Sunderland v Boro
Saturday 7th October - The Mowbray Derby
So, it’s the Mowbray Derby: his real team vs the team that’s paying him some money. To be honest, we can probably just assume we’ll lose 2-0 and get on with the rest of our lives. So here’s 10 hours of relaxing music and birdsong that we can all tune into on Saturday.
Or maybe there is hope. They say a week’s a long time in politics but that’s even more true in football. It’s just two weeks ago that we struggled to a 1-1 draw with the worst team in the league, leading to our worst start since Harald got an arrow through his eye. Carrick was a busted flush, Scott was as useful as a chocolate teapot, Gibson had turned into Scrooge McDuck and Crooks was doing a good imitation of the Sycamore gap.
Four wins a row later and how things have changed.
Two weeks ago I was looking at this fixture and thinking it might be my last match day intro with Carrick in charge. Now though we travel to Sunderland. More with hope than expectation given that Mowbray has some sort of hex over us but expecting to give them a good game.
Ironically, Sunderland have faced similar issues to us. Their star players either returned on loan or were sold and replaced with a bunch of punts, unknowns and loans. Mowbray, though, has provided a masterclass in how to manage that sort of transition. The season started slowly, with 2 losses but since then their record is played 7, won 5, drawn 1, lost 1. (Update, won 8 now after Watford.)
Interestingly, we’re a bit of a bogey team for Sunderland. Looking at their home record vs other championship teams, their win ratio against us is their 16th worst. Until last year, it felt as though the one place we could also go to and get a result was the Stadium of you know what.
If a week is a long time in politics, a year is an eternity in football. This time last year, our 11th game of the season was away to Coventry. By the end of the day we would have 10 points from 11 games, be just outside the relegation zone and Gibson would pull the trigger on the final days of Wilder. Now we have 11 points from 10 games and are just outside the relegation zone. It might seem like nothing has changed but we can all feel that the club has undergone a seismic revolution.
For something a little different, what’s your favourite bit of trivia about Sunderland? My wife’s favourite graphic novel is Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot in which he explores the idea that the Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland is based on Sunderland. I have my doubts. My wife, who hates football with a passion got hooked on Sunderland ‘til I die but that’s possibly because she has a thing about hopeless losers. Not sure what that says about me.
Love that, Deleriad. Top work!
Great opener Deleriad it’s an offbeat look at the game which is very refreshing.
I love all these different leading posts they’ve added something different to the blog this season and given it a fresh look and feel.
Well done everyone !
Well done there, Deleriad. Always looking forward to your posts.
It is a pity, that Sunderland has a Boro legend as a manager. He shoulb be at Rockcliffe, in his home. I must admit that I look for their results much more often when he is there now. It was the same when Mogga was at Blackburn or West Brom.
I have chatted once to him at Rockcliffe after taking part in his pre-match press conferrence, when he was the manager here. He is a really nice guy and always ready to talk football. So the next match is really a Mogga derby. Like the last match was an Andy Campbell derby.
As much as I love Coburn - he is one of our own - I think we need to play Latte Lath now. Every time I have seen him play he has impressed with his speed and pace. He is a bit like Traore and Archer combined.
He is also a leader on the pitch. He is talking all the time and instructing his team mates when he is on the pitch. And giving encouragement to his team mates. I see him as a top player - he has scored a couple of goals in his four or five appearences so far. Most as a sub.
Mogga has an excellent record agains us. Most propably as his lives locally and knows everything about Boro. Also because he is an excellent coach. So it won't be easy. But with us improving, I will go for an entertaining 2-2 draw. I hope we stay unbeaten.
At least the next international break will be more positive for us, Boro fans. Up the Boro!
Lovely bit of writing Deleriad and setting us up nicely to contemplate the big North East derby fixture on Saturday.
I am in the camp that so long as their results (especially against us) don't impact on us then I like to see them do well... unless there is a Mackem sitting next to me in the office, then all bets are off.
It seems like we were only saying this next game will be a good indication if we have turned (or are turning) the corner before the Cardiff game and yet here we are again thinking this new next game against the Black Kittens will be a good indication that we have turned (or are turning) the corner before the international break.
I agree with Jarkko, it would be great not to lose this one, but given the sudden blossoming of some self belief in the Boro camp we shouldn't rule out the possibility of a fifth win on the spin.
I don't think I am going to predict a result, I will just sit down on Saturday to enjoy what could be really good game of football.
P.S. Sunderland trivia....
Oscar winning film producer David Parfitt is Sunderland-born.
Oscar winning Film Director Ridley Scott is a Boro Fan !
@ deleriad Another completely different take with this Headliner, well done.
As OFB posted, the new writers have turned out a series of excellent “pre match reports”.
I also thought this could be MC’s last game possibly. I still think a win will be probably a step too far at this time. But a draw and I would be happy.
Actually Emmanuel Latte Lath has played in 5 league matches for Boro and scored 2 goals during these 338 min (one goal per 169 min, so a bit over one goal per two matches). He has also played in two EFL Cup matches and scored once during 175 min.
I think his record is not that bad considering he is new to the league and country. He is 24 year old now having been born on Jan 1, 1999. (He is seven year younger than my son, and I feel old ).
Just saying, like. I hope we will see him becoming a real threath for the Boro. Up the Boro!
Oscar winning Film Director Ridley Scott is a Boro Fan !
Nice try at trumping me, but Boro trivia is out of scope for Deleriad''s challenge Bob 😉
Ridley Scott said that BLADE RUNNER is based on the steelworks near West Hartlepool.
I assume that we all know that Alf Common was an English centre forward who is famous for being the first player to be transferred for a fee of £1,000 on his transfer to Middlesbrough from Sunderland in 1905.
I'm saving up another Boro supporter for the next Boro trivia question.
Sunderland have to be favourites for Saturday's game but we should be able to give them a good match. The danger is their pace of counter-attack and how they will make us of the space between our defence and midfield. Someone has to play as a defensive midfielder. I'd be tempted to play a back 5 for the first half so that we can cover their wingers cutting inside from the flanks.
Loved the intro, deleriad.
Mind you, it took me a couple of hours to get through it as I fell asleep at the music and birdsong.
But it was funny, stylish and acute. A perfect combination, for which many thanks. Greatly appreciated.
Thanks Deleriad for a different and enjoyable headliner. I can only echo OFB’s comments that the new scribes have really elevated the level of this blog to new heights.
As for Saturday we are clearly the underdog and given Mogga’s track record against us then the writing should be on the wall but you never know; a point would be a very good point and even if we lose, then hopefully it will be after giving it a good good and not an embarrassment. CoB 😎
Another excellent opener - thanks @deleriad
Foolishly, we’ve got family coming to stay this weekend and we’ve promised to take them to Whitby on Saturday. I was conflicted enough already, with Boro and Wigan Warriors live on TV, but now I’m trying to work out if I can avoid the results and watch the games later. Decisions, decisions…
As for Sun’land facts, I’ll throw this into the ring: Butch Cassidy’s family were from the town apparently- let’s hope metaphorical raindrops are falling on their fans’ heads after the game.
Thanks for a terrific, very enjoyable opener, Deleriad. Great work!
I would be more than happy with a point on Saturday against the Deckchairs. It’s one of our most challenging games so far. I expect us to be on the back foot for most of the time, so I do hope we can weather the storm, play some good football and continue our recent upturn in form.
@deleriad - I have also been enjoying the different feel in the various Openers coming from different contributors to this Blog. Imagine if newspapers did this. No more any homogeneous "house style" but, instead, the different architectures and interior decoration seen in the various wings and rooms of a palace: a much more interesting place to visit. It also has the benefit that the interior decorators are not worked to death by having to move from one room to the next in quick succession in a never ending "Forth Rail Bridge re-painting job" but are allowed the opportunity to rest and enjoy the efforts of their colleagues (or, if need be, to disagree the views expressed!).
Anyway, thanks for your Opener which caused me to chuckle, deleriad. I will go back later to check out that YouTube link.
Sunderland's 2-0 win against Watford boosts the Wearsiders' home record and makes Boro's task seem that more difficult. However Watford had 5 players given yellow cards and a separate 6th player shown the red card (the latter in the 87th minute) so some measure of indiscipline in the Watford ranks must have contributed to that team's demise. I think a team will need 100% commitment and discipline these days to get 3 points at the Stadium-whose-name-is-never-mentioned.
Boro IS now playing better football and getting much better results than only a few weeks ago. A defeat in this coming fixture would not cause the Boro's wheels to fall off. It would not mean that, the corner having been turned, it would then be unturned. I think any result in this game would be a very reasonable prediction. A defeat would be no massive surprise and a Boro win, whilst very welcome in a "bragging-rights" way, can very easily be imagined. I'm tempted to sit on the fence here. A draw would, in fact, be a very good outcome to a match played away against our nearest rival football team, which currently stands fourth in the league and which is currently in very decent form.
One each, then! But I might very well review that prediction as the game gets closer. I will be following the game, pint in hand, at the Murdered Crow. Could be carnage given that the match starts at 12.30pm live on Sky TV and that Mrs Dormo will be at a long-arranged weekend yoga retreat in Scarbados prior to a planned but serious medical operation the following week. If all goes well, she still won't be in a position to Downward-Dog (or whatever) for at least 6-8 weeks afterwards so I know she has been looking forward to this forthcoming weekend, just as I am looking forward to the "Mogga Derby".
@martin-bellamy - Isn't there a planned "Old, New, Classic and Supercar event" at Whitby this weekend, where big crowds are expected...?
@forever-dormo. Best wishes to Mrs FD and hoping all goes well with her operation next week. 😎
@forever-dormo Thanks for the heads up - looks like it’s Supercar Saturday in Whitby. I’m hopeful of persuading Mrs B to accept a Friday visit instead.
That still leaves me with the problem of how to keep them entertained on Saturday whilst I watch the game(s). The son in law is sports mad*, so he’s not a problem, but will a 2 year old enjoy watching MC’s team take in the Black Cats?
*He’s from Lechlade and lives in Swindon, but somehow has become a Man Utd fan, whilst his family are Spurs supporters. Each to their own, I suppose.
@forever-dormo Best wishes to Judith and hoping all goes well with her operation next week.
Have you been to Ulapul this year? Up the Boro!
I've never been to Sunderland but don't they manufacture Nissan Qashqai and Micra in Washington, near Sunderland?
When Boro were sponsored by Datsun Cleveland, I wished the factory would have been built to Teesside. I was also working for the local Datsun importer at the time. And Datsun become Nissan in the late 1990's, I think.
And they have a kitten like football team, that has won nothing this centenary - unlike Boro 😇. Up the Boro!
@jarkko - We had planned to go to Ullapool this year but medical appointments, some expected and some not-so expected, intervened. A number of further hospital appointments and one, possibly two, visits for operations, are expected in the next few weeks. A Big One next week and one, dependant on a phone call tomorrow in light of next week's operation, in early November (but the second one is a short in-and-out-within-hours cateract eye operation which is fairly minor). If all goes well with the Big One, she will have had 3 operations this year and I will then have Mrs Dormo Mk II which will hopefully perform well and without need for further upgrades for another decade (or more).
If all goes to plan, I hope it will STILL be possible to visit Ullapool this year. But if we are into late November or December, the daylight hours then are so short in Ullapool, and the A9 road through the Grampian Mountains and the road from Dingwall over to Ullapool so prone to icing-up, that maybe taking the caravan up there and back might better be left until next Spring. In which case we will simply drive up in the car and stay in "our room". In some ways I'd prefer to take the caravan, although that will make the journey longer, because that gives more freedom and flexibility - if we want to go out on trips on our own, we can come back when we want and then prepare food in the caravan so as not to have my sister-in-law and her husband waiting for us to return so we could eat together. If it is next Spring, it will only be months away since we are already into October so, in the great scheme of things, waiting until Spring will not be the end of the Earth.
Excellent result v Cardiff , Sunderland are a different animal , quick ,direct , and their players are willing to put their bodies on the line, especially defenders .
They do rely very heavily on their wide men, so it's imperative we cut out the supply to them, make them go long.
I might think of going 451, smother midfield , their wingers although good going forward they sometimes go missing without the ball, we could exploit that on the counter,
You could put Engel LW, with Barugan behind him, Clarke will torcher Smith given space, yellow card there I'm sure
I'd be happy with a point ,but it's going to be a big test
@forever-dormo We’re off to Ardnamurchan later this month, via a one night stopover at our daughter’s in Roybridge. We’ve got different accommodation this time, close to Strontian and Resipole. Unfortunately, the Corran Ferry is still out of action, so it’ll be the long drive via Fort William.
Can’t wait to get back up there, plus we’ve booked a place on Harris for late spring next year, so we’ve got that to look forward to as well.
Best wishes to Mrs FD - I hope everything goes well and she enjoys her time in Scarborough (she’ll pass through our village if she’s going via the A64, although there’s a road closure from 7pm tomorrow in Rillington).
@martin-bellamy - We LOVED camping in Lewis & Harris (my wife and I went alone in one of our son's two-man tents) some years ago. We left the caravan near Ullapool and took the ferry over to Stornoway with the tent in the back of the Jeep we had then. The beaches were unbelievably beautiful and unsullied - white sand, blue skies, turquoise sea ... the lot! Then 20 minates later it was raining until the sun came out 20 minutes after that. And the ruins (standing stone circles, broch, old Black Cottages etc). Incredible. Enjoy your time there.
Whose that goalie playing for Brighton in Champions league?
I have been to Scotland a few times. Edinburgh a few times and Galloway.
The furthest we have gone was in the 1980's when we drove from Boro to Fort William, Loch Ness, Inverness and then Dufftown and East. Would love to go more West but as lomg I am at work, this is just a dream. And anyway, I prefer Teesside and Riverside as a holiday destination.
But definately one day. Meanwhile, up the Boro!
@forever-dormo We did the Outer Hebrides in the Campervan. It was breathtaking.
What a fabulous blog you’ve produced, Martin. I’m very impressed (and jealous!)