carrict treats the youngers. I hope one youngster - Gilbert or an academy player - will play more regularly next season. Like Hackney did last season.

I am really looking forward to next season now. If we stay injury free - like we did last season when Carrick took over - and we sign three to four QUALITY signings in the summer, we should be challenging for top two rather than just a play-offs.  And without buying a new team like in summer 2023, we could start the season well, too.

So plenty to be positive about next season. In Carrick we trust. Up the Boro!

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by jarkko

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A comprehensive win yesterday with some excellent goals in a game where we played in fits and starts against a very average Cardiff team.

Good to see some of the youngsters get a start and particularly Gilbert, who seemed at long last to show that he can compete and be effective at this level; hopefully he will get more chances to play and do so effectively.

Clarke was outstanding and Azaz had probably his best and most influential impact in a Boro shirt; he now needs to show more consistency and that he can do it against the stronger sides in this league.

Much to be pleased about and to build upon.  We need a good finish at home next week and a productive summer recruitment. 

One disappointment, there has not been an announcement on a new contract for JH, (I believe last year it was announced before the season end) fingers crossed we will hear something positive very soon. 😎

 


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@k-p-in-spain 

Clarke has certainly made the difference to Boro's defence since his return and so has the return of Dieng - despite his late mishap yesterday. Since they both returned 12 games ago it's been just 2 defeats, 5 clean sheets and only 3 games where Boro have conceded more than one goal. The other big difference has been the form of Latte Lath who now looks like scoring in every game - whereas previously you wouldn't have bet on him to get a goal.

The question is now who will step up next season - both Azaz and Gilbert have looked talented players in recent games and if they can be consistent then they will have a big part to play. Hackney hasn't really been fit this season and nor has McGree so you'd hope they're due a good season if they stay at the club.

Though it's still the midfield and defence where questions need to be asked - OK Howson may get a new contract but his lack of pace and age is against him being the driving force for much longer and Barlaser continues to be an accident waiting to happen from a defensive point of view. Van den Berg looks like he is going to be a good player and we'll have to wait to see if Lenihan returns at the right level. Fry never looks comfortable playing the Carrick way and it's hard to see him starting ahead of others.

I think key will be having full-backs with pace and that may be against Ayling or Smith - on the other side Bangura has the pace but does he have the defensive ability. Perhaps he's more a wing-back and in that sense probably so is Jones given he doesn't look enough of a goal threat as just a forward. Boro will certainly need another physical pacey striker as you would think Carrick's style can't just rely on having one - who may get injured.

Interesting that neither loan players of O'Brien or Greenwood got a game yesterday - maybe it's a sign that they won't be retained as particularly the latter has looked limited and the former has perhaps not looked useful in the last third - which is where top sides in the Championship make the difference with more rounded midfielders who can also score goals.

Anyway, it's easy to pick your best First XI from the current Boro squad and think that's good enough but this season has shown it didn't take many injuries to key players to stall the season. That probably indicates more quality and pace needed in the squad - which means maybe the likes of Silvera, Greenwood, Barlaser, Dijksteel, O'Brien, Fry and possibly Engel need upgrades - along with a few extras like a top striker and quality full-backs with pace.

So I suspect current loan deals will probably not be offered contracts as space will be needed and perhaps that means some players may not be offered new contracts either as their time may be over at the club if others can't be moved on instead.


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@Werdermouth.  

That probably indicates more quality and pace needed in the squad - which means maybe the likes of Silvera, Greenwood, Barlaser, Dijksteel, O'Brien, Fry and possibly Engel need upgrades - along with a few extras like a top striker and quality full-backs with pace.”

I am just a little concerned that if we have that much movement again we will have yet another season where integration of that number of new players could prove problematic again.

I would prefer, if possible, that we retain O’Brien and Ayling and perhaps this could be achieved by not buying Greenwood and using the £1.5m supposed purchase price toward Ayling’s wages and looking for another loan deal for O’Brien.

We clearly need another striker and possibly another midfielder and to facilitate this would necessitate the need to offload those contracted players that you mention; the strength and quality of the squad would still be debatable but I don’t think we will ever reach an ideal situation and sometimes team consistency and togetherness can make up for other shortcomings. 😎

 

 

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by K P in Spain

jarkko
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

@Werdermouth.  

I would prefer, if possible, that we retain O’Brien and Ayling and perhaps this could be achieved by not buying Greenwood and using the £1.5m supposed purchase price toward Ayling’s wages and looking for another loan deal for O’Brien.

I would like to keep O'Brien  if possible, too. But can we get a deal done with Forest and pay his wages is another matter. But we need to have also another central midfielder as McCabe is too young for next season.

Ayling could be OK for me, too. But we have two right backs contracted in addition to Ayling. So who to drop out? Up the Boro! 

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by jarkko

   
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@jarkko.  I would keep Smith and Ayling and let Dijksteel go if anyone is interested in him. O’Brien might have to be another loan deal, if possible but we may face competition from elsewhere who may be able to make a better offer eg Burnley/Sheff Utd, the latter who are reported to be interested in Ayling; it’s going to be interesting/tough on the recruitment front I fear. 😎


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KP, I wouldn't argue that both Ayling and O'Brien couldn't do a decent job for Boro but as Jarkko says much depends on numbers with O'Brien and whether he's going to be selected ahead of Hackney when both are fit - I suspect not and what other options are likely to be looked at in the summer given he still has 2 years on his contract at Forest. Ayling adds experience but he lacks pace and Boro also have Smith - can't see Dijksteel staying as he's barely had a kick under Carrick and has gone backwards from the player he used to be - Bola left despite arguably being better than those who came in during the summer so perhaps he needs to move on to revive his career.

I'm relaxed about comings and goings as long as the ones who arrive are an upgrade as there should be a decent First XI available in August from what we currently have - hopefully some early signings who get pre-season will also help create a smooth transition. We just need a decent start to the season for a change!


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When we offloaded Rogers for a guaranteed Pds8 million, everyone was happy that we had turned a good Pds5 million net profit (after fee and 20% back to City) and very few people were thinking of the other Pds7 million that was included. Now it looks as if, in time, another Pds5.5 million is guaranteed - assuming City take their 20% of this as well - and it has to be hats off to the recruitment/sales team. Tavernier must be delivering on the add-ons and Spence most certainly isn't but we held out for a good price. Similarly with Akpom; we got a proper price. 

When you then throw in Latte Lath, Clarke, Van den Berg, Dieng, Engel, Bangura, Azaz, Gilbert, Forss, McGree, Ayling, O'Brien and others I suggest that we have one of the more effective recruitment/transfer operations in the Championship. A lot of really good decisions even if we end up having to let Ayling and/or O'Brien go. Then there are the players out on loan (particularly the goalkeepers), add in Silvera who is very young and a lot of the other young players in the Academy.

Like @jarkko, I too am looking forward with optimism.

UTB


jarkko
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

@jarkko.  I would keep Smith and Ayling and let Dijksteel go if anyone is interested in him. O’Brien might have to be another loan deal, if possible but we may face competition from elsewhere who may be able to make a better offer eg Burnley/Sheff Utd, the latter who are reported to be interested in Ayling; it’s going to be interesting/tough on the recruitment front I fear. 😎

I think Dijksteel has been rusty lately as he has not played much. And has had some injuries this season, too.

On paper I like Dijksteel, though. He played so well together with Jones and Crooks. From the three right backs we have, I would prefer Ayling and fit-and-running Dijksteel. But the two contracted players will be Smith and Dijksteel. So difficult to call - there must be a club after Dijksteel or Smith, if we could keep Ayling.

Up the Boro!

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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It certainly will be a guessing game as to the squad that kicks off the new season and when the transfer window closes. I assume that some of the fringe players we want to move on may not move until towards the end of the window, when clubs are looking for a better deal.

For the Boro, they will have a list of targets, depending possibly on any approaches to our better players. Will HH or McGree move on? Can we move on, those still in contract, that have not made the impact we hoped. Dijksteel, Barlaser, Fry maybe. 

Will Lenihan and Smith return from injury and be able to do a job? They both could be bench warmers, given the performances of VDB and Clarke and the need for a RB with pace. A must buy for me.

Midfield still needs pace that Howson does not have now. And HH does not have it in abundance. We need somebody new in there and O’Brien probably could be too expensive if we were interested. 

A lot might depend on MC’s belief in Azaz. He is generally poor when he plays on the left, but looks a different player at 10. Where would Gilbert fit, if he makes the jump?

Jones, as much as he is criticised as not delivering enough, has 7 goals and three assists. Forss, although he has been injured has 7, and Azaz about the same if you want to include Plymouth? After LL there is a bit of a gap.

We certainly need more goals upfront to complement LL. That player will not be cheap probably, neither the RB, if we want the real deal.

I have no idea how much money MFC and Mr Gibson will be able to sanction. Then of course we wait with bated breath for the bids that may come for HH and McGree possibly.

As KP said,it could be a difficult and hard window to get in who we want, and lose those we don’t.

 


   
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Clive Hurren
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In all of the posts above regarding recruitment, nobody mentioned Josh Coburn. I’d be loathe to lose him, as I think he has tremendous potential. But he’s clearly a very different kind of striker to Latte Lath, who has shown an ability to score all kinds of goals, the latest one at Cardiff being a very fine variation, superbly taken. We know Josh is excellent with his back to goal and at holding up the ball, which is not really Latte’s game, so he clearly offers something different. But does playing Josh require the team to play in a different way, which might be alien to what MC prefers? 

We will obviously need to supplement the strike force next season: do we stick with Josh and Forss? Or do we seek an expensive upgrade? It’s a difficult conundrum, as Josh has had his injuries and hasn’t played for ages. I’m sure Carrick would like to test him out further in several pre-season games, but if we’re bringing in someone new, then we’d be better doing our business early in the window before prices rise in line with the increasing desperation of clubs. And then there’s Marcus Forss’ role - so far MC hasn’t really used him much as an out-and-out striker. 

What do you all think?

 


   
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Since we are starting to think towards the transfer window my starting squad would be:

Seny Dieng, Sol Bryn, Liam Roberts 

 

Van Den Berg, Matt Clarke, Darragh Lenihan, Lucas Engel, Luke Thomas (free), Alex Bangura, Dael Fry, Tommy Smith.

 

Hayden Hackney, Riley McGree, Isaiah Jones, Finn Azaz, Jonny Howson (1 year) 

 

Latte Lath, Alex Gilbert, Marcus Forss, Josh Coburn, Sam Silvera

 

Out of the loans I would like to retain Lewis O’Brien (loan option to buy), Luke Ayling (1year rolling contract) Sam Greenwood (£1.5m if he will accept our wage offer).

 I haven’t included our academy players that are ready to step up, goalkeepers and defence we seem to be fairly covered depending on who leaves and returns from injury fit. Midfield we are light, even more so if players are sold, hence O’Brien option. Attack we need a quality striker to ease the load on Lath, Forss if he stays, Alex Gilbert has shown recently he could be a very good signing, Josh Coburn needs to go out on loan, Sammy Silvera also might need to go out on loan to strengthen up, therefore we may need a versatile winger (left and right ability).

As I stated I haven’t included any academy players, though the Cardiff game showed that a couple may not be too far off, midfield and attack 🤔, pre season may provide answers.

Overall we may not need a big overhaul depending on who is sold, hopefully not some of our stars, this is just my opinion.

Come on BORO.


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@exmil I don't think we will keep Liam Roberts. He was born Nov 21, 1994 (29) and his contract expires May 31, 2024. So he will be a free agant after the play-offs for Barnsley. I cannot say he is a ball-playing goalkeeper MC wants to have. But we have several young goalkeepers to fight for the number 3 spot behind Dieng and Glover.

I also trust that Fry will be OK if he has a proper close season. Like Leninhan vs. Clarke, Fry needs to fight his shirt back from van den Berg next season.

Up the Boro!

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by jarkko

   
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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil   Good post with your selection of the possible squad.

Liam Roberts is out of contract and I would imagine that he would want to continue as a first choice goalkeeper, possibly with Barnsley.

Whilst I like Ayling and certainly his assists, I am not comfortable with him and Smith being the two squad RB’s, neither with the necessary pace required against the counter attack.

I am comfortable to continue with Engels and Bangura, depending who plays in front of them.

Midfield along with the striker(s) is the main concern. The former lacks pace against many of the quick midfield players at other clubs. Retaining HH will help, but we still need another new player alongside him. Howson cannot be that man.

As Clive said, Josh Coburn is very different to LL and in some ways does not fit MC’s system. Also his injury record over the last two seasons is questionable, so probably a six month loan would be best.

I also think we need an upgrade on Silvera, so maybe a loan there also.

There are lots for MC and the Recruitment Team to think about. Will Lenahin, Smith, Forss, HH and McGree all return to the new campaign fully fit and raring to go. I will be very surprised if McGree is still with us when we kick off, although that may depend on his injury issues and a club taking a chance on him.

 


   
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@exmil.

According to the EG report on 20th of January 2024, their sister paper reported that despite reports on sites like Transfermarket, Luke Thomas is contracted to Leicester until 2026 so we would need to pay a fee if we wanted him permanently. 😎


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@k-p-in-spain   Plus his wages would probably be an issue.


   
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@exmil 

That's 24 players or 22 if Coburn and Silvera are sent on loan - so sounds like you're more or less happy to see the same squad next season - If some players step up then maybe many positions are covered but I would probably like to see around 5 new faces with more pace in the squad at full-back, midfield and another striker. I wouldn't retain either Greenwood or Thomas and am cautious over signing a decling Ayling and am unsure if Howson has another full season as the main midfielder in him.

I'd suggest Coburn is a very useful player to have in the squad as he offers a different option - indeed Boro seemed to play better when he start as he can hold onto the ball. Anyway, hard choices ahead in the summer as Boro will need to go up a level if they are not to be just chasing 6th place again rather than being a top four club fighting at the top with possibly Leeds, Southampton, Burnley, Luton, Sheff Utd and others.


   
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