Discussion Forum

Match Previews
 

Match Previews

36 Posts
12 Users
197 Reactions
994 Views
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1298
Topic starter  

My fellow Diasborians,

After two or three seasons (I can’t remember which!) of writing match previews, I’ve decided to step down from the duty.

I had made a deal with myself that if we’d achieved promotion, I’d try to carry on for another season but with that gone, I’m going to call it a day.

The blog itself remains a great pleasure in which to participate and a source of Boro-escapism not found anywhere else, and I hope to continue commenting and even writing the odd preview if needed in a crisis, which have been great fun to research and create in the main.

However, as family commitments and work pressures have increased, I’ve found myself shoe-horning the previews in with quite formulaic results and a less enjoyable process for me along the way.

As well as my own situation, I do feel that the blog would benefit from some different voices and writing styles and we are fortunate to have a number of excellent scribes among us.

I’ve already had conversations with OFB about this and he, as you would imagine, has been typically and thoroughly supportive.

Bob and I wanted to send this message on a new thread which can hopefully now act as place to discuss how the previews continue. When we talked about the future of the blog a few weeks ago, I think some other posters hinted at a willingness to join the preview team so perhaps you can now firm that interest up on this thread?

Like you I’m sure, I certainly don’t want to leave Bob with the burden of creating the previews by himself so please do join the discussion and put your hand up if you’re able to contribute and help out.

I’ll sign off by saying thank you once again for all the incredibly generous comments and likes over the seasons and thanks for having me. As I say, I still intend to enjoy the blog with reading and commenting going forward.

Many thanks,

Andy R


Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1144
 

A massive thank you, Andy, for all your hard work this year. I’ve enjoyed reading every one of your previews, but appreciate your reasons for stepping back. 
I don’t think I’d have time to step into your shoes. With my own Blog to write and work still to be done on our new home, time seems to disappear at the moment. 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2718
 

Thanks Andy 

As we’ve discussed your contributions have been appreciated by myself and all the other Diasborians during the time you have written the previews.

During a season (especially in the championship!) the matches do seem to come thick and fast and the pressure to perform and produce something that is worth reading can be quite tough.

I would suggest that your posts have not been formulaic rather that they have developed into your personal style which I have enjoyed immensely. They made me redouble my efforts to try and equal and match your posts to give the Diasborians a good read.

You shall leave a hole in your contributions but as we’ve discussed your priorities are at home, family and work. 

We know that you will still post and comment and for that we thank you.

Regarding myself, if the other Diasborians wish to replace myself as a writer of the match previews I’m quite willing to stand down and hand over to a new broom.

Alternatively I’m quite willing to carry on writing turn and turn about with another writer.

We do have some great writers on this blog and those interested please think about the way forward.

One possibility is that we all take turns to write the preview match by match ?

We’ve plenty of time to think about it over the next few weeks.

Ive been in touch with Si Fahalla (whose birthday it is today!) Whilst he is going to write some features on the blog he doesn’t feel he has time to do turn and turn about on the previews.

What we don’t want is for everyone to step back and to let this magnificent blog wither on the vine.

Quite frankly I don’t know how Werder managed to write all the previews, do the technical wizardry he deserves all our thanks for what he achieved.

So a small change in our format which in time is always inevitable but we have some great contributors let’s hear those voices !

Up the Boro !

OFB


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 772
 

Thanks Andy for all of your commitment and hard work. Your openers were not only well informed but stylish and professionally crafted, putting the work of most of the journalists covering the Boro to shame. We have been very lucky to have both you and Bob researching and writing such first class material on a regular basis.

I'm afraid that I am not able to commit to the blog on a routine basis. I sometimes go weeks without posting if I am away or have other pressing commitments, but I do read it every day and enjoy everybody's  contributions. It's a real brains trust on a host of issues often unrelated to the Boro, and if Si is coming back it will enrich our discussions even more. 

Thanks again Andy, and I hope that one day I will be able to buy you a pint or three and have a real rather than a virtual chat.


Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1367
 

@AndyR

Adding my appreciation for all the great headliners you have contributed.  None of us who sit down and write an extensive post from time to time can fail to recognise the amount of your own time that both of you and OFB put into preparing them. I will miss your formula, which never let us down.

I am one of those who, for whatever reason that doesn't really matter, won't be able to retire till I am 70. It might be creeping up on me at an ever faster pace, but I still have half a dozen years to go. My work is often demanding of my time and it can also be very unkind to my personal schedule. So at the moment I am not sure if I can take up the baton to start a thread more than once a month, or every 4 or 5 matches.   But count me into the rota. Who knows, I might get into a rhythm and find I can prepare something more frequently.

Whatever. I am in, and while I could never fill either of your boots in regard to footballing knowledge. I will do my best.

Let's see who else is able to chip in with a contribution and we can work a rota out once the fixture list is available.

This post was modified 1 year ago by Powmill-Naemore

Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1298
Topic starter  

Thanks again to all above - I hugely appreciate the comments.

Just to follow on from Powmill, if there were enough of us to create a wider rotation (maybe 5 or 6), I'd likely be able to continue in some capacity.


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2341
 

Thanks Andy, your pre match articles have been informative, well researched and often better fare than the copy produced by the so called professional hacks.

You will be missed, especially by OFB who I am delighted to learn is happy to carry on; unfortunately I am unable to commit to producing contributions and certainly not to the quality of yourself and OFB.

Thanks again and hopefully you will still be able to produce the occasional article which will always be well received.  😎


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 657
 

Just to add my 2p worth and say that the openers have been great but are a massive amount of work. My suggestion is that the thread opener doesn't need to be a magnum opus. That way if Andy or Outrageously Fabulous Bob or anyone else feels up to doing to big post with loads of research it can be added to the thread but won't become a burden to be shouldered twice a week at the peak of the season. 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2341
 

@deleriad.  Sounds a sensible way forward to me. 😎


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1190
 

@deleriad    Only catching upon this Headliner, as I initially missed it, hidden in general discussions.

I also thought that each match could be started by anybody with the Headliner:   Middlesbrough v xxxxxxxxxx or xxxxxxxxxx v Boro!!

Posters could add there own take on the match. Ken with the history as he has done so well. The stats of the opposition. Speculation on the team, from the current form or injuries. 

I am sure, the majority of “initial posts” could be leaders. Followed by replies to them. I am sure it could work without the necessary commitment needed, given previously by Andy and OFB.

OK, it won’t be quite as good may be, but it could be a lot less of a burden.


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2718
 

@pedro 

A good and Interesting post about everyone posting the leaders.

The only problem I can foresee about this is that if we don’t know who is going to put the leader post up you could get 2 or 3 leader posts put up simultaneously.

I take your point about the opening post being brief and others adding to it and it’s one that we’ll all probably think about as an alternative.

There are about four or five of us who are willing to post on a rota basis and this may prove to be the best solution.

I totally agree with Andy that to do a long and researched post is time consuming and he is still a working guy unlike myself who is retired and can devote a few hours to the blog.

We also have some people who wish to join the blog and hopefully we can regenerate and grow without diluting it’s ideals and the way we respect one another.

I’ve put a Leader post up about transfers as we don’t need to add discussion to the Play off semi final post !

We've a few weeks to decide the best way forward and I’m sure we will reach the best solution.

OFB

 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 772
 

@pedro 

I agree with deleriad, KP and pedro. The starters have been brilliant, but once contributing to the blog becomes a task or feels like homework then we are sunk. It has to be a pleasure otherwise why do it?

I felt the same about Redcar Red's peerless match reports, penned soon after the game and covering not only a chronological account of the match but player evaluations and a general performance assessment, rendered with the kind of honesty beyond the remit of conventional journalism.

It was the sort of agenda that Cliff Mitchell would have spent his entire week in working through.

RR did it in a few hours, all the while holding down a full time job.

I suggested that RR could lessen his workload considerably by cutting the account and confining himself to his assessment, which he did. But his eventual absence owing to increased work commitments has been a great loss to the blog and we all look forward to his eventual return. On his own terms, of course.

If Werder's pyrotechnic displays of wit and wisdom were as much fun for him to write as they were for us to read then they must have given him a great deal of satisfaction. But when he felt that he had to produce them twice weekly, the work and time commitment became well beyond the call of duty. It remains a pleasure to read Werder's contributions, and of course his technical expertise is what allows the blog to continue to function. But we all understand that he will have other pressing commitments and priorities.

What I would say to Bob is that you have been the glue that has kept this blog together since its inception. Quite apart from your knowledge and expertise about the club, refereeing and football in general to say nothing of the wide range of contacts that lay behind your fine interviewing series, you have shown a general commitment to the maintenance and philosophy of the blog without which it would not have survived. In terms of your individual contributions, you have been a staple of the blog. Always contributing, always there, and absolutely invaluable.

The openers that you and Andy have produced all season are a major achievement, and a credit to you both. But I think that you both should now only continue to contribute when you have the time and inclination to do so. A long absence from the blog from either of you because of over commitment would be too great a loss for the blog to bear.

Pedro's suggestion of a heading for the next match soon after the previous one is excellent and should encourage others, not excluding yourselves, to fill the gap in their own way.

 

 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2718
 

@lenmasterman 

Many thanks Len appreciated 

OFB


   
ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1190
 

@lenmasterman. Great post Ken.

I appears that we may well have the basis of starting the next match Headliner. I am sure we can develop it as we go.

It should certainly make Andy's and OFB's life a lot easier.

 


   
ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1144
 

An excellent post from @lenmasterman. I know from my own Blog that when it becomes a chore to do, it’s time for a break. 
I’d also echo his praise for OFB - without him this forum would be a much less active place. 


   
ReplyQuote
Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2132
 

It would be remiss of me not to thank Bob and Andy for all their hard work in producing previews of Boro’s matches, but also the work of Werder and especially Redcar Red. I was on nodding terms with Mr. Mitchell (Cliff to most of you, although in deference to his age I would never be so bold as to call him by his Christian name). I used to revel in his match reports in the Sports Gazette, but Redcar Red even exceeded those in my opinion.

As for Bob and Andy it’s the hours of research that is so time consuming. I’m merely a statistician of several sports (football, cricket, golf and speedway in particular). My long term memory is quite good, especially about the late 1940s, the 1950s and 1960s, but ask me what I did last week, I then have to refer to my diary.

I’m now reliant on palliative care, struggle even to dress myself without help as nurses call three times a day to see to my needs. I’ve lived far too long now, but wouldn’t wish to commit suicide although would welcome euthanasia. My first port of call on my iPad is to read the Diasboro website although rarely contribute to any worthwhile discussion. 

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones everyone: it’s no fun getting old especially alone!

 


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2718
 

@ken 

Thank you Ken and God bless 

You will always be part of this blog 

OFB


   
ReplyQuote
Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1367
 

Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@ken 

Thank you Ken and God bless 

You will always be part of this blog 

OFB

Ditto

The thing is Ken, your contributions have been immortalised in the digital world, so that while ever there is Diasboro, you will always be there to refer to  and remember. I know that is not why you contributed so extensively, but that's the way of modern world, once you have put it out there, it is always out there.

 


Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1367
 

Good lateral thinking, first from Deleriad, but followed up by others.

Perhaps there is a good way forward like this. or maybe as a hybrid.  The thing that is appealing about simply running with a new and lightweight "Header" is that it takes away any risk that the "on duty" script writer gets caught short of time to prepare something. 

Perhaps we could rune with the rota, if people want to turn a hand at composing the starter and they could add their contribution under the header. However, if for whatever reason, they are unable to do that, it doesn't impact the week to week, match to match debate that carries on regardless.


Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 958
 

Just found this thread and as others have said a massive big thank you to Andy, Ofb and others.

Also I would like to wish Ken a very heartfelt appreciatiion for all his factual information on all sports. Although as Ken does say he is not in a good way at the moment. I am so sad Ken for you and pray that you will still be with us the when new season starts and beyond.

Unfortunately I don't have the ability to write starters etc but will continue to add short bits and info that hopefully interest's fellow contributors.

Lets have a good summer of comment's as to where Boro are going to with Ref to 2023/2024.

Thanks to everyone. 


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 657
 

Werder might be able to do some sort of WordPress magic to automate a match posting 48-72 hours before it is due. 

Other than that, if there's a few volunteers and someone to coordinate them, they can be planned in advance. I don't have the time or ability to write a detailed thread opener but would be happy to share the load of starting a match day thread.


   
ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1144
 

Maybe we could get ChatGPT to join the group and write the previews. 😉


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 657
 

@martin-bellamy Genius!

Here's what Bard said... (Bard appears to be living in the past)

Middlesbrough vs Watford Preview

Middlesbrough are set to host Watford at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a crucial Championship clash.

The two sides are currently separated by just two points in the table, with Boro in sixth and Watford in seventh. A win for either side would be a big boost in their quest for a playoff place.

Middlesbrough come into the game on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Sunderland last time out. However, they have been in good form overall this season and have won four of their last five games at home.

Watford, meanwhile, have been inconsistent of late. They have won two of their last five games but have also lost two. They will be looking to bounce back from a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United last time out.

This is a tough game to call. Both sides have good players and are capable of winning. However, I think Middlesbrough have the edge at home and I am backing them to get the win.

