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Boro have been linked with……..

 

Clive Hurren
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Boro have been linked with …….

It’s that time of year again. The papers are full of speculation as to whom Boro might sign. There’s already a list in the Gazette of those players Boro have been linked with this summer, most of whom we’ve never heard of, and most of whom we’ll never hear of again. Such is the financial scenario we’re likely operating under that most of the names are distinctly underwhelming. Will we ever see the likes of Juninho, Ravanelli, Emerson and Phil Stamp again in a Boro shirt, or will we forever have to make do with lesser immortals like Maxi Haas, Willo Flood or Sammy Ameobi, at least while we languish in the Championship?

The fans are starting to fret. The season is only 9 weeks away! Will we sell Tav? Will we get £10 million plus for Djed? What if the Djed negotiations go on till the end of the window and leave us with little time to recruit? Where will we get three effective strikers for next to nowt? Can we really afford Mbappé?  The bookies must know something, as they’ve made us one of the favourites for promotion before ever a ball is kicked or a new contract is signed. Personally, I never count any chickens till I see the statutory picture of the new guy holding up a red shirt with his name and number on it. Too many times we have been disappointed.

Talking of disappointments, last year we brought you a long list of potential players from all round the world Boro were interested in. Who can forget Stifas Rigamortis and Hasungotta Kalou? Sadly, Boro missed out on all their prime targets, even evergreen journeyman, Willy Eckerslike, who opted to stay at Macclesfield, despite their having been wound up. Clearly, the prospect of playing in a Warnock side didn’t appeal. Perhaps he surmised, wisely, that Boro’s midfield would never create enough chances for him?

Now, however, with new man, Chris Wilder, in charge, working alongside Head of Recruitment, Kieran Scott, there is renewed optimism. With that in mind, we can now bring you a  list of exciting targets they have secretly drawn up. Few of these names have been mentioned in the press. Boro clearly don’t want to alert other clubs to their interest, as they don’t want to get involved in a bidding war. Let’s look first at the defenders and the defensive midfielders.

Boro have made an offer for Barry Caid, one of the most effective goalkeepers in National League South. He kept an amazing 15 clean sheets last season. His wife, who runs a B and B in Eastbourne, was delighted. Boro were tempted, too, by keeper Cliff Hanger, who hails from nearby Beachy Head, funnily enough, but our scouts were not convinced he could withstand the pressure of a penalty shoot-out.

Boro are yet to follow up their initial interest in Canadian international keeper, Drew Nilnil, even though his country recently played successive goalless draws against the Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Greenland and Liechtenstein.

Of different quality altogether is Jack Russell, ‘that little Yorkshire terrier’, as he’s known in his native Rotherham. Buying him would be a good pointer to a strong season. An ex-boxer, he tackles  like a  Rottweiler and shows dogged determination. It’s felt he was too tightly managed by Leeds, and is now dying to be let off the leash again. We’d love to see him snapping at wingers’ heels again! Boro have also shown an interest in Irish defender, Pete Boggs. We can expect him to get stuck in with both feet.

Boro would like to conclude a deal for two Thai wing-backs, Nasi Goreng and Tom Yum Soop. These two could be the missing ingredient and would spice up our defending. Club officials were hoping to persuade Declan Rice to join, too, to complement the pair, but have acknowledged that the rice is too high, and the deal has now gone off the boil. Instead, they may turn to Irish full-back, Paddy Fields, though they recognise they’ll need to nurture his growth carefully. A possible alternative would be tasty Japanese centre-back, Terry Yaki, a source revealed.

Boro had discussed the possibility of signing Marc Bola’s brother, Tom, but have concluded this would be too much of a lottery. Instead, they might turn their attention to F.C. Trabant’s tough German centre-back, Axel Grees, who is never afraid to get down and dirty in a scrap. However, critics have pointed out his poor disciplinary record and that playing such a filthy player alongside Matt Crooks would surely break all EFL yellow card and suspension records. Equally, Boro  have now pulled out of a deal to sign Rick Shaw-Driver from Delhi Alleys. He wasn’t pulling his weight, Boro scouts said.

We understand Boro are close to a deal with Mexican defender, Rio Grande, the master of the flowing move out of defence. He’s also noted for his crossing prowess. The deal will depend on Rio getting international clearance from the Texan authorities, as he allegedly arrived illegally in the US. So this deal could cause a few waves, and Boro may not be able to bridge the gap.

Boro inquired, too, about Cameroonian centre-half, John-Lou Khasi. However, his career seems to have gone down the pan of late. A Boro spokesman poo-pooed the suggestion of a move for Khasi, commenting, ‘We think this deal would be too much of a drain on our resources. We’re not flush with money, you know.’

Finally, we expect Boro very shortly to announce the signing of towering defender, Eddy Stonelighthouse, who has strong Cornish connections (ex Poldark FC) to Neil Warnock and models himself on NW protégé, Aiden Flint. He even has the same rugged, wind-battered look! Stonelighthouse is delighted to be joining Boro. He told us, ‘My career was on the rocks. I was all washed up. It wasn’t so much a car crash, more a complete shipwreck. Now, at last, I can see light at the end of the tunnel.’

In a further instalment, we shall discuss some of the tantalising deals Boro are working on for forward players.


Original Fat Bob
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Thanks Clive

An impressive list of players that the Boro should sign or hope to sign.

I would add to that signing the defender Mark de Mann who should really make an impression.

To help our coaching staff especially our forward blow the ball in the net we should get hold of Dean Windass

Another player we should sign who is making a name for himself is Nortei Nortey whom plays for Queen of the south.

A highly rated striker is Danger Fourpence from Zimbabwe

And if results don’t go our way with wilder we should perhaps look at Chiqui Arce who is a manager in Oaraguay

Oh by the way Rod Fanni plays as a defender in France but perhaps we have too many of them already !

OFB


Ken Smith
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As long as we stay away from the two Chinese players Wee-wun Wonce and    Ow-Long Since.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago 4 times by Ken Smith

Ken Smith
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Having delved into the history I thought I should do likewise into Hartlepool United. I’ve always had a soft spot for Pools, not the most glamorous of towns but I loved going over the Tees to Port Clarence to Seaton Carew and Crimdon Dene as a child, and always felt sorry for them having to apply for re-election on a regular basis. In fact they’ve had to do that on 14 occasions, the most of any club so I was relieved when that was scapped in 1987.  Three of those were before the war but then came 11 from 1960 until 1984. I should add that the bottom 4 had to apply for re-election each season throughout those years.

Anyway Hartlepool didn’t start as a Northern League club but entered the North Eastern League along with Boro Reserves in 1908 until 1921. They never won the League title during that time but won the Durham Cup and were beaten finalists in their first three seasons with Joshie Fletcher being top scorer in each of the first five seasons with a total of 111 goals. When the Third Division North was formed in 1921 they became founder members and finished a creditable 4th in their third season. However in thereafter apart from 5 seasons Pools were either a mid-table side or worse. Also during that period Pools went 20 years and only winning once at Feethams in 1951 with some have heavy defeats along the way conceding 5 or 6 goals against the Quakers on 5 occasions, and losing 6 times against their neighbours at home along the way.

Fred Westgarth was the Pools manager for 15 years and still there throughout that period, but suddenly things changed for the better in the mid 1950s. It all started with 3 consecutive successful seasons as Pools finished 5th, 4th and 2nd, whilst the Quakers finished 15th, 15th and 18th.That latter seasons especially was a season to remember as Pools only finished 4 points behind Derby County, but only the Champions were promoted along with the Third Division South Champions. Hartlepool only lost one League game at home that season to mid-table Halifax Town winning 18 of the remaining of the other 22 matches.

Nevertheless it was the FA Cup Third Round encounter again Manchester United’s Busby Babes that shocked the nation. Sir Matt didn’t rest any of his players and fielded a side of 8 and 1 Irish international players including  Rodger Byrne, Tommy Taylor and Duncan Edwards who finished with 70 caps between them. When Billy Whelan and Johnny Berry put United 2-0 ahead in the first 10 minutes and Tommy Taylor added a third after half an hour, it seemed like business as usual for the Babes. When Frank Stamper scored for Pools 3 minutes later it appeared to be only a consolation. However roared on by the crowd of 17,274 fans Pools scored again only 8 minutes into the second halfback from top scorer Ken Johnson and Jackie Newton equalised with 25 minutes remaining and Pools in the ascendancy a shock looked to be on the cards. However Billy Whelan scored the winner with just over 10 minutes remaining and Pools were exhausted and extinguished. To gauge how Pools fight back had almost been successful Manchester went on to beat a good Wrexham side 5-0 in Wales in the next round.

Sadly Fred Westgarth died suddenly a month later aged 69, and of course the Busby Babes lost 7 of the players who had played against Pools 13 months later in the Munich Air Disaster. In 1959 Pools recorded their biggest win by defeating Barrow 10-1,but only less than 12 months later experienced their heaviest defeat as they lost 1-10 at Wrexham.

Pools missed the cut and finished in the inaugural 4th Division until 1968 despite the appointment of Brian Clough as manager in 1965 although he paved the way for their promotion later that year. However they were relegated after only one season and another 22 years in oblivion before promotion once more along with Darlington in 1991. During that period Pools met Boro for the very first time. Pools and Boro have never been in the same division at the same time, but this was a League Cup match following Boro’s successful fight against liquidation with Pools and Boro sharing the spoils at the Victoria Ground but losing 0-2 at Ayresome Park in the Second Leg. In 1994 they suffered their biggest home defeat as they lost 1-8 to Plymouth Arglyle, yet whilst in the third tier recorded an 8-1 home win over Grimsby Town in 2003 both records for the New Second Division at that time.

After losing to Blackpool, Cheltenham Town and Bristol City in Semifinal playoffs in the early years of the 21st century, at last Hartlepool managed to dispose of Tranmere Rovers in 2005 after a 2-0 home win and a 0-2 defeat at Birkenhead after extra time by winning the penalty shoot out 6-5 after Dimi Konstantopolous had saved two penalties and taken Pools on to a meeting against Sheffield Wednesday at the Millennium Stadium in front of 59,808 spectators.

Jon-Paul McGovern put the Owls ahead just before half-time, but Eiffon Williams equalised for Pools at the beginning of the second half, and after substitute Jon Daly put Pools ahead with 20 minutes remaining it was a question of whether they could hold out under extreme pressure. However a penalty was awarded to the Owls with 8 minutes remaining and was converted by Steve MacLean as Chris Westwood was sent off for bringing Drew Talbot down. On to extra time and the ten men conceded further goals from Glenn Williams and Talbot in the last minute.

Unfortunately Pools were relegated in the next season but bounced back in 2007 for 6 more years in the third tier which was the longest period spent in that League throughout their history. After flirting with relegation to the Conference for a couple of seasons they were finally relegated to the newly named National League where they spent 4 seasons but regained their place into the EFL in 2021 by beating Torquay United at Ashton Gate, Bristol after a succession of home wins under Dave Challinor’s managership. 

Their record against near neighbours Darlington in League matches has also improved since the Second World War with Pools winning 52 encounters against the Quakers 54 with 26 draws in the their 132 meetings and I look forward to seeing both clubs in the EFL although Darlington have some catching to do as they are two promotions away for that to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ken Smith
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Where was I on this day 70 years ago? Well, that was one day I’ll never forget as I was at Redcar Cricket Club working in the scoreboard box as Redcar won another match on their way to the NY and SD title for the first title since the Second World War, but better than that was the Test debut of FS Trueman at Headingley.

I can’t remember why there was a blackout on the television broadcast, but suffice to say that the radio commentary during the tea interval at Redcar announced that India were nought for 4 wickets as ‘Fiery Fred’ had the Indians running scared as some exaggerated reports recorded that the Indian batsmen were taking their stance nearer square leg than the batting crease. Of course I’ve never actually seen a recording of that demolition, but some of my of my school friends were at Headingley that Saturday to witness the occasion and goaded me on the following Monday that I had missed the performance. 

C’est la vie.


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Clive Hurren
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Boro have been linked with …….

 

For a number of weeks, the Gazette has been giving us lists of possible players Boro could sign this summer. They’ve ranged from the bizarre to the surreal. We’ve heard of 6 European players, 6 Premier League free transfers, 6 Championship extras, 6 Whitby Town all-stars, and even 7 surplus to requirements at Newcastle, for goodness’ sake! Yer jokin arn yer?! Thus far, very little has come of these tempting bargains. Of course, if Spurs do stump up £20 million quid for Djed , we could afford to buy all 31 of those linked players. I think I’ve just seen a pig fly past.

 

So, for a bit of journalistic balance, we bring you here some names from around the world you may have missed. Let’s face it, some of these appear more likely acquisitions than some of the aforementioned we’ve been linked with! We’ll look at Boro’s transfer options further forward and some of the bargain basement deals the club is looking at as Wilder seeks to revamp the side’s front end, in the hope that we might actually score a goal or two occasionally.

 

Boro have been keeping tabs on Brazilian playmaker, Nicotinho, known as Smokey to his teammates. Nico had a good couple of years at Austrian second division side, FC  Rothmann, where he was their John Player of the year last season. His time at Chelsea didn’t work out, though, as he failed to settle in The Smoke. Critics have pointed out that he’s probably reaching the fag-end of his career. Boro sources refute this: - ‘He’s still capable of lighting up any match,’ said a spokesperson.

 

Boro have also made an approach for Irish striker, Gerry Attrick, despite similar concerns that he is ageing and well past his best. A Boro source quoted a recent headline in the Drogheda Chronicle, ‘Attrick Hat-trick!’ However, fans have noted that that burst coincided with the last time  Aaron Connolly scored - somewhere around 2015. Boro have also swooped for flying Brighton forward, Albert Ross, who can play on either wing for the Seagulls. However, one cynical Brighton fan, hearing news of this potential transfer, commented, ‘If he goes, that’ll take a huge weight from round our neck!’ If these deals fall through, Boro have a potential fall-back lined up in Brighton reserve striker, Justin Case.

 

Boro’s initial interest in Philippino winger, Tiki Taka, ‘the Tricky Tracker,’ has cooled. Taka is said to be the master of the short 20 yard sideways pass, the element of his game which first attracted Barcelona and Man City.  As such, he would have fitted neatly into our previous manager’s plans, but Wilder obviously wants pacy, more direct players.

 

Boro might get a tune out of North Korean attacker, Song Sung Blu, the star forward of Kim Jung Un Missiles. Song has a rocket shot and often hit the high notes last season. It might help that he is no relation whatsoever to Dong Gook Lee.

 

Boro were originally interested in signing Maxwell Cornet from Burnley, but soon realised he would cost too much lolly. They have now switched their focus to Spanish under-18 striker, Juan Cornetto. He’s an ice-cool customer, they say, and not at all flaky under pressure. And he even has his own song!

 

Boro have made an offer to loan Scots striker, Andrews Sporran. A club spokesman said, ‘The last Slovene we had turned out to be a bit slovenly. So this time we’ve gone for a SlAvenian, that is, he’s distantly related to Boro hero, Bernie. He’s only on loan for a reason. But we think he’s ……. well, ok.’

 

Meanwhile, Boro have confirmed the signings of 5 under-16 attacking starlets, who, it is argued, will ultimately transform our forward line into a free-flowing, free-scoring outfit. (Curious! There goes another pig………. )    They are Italian, Sam Buca, Frenchman, Dom Perignon, and the American, Jack Daniels - noted for his great shots. They are joined by Spaniard, Tio Pepe, and Teessider, Ginger Rail, Andy Campbell’s nephew. A member of Boro’s under-16 coaching staff said, ‘This lot are a rum bunch, but they’ll definitely add some punch to our attack.’

 

To end with, Boro have been linked with versatile right-winger, Joris Bonson, the so-called ‘tousle-haired blond bomb-shelter.’ Bonson says he’ll get the job done for the team, but won’t play left wing. Quite apart from his uncanny ability to talk himself out of any trouble with referees or the authorities, it is thought that Bonson will do great work on Boro’s  community liaison team. In recent times, he’s been seen wearing his yellow high viz training jacket in schools, dairies, building sites, quarries, factories, hospitals, nurseries, airports, shops, boatyards, power stations, and even pulling pints in his local Wetherspoons. There is clearly no end to his talents. However, doubts have emerged behind the scenes. Bonson is said to have broken his contract with a Northern Irish team, to have stabbed some of his own teammates in the back, and even that he is part-owned by a Russian conglomerate. Rumours abound that he encourages a drinking culture. Boro would be well advised not to touch this one with a very long barge pole. They don’t want to return to the days of Merson and Gascoigne. Bonson is likely to destabilise the team and torpedo team-spirit, we feel. Rather, they should pursue their interest in US attacker, Casey Scort, who seems likely to cause much less chaos.


Ken Smith
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You always brighten up my day Clive. Well done! Now back to the cricket!


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lenmasterman
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Great stuff, Clive. Funny and very enjoyable.


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Pedro de Espana
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I know it’s all paper talk and rumours, but you have to have something to pass the time Boro-wise until the season starts.

Boro looking to persuade United to loan out Tom Heaton

Also.     The Boro boss is also set to snap up Northampton gloveman Liam Roberts as cover in a surprise deal. He was voted League 2 top player.


jarkko
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Posted by: @lenmasterman

Great stuff, Clive. Funny and very enjoyable.

I second to that. Thank you, Clive. So far it has been very boring close season for the Boro. Perhaps we can sign one player at least.

When are the players back for pre-season? I see Paddy McNair was still playing for NI yesterday.  He definately needs a break next. 

Up the Boro! 


exmil
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Australia beat Peru on penalties to qualify for the World Cup finals.

jarkko, players report back for pre season on the same day as the fixture lists are released, Thursday 23rd June.

Come on BORO.


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exmil
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I am not sure but I think McNair will miss at least one fixture ( maybe more) for his red card in the last match of the season at Preston.

Come on BORO.


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K P in Spain
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Best bit of transfer news/rumour so far, Reading are supposedly interested in signing Joe Lumley.  😎😉


Pedro de Espana
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At the time Emil, it was thought to be the normal three game suspension. 

However I have since read it will infact be only a ONE match miss?

Why, who knows. But it would be good news.


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exmil
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Posted by: @pedro

At the time Emil, it was thought to be the normal three game suspension. 

However I have since read it will infact be only a ONE match miss?

Why, who knows. But it would be good news.

Thanks pedro, I have researched back and the red card was for a deliberate hand ball on the goal line, therefore McNair will miss the opening fixture (1 match suspension) for Boro.

Come on BORO.


Ken Smith
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What a turnaround by England in football and cricket in the last few months! Our cricket team couldn’t buy a win, even refusing to go for a win at Lord’s last year when a similar run chase presented itself, Feeble minded and not risking another defeat they settled for a draw, yet with attacking intent have put cricket not only on the back pages of the press, but now even on the front pages where as our major summer sport it should be.

Contrast with our football team who months ago had our fans salivating about our World Cup prospects as in Europe only Italy seemed to stand in our way and Gareth Southgate a likely candidate for a knighthood if he could emulate Alf Ramsey’s 1966 team which might appear that the current side with so many alternatives as an attacking team would at least be one of the favourites. Now after a fortnight of four matches admittedly against tough opponents in Germany and Italy the goals have dried up as they have finished bottom of Group C with only a penalty goal to show from their endeavours. Okay, the team not at full strength looked a jaded outfit after a tough Premier League season for some of the players as the temperatures soared yesterday, though still 5 or 6 degrees lower than what they might encounter in Saudi Arabia in November.

Southgate has now reached a critical time as the England coach, although I don’t go along with some of the Molyneaux crowd suggesting that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Nevertheless he now has a difficult task to change the team round in the second stage of the EUFA Nations competition to get England back to where we were last year. Surely Southgate won’t change from hero to zero in 12 months!

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Ken Smith

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Philip of Huddersfield
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Lots of rumours at this stage of the coming season - most of them are probably just paper talk. One rumour is that Sporor is for sale at a reduced fee of £6m ! I’d be doubtful of taking him on a free transfer.

Spurs seem to be playing a waiting game with Spence - assuming of course that their interest is genuine.

Changing sport and Ken’s comments on the Test match. What a final day’s play and the innings of Bairstow must be one of the finest, given what was at stake. Anyone who thinks cricket is boring should have watched yesterdays play.

Philip of Huddersfield 


Ken Smith
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It looks like Boro will still be looking for those two vital players, a goalkeeper and a striker for next season. Might I suggest that they sign those stalwarts of the past who go under the pseudonyms of A N Other and S O Else who have never let Boro down.


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