Boro 1 - 3 Bristol City
Neil Warnock named an unchanged side as he hoped for a repeat performance from the one that eased past Millwall. Sadly, the only thing that was recognisable from Millwall was the shirt numbers as Boro were left chasing shadows they never looked capable of catching on a cloudy day.
Bristol City were sharp and on the front foot from the start and were soon ahead and made it two before the break with a couple of smart strikes. Boro were left only probing the Robins goal with set pieces and in particular the Shotton long throw, which was looking the best it had ever been.
The second half was more scrappy and Boro were unable to find a way through and when Bristol made it three it was over as a contest. With a change in shape and the arrival of Tav and Roberts, Boro tried the novelty of trying to pass to red shirts and work their way through the opposition defence and Britt combined with Wing to at least reduce the hit on their goal difference with a decent strike from the edge of the box.
In the end it wasn't enough and once again Boro are stuck in a relegation fight with three games left - none of which seem an opportunity to easily escape the pack as it goes down to the wire. Another disappointing defeat at the Riverside!
Organised and determined at the back, fluid and lively going forward - Bristol City played well today.
For us, we still haven’t found the balance and were outplayed at times.
Not even Kayleigh McEnany would be able to spin this one at the after match press conference.
Well after that display it is hard to see where the next point will come from as the last three games are all easy for us to lose.
I was hoping for a win today, a point at Reading to see us safe and said to my Cardiff mate that we would then let them have the three points as they are in danger of being caught by the Swans! Looks like we might be relying on the Wigan 12 point deduction to save us after all.
NW went with the shape and team I wanted him to start with and it just didn't work today against a much better team who played football. The changes he made did little to alter the outcome and the likes of Spence, Tav, Wing and Roberts made little positive impact. Roberts can dribble but looks like an early version of Traore, i.e. no end product.
Not sure where we go from here other than pray we stay up, can then reset and hope next season is not another relegation battle. 😎☹️
It’s now impossible to predict the Championship results at the moment with not one home winner so far this weekend. With Wigan failing to win at Barnsley it looks like 50 points will now guarantee safety. I’d take three goalless draws now for Boro, so where are you Bob? It won’t be easy though to get anything at Reading or against Cardiff at home. It may well need a win at Hillsborough now to escape the drop.
The only teams that are showing any consistency are Leeds and Brentford. Even West Brom must be feeling the pressure with a must win game against Fulham on Tuesday. Brentford have won their last 7 matches and have Preston and Barnsley to play at home and Stoke away which on current form they should win and are only 3 points behind West Brom with a far superior goal difference. Could they emulate Boro by playing in a brand new stadium in the Premier League?
This is getting monotonous, scrape a win away then play like a drain at home.
They drilled it long and chased it better than us, but, we are so uncoached in our defence that it is painful to watch.
A couple of points, the first goal, pitiful lack of challenge as they made their way forward, then the unforgivable, the ball going out of play level with our area for a throw to them, our player, facing the sideline, caught the ball nicely but had nothing on except a nice blast up field for a throw to them level with their area, he chose to watch it go out of play for their throw level with our area. Simple throw, no challenge, then half hearted chase as man in possession ambled towards our box getting balanced for an angled shot, nothing wrong with the shot, but it entered our net as close to the center of the goal as could be.it should not have been a problem for our keeper.
the second goal was no better, their shooter was on the dead ball line when he hoofed it, that should have been stopped. I'm afraid his faults are mounting up.
We were better when we had our nippy young players on the pitch, instead of standing around watching they pressured them in their own area, we had the ball at feet with the goal at our mercy in at least two incidents, but i am afraid Roberts first failed to roll it sideways to Wing, who would not have missed from there, then he compounded his failure by beating three men in the box without ever looking like getting away his shot.
And that is why he is here and not Man City.
So it was another case of home discomforts as the Riverside once again proved to be a happy hunting ground for the visitors. The myth of Boro's home form being down to negativity emanating from the terraces has been exposed by the Covid-19 empty stadium return with not even Mark Page silently booing over the the pa system to blame. Clearly there is a curse that hangs in the Teesside air or maybe the players have a phobia of seagulls swooping over the stadium roof like pseudo-vultures ready to land at the carcass of another disappointing season.
Anyway, one man who is quick to swoop and pick over the bones of another Boro performance is here to digest today's game - it's Redcar Red and his match report...
This is absolutely crazy now. If Sheffield Wednesday are deducted 9 points and Wigan fail to have their 12 point reduction rescinded there are 10 clubs still in danger of being relegated with only 3 matches remaining. Any 3 of those clubs could be relegated together, that’s 120 different combinations (10x9x8) divided by (1x2x3). If Sheffield Wednesday are not deducted any points or Wigan win their appeal, there would still be 9 clubs in danger of relegation, that’s 84 different combinations (9x8x7) divided by (1x2x3). If Sheffield Wednesday are not deducted any points and Wigan win their appeal that’s still any combination of 7 clubs that could be relegated and still 56 different combinations of the 3 clubs that could be relegated (8x7x6) divided by (1x2x3). As any team are capable of beating any other in this crazy League especially behind closed doors where home advantage is almost eroded, perhaps we should have a competition to see who can name which 3 clubs are likely to be relegated.
