Discussion Forum

Millwall v Boro
 

Millwall v Boro

80 Posts
19 Users
439 Likes
1,237 Views
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 623
Topic starter  

Millwall v Boro. Saturday 13 January

Millwall. It’s a horrible place to go, and fully lives up to its evil reputation. I’ve only been once. Boro won 5-1; (Vossen hat-trick, Bamford, Kike,) which made it a special day out, especially as by chance I met my old school pal and Untypical Boro blogger extraordinaire, John Powls, whom I hadn’t seen for donkeys’ years.  I don’t want to go again, though. When I got off the train from London Bridge away fans were herded down a narrow alley with high sides and its open top fully covered by metal netting. Presumably, this was to stop Millwall yobs from lobbing missiles at us. Intimidating to say the least. The alley only led to the away end - there was no access to any other part of the ground, which is a situation I’d never encountered before. Usually, I like to have a walk round a new away ground to have a look at the stands, the shop, the statues, the ground in its local setting. Not at Millwall. Segregation was very much the order of the day. I don’t know if it’s still like that - I imagine so, as the police had obviously got it very well managed.

Allied to their reputation for intimidatory fans (‘Nobody likes us, but we don’t care!’) is the team’s own reputation for being physical, rumbustious and hard to beat, especially at home. It’s been like this for years. Tell fans of other clubs that you’ve got Millwall away next up and you’ll very often get a pursed mouth look and a sharp release of breath, accompanied by words such as, ‘Oooh, you won’t fancy that, then!’ or ‘That’ll be hard. You won’t get a throw-in down there!’ For Boro, the situation is compounded by our injury crisis and the fact our survivors ran themselves into the ground against Chelsea, so Millwall away is probably the last fixture we’d have chosen as a follow-up.

Last season, they got quite close to the playoffs, but ultimately finished 8th, just 1 point behind 6th place Sunderland. This year, it’s not yet going quite so well. They’ve yet to show any real evidence of fighting for a playoff place. They’re currently 15th, with 32 points, four less than Boro. From 26 games they have 8 wins, 8 draws and 10 losses. Goals for 28, against 31. However, they have won their last 3 league games, beating Norwich and QPR at home and Bristol City away, without conceding a goal in any of them. In fact, it’s 4 clean sheets on the trot, as their 3 wins were preceded by a 0-0 draw at Stoke (My goodness! I bet that was a classic! I imagine it was one of those games where you wished you’d gone Christmas shopping with the family instead! I bet it was a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke, too. Isn’t it always?)

Enough rambling. The Lions have had a very inconsistent season to date, for example losing 3-0 at home to Leeds, Swansea and Coventry, yet winning 4-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, 2-0 at Plymouth, and of course 1-0 at Boro in the first game of the season before all our new, young, untried recruits had even met each other. However, Millwall’s home form has actually been unimpressive, W4 D3 L6, somewhat belying that hard-to-beat-at-home reputation. So I don’t think we have any reason to approach this game with any degree of trepidation. Perhaps this is not the Millwall of old? On the other hand, never take anything for granted at The New Den!

Gary Rowett left the club ‘by mutual consent’ in October 2023 after 4 relatively successful and stable years in charge. The new manager is Joe Edwards (no, me neither), 37 years old, who was previously a coach at Chelsea. He served under Frank Lampard at both Chelsea and Everton and has recently worked as England’s under-19 coach. Let’s hope on Saturday he continues to find the step up to full-time Championship management to be a demanding one!

I don’t  know much about Millwall’s squad to be honest, nor the style of football they play. It used to be long ball and very direct, but that may have changed. They do have former Boro hero, Duncan Watmore, who never gives less than 100% despite his injury issues. They also have former Boro nonentity, George Saville, who may give 100%, but it doesn’t amount to very much!

A quick research of their squad throws up a few names you may (not) have heard of: in defence, Murray Wallace, full back Joe Bryan (once tipped to join Boro) and 19 year old Brooke Norton-Cuffy who is on loan from Arsenal; in midfield, Dutchman Zian Fleming is a constant threat and scores goals, and there’s Saville, ex Mackem George Honeyman, and someone called Billy Mitchell who used to be in Eastenders, appropriately enough. Up front, their only 4 listed players, amazingly, hail from Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland - there’s a joke in there somewhere if all 4 ever meet in a bar. Respectively, they are Kevin Nisbet, Tom Bradshaw, Watmore and Aidomo Emakhu ( an Irish name if ever I heard one.) Top scorers are Nisbet and Fleming with 5 each, while Bradshaw has 4.

I hope our lads are sufficiently rested after Tuesday’s rigours, but tiredness might well kick in late second half, so MC might need to bring on fresh legs. Will Latte Lath be fit? Do we risk him? Will Josh have anything left in his legs? I hope Azaz and Ayling will start, and I expect to see Rogers restored to the starting XI. It would be a surprise if Boro stuck with the terrific threesome in midfield, Howson, Hackney and Barlaser, but who misses out? Jonny probably needs the rest most, I guess. At least we’ll have more options available.

I’m looking for Boro to be positive and dynamic in what I expect to be a low-scoring game. Boro to win 1-0.

This topic was modified 3 months ago by Clive Hurren

jarkko
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2188
 

@Clive One of your best there. Totally enjoyed reading that. Well done, lad!

I think the game is a good one after the hype of the Chelsea win. Naturally, the team must be focused in a place like the Den. So I hope we keep our feet on the ground now.

You wrote: "At least we’ll have more options available." That is the second good thing. We have fresh players available - either from the start or off the bench. Azaz, Ayling, Rogers, Greenwood and possibly Forss. At least we will have a stronger bench than we had against Chelsea after 20 min!

And we have the luxury of choosing two of Hackney, Barlaser and Howson. 

I expect at least a draw, but it won't be easy. As you said they have won three matches in a row and four clean sheets in succession. So a tough match.

But we should be mentally in a good place, too. The team spitits is high. So I will go for a narrow 1-2 win. But Josh will be tired after 70 mins. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by jarkko

Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1356
 

Bravo Clive. Certainly not lacking in any quality, detail or humour despite being a last minute composition. Thank you.

I have also been to the Den to see Boro play and like you, it was only the once. It was a cold Tueday night in February 1989, but unlike you, I transferred to the ground (still the "old" Den in those days) anonymously and I do not recall being herded through the trenches like you. To be honest, I have no recollection of the game itself, just the memory of standing on the terrace and looking around and keeping quiet.i only know the match was in '89 because it was the only time we played them mid week in the First Division at a time I was living near London.

We are lucky to have completed some transfer business early and I expect we will see our new non-Finnish flying Finn in the starting eleven as he is already match fit. Whether or  not Luke Ayling is matxh fit may only be an academic question as we need to be able to manage fatigue levels in the squad. I suspect he may not be a starter though. Additionally with Rogers and Greenwood coming back into the mix as well I think there is sufficient scope to manage fatigue levels.

Tuesday night's heroic performance and result is sure to have the entire squad buzzing. On the back of that, and with some fresher legs available to call on, I fancy we might see Boro do some lion taming on Saturday  and come away with all three points.

Just so long as nobody else gets injured!

This post was modified 3 months ago 5 times by Powmill-Naemore

Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 623
Topic starter  

And the bad news is that both Bangura and Latte Lath are out for some time, as I feared. Yet more reasons to hate Chelsea. 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 755
 

Thanks Clive for a well written, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable piece. If the Boro can attain the same level of quality under pressure for their two games in the same week then we will win comfortably on Saturday. 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2649
 

Clive

A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read which I enjoyed immensely.

 

Well done and you did make me chuckle as I ate my breakfast porridge!

Latte Lath will not be fit ( why wasn’t that a penalty?)

HH may swap with Howson and rotate during the game.

I’m going for a Boro win as these lads are still on a high !

 

OFB


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 651
 

Clive, thanks for a succinct piece that brings back my visits to Millwall when I first went to work in London in the late 1960's. The images and memories in my mind are almost in Black and White like a fifties or sixties 'B' film. None of the memories The Den are pleasant I would add, but I've related those tales on here before. I worked with a Charlton supporter in the early 1970's and his hatred of Millwall was truly tribal, you'd think they'd been playing one another since The Dark Ages. Mind you a visit to the old Den was like a visit to the Dark Ages. The first game I saw there my work colleagues and football team mates told me don't go for a pint beforehand. I said that one pub must be friendly for away supporters and they replied that that there wasn't a friendly pub in the area, just unfriendly. Period. I would add that one Easter Sue and I went to The Valley, met him and his skinhead mates, they bought us a drink before the game and we had great afternoon. Chalk and cheese.

So it really is back to the trenches and yet again I'm praying more than ever that Boro beat them, a London team. Based on the last two displays Boro can but it's managing and maintaining the intensity of the last two games. No forecast from me, just don't concede or lose! It'll even do in Black and white too.

UTB,

John


jarkko
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2188
 

Posted by: @clive-hurren

And the bad news is that both Bangura and Latte Lath are out for some time, as I feared. Yet more reasons to hate Chelsea. 

Michael Carrick said: "... but it looks as though it’ll be a bit of period of time out for both of them unfortunately." 

Pardon my English, but is this weeks,  a month or more? I know Carrick does not want to talk about injuries or how long a player will be out, but what do you think about the timeline? 

I hope Latte Lath will be back in early February at the latest. Up the Boro! 

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by jarkko

   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2242
 

Well done Clive on producing another high-quality piece within a matter of hours - and even just before midnight! You really managed to capture the essence of what a trip to Millwall is  - though it's a ground I've always managed to avoid even when I lived in London and only ever ventured to Upton Park in East London. It seems the idea of a Welcome to Millwall sign has yet to be envisaged for the away supporters.

As for the game itself, could be a tricky one with Millwall currently 4th in form table under their new young manager - though at least there will be no George Saville as he's suspended after seeing Red against Norwich in late December. Duncan Watmore is at this point fit to play though it seems he's being carefully handled as has suffered a few injuries this season already but is regarded as the spark of the team.

As for who Michael Carrick selects - well wouldn't be surprised if Coburn gets a rest and we see some of those who weren't available get a start with Rogers, Greenwood and Azaz all available. Hopefully, Ayling is fit enough to start as he's probably ideally suited to playing at Millwall and then it's a case of who needs managing with maybe Crooks and Clarke needing a breather. 

I think the players may find they have a bit more time on the ball after playing Villa and Chelsea and you would hope are better able to get forward and create chances - hopefully Carrick ensures the players don't think it will be easy and we could really do with three points and keep the momentum of Tuesday going. Maybe Boro will just practice their defending again but it will probably be a tight game whatever the tactics.


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2272
 

Excellent piece again thank you Clive.

I am also a survivor of a few visits to cold blow lane but not to the new den. It may be new but the welcome will be of old, hostile and intimidating.

It will be a tough day given their current form and despite our mid week high there must be some weary legs and minds across the squad. I hope the adrenaline rush from Tuesday can sustain us and that we can at least avoid defeat.

We really need a win to get our top six push back on track but wouldn’t be surprised if we came away with a draw given we have had so few this season and Millwall’s low scoring record; a defeat would take the gloss off the Chelsea result and put another dent in our aspirations.  

Fingers crossed that the new boys and those returning from absence will be able to see us over the line. CoB 😎


Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 623
Topic starter  

@John Richardson 

It'll even do in Black and white too.’ 

But not in stripes, though, mate! 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1175
 

@Clive - the ususal, expected Good Read again from you as an Opener.  More Premier League than Championship. Let's hope the football from our Heroes follows suit.

Millwall.  The name alone casts a shadow.  Reminiscent of concrete, cold and damp weather.  "A conivivial, warm and good-natured friendly welcome" are words that have NEVER been seen in the same postcode as Millwall. SE16 3LN, if you are interested with the ground now on Zampa Road.  Often a brutal place to go and the name of the old street, Cold Blow Lane says it all.

Yet, yet, yet....  We learn from the Millwall FC website that  "Millwall FC takes pride in being a family orientated club for all visitors, with its community at the heart of it. In 2017 the club picked up the prestigious Family Club of the Year Trophy at the annual EFL Awards Ceremony.  Further reflecting the club's commitment to attracting and engaging families and young fans at The Den, the club was also awarded Family Excellence Status for the 2022/23 season."  Maybe we live in our own little bubbles, whether they be on Teesside, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Scotland, East Yorkshire, Darn Sarth, even Further Darn Sarth in Australia, or at the other end of the world in Finland, who would have guessed Millwall was a family-friendly club?  Well, let's hope that lasts and continues to improve in the future.

Millwall 0-1 BORO.  The cat is out of the bag. UNLESS there is a desire to wrap in cotton wool the likely team against Chelsea in the return leg of the Carabao Cup, so that a less-than-mighty team is put up against Millwall. I can't see that happening though.  0-1 it is to be.  (Crosses fingers....)

 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 651
 

@clive-hurren

Most certainly not! More like Edgar Wallace black and white please, as seen at The Elite cinema.

Forever Dormo, A family orientated friendly club? You'd get a warmer welcome on an iceberg.

UTB,

John

This post was modified 3 months ago by John Richardson

Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 755
 

Of course Millwall are a family friendly club.

So were the Cosa Nostra. Family values were central to their code.

And the Krays absolutely idolised their Mum

But don't tell anybody that I said so


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2272
 

@lenmasterman.  Brilliant Len, made me chuckle. 😂😎


Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1356
 

Posted by: @lenmasterman

Of course Millwall are a family friendly club.

So were the Cosa Nostra. Family values were central to their code.

And the Krays absolutely idolised their Mum

But don't tell anybody that I said so

I laughed out loud Len, brilliant observations... 🤣 

 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 755
 

Thanks for the kind comments.

But can I beg everyone please to keep it in the family.


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2649
 

@lenmasterman 

Hey you talkin to me ?

I said “ you talkin to me?”

 

OFB


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 755
 

Do you know what you get when you cross a mafioso with a postmodernist?

An offer that you can't understand


Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 83
 

@lenmasterman 

You don't get this on Smoggies on Tour


Site Creator
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2242
 

Team News...

Ayling and Azaz make their debuts and Rogers and Greenwood return - Hackney is on the bench along with Crooks and Clarke plus Forss and O'Brien - btw no Coburn in the squad so will be interesting to see who plays up top!

Image


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1154
 

Thank you Clive for the superbly delivered Headliner at so short notice, a brilliant read.

I think we could be up against it today, “after the Lord Mayors Show”, scenario.

How much will those last two games have taken out of the likes of Jones, Howson and Barlaser. And as I write this, I see HH is on the bench and rest for 3 of the back four.

I difficult game, and Coventry winning makes a result of some kind essential. 


   
Liked by 4 people: Original Fat Bob, Malcolm, Selwynoz and K P in Spain
 
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1154
 

Picking the team for MC, must be a little like picking your dominoes at the start of a game,  not sure what you will get. 


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2242
 

@pedro 

As long as we don't get a double-blank I'll be happy 😉 


   
ReplyQuote
Selwynoz
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 740
 

Even if we are short of a striker today, looking at the bench you can suddenly start to get a sense of the depth of squad that we will have when everyone is fit and McGree and Silvera are back from the Asian Cup.

UTB


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2242
 

It seems Boro are late arriving at the Den so kick-off has been delayed 15 minutes 


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2242
 

@selwynoz 

Once everyone is fit Carrick will have almost two teams to choose from and hopefully Boro will be a force for the last 15 games.


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1154
 

Not sure what the delay is about. Boro were out there going through their warm up 20 minutes ago. 


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1154
 

Traffic through London, causing Boro to arrive at 2.30, also caught out some Millwall players.

We look decidedly short on goals up front. Hopefully Azaz can chip in.


   
ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1107
 

1-0 down after 10 minutes. 


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 3
Share: