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Boro V Millwall

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Original Fat Bob
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Boro v Millwall

Saturday 20/11/21 15:00 hours

 

We return to the Wilder side of football which is the championship. A far cry from the Premiership as the quality is different. Thesaurus gives us alternative descriptions for Wilder.

 

:It’s More untamed

:More brutish

: More barbaric

: More barbarous

: More ferocious

: More primitive

 

It sums up the Championship perfectly which is a lot more uncultivated than the league which we hope to join.

 

The Championship? It’s Just Wilder isn’t it and personally I’m sick of Boro being a second rate club. I want to see us pit our wits against top teams and win. Life is just a box of chocolates Warnock said. “You just don’t know what you gonna get!” Hopefully Wilder our own Willie Wonka will have been to the chocolate factory in January and have some new pieces to make it a better selection box.

 

Neil Warnock has complained about the Wilder side of the Boro administration by not dismissing him personally face to face. This coming from a Manager who wasn’t afraid to show his Wilder side by berating match officials and all those around when things didn’t go his way. He certainly didn’t agree with some of the summer signings and made his feelings regarding these players very public. According to the Gazette it created divisions in the camp which added to unrest and a lack of bonding.

 

Hopefully our new Wilder manager will not be “Stir Crazy” after his period of inactivity and when assessing the players will “See No Evil Hear No Evil” and everyone will have a fresh start.

 

Whilst most will agree that the decision to terminate his and the other coaches contract was correct, the implementation was handled very poorly. It smacks of a lack of moral fibre in not looking him in the eye and giving him the news. We have all seen Warnock in Wilder moments and  I suppose we can understand in some way why they mishandled the situation.

 

Of all those involved in a senior capacity at Boro, at least one of them should have made the time available to do the act in a more personal manner. He deserved respect for the manner in which he saved the club from certain relegation.

 

So what do we think of our new Wilder Manager.? Will he be a Willy Wonka? Create a Frankenstein team out of the players that we currently have and turn into super bodies? Or do we need new bodies to make it whole instead of a few disjointed parts?

 

One thing I expect this Wilder team to do is to come out on the pitch full of beans! All the team having a hearty breakfast with all Guns and Blazing Saddles to take on the promotion challenge this season. We do need consistency perhaps the beans will add to the diet of games or will they be like Star Wars “and the farce be with you!”

 

I’m not going to guess the team on Saturday I will leave that to all my fellow Diasborians because it could change completely from what we are accustomed to.

 

Turning to our opponents on Saturday we welcome Millwall. Be assured that it will not be an easy game by any means. Their  start to the season has been impressive. Heading into the international break, they were positioned in ninth place  with six wins, seven draws, and four losses in 17 games. They are favourites to remain in contention for the play-off spot, just one point behind sixth-placed QPR.

 

They will be aiming to make sure that they continue to mount pressure on other teams vying for the playoff spot. Consistency will be the ey for Gary Rowett’s side if they are to make it to the playoffs. Their upcoming three matches after the international break should provide an outline for their playoff challenge as the Lions  take on Middlesbrough, Bournemouth and Hull City.

 

Their main threat up front is 28-year-old Benik Adobe who arrived at Millwall from Stoke with a big reputation as the Lions have struggled so much in the final third in recent years. Three goals in 15 appearances is probably a little bit below par in terms of the goal tally the club were hoping Afobe would produce but there are signs he could improve Millwall Manager Gary Rowett has hinted that the club would be interested in making Afobe, who was a former Arsenal Academy player, permanent in the summer.

 

Daniel Ballard was a doubt to feature for Northern Ireland over the international break after having an injection in his knee. 

That meant Ballard couldn’t do any training for the majority of this week. Ballard went off in the 74th minute of the Millwall 1-1 draw with Derby County last weekend after suffering blurred vision following a clash of heads with Rams defender Lee Buchanan.

 

Ballard was called up by Ian Baraclough along with Lions former Boro team-mate George Saville for games against Lithuania on Friday and Italy on Monday in Belfast. Northern Ireland can’t qualify for Qatar 2022 with two Group C games left. Ballard’s knee issue is not a major problem and the defender is set to be available for the trip to the Riverside Stadium.

 

Saville for me was a Marmite player. You either liked him or didn’t. There were a few games when I thought “yes he’s looking promising” but for a fee of what was it £7million ? He never really justified his signing for that sort of money.

 

In defence the towering Jake Cooper is an imposing centre back for Millwall. Since arriving from Reading, Cooper has been a mainstay in their defence, and he is also a threat at set pieces in opponents penalty areas.

 

Our new manager Chris Wilder has been quoted as saying.

 

“People will turn up expecting us to beat Millwall and put a performance on. I’ve got to climb another mountain, that’s what it’s all about. There are some very talented players at the club.”

 

As Willie Wonka himself said “time is a precious thing never waste it” There will never be a better time to get promoted than this season as it’s wide open for a playoff place. In fact Warnock has said after his contract was terminated that if Boro can bring in two or three additional players then getting into one of the top two slots is not impossible.

 

In closing this post remember the saying of Willie Wonka “But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted. He lived happily ever after.”

 

Yes please I’ll have some of that !

 

Oh !

 

Nearly Forgot !

 

2 0 to Boro

 

OFB


Andy R
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Cheers OFB - another good ramble through the talking points of the Boro day as we start to think about the next game.

Who knows what to expect from this one? Had Warnock still been in charge, I think I’d have been satisfied enough to come away with a point against what I see as a limited but settled and focused Millwall side.

Now it’s anyone’s guess with Chris Wilder adding an element of the unknown.

Is Wilder a pragmatist who will try to make the best of what he’s got and therefore presumably go with a back four? Or is he one of football’s managerial philosophers, wedded to a particular shape and style of play who will stick to a back three regardless? Which of the two do we want?

I’ve no idea but it will an intriguing watch for it.

Hopefully Wilder has made as positive an impression on his squad as he seems to have made with the fans and, in turn, they provide a positive performance back for him.

Here’s to the new manager bounce.


Original Fat Bob
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Northern Ireland had three players in their squad who will be involved in the Boro v Millwall game next week.

Northern Ireland played last night and though hopes of World Cup qualification disappeared some time ago, victory over Lithuania in Belfast will lift Ian Baraclough and his players ahead of their final game at home to European champions Italy in Belfast on Monday evening

 

The only goal arrived in the 17th minute when Benus Satkus tried to head clear from Paddy McNair’s corner but twisted in the air and the ball appeared to go in off his back.

 

Regarding the Millwall players in the squad. Saville played only 70 minutes before being substituted and Ballard didn’t play due to his injury.

 

It seems unfair to keep playing MCNair for full friendly games whilst others are rotated and Boro have key games coming up and a promotion possibility.

 

Their next match against Italy on Monday will be a tough game and I hope McNair come through this without any injury!

 

 

 

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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Pedro de Espana
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Great Headliner OFB, thanks for the time and effort to produce something a little different based around our new Messiah, sorry Manager. 🤣 

I do not think any of us can guess what CW will go with at this moment due the the International Break. I see it as a two week disruptive period, losing players, players continuing with two games and no rest, and then some with long travel journeys to contend with.

CW will at best be hoping for an injury free return for our away players.

I expect him to be pragmatic in his initial approach and make the best team out of the available squad. So not withstanding any additional injuries, I expect a similar team to that at WBA.

The most we can hope for and expect is as Andy said, a new Manager bounce. That 5% extra that  RR alludes to at times. Result, I found not hazard a guess.


Ken Smith
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Thanks OFB for the prologue to next Saturday’s home match; it seems an age already since Boro last played at home. The last 5 matches played on  the 20th November have all been at the Riverside, 4 of which have been against London clubs and once again in 2010 it was against Saturday’s opponents Millwall and a 0-1 defeat ensued. However on a brighter note who can forget the encounter against Wolves on that same date in 1994 that saw Boro win 1-0 against our fiercest rivals at the time to regain our first place in Bryan Robson’s first season in charge, the scorer being John Hendrie.

As for that defeat against Millwall, it placed Boro in the bottom three although Boro rallied to lose only one of their last dozen matches under Tony Mowbray to finish 12th. That is the sort of run Boro need to get us into the playoffs this season.


Original Fat Bob
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@ken

Thanks Ken and for invoking those memories of a golden era under Robson.

Up The Boro

OFB


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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

Northern Ireland had three players in their squad who will be involved in the Boro v Millwall game next week.

Northern Ireland played last night and though hopes of World Cup qualification disappeared some time ago, victory over Lithuania in Belfast will lift Ian Baraclough and his players ahead of their final game at home to European champions Italy in Belfast on Monday evening

 

The only goal arrived in the 17th minute when Benus Satkus tried to head clear from Paddy McNair’s corner but twisted in the air and the ball appeared to go in off his back.

 

Regarding the Millwall players in the squad. Saville played only 70 minutes before being substituted and Ballard didn’t play due to his injury.

 

It seems unfair to keep playing MCNair for full friendly games whilst others are rotated and Boro have key games coming up and a promotion possibility.

 

Their next match against Italy on Monday will be a tough game and I hope McNair come through this without any injury!

 

 

 

OFB

McNair looked as though he tweaked his hamstring near the end of the match, lets hope it isn't serious and hopefully doesn't play again against Italy on Monday to make things worse.


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Original Fat Bob
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@redcarred

I don’t trust this NI manager as McNair came back injured last time he played for NI

OFB


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Ken Smith
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England only need a draw to qualify for the World Cup finals and little San Marino stand in their way. Surely a God-given result tomorrow then! But who remembers Davide Gualtieri stunning Graham Taylor’s England team 19 years ago this month by scoring for them in less than 9 seconds taking advantage of a Stuart Pearce back pass to beat David Seaman and give the locals the lead. Of course England went on to win 7-1, but it just goes to show that nothing should be taken for granted. 

I can go back further to the World Cup in 1n September 1950 when a certain Joe Gaetjens scored the only goal of the match for the USA against England to eliminate us, Wilf Mannion and all. Afterwards the England players blamed the pitch, but that result is arguably the most stunning of all time and I as a 12 year old remember it well.

 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Ken Smith

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Redcar Red
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@ken

There was also the famous "Clown" comment from our own Cloughie towards the Poland Keeper Jan Tomaszewski in 1973 which came back to haunt him and England in no uncertain terms.


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Ken Smith
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@ Redcar Red 

Indeed, England were odds on to qualify for the World Cup finals. All they had to do was beat Poland at Wembley but could only manage a 1-1 draw and Cloughie was certain that Tomaszewski wasn’t worthy of a place in a Fourth Division side. 


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exmil
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Interestingly Sporar was not even on the bench for Slovenia this afternoon, I hope he is not injured.

Come on BORO.


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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @exmil

Interestingly Sporar was not even on the bench for Slovenia this afternoon, I hope he is not injured.

Come on BORO.

Injured in warm up I believe which isn't great news especially considering McNair now struggling and missing training today for NI.


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exmil
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Redcar Red yes as seen below:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/19716266.middlesbroughs-andraz-sporar-pulls-slovenia-game/

Come on BORO.


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Ken Smith
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It’s good to see that Football still recognises Remembrance Day. When I was at Coatham Grammar School it was always commemorated at Assembly at 11 am on the 11th of November when ever possible with a 2 minute silence and the singing of an appropriate hymn remembering the Old Coathamians who had lost their lives with the words of Lawrence Binyon’s famous poem “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them” followed by a senior member of the School Cadet Force playing the Last Post. Of course this was repeated in each of the two years when I was doing my National Service in the RAF. Those were very moving services and although many servicemen and women generally hated compulsory parades, I can’t remember any dissenting voices to be on parade for Remembrance Day.  Just about everyone alive today will have lost a member of his or hers family during the two World Wars be it parents, grandparents or greatgrandparents, and some lost friends and families in subsequent wars in Northern Ireland, the Gulf War, etc and it’s only right and proper that they should still be remembered today.

I know that many people today don’t believe in God but when I hear “Abide with me” at FA Cup and Rugby League Cup Finals on television I sing as heartily at home as if I were there. Lest we forget that today is Remembrance Sunday. I came across this hymn today on ‘Songs of Praise’ which incidentally is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, sung to the music of Dvorak’s New World Symphony probably more recognised as a TV advert for Hovis bread:- 

Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side.      
Bear patiently the Cross of grief and pain,
Leave to your God to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still my soul, your best, your heavenly friend                     
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on      
When we shall be together with the Lord      
With disappointment, grief and fear;           
Sorrow forgotten, loves pure joys restored.           
Be still my soul, when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last.

 

Coming to think of it, some of those lines are even pertinent to having been a Boro supporter since the Second World War, and hope for the future. Many of us oldies always thought that that God was on our side in these conflicts. Without sounding blasphemous, is it possible that He could be on Boro’s side also?

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 3 times by Ken Smith

Andy R
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@ken

Wholeheartedly not wanting to upset you or anyone else of faith, I will declare that I am an atheist. We know one another well enough now!

That’s not to 100% rule out the existence of a God but simply to state that, based on the evidence I see, and in my opinion, it’s very unlikely to be the case.

If something seriously evidential were to happen, my opinion would change. There again, I guess the point of faith is to believe regardless. In some ways, it would be better to have faith. Faith, in a sense, is hope.

Still, the above doesn’t stop me participating with meaning in Remembrance and the silences. I think it’s right to remember those who laid down their lives for the rest of us, whether it’s religiously based or not. No-one can humanly dispute the evil of the Nazis or the bravery of those who stood up to oppose them.

So I may not believe in God, but I honour the incredible human beings who fought for a better humanity.

As for whether God is on Boro’s side, well they do say he has mysterious ways.

Apologies to those who’d prefer to keep this a strictly football blog.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Andy R

Ken Smith
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@Andy R 

No need to apologise. But having lived through the Second World War when churches were fuller than perhaps they are today that people needed some reassurance and turned to God for that. Also when one gets nearer to death some of us hope that they will be reunited with their loved ones. I know it sounds illogical, but I still live in hope that there is a form of everlasting life in paradise, though well aware that nobody deceased has confirmed that paradise or heaven exists, not Jehovah’s Witnesses nor even my late wife but I still talk to her every day as if she’s still beside me although I admit it’s a one way conversation.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Ken Smith

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Andy R
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@ken

It’s a lovely thing, Ken - both the speaking to your wife and the reunification. Believe me, I hope you’re right.


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Original Fat Bob
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Liked by Malcolm
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Original Fat Bob
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@ken

Ken I’ve opened a new post for you called Ken Smith Points of View.

Its especially for you to impart your knowledge of life and history to us all which we appreciate.

Hope you like it !

 

OFB


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K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for your wild and enjoyable pre-match discussion thread.

Not sure what to expect of Saturday, it appears we may have some players back from injury whilst others may be returning injured from International duty!  

I think a draw against a hard working and difficult to beat Millwall side will be a good result; I just hope Saville does not score! CoB 😎


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deleriad
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It's always exciting when it feels like it's the start of something. It's possibly the first time since AK that a manager was appointed to improve us rather than trying to perform a rescue act. 

It is hard to know how Wilder will approach this. The team seems to have most depth if playing 4 at the back but Wilder has made his name playing 3 at the back. Will he stick with what he knows at the risk of playing several players out of position or pick as many players as he can in their right position and adjust the formation? 

Reading the runes, the new patch for Football Manager 2022 now has the "wide centre back" role as an option so perhaps they have had a nudge from Chris Wilder. I tried it out; the computer suggested McNair as LCB and Dijksteel on the right. (It also suggested Peltier as a right wing back but that was step too far for me.) Played some friendly games. Paddy loved to get forwards but his crossing with his left was weak—he preferred to cut in and put in a right-footed diagonal—while Dijksteel would routinely pass backwards if he got too far up the pitch. Lack of proper wing-backs really hurt. Crooks was quite effective as a defensive playmaker. Payero was "on holiday" for the whole of pre-season and lack of depth in midfield also hurt. Result were ok; a comfortable 2-1 win over Sunderland (their goal was a 89th minute consolation) and a good 4-1 win against Almere FC were notable. Sporar had a stormer against Almere, after a rather indifferent pre-season before then. Overall, though, it felt like I wasn't able to use many of best players effectively (Hernandez, Watmore, Jones), lacked depth in key positions and a lot of players were being asked to do jobs they weren't great at. Based on that my football manager advice to Wilder would be to stick with 4 at the back for now. 😎 


K P in Spain
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I see the BBC are reporting that Derby have suffered another 9 point deduction with 3 suspended so that is them relegated; we just need to avoid the other two places! 🤣🤣😎


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exmil
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I see Andy Carroll has signed a short term deal with Reading until the middle of January 22.

Come on BORO.


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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil   They are welcome to him. 


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Redcar Red
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@exmil

 

I wonder how they can afford him as they seemed to be teetering on the brink of becoming another Derby.


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Ken Smith
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A good win for Hartlepool in the FA Cup last night quite unexpectedly but Wycombe Wanderers have hit a bad patch. Nevertheless as they walloped Boro in their final match of last season, and Pools have such a poor away record this season it must go down as a shock. Nevertheless every FA Cup win brings extra welcome prize money for the likes of Pools, but Lincoln City away will prove much more formidable.

It’s been three weeks now since Boro played at home but the international break has given me the opportunity to write about cricket and my experiences of life in general and I have to thank OFB for setting up a page to give my thoughts and opinions of cricket and my experiences in life. I’ve never been short of an opinion, but I realise that this is a football forum especially about Middlesbrough FC who are still dear to my heart. So forgive me for my indulgences but with no Boro football for two weeks, writing about other subjects has at least kept me mentally alert.

So in the future I hope to concentrate more on Boro with slight interludes about Pools until at least when the Rugby League season starts in February though my thoughts on that will generally be available on Casforum not this website. I have already identified that on this Saturday in 2010 that Millwall inflicted a 1-0 win against Boro at the Riverside, but I’m sure that diasborians won’t want a repeat of that shoreline, so let’s be positive and welcome any win this coming Saturday. I’m going for a 3-1 win, but would like to see larger attendances at the Riverside. How come that Bolton, Ipswich and Forest are showing higher home attendances than Boro in recent weeks? Come on Boro fans let’s start our campaign under Chris Wilder with at least 22,000 Boro supporters in the ground.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by Ken Smith

jarkko
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Posted by: @exmil

I see Andy Carroll has signed a short term deal with Reading until the middle of January 22.

Come on BORO.

I wonder if he will be fit by January. - condition wise.

Then he needs to be injury free to play a game when physically fit. I doubt if he ever starts a game but hope he will be used as impact sub a few times.

It is a win-win situation for both the player and club.

Up the Boro!


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Original Fat Bob
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@ken

A lot of Boro fans are middle to old aged and Covid infections are still high in Middlesbrough. A lot of people are medically advised to shelter and not be in large crowds which impacts attendance at large sporting and other social events.

OFB


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