I agree Ken. It’s crazier than ever before and it’s interesting to consider the psychology of being at home but not having the usual home support. It seems to upset teams whereas the away sides seem less affected. Maybe we should be glad that we have two away games.
i put us down for a draw with Bristol and a win at Reading. I hope that I’m half right!
“We had a meeting yesterday (Thursday) with the two heads of recruitment and that took a couple of hours because we had to give our input."
I'm guessing that Gary Gill is one of them so who's the other one? Personally I'd start the restructure with those two. Continued failure with woeful recruitment is one of the many causes for the state we are in now. I wonder how many overpriced no marks we can find for overly inflated wages this Summer?
“We had a meeting yesterday (Thursday) with the two heads of recruitment and that took a couple of hours because we had to give our input."
I'm guessing that Gary Gill is one of them so who's the other one?
I suspect the other one is the tea lady...
One positive RR if we get relagated. There will be very little money to waste given the financial turmoil in League 1.
I think you can see here (below) what kind of players we need. Warnock said: “I don’t think there’s any rocket science if I’m honest. I think we’ve got a lot of forward-looking defenders, but not many defending defenders.
“Whether I’m here or not, you tell your recruitment team that the club’s got to have some defenders for next season. There has to be a priority in those positions. It doesn’t really matter who’s in charge, you’ve still got to be looking for the players.
“I’ve given my advice on what I felt the club needed, and then the two chaps are going to come up with some names. We discussed quite a few yesterday on the English market and in Europe. It’s getting the right ones really.”
This also interesting. Last week, Warnock was stating that the club needed a “restructure” in the summer, but he has sought to clarify that comment slightly by stressing he was referring to the make-up of the squad rather than any more radical shake-up of Boro’s executive structures.
“I probably used the wrong word really,” he said. “We have so many of the same type of players, so I think you’ve got to look at the squad and try to restructure it so that you cater for every avenue. You need a more balanced squad."
So Warnock thinks we have too many attacking-minded defenders and the squad needs a restructure, not the club. Interesting.
Up the Boro!
PS. The two chaps - Gary Gill and another - just suggest a few names, and the new manager, Steve Gibson and company makes the desision of a player.
I hope a director of football is named soon - like Mogga. He is good in desiding on new players including their mental side and strengths.
So it not the reqruiment team's desision only. Up the Boro!
Realistically that was utterly predictable. You don't end up in the bottom six without a reason.
The problem is not the players' ability it is their mentality, their character and the inability over the last few years to create a team that reinforces their strengths.
No amount of changing formation or tactics is going to change that.
Yesterday, from kick off, we looked beaten. There was no drive or spite or confidence. Each player passed responsibility on to someone else. It was notable that in 10 minutes on the pitch, Clayton went for and won more 50/50s than the rest of the midfield combined for the whole of the game.
I do think we will win one of our remaining games. I don't know which one because it will be based on random chance. I also have no idea how you create a team out of the players we have.
Thanks to RR for valiantly reliving the match as he wrote his excellent report. I just wish Boro could be as consistently good!
like others have said, I really don’t know what the hell is going on and why the consistency is not there. My only thought is that when we have a purple patch is is down to sheer good luck rather than any inherent talent or skill!
if there is a positive, it is that the other results went in our favour so that we are still 18th with 3 clubs below us although only 2 points from safety is a big worry. Have to hope Stoke lose today along with the other clubs below us losing. That is not a good pLace to be at all.
I oscillate between thinking we are safe and that we are going down, it is like a roller coaster ride and in the end it is the hope that kills you!
Tinker Tailor Soldier Scout
Thanks RR for your report on another "typical Boro" performance. Enough said I am becoming totally dismayed with the lot of them! 😎😡
@jarkko one serious problem with that if it's the same recruitment team that bought the e listing team and loans then we might as well set fire to the money.
Further developments at The Riverside.
A large van with the words “ Mystery Machine” emblazoned on the side was seen entering the car park. A spokesperson, Miss Velma Dinkley said they had been hired to, “ cast an enquiring eye over the Riverside staff” she added “ with a particular emphasis on; Old Prospectors, Janitors and Tea Ladies.....”
I, as a keen reader of the leading football writers, have been aware for some time that the clubs with High expectations of themselves, spend an awful lot of energy on recruitment. They would never buy any player without an intimate knowledge of every aspect of his life, fitness, habits, hobbies, family, relationships, and above all knowing him personally.
In addition to the above, it is crucial that you can value him and his contract, what he brings to your club, can he be changed in anyway (not always possible) what if you are relegated and stuck with him.
It must be obvious that to give anyone the power of decision over who and what price is suicidal, even I who wouldn't know how to swing a dodgy deal, would make myself lot of loose change with that power.
I can hear the hard up chairman of some struggling team speaking now to some underling with such power. He's saying 'if you can get me 5 million for a 29 year old with a dicky knee son, there's 250,000 in used fivers in a shoe box in the boot of your car '
We are doing something wrong, very wrong.
I guess Stoke winning was to be expected as just about all the other results didn't impact on us too greatly and our luck couldn't have held out for ever. On a positive, Birmingham look to be in such a state that if we can clamber over them then we would be safe, just two more points to equal them and three to clamber over their sorry carcasses. I'm not overly confident that with the inconsistencies that Warnock has to work with we can get another win or at least two draws. As Deleriad said above however, random fate may throw up a surprise win from somewhere, fingers crossed!
Thank's RR for your excellent report. Hope your contract with DiasBoro doesn't lapse. 🤣 😀 😀
Have said this previously, I think NW will keep us up and I hope we keep him for another season. He tells it like it is and wouldn't be afraid to disagree with SG and other's for the sake of the club. We have had too many yes men in the club for years and still do. Time to sort them out NW.
I read that Moukoudi has now returned to France after his loan deal expired. That leaves us very vulnerable at the back for these last few games but it just highlights the state of this squad.
@redcarred Thanks for your comprehensive match report RR. Excellent as it was, it was very hard to relive the debacle that we all had to endure.
Surprised to hear about Moukoubi as I thought he was potentially the best CB of what we have available. It makes one wonder why we let him leave considering our defensive frailties.
Thanks for another excellent report, RR.
I note that Bristol City’s acting manager said it was sad to see The Riverside empty. All I can say is that it’s likely to be a lot more empty next season than it has been this one once we get crowds back! And can you imagine the mood of the Boro faithful if they had had to sit through yet another lame home defeat?
It’s not just the defeats that are so disheartening. The quality of our football is absolutely dire most of the time. I can’t recall more than a couple of decent passing moves all game on Saturday. All three of our home defeats since the restart have been by high quality footballing sides who have really given us a lesson, and that makes the contrast with our own blunt plodding even more startling.
NW has said we have a lot of midfielders, but not enough strikers (obviously) and not enough defending defenders. Not a surprise to us seasoned Boro watchers, but bloody hell! Given how poor our midfield is at times, it looks like we have a massively challenging recruitment issue ahead of us this close season. Unless we can attract a quality manager who can develop many of our misfits and make them into better players in an effective team - and I’m not against NW staying on - then it looks like we need to get in at least 6 new faces. My list of wants is: another striker; a creative midfielder; a winger or two; a strong tackling full-back or two; and a centre half. I’m not convinced by Patrick Roberts, either.
We know how little cash is likely to be available and how much competition there is likely to be for the best players. Much will depend on which division we are in. We might get 3 or 4 of my list, but we certainly won’t get them all and those we do get will probably be remnants from the bargain-basement sale. So my point about getting a quality manager becomes all the more relevant. We do have a squad of decent players, even if many of them are performing poorly at present. It will be absolutely crucial for the new guy (or Warnock) to meld them and any new recruits into a strong and effective unit.
@redcarred thanks for the report. I didn’t know we had scored a goal until later that night as I had turned the TV off after the third went in
I have to say that I would persevere with Patrick Roberts. Fantastic at Celtic playing with first class players. Definitely I would try to sign him up.
@malcolm I don't think we could afford Patrick and after his experience here I doubt he would want to get on board the "Riverside Revolution".
I think many of our midfielders were looking good when they were playing for their prevous clubs. Before arriving to Boro.
George Saville was scoring goals for a fun at Millwall.
Adam Clayton, too. At Huddersfield Town he won the Player of the Year Award just before joining us.
Patrick Roberts was excellent at Celtic, they still dream of re-signing him over there.
Paddy McNair was Sunderland's best player when we signed him.
Lewis Wing was good last season.
What I am trying to say here is that on paper we have signed some decent players. But we do not seem to get them playing to their best ability. Our new players very seldomly play better in our team than they did in their previous team. And now we are not talking about old journeymen who came here for a last pay day.
The same could be said of Britt Assombalonga, too. He has scored goals everywhere he has been to, before us. He is a talented goal scorer. We just do not seem to play to his strengths. He is terrible playing alone upfront.
What can make our team tick? I think we need to get a really good head coach. I would like to think that coaching and sports psychology will be important. And of course to get the players working as a TEAM. We need to have the right balance in our team. Now we do not even have the numbers there in defence when Danny Ayala and Harold Moukoudi have left.
So we are is square one, again. It takes a minimum of two seasons to have a team fighting for a place in the play-offs. If we stay in the division - or not. Up the Boro!