Predicted Lineups

Middlesbrough: Lumley; Dijksteel, McNair, Lenihan, Jones; Tavernier, Crooks, Howson; Balogun, Watmore, Akpom

Watford: Bachmann; Femenia, Sierralta, Cathcart, Kamara; Kucka, Cleverley; Sarr, Dennis, King; Joao Pedro

Key Players

Middlesbrough: Marcus Tavernier, Chuba Akpom, Dael Fry

Watford: Joao Pedro, Ismaila Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis

Prediction

Middlesbrough 2-1 Watford


   
ReplyQuote
Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1144
 

Chat box had this to say:

 

Middlesbrough and Coventry are set to face each other in a Championship match on April 2, 2021. Here is a preview of the upcoming match:

Middlesbrough currently sits in 9th place in the Championship table, with 54 points from 38 matches. They have won 15 matches, drawn 9, and lost 14 so far this season. Middlesbrough has been in good form recently, winning three of their last five matches, including a 3-1 victory over Stoke City in their most recent match.

Coventry, on the other hand, is currently in 20th place in the Championship table, with 39 points from 38 matches. They have won 9 matches, drawn 12, and lost 17 so far this season. Coventry has struggled for form recently, winning just one of their last five matches, including a 2-0 defeat to Rotherham United in their most recent match.

In terms of head-to-head record, Middlesbrough has won 23 of their 56 matches against Coventry, while Coventry has won 18 matches, with 15 matches ending in a draw.

Based on current form and league position, Middlesbrough will be the favorites to win the match. However, Coventry will be looking to cause an upset and secure a vital three points in their battle to avoid relegation.


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 2286
 

Just saw this thread this morning after revisiting the blog for the first time since the play-off exit. Firstly many thanks to Andy for his hard work in producing excellent and well-written previews during the last few seasons and I didn't at all find them formulaic and it's probably more that you found your style, which tends to emerge over time with regularly writing. Plus continued thanks to OFB for his continued hard work in both writing and networking to promote Diasboro.

Though I'd agree that regular writing of articles requires a lot of time, commitment, creativity and energy - as well as the enthusiasm to ensure it's remains fun and not just another pressing item on the to-do list. Indeed, even sharing openers between two people still means it's a once a week commitment!

Still don't know where I found the time (or energy) during the first few years of Diasboro - but I was still quite youthful in my early 50s and my son had just started school a few months before starting Diasboro and I had a bit more time on my hands - unbelievable he becomes a teenager next week and speaks with a deep voice, as well as sporting a bit of a moustache - plus I'm turning 60 next year to boot and my body now aches all over after two weeks of heavy-duty gardening. I notice the difference between 50 and 60 so I can appreciate how some of our more senior posters must feel about their ageing bodies.

Anyway, some good posts and wise words on the way forward - all I'd say is that the main attributes are enthusiasm and enjoyment of the task at hand and then something never feels like work no matter how demanding it is.

Still, it's a difficult one and while it feels easier to commit to something once a month rather than once a week, it does require that you still feel you want to do it. On that basis, maybe shorter openers of maximum 3-4 paragraphs are the way forward that leaves it open to add more detailed posts/comments if able. 

Though, as I've mentioned a few weeks back, my plan was to move Diasboro back to the wordpress.com platform after the season ended in order to make it easier for new members to join, reduce my technical input and avoid the risks of a paid site being taken down.

I currently don't have a timetable in mind for a switch as I was setting it up as a back-up in case the software update on the host platform had failed. Though it would make sense to start thinking about the timing as once the play-off final has happened then the Exmil Challenge will have been completed.


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 2286
 

@martin-bellamy 

Maybe these AI Chatbots will eventually take over the intellectual side of things such as writing articles and posting comments leaving everyone on Diasboro free for the important task of picking the fruit and veg from the fields 😀 


Martin Bellamy
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1144
 

Posted by: @werdermouth

@martin-bellamy 

Maybe these AI Chatbots will eventually take over the intellectual side of things such as writing articles and posting comments leaving everyone on Diasboro free for the important task of picking the fruit and veg from the fields 😀 

 

You’re a braver man than me suggesting that - I tried saying it to my friend Suella earlier, but she just sped past in her car…

 


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 2286
 

Talking of the power of AI - how long will it be before it can produce a photo as good as this one of Nigel Farage published in the Independent today - it's credited as from Getty Images but surely nothing real could have encapsulated the essence of man so profoundly...

<p>Nigel Farage raised eyebrows by admitting Brexit has been ‘failure’ </p>


   
ReplyQuote
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2718
 

@werdermouth 

Just watching his show on GB news and he asks some pertinent questions about our PM….

Personally I like him and so does Mrs OFB Otherwise known and she who must be obeyed !!!!

 

OFB


   
ReplyQuote
Site Creator
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 2286
 

@original-fat-bob 

I've managed to resist watching GB News so far as I decided I just couldn't afford to buy a new TV every week 😉 


   
Liked by 4 people: lenmasterman, Selwynoz, Martin Bellamy and deleriad
 
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Share: