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Boro V Bristol City
 

Boro V Bristol City

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Original Fat Bob
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Boro v Bristol City 14/8/21

15:00 kick off Riverside

 

After a salutary lesson on Wednesday that Boro are very thin on the ground with regard to the quality of the squad, our new signing Sol Bamba could feature on Saturday. He earned a man of the match display and his leadership skills shone through whilst surrounded by younger members of the squad. Two games in a few days is probably too much to ask but we will probably see him on the bench.

 

After the very disappointing 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Blackpool, Neil Warnock explained  that Martin Payero’s second-half substitution was nothing to worry about and was solely down to fatigue so will probably be benched on Saturday.

 

I expect that the majority of the team that started against Fulham will start again on Saturday. Marcus Tavernier is still a doubt as he recovers from a muscle injury sustained during pre-season and will probably be on the bench for the first half of the game. He needs to be nursed through games as his contribution to the team is becoming invaluable.

 

Joe Lumley in goal. Dijksteel, Hall, Fry and Bola will remain in defence and Paddy to probably  stay in midfield.

 

I also expect Sam Morsy to be rested and be on the bench as quite frankly having him and Howson a a midfield pairing is quite not very inventive and both players have a similar skill set.

 

Big Uche will start up front supported by Watmore and Crooks and Isiah Jones to drive forward from the left wing linking up with Bola.

 

For Bristol Rovers at the start of pre-season most of their fans thought Danny Simpson would be the first choice right-back as he was one of Nigel Pearson’s valued players at Leicester but Zak Vyner did enough to move above him for selection in the Blackpool game. Although Vyner was impressive bursting down the right in that match. I would expect big Nige Pearson will be looking to be more conservative against Boro and may well bring Simpson – into the starting XI.

 

Conceding a stoppage-time goal against Blackpool in the Championship’s opening weekend left the Bristol City  players feeling more like they’d dropped two points than picked up one and we all know as Boro fans what that feels like.

 

Bristol City were also knocked out of the EFL Cup by Forest Green Rovers after a 96th-minute equaliser which meant things were settled via penalties.

 

Of their available players,

Callum O’Dowda lasted less than 10 minutes against Blackpool and is doubtful to make the matchday squad for this weekend’s game.

 

That means a change on the left flank is likely, with Kasey Palmer the most likely candidate to step in after his impressive display from the bench at Ashton Gate.

 

Big Nigel may feel that he needs to add more goals to the side by starting Nahki Wells on the left and os a player I have admired for a few years he still remains a real threat as a striker.

 

So come on you Diasborians let’s have your forecasts.

 

Me I’m going for

2 0 to Boro

 

OFB


Philip of Huddersfield
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I expect a low scoring game - certainly don’t expect Boro to be creating lots of chances and banging in the goals. They just don’t have the players to do it.  Nor a manager who would try it.

Expect NW to play a cautious game - if, he were to go for it from the kick off and they concede,  then who would back them to score two , assuming , of course, that they don’t concede  another goal. 
So, I expect the team to get all players behind the ball when City attack with few chances created.

I feel Boro’s best chance  of winning is if Tavernier plays well - but will he start the game ?

More importantly,  at this early stage of the season is signing a couple of attacking players who could manage 15 -20 goals - between them - not each!!

Without a couple of goal scorers, who’s going to get goals?
The new number 9 only scored half a dozen goals all season and isn’t someone who is likely  to contribute say 15-20 goals.

At the moment there’s no rumours of new attacking players - usually you get rumours for a couple of weeks before players are eventually signed.            So, it could be new players only arriving towards the end of the transfer window.

Pretty doom- like comments from me.
Perhaps someone could put the arguments for a bit more optimism?

Philip of Huddersfield 

Ps I’ll settle for a last minute winner but won’t be surprised if it’s 0-0.


Original Fat Bob
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@philip-of-Huddersfield

 

👀


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Andy R
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Thanks again, OFB.

Like you, I expect a return to the Fulham XI but this is a very different game.

Neither side look high on confidence and both may see it as a game to avoid defeat but I’m hoping Tav is fit and we go for it.

If I was picking the side it would be a 3-4-3 with Morsy and probably Payero in centre midfield supplying Tav, Watmore and Ikpeazu but I don’t think NW will go that way and I expect Crooks and Howson to play in a more industrial midfield.

I’m not too keen on McNair in a midfield three as I think he somehow imbalances things and I prefer him stepping out from the back even if he isn’t a top drawer centre-back. The other option is to play Bamba with Fry and Hall at the back and play McNair is the more attack-minded centre-mid with Morsy/Howson instead of Payero. That is perhaps the best way to go whilst Payero adjusts to Championship football, if SB is fit enough.

Tavernier being fit to start is the most important aspect, however. If he isn’t, I can see another drab performance with both sides playing out a risk-averse game.

I think I’ll go for Boro to nick it 1-0, leaving us relieved but not yet convinced.


K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for your opener.  Like many, I am not feeling confident about this weekend particularly as City have a good record at the Riverside.

I like Andy's suggestion of playing Bamba, Hall and Fry as a back three with McNair as the attack minded midfielder and Morsy in the holding role.  

If Tav does not start then I can't see where the pace and creativity will come from.  It will be a case of relying on PM's dead ball situations but even they are hit and miss.

⚽️-⚽️ CoB 😎


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exmil
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Phillip, see below

http://sportwitness.co.uk/middlesbrough-battle-serie-striker-one-competitor-transfer/

Come on BORO.


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K P in Spain
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lenmasterman
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Thanks, Bob, for a very well researched opener. It will be interesting to see how far Pearson's pragmatism will affect or modify Bristol's more purist and attacking style of the past few years.

Sad as the result and performance was at Blackpool, even sadder was the sight of young Payero, playing like a stranger in a strange land, seemingly detached from the rest of the team. There seemed to be little communication with him from his team-mates, not only in language, but in gesture or touch.  He needs to be integrated socially, even more so than professionally, as a matter of urgency, but who, apart from Leo (and where is he?) is capable or even interested in doing it? Anyone with an ounce of empathy must feel for the lad, far from home and his friends and family, isolated by language, puzzled by Warnock-ball and wondering where he has come to and why.  I fear that unless the seriousness of his situation is grasped and dealt with by the club, and settling him becomes a top priority, he may not be with us by Christmas.

 


Malcolm
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@exmil he hasn't scored many!


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John Richardson
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The way the runes are set with ex-players visiting, a long winless run and Boro appearing to be a team of chronically afflicted injury magnets I can see a crowd dispersing pragmatic draw for this one. It's the eyes in the sky for me, the war cry is simply please don't lose.I

fear for our Argentinian, he looks like a man living in a strange linguistic solitary confinement. Should he have an interpreter with him to help and his team mates?

Anyway, after all the optimism we've had a reality check so I hope we don't resort to hoof-ball and treating the ball like a grenade that must be got rid of as quickly as possible but then that's default setting.

Not optimistic in Norfolk.

UTB,

John


K P in Spain
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@lenmasterman.  You make very pertinent points regarding his integration.  

The club should be challenged on what they are doing to address them to ensure the outcome you mention does not happen and we end up with a pathetic excuse from the club along the lines of "he was far away from home, from family and friends and could not settle".  

Our local journalists should be raising these issues but I am not holding my breath. 😎


Ken Smith
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I haven’t seen much camaraderie from Boro players towards Martin Payero. Whilst it’s a requirement of his learning to speak English within 12 months that he was given international clearance I feel sorry for the young lad. Under Karanka’s time at Boro there was a rumour that the Spanish speaking players didn’t integrate with the English speaking players. Most foreigners learn English at school, but unfortunately Payero didn’t. Nevertheless surely English speaking players have picked up a few Spanish words that relate to football, or don’t English schools include a foreign language in their curricula nowadays? I passed French and Spanish GCE levels at school although I must confess that it was easier to translate in writing than orally, but today it seems to be a misconception that everyone should be able to speak English.

