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Boro v Rotherham
 

Boro v Rotherham

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Pedro de Espana
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 I am against changing the Manager, certainly at this time due to the overall upheaval, not withstanding the associated cost.

However there appears to be something fundamentaly wrong within the club as a whole and it has been that way for some considerable time.

There looks to be no joined up progressive thinking and agreement between the Recruitement and the Coaching Staff. This has been obvious now for awhile.

The truth of the matter is fairly obvious in my opinion. The players we have in the most important positions to gain success (wins and points) just are not good enough.

Where the blame lays is anybody’s guess. Maybe Wilder does not have the correct tools todo the job.

One thing is certain though, Mr Gibson needs to be involved, he ultimately is running the show.

 

 

 


Plato
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@werdermouth 

Just one small point, Newcastle fans are in seventh heaven not because their team will be richer, but because their club is now the richest club in the world, and any fan knows that the power clubs are winners of everything because they use their money to corner the talent, end of discussion. I notice that Newcastle are spoken of with respect by all the leading writers on the game, and that is a big change for any club from the north. Not being idiots, these writers know that their editor will want insight and news from all the big deals which will be done by the newcomer, even better, this will happen, money will not be stopped from exerting it's power over the game. Is this a good thing? Answers on a postcard.  


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werdermouth
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@selwynoz 

I'm all for a long-term plan to allow the manager to build a winning team but there's not much evidence that this season has been built with one in mind. Managers themselves are just as guilty of not thinking long term as supporters - they themselves are looking at each game in terms of getting a result and maybe don't often blood youngsters or give some of the new signings time on the pitch.

Indeed, two of Boro's key players this season, Muniz and Giles, are loan signings - as was Mowatt who has been a less promising starter of every game - plus Steffen, who is regarded by Wilder as first-choice keeper when fit. So no sign there of building for the future and it appears Wilder is primarily concerned about getting results this season - which so far haven't materialised.

The other problem for Championship clubs is that any player who stands out is likely to be poached by a Premier League team - as was the case of Tav and maybe Jones is next in line.

So building a team over several seasons is possibly not something a Championship manager is primarily thinking about as he is probably thinking no more than a season at a time and getting results is the reason he's there.

OK, the club and Director of Football should be thinking more long-term but that only works if they sign players that fit with the manager they have chosen. Again, not much sign of that in recent years and not much sign that the each manager chosen will fit the players that have been signed.

I also doubt that the club were settling for a mid-table finish this season and especially not a relegation battle - with the other factor on keeping a manager in place being that he still has the support of the players and they are playing for him. Maybe signs that some are not putting everything on the pitch should be worry - if it's just a few then they should be dropped but any more and it becomes a bigger problem for a manager.


Plato
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@clive-hurren 

You misunderstand my point, the problem is clearly decision making, and has been for some time. We should have no problem being a very happy well funded club in the upper middle of the championship. Instead we are a deeply unhappy club who cannot string two passes together. Plenty of our fans are content being well run in midtable. Those fans are in despair, I know this because I sit amongst them, a couple very nearly walked out as the third goal went in after twenty minutes? This is not a bit of bad form. This is an absolute shambles. As noted on this blog, we have suffered some amazing, mind blowing selections at key moments in the clubs history i.e. Playoffs, I'd better give one example. Playing a team of crocks for a place in the Prem. We selected, After careful thought, a striker who couldn't even spell the word goal, instead of a Young player who had scored six in the previous three matches. Yes, he was playing very well in the Prem a couple of months later, I wonder why. Last season we had a keeper who was laughed at for his antics (standing on the halfway line) simply not good enough, we played him for the full season, inexcusable. And he wasn't even ours.  


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Ken Smith
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Obviously age and illheath precludes my attending matches now, but I’ve never walked out of a Boro match before the end, not even the day when we lost to Doncaster on the day that King George VI died in 1952, not because I thought  by some divine intervention that Boro could win, but because I thought it was disrespectful. In some ways it was like the mad rush by many cinema goers who  did before the national Anthem used to be played at the end of the last film performance. 

The nearest I came to doing that was once at Billingham Forum with my wife watching Penelope Keith in ‘Mrs Warren’s Profession’. It was utter rubbish and if it had been on television we’d have switched channels.

However I regularly had to leave at halftime when watching Redcar Crusaders as I had a newspaper round to start at 4pm although it was easier in the winter months as matches started at 2.15 in those pre-floodlight days. Never mind no floodlights, there were no goal nets either.


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werdermouth
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@plato 

If success is primarily bought then is it sport? and if that amount spent needed to be successful in a league is not available to everyone in the league then is it either a fair league or a league fit for purpose?

As for Newcastle supporters - their club is actually now owned by Saudia Arabia so it's probably more a semantic 'their' - most don't seemed too bothered about that and neither do Man City supporters who are owned by Qatar. We moved into a world where clubs have become global brands - there are probably more City supporters now who have never been to Manchester. All a bit strange but that genie long since left the bottle as traditional clubs are priced out of success.


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Martin Bellamy
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I wonder what the members of this Forum think is going on at the club. We’re all bemoaning the management and the players, but how do SG and CW really feel about the current situation? 

SG’s heart is obviously intertwined with the Boro (as WE all are) and I don’t believe he wants anything but success for the fans and the Club, but what does success look like for him? Is it promotion to the PL or a financially sound club in the Championship, who win more games than they lose? Whatever his wishes, I’m pretty sure he isn’t deliberately trolling us all by hoping we lose matches with a manager out of his depth and players under performing. 

As far as CW is concerned, he surely wants to win games, although I’ve always thought managers who are sacked do pretty well financially and there’s usually another job coming their way before long. I don’t believe 
MFC is in any way in his heart - why would it be, he’s just here to do a job and it’s pretty obvious that he’s struggling at the moment. Again, I’m certain he’s not losing games deliberately. 

Now for the players, who are different from those I saw in my youth, before loans became the thing. A lot of our squad have no allegiance to the club long term, let alone the town and will do enough to draw their wages but once any chance of promotion has gone will be looking ahead to where they’ll be playing next season. Are they deliberately losing matches? I doubt it, but from my viewing of recent games, I don’t think many of them are particularly bothered either. 

Where does this leave us, the fans? We obviously want wins every week and a return to the heights we’ve seen in the past, albeit a relatively distant past. For me, challenging for the top 6 would do, as long as we played attractive football and won more than we lost. 

Just where should we set our aspirations for our club? Answers on a postcard please. 


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Ken Smith
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I can’t agree with comments that tonight’s visitors Rotherham are playing over their expectations, or Wigan Athletic for that matter. As the Championship is such a competitive league with arguably a below standard compared to many previous seasons. I’m of the opinion that Paul Warne didn’t begin the season settling for 21st position; they have as much right as many other clubs in believing that they can emulate their near neighbours Barnsley who reached the playoffs a couple of seasons ago. There’s not such a difference between League One and the Championship as there is between the Championship and the Premier League as Nottm Forest are finding out at the moment.

It’s this superior attitude of some fans and maybe players too that bother me.  Paul Warne knows Chris Wilder and Alan Knill well enough that even if Boro lose to his Merry Millers that after the international break that Boro could well go on a six match winning run. I recently reviewed how Rotherham stunned the nation in the mid 50s by almost gaining promotion to the First Division but were thwarted by fixture congestion. Nevertheless Leyton Orient in 62 and Northampton in 65 did it in pre playoff days.

Rotherham were also thwarted and in my opinion badly treated after reaching   the semifinal of the inaugural League Cup in 1961 again by fixture congestion. In those days the final was played over two legs, and the Millers won the home leg 2-0, but the second leg against Aston Villa wasn’t played until the next season which Villa won 3-0. Whose to say that with a little foresight if it had been a one off final on a neutral ground that Rotherham might have won it if only by a penalty shoot out? To win the inaugural year of a competition would have been written in the history books forever! 

By the way even little Rochdale who as far as I’m aware have never tasted the success of ever being promoted, reached the final in the second year but lost to Norwich City 4-0 on aggregate.

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Ken Smith

werdermouth
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@ken 

Maybe we should be worried that Rotherham have the third best defence in the championship and have only lost one game so far - plus having played one game less than the teams above them (because of the postponement of their game against Coventry) they could be 3rd in the league if they had won that. So it won't be any easy game tonight for a Boro side struggling to find form.

This post was modified 2 months ago by werdermouth

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Plato
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@werdermouth 

Everything you say is right on the money, but my point was the following. A group of clubs consisting of four London clubs, plus Manchester united, Manchester City and Liverpool were in possession of the available money, and players, and thought that now was the time to freeze that situation for ever. They very nearly passed laws to freeze the Championship in penniless poverty for ever. Then they attempted to fix even the prem. So that they could never be excluded from the money pit. They did not have the votes, but note well. They are at this moment successfully carrying out a programme to increase the London Teams in the prem. At least three teams who were always there to make the numbers up are now welded into the top 8? So watch this space, Once they have the numbers in their favour there will be another vote. So, to sum up, be very glad that Newcastle are now the most wealthy club in the league, and money is like a very big club, swing it and it causes damage. 


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Boroexile
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@selwynoz 

There have been times over recent years when the fans were particularly anxious about the way the club was going and desperate to hear from the Chairman about his plan for the future.  On every occasion as far as I can recall there was a deafening silence from him.  For some reason I don’t understand he seems averse to sharing his plans and strategies with the fans and so I doubt that he will be forthcoming this time either.  However,  unless things improve and quickly continue he may be compelled to say something to stave off serious unrest on the terraces.

  


Ken Smith
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I would love it if another so called little club like Crystal Palace, Brentford or Brighton did a Leicester City by winning the Premier League or a similar so called little club like Rotherham gained promotion to the Premier League as long as it wasn’t at the expense of Boro, but it ain’t going to happen. Nevertheless Liverpool and both Manchester clubs have spent at least one season in the second tier in my lifetime, but that ain’t likely to happen again as the rich get not only richer but greedier too.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Ken Smith

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werdermouth
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So the lunchtime kick-off has predictably seen Hull concede another three goals and thus send Boro into the relegation zone ahead of tonight's game as Swansea jump up to 15th. Even worse news is that Boro have to play another 8 games before we play Hull...


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werdermouth
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@plato 

Well if golf is anything to go by, the Saudi Arabia PIF has financed a global golf tour with plans to establish a global professional golf league - which has been described as a similar move to football's plans for a breakaway Super-League, then I suspect I know which way Newcastle will be voting the next time the 'elite' clubs come up with a plan.


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Plato
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@werdermouth 

Yes they certainly will, that was my point, Newcastle became an enormous problem when they became