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Boro v Reading
 

Boro v Reading

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jarkko
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The Attendanc was 26,823 today. Well done all and Dormo must have there in shorts, too. Up the Boro! 


   
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Ken Smith
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Just 4 things that I discovered after today’s walloping of Reading.

1. Boro’s goal difference is now plus 21 against the Blades plus 24.

2. Boro’s first home meeting against Reading also finished 5-0 on 30th April 1927 - a goalless first half but George Camsell scored a second half hat trick, whilst Jackie Carr scored a brace, one of which was from a penalty.

3. The last time Boro scored 5 goals in a league match was at Millwall on 6th December 2014 when Jelle Vossen scored his one and only hat trick in a 5-1 win.

4.  Boro’s biggest win in a league match at the Riverside was in the final match of the 2007/08 season when Afonso Alves also scored his one and only hat trick on 11th May 2008 in an 8-1 win.

 

Of course most of you already knew those 4 items, but I just thought you’d like to be reminded of them.


Philip of Huddersfield
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After the lat 2-3 seasons of promise and then disappointment we now have a team playing attractive football, scoring lots of goals and obviously full of confidence.
The supporters who go to the games are the real winners- going home with broad grins on their faces. Those of us living further afield get our buzz by watching highlights on eg sky.
Unfortunately when I see my Huddersfield Town pal for coffee on Monday, I’ll still be on a high whilst he will on a low following Town losing 0-4 against Coventry.

I’ll buy the coffees in the hope it might improve his demeanour.

Philip of Huddersfield 👍👋


   
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Gazette player ratings - nines for Ramsey & Akpom:

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/middlesbrough-player-ratings-championship-reading-26390093

I have to say, I'm intrigued by the description of Barlaser as Ryan Giles' "tame-mate"!  😉

Off topic, I've gone off the Echo site, as it's reverted to a requirement for registration (free) if you want to continue reading a particular article & then it's for only a limited number (it doesn't say how many). 


   
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Martin Bellamy
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I see that Ashley Fletcher scored for Wigan today. I hadn’t realised that he was on loan at the Latics. Apparently he scored 19 goals in 92 appearances for us. He was never quite an Akpom was he? 


   
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@john-richardson 

Nice to hear from you John keep up the good fight !

I was up all night reading about the Boro and listening to Bernie’s podcasts as the steroids kept me awake all night which is a side -effect ! 

It could have been the excitement of the Boro winning 5-0 and chasing for automatic promotion as wellZ

I know what you mean about the brain fog I’ve been suffering all last two weeks with it (Mrs OFB says last 20 years !)

I see the rumours are starting to fly around about Carrrick joining a Premiership Club with West Ham one of his former clubs mentioned.

This is of course just paper talk as he is the type of man who would finish what he is doing at Boro first before moving to another club.

He has already mentioned himself in interview that he is settled in the North and has a house in Manchester next to Sir Alex Ferguson. He has a club house at Hurworth and he has business interests in Newcastle run by his wife. How do I know this? Because a friend of the family works for him at his office there!

So no worries about him going as he also devotes time to his foundation which he has now linked up with the Boro foundation supplying football boots to disadvantaged children both boys and girls.

I said at the time of his appointment that he was the one I wanted to join the Boro and hope his impact at Boro proves that he will turn out to be our greatest ever manager!

looks like those steroids are kicking in with me……

OFB


jarkko
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One for Ken.

Landmark third goal for Boro yesterday. That’s the side’s 1000th goal at The Riverside Stadium. 813 in the league, 184 in cup competitions and 3 in play-off games. Up the Boro!


Member
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Posts: 1358
 

I wish all our sufferers from various illnesses a speedy recovery and all the best for the future 👍.

Listed below are the 14 entries for this year’s challenge:

lenmasterman 

KP in Spain 

Powmill-Naemore 

deleriad 

Andy R 

exmil 

Norfolk and Boro 

Forever Dormo 

Clive Hurren 

Selwynoz 

Martin Bellamy 

Ian Gill 

jarkko 

Peaspudinperth 

Good luck to all, especially the Boro

Come on BORO.


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@martin-bellamy 

I think that the world cup showed the danger of the same player taking two penalties. Kane should not have taken the important penalty because a world class Keeper had seen how he operated, close up. It put us out of the World cup. 


Powmill-Naemore
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@plato

Good point Plato. That said, it was as well Forss struck his penalty with the forss he did as it was comfortably in the range of the keeper who guessed right and the ball passed under him, rather than past him.


Ken Smith
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The following is really a religious hymn, though I have altered the words as praise for the football team I have supported from childhood. It goes something like this:-

Great is my faithfulness, Boro my heroes,         
There is no reason of turning ‘gainst thee.          
You’ve often puzzled me, but my compassions they fail not ;         
As you have been, you forever will be. 

Great is my faithfulness! Great is my faithfulness!                  
Season by season new players I see.                   
All we have needed Steve Gibson’s provided.            
Great is my faithfulness, the Boro are for me.

Pardon for showing a club that endureth,                
They are the club to cheer from the start;             
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,             
Praises from me which have come from my heart.

Great is my faithfulness! Great is my faithfulness!         
Its own dear presence to cheer, not to chide.      
All we have wanted is bright hope for tomorrow.          
Praises all mine with thousands more folk beside.

Great is my faithfulness! Great is my faithfulness!        
I’ll miss you forever when my time’s passed away.         
But I’m certain that Boro is still etched on my heart,              
And forever will be until my dying day.

 

The hymn  “Great is THY faithfulness “ is a hymn sung at both my parents and wife’s funerals, the original refrain in verses 2, 4 and 5 was written by an American Methodist minister and his songwriting partner was Thomas Obadiah Chisholm, though of course I rewrote some of the lyrics.

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

   
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Martin Bellamy
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@plato I agree. I had a very bad feeling when HK took that second penalty, especially as he was against his club’s keeper. 
I’ve got to say I’m not entirely convinced by Akpom as our penalty taker. I’d rather someone else took them but I’m not sure who that would be. Giles, maybe?


   
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jarkko
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@martin-bellamy Or Forss, perhaps? I do not know if Barlaser took them at Rotherham- he took all the free kicks and corners at the New York Stadium. Up the Boro!


   
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Clive Hurren
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What I can’t get my head around (yet!) is how quickly MC has transformed this squad into a team that plays scintillating one-touch football. We were utterly brilliant yesterday, and Reading simply couldn’t cope with us. It’s as if he has turned us into a Championship version of Man City. There’s always an extra player ready to accept the ball, often in a tight space or between the opposition’s defensive lines, and to move it on smartly, more often than not to another red shirt.This was done at pace and very slickly, so it created lots of different angles of attack. Even when the subs came on later, we continued to play the same way - even Alex Mowatt! - so it’s clear the entire squad has been coached in exactly the same way. I’ve genuinely never seen a Boro side play this well, not even Charlton’s Champions. Does it get any better than this? 


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That was some weekend for us. Spent it in Dundee for my mother-in-law's 79th birthday so followed it with alerts and watched the highlights when I got back.

Unlike WBA, the fine margins went our way. Probably 70/30 that we got the first penalty. Probably 70/30 that the Reading penalty shout would have been given. If their penalty had been given, high chance that Smith would have seen read.

That said, even if we had gone a goal down and a man down, you would give us a fair chance of pulling a win out of the fire.

I was a little wary when I saw Ramsey and McGree in the same team but what do I know. Looked like Ramsey was playing on the left and he was superb there. McGree is decent on the right but you feel that he isn't quite comfortable there. 

Forss looked a little sulky and he can consider himself unlucky not to start. I think Smith plays much better with Forss in front of him. He looks a bit uncertain when it's someone else. 

You can see, though, why Carrick wants Ramsey in the team. Especially for the first penalty, he's doing what Chuba does. He's on the edge of the area, there are 4 Reading defenders near him but no one can make a challenge. Ramsey looks like a genuine #10. I can imagine Gaston Ramierez playing much like Ramsey when he was 20. 

On the autos front. I reckoned we needed 10 wins from our last 13 to have a decent chance. That's now 9 wins from our last 11. Ultimately, it will come down to whether Sheffield Utd crumble. There are some signs of that though it seems more to be the case that they are struggling a bit away but still very good at home. 


Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @deleriad

... On the autos front. I reckoned we needed 10 wins from our last 13 to have a decent chance. That's now 9 wins from our last 11

...

So that's us still on track then ...😉


   
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Ken Smith
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Not convinced about Forrs penalty either. But even George Camsell declined taking them also. The best Boro penalty takers in my lifetime have been Lindy Delapenha, Bill Harris, John Hickton, Grant Leadbitter and Fabrizio Ravanelli in no particular order.


Ken Smith
Mr
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Though the official records show that John Hickton converted 28 penalties for Boro, Grant Leadbitter 12, Lindy Delapenha and Micky Fenton 10 each, Jack Jennings (circa 1929/36) 8, Yakubu 7, Wilf Mannion 6, Tony McAndrew and Hamilton Ricard 5 each, and Massimo Maccarone and Geoff Walker (circa 1946/55) both 4, unfortunately the records don’t reveal missed penalties, nor penalties scored in shootouts.


   
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Ken Smith
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Wow!!! Liverpool 7 Man United 0. This equal’s United’s heaviest defeat ever by Blackburn Rovers in 1926, by Aston Villa in 1930, and by Wolves in  Division 2 on Boxing Day 1931.

Though I recall Liverpool also  losing to champions Birmingham City 1-9 in Division 2 in 1954. Even the best teams today have suffered humiliation in the past!


   
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Clive Hurren
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Posted by: @deleriad

I was a little wary when I saw Ramsey and McGree in the same team but what do I know. Looked like Ramsey was playing on the left and he was superb there. McGree is decent on the right but you feel that he isn't quite comfortable there. 

 

Deleriad

I agree to an extent that Riley is less comfortable on the right, but what the highlights don’t perhaps show is how fluid the pair were. They sometimes swapped wings, for instance, and Riley frequently popped up in the middle. We know he has a roving role, which makes him difficult to mark. Against Reading, both adopted this approach. It was getting pretty close to Cruyff’s total football at times! 

I agree with you about the possible Reading penalty, btw. I’ve seen it a few times now, including live, and I think we got away with one. It was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect performance. 


Selwynoz
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Posted by: @martin-bellamy

@plato I agree. I had a very bad feeling when HK took that second penalty, especially as he was against his club’s keeper. 
I’ve got to say I’m not entirely convinced by Akpom as our penalty taker. I’d rather someone else took them but I’m not sure who that would be. Giles, maybe?

I’d count on Archer and it would keep his confidence high.

utb


jarkko
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I think Forss has converted at least a couple penalties with power. Like on Saturday, he powered the penalty so fast that even though the goalie guessed the side correctly, he had no time to go down quick enough.

I think Marcus' previous penna was similar but then the goalie didn't guess right. He looks so confident. 

But of course I look through blue and white glasses 🇫🇮.

Up the Boro!


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@clive-hurren 

In my opinion it should have been a definite penalty against Boro and a sending off but without VAR these things seem to be balancing themselves out over the season as it was ever so thus !

Brain fog clearing !

OFB


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@original-fat-bob 

I think that penalties are a simple type of mind game. And to be Good at them, not to say brilliant, you need to think about the task in front of you, which, of course includes getting inside the mind of the goalkeeper. As an example of clever thinking I would quote a certain Mr. Rooney. He always practiced penalties by telling the goalkeeper that he was going to put the ball low to his (the goalkeepers) right, then he practiced beating him with force and placement, he was deadly with penalties. 


   
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Something I noticed that I don't remember from earlier in the season is that both of Giles' assists (plus his Cross to Akpom that hit the post) were single touch. What I remember under Wilder and initially under Carrick is that he would receive the ball, make up some ground then cross. 

Against Reading, we were playing first time balls over their defence that Giles crossed first time. That means in part that the forwards have to know this is going to happen and get into position for it. That's the result of consistent practice, training and familiarity in games. 

Do have to say that Reading played suicidal tactics. They have some decent players but goodness only knows what Ince thought he was doing.


Martin Bellamy
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@selwynoz That’s a good call.


   
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jarkko
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I think we played nearly as well at WBA as against Reading. We had more possesion at the Hawthorns (70 % vs 65%), but we had a two minutes of madness in defence the week before. And Reading gifted us a goal or two  - so as said before, we won't see any team defending so well as WBA. 

We are in safe hands of Michael Carrick for a play-off place,  me thinks.

Up the Boro!

This post was modified 1 year ago by jarkko

   
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Great win and performance on Saturday with a standout display from young Ramsey, a masterful one from the evergreen Jonny Howson, and a return to his best form from Dael Fry.

The only blip was the penalty situation that looked shambolic to me and quite out of character with everything that Carrick has accomplished since his arrival.

First of all, I was mildly surprised that Akpom stepped up to take the first penalty.  He has been brilliant this season, and a real surprise package since he would not even be at the club had the recruiting team done its job and secured two decent strikers at the beginning of the season.

However he had missed his last two penalties and on both occasions had scuffed the ball in a manner out of keeping with his current form.

On this occasion any residual fears were soon laid to rest as he scored well and sent the keeper the wrong way. Seeing the replay, however, it was evident that Chuba had, yet again, not struck the ball cleanly and had not placed the ball in the corner.  Had the keeper guessed correctly it could easily have been another routine save.

On the second penalty, with all due deference to Plato, with the game won, Chuba on a hat-trick, full of confidence, and one successful spot kick behind him, few in the ground would  have expected him not to step up again.

He would have, and should have done had not Forss taken unilateral action, grabbed hold of the ball and brushed everyone else, including Chuba, aside.

It was only Chuba's stepping aside that prevented a potentially embarrassing situation, and one that should never have been allowed to happen.

Forss saved himself from universal criticism by scoring from the spot, somewhat fortuitously by blasting rather than placing the ball, the keeper almost managing to keep the ball out. 

It was less than compelling evidence that Forss's apparent super-confidence in his own abilities was justified.

Precisely why this very public muddle had transpired became evident after the game.  

Carrick explained that the lads didn't practice penalties and that he left it to them to decide amongst themselves who would take them on the day.

I have to say that this seemed extraordinary to me, given the amount of time, thought, practice and consideration that justifiably seems to go into the taking and defending of set pieces. In an era when some teams even employ throw-in coaches, how can it be that penalty kicks, that most defining of all set plays, should be left to happenstance.

What you get is, at best, the kind of confusion we saw on Saturday or even worse, on-field arguments and disputes that promote disharmony and bespeak a lack of even the most basic planning.

Carrick seems to have got pretty well everything right since he arrived and the team's display on Saturday was a triumphant confirmation of that fact.

All the more puzzling then that such a mini fiasco should have taken place on an afternoon when everything else went literally according to plan.

 

 


   
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I have been busy and therefore haven't commented on the Reading game since it took place.  First of all, best wishes to our less-than-fit-and-healthy contingent.  I exclude myself from that group at present - "no complaints from North Yorkshire" at the time of typing, but that makes me all the keener in the hope things get better for those not currently so lucky. 

Saturday was the sort of day you long for as a football supporter.  A thumping 5-0 win at home, following the news that Sheffield United lost to Blackburn in the early kick off game.  Goals that came at the right time - near half-time, just after half-time and one not long after that... Two of our lads got a brace each and Forss got the last after he came on as substitute.

I accept that we had a penalty and that one might have been given to Reading as well - a decision that might have meant a red card for Tommy Smith and a goal which would have effected the teams' momentum at that stage - but the Boro team was well in control throughout the game and I have confidence we would STILL have been a goal better than Reading even if we'd gone a man down as they equalised from the penalty spot. 

To pick a MoM from that game was no easy task.  Nobody had a poor (even an average) game. It was a joy to watch and the momentum is back.  If we keep winning, the only way is UP!  Great days to be a Boro supporter and Chuba Akpom has clearly been reborn.


Martin Bellamy
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@lenmasterman Those were my thoughts too. As I said earlier, I’m not confident that CA is the man for the job and we need to have the best chance of scoring in these situations. Like you, I can’t believe we don’t practice penalties and haven’t got a first choice penalty taker. Very odd.


   
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