Nevertheless by using English football phrases in Spanish in training with hand movements for awhile would help to integrate  Payero into Boro’s squad. I myself don’t speak foreign languages fluently but can get by in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese which is probably the most difficult but accept that reading them is far easier than speaking them. I admire Jarkko on his English and also Juninho, but have to say the British are particularly lazy when it comes to learning foreign languages. Having said that Karanka’s English wasn’t very coherent and it would seem that Bielsa’s is non-existent so what do I know as I struggle with Geordies and especially Glaswegians?

This post was modified 1 month ago 3 times by Ken Smith

Redcar Red
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I guess we should be grateful that Payero wasn't signed as a Goalkeeper otherwise he would be getting shunted out on loan somewhere as we speak.


Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @redcarred

I guess we should be grateful that Payero wasn't signed as a Goalkeeper otherwise he would be getting shunted out on loan somewhere as we speak.

...as in as we speak in Spanish I trust 😉


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K P in Spain
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@ken.  I am one of the guilty as charged Ken. 

Despite living in Spain for nearly 10 years I can only manage the odd phrase of greeting/farewell and a few phrases involving ordering the drinks, the bill or filling up the car with diesel! 

I am spoilt by a wife who not only speaks Spanish to a passable level, for ordinary day usage, because she went to night classes before we moved abroad but also speaks German having spent many of her school years living in Germany. 😎


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Original Fat Bob
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'We only had eight lads training yesterday': Neil Warnock delivers worrying Middlesbrough team news ahead of Bristol City clash

Neil Warnock says Middlesbrough have several fitness concerns ahead of this weekend’s home game against Bristol City.

 

The Boro boss made eight changes for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup match against Blackpool as the Teessiders were beaten 3-0 at Bloomfield Road.

 

Warnock remains in talks with several transfer targets as he looks to add to a thin squad, while injuries and Covid cases have also left the squad depleted.

 

Marcus Tavernier picked up a hamstring injury in pre-season and came off the bench against Fulham last weekend.

 

When asked about the midfielder ahead of the Bristol City game, Warnock said: “I’ll know more in the next hour when we get on the training ground.

“There are a couple of other lads who have knocks as well, we only had eight lads training yesterday which gives you some idea. It was about four aside yesterday.

 

“We were following advice from the medical staff and a few were rested. I think we’ll have more than eight players tomorrow but it’s hard work at the minute.”

Striker Chuba Akpom remains unavailable following a period of self-isolation, while Isaiah Jones, 22, and Josh Coburn, 18, have been handed first-team opportunities.

 

We are really short at the minute so everybody is mucking in.”

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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@ken

 

Ken I lived and worked in Spain for two years and later spent two years in Argentina.

Whilst is Spain I refereed quite a few games with Spanish players and was surprised to learn that most of the English terms in football are known b the Spanish. For example penalty, corner, off side and numerous others. Falta was a foul and Tarjeta a card but generally we understood each other and I have no doubt that no speaking English will not be a hindrance to our Argentinian import.

Perhaps I should offer my services as a refereeing translator down at Rockliffe! Hang on though none of them have been inoculated against Covid !

I’ll just watch from the TV.

up the Boro

OFB 


K P in Spain
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@original-fat-bob.  So much for NW bringing in one of his old mates to help on the fitness/conditioning side and with a view to reducing injuries - it doesn't appear to be working so far! 😎


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Martin Bellamy
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

@ken.  I am one of the guilty as charged Ken. 

Despite living in Spain for nearly 10 years I can only manage the odd phrase of greeting/farewell and a few phrases involving ordering the drinks, the bill or filling up the car with diesel! 

I am spoilt by a wife who not only speaks Spanish to a passable level, for ordinary day usage, because she went to night classes before we moved abroad but also speaks German having spent many of her school years living in Germany. 😎

That’s really interesting kp. My first wife moved to Spain for a while after we split up, living in an ex-pat community where no one made any attempt to learn more than very rudimentary Spanish. Everyone seemed to want to live in an English enclave in Spain with English food in the sunshine. 
I can’t imagine living in another country without trying my best to learn the local language. Before the 2016 referendum we’d contemplated buying a property in our beloved France but that’s not going to happen now. What we did know was that we’d have worked hard to improve our existing language skills to able to fit in with the locals. 

Language teaching in our schools really is very poor. 


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K P in Spain
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@martin-bellamy.  We all have different skill sets and languages at school was certainly not one of mine, and in fact we were not taught any languages until my teenage years when I was taught French to CSE level. 

We live on the Costa Blanca just half an hour south of Alicante.  Whilst I may have limited language skills we have tried to embrace ourselves in all aspects of Spanish culture and are certainly not part of a "little Britain" as we have friends and neighbours from many european nationalities and see more to life than just eating english food which is not always the cheapest or tastiest on offer.

I do wish, however, that I was fluent in Spanish and also that my sons had persevered at school and learned a language but as Ken said the British are particularly lazy in that respect; conversely many of our european friends are multilingual and put me to shame if not my wife.

I am not sure if the teaching of languages in schools is poor but perhaps more a case of pupils being able to opt out of the subject too easily and not appreciating how valuable a second language can be and the opportunities it presents, even if just in the form of friendship with someone from another country. 😎

This post was modified 1 month ago by K P in Spain

Martin Bellamy
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@k-p-in-spain Sorry if you thought I was being critical - I really wasn’t. I envy your opportunity to live outside England and I agree that we’ve been let down for years in our education system as far as languages are concerned. 


K P in Spain
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@martin-bellamy. Martin not at all.  I just wanted to give a fuller explanation of my lack of language skills and my envy and admiration of those that are able to converse in different languages.  If I had my time again it would certainly be a priority as part of my learning. 😎


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Ken Smith
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I just think it’s fun to converse even in a few words on holiday in a foreign country. When I was in Patagonia I found that some of the Spanish words had different meanings though. We had in our party a man born in Hong Kong of Chinese background who was now living in London. He spoke perfect English but not Spanish and asked me to list a few words for what he thought were essential like water (agua) etc. He was called Sammy and everyone loved him and all was fine until we got to Rio de Janeiro and I explained to him that Portuguese was the official language in Brazil, so he wanted me to write a list of the same essentials in Portuguese. However his wife didn’t speak English so as she liked to do some shopping on her own he wanted a separate list for her in Portuguese so I said ok, but then when he gave me his list it was in Chinese. When I said I didn’t speak Chinese he said “Why for you know understand Chinese?” in a funny Benny Hill accent. We all laughed thinking he was taking the mickey out of me, but he was genuinely serious. He couldn’t understand why everyone couldn’t understand Chinese writing.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Ken Smith

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Clive Hurren
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Posted by: @martin

Language teaching in our schools really is very poor. 

Martin 

As an ex-French teacher and modern languages adviser myself, I can’t agree entirely with your statement. 

Over the years, I have seen some pretty dire language teaching, but I’ve also seen much more that is really good. Most teachers these days use much more modern, motivational methods than the old grammar-translation methodology  my school inflicted on me and my classmates. 

More pertinent, I feel, is your average Briton’s attitude to learning languages. That sounds patronising, but isn’t meant to be. Reality is that most of us assume the rest of the world speaks English, and if they don’t, we’ll they jolly well should! We tend to be very arrogant about it. English is very much the lingua franca of the world, of course, the one language that most foreigners learn before they learn anything else. We see this all the time in countries that rely heavily on British tourism, where all hospitality staff, for instance, cope really well in English. I rarely meet anyone from the UK who bothers to learn any of the language of a country they’re visiting. Like you, this is something I always do, which means I now have smatterings of several languages. It’s only polite, I feel, to try to talk to the locals in their own language, even if they usually fire very good English back at me! 

Another factor is our beloved government’s attitudes to languages. Not so long ago, kids had to take a language to GCSE level. Gradually this requirement has been watered down with the result that fewer and fewer students have continued language learning after the age of 14. The recent introduction of the EBacc qualification should eventually ensure that a greater percentage of kids continue with languages. However, then set this against Brexit and the apparent view that European languages no longer matter. That probably ensures that many more kids will opt out - because they’ve learned from their parents and our politicians that languages just don’t matter. It all makes it very hard for your average language teacher these days - they really have to pull out all the stops to keep the children interested. 


Martin Bellamy
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@clive-hurren. I definitely take your point (and my knowledge is hardly current as I left sixth form in 1974!). I remember classmates who seemed embarrassed or reluctant to attempt any effort at pronunciation and insisted in pronouncing French words in an English phonetic way. 

I’ve been reluctant to mention the B word, but I don’t think the lack of freedom of movement will encourage more students to take modern languages. 


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Allan in Bahrain
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I was in the same year as Martin, and yes there was an embarrassment which meant that learning french was difficult, to say the least. Needless to say, I failed french GCSE abysmally.

40 years later I was stuck in Paris in a taxi with an Arab driver and from nowhere I was able to recall and communicate, I didn't care about being embarrassed anymore and just did it. My Arabic is very poor, and my french is non-existent but the words were still there and the french just popped out.

My young son is bi-lingual and picks up languages very easily in context but quickly loses them to the extent that at school is in the bottom class for languages. If the UK is to prosper as an independent island nation then languages should be at the top of the list. The parent barrier must be overcome - most European engineers and the like I work with speak all main European languages - English, French Spanish Italian and German and are comfortable even in the written form. It comes from the Top and in the future there has to be a national awareness of our weakness.

 

Rant over.

 


Powmill-Naemore
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Really good discussion on languages and attitudes to the same.

I was lucky enough to live and work in Geneva for 7 years in the 90s. The job was advertised for an English/French speaker. I still recall in horror my attempt to respond to questions in French at my interview, I could just about manage the "Je m'appel Christophe, j'ai douze ans" as drummed into me by Mr Geraghty at St Tomas'. Luckily I did get the job and benefitted from the French classes provided for me at work.

It is one of the most liberating things to be able to speak with people in their own tongue and I am hugely grateful I got the opportunity  to learn to use French in everyday life. 

I know there is a general opinion that the English are bad at foreign languages, but I would like to share an observation a French colleague made, that in France the English are hopeless at French, but by and large they will try and make an effort. On the other hand, the Americans are  hopeless at French and make no effort.


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Martin Bellamy
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@powmillnaemore I recall being in a clothing shop in Nice (my wife was after an outfit for her friend’s wedding) when an American couple came in to the store. Neither of them made any effort to speak French, not even a basic Merci or Au Revoir. The shop owner just gave a Gallic shrug as they left and gave us a knowing look. 


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jarkko
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At school I had Swedish and English and later German. I haven't used my Swedish much since 1987 when I stayed there for two months during a work practice period. With my German, I can buy a train ticket, etc.

Luckily my English is better. That was greatly helped by my interest in Boro since 1970's. So beside studies at school, I had a couple of pen pals on Teesside (or Cleveland as it was called). I and my Arsenal-supporting brother also read Shoot! magazine weekly in 1980's and early 1980's.

To learn a language I think motivation is needed. And not just attending the classes. I never learned the Swedish properly as the teacher couldn't motivate me (or I was too young to motivate myself).

Just to remind, me mother language is Finnish, of course. As the language is related only to Estonian and very, very distantly to Hungarian language, we do not expect foreignrts to speak Finnish, like. Must be different in the UK!

How I miss the York(shire) Moors now. Up the Boro!


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Powmill-Naemore
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@jarkko

... mutta ei haittaisi ketään kokeilla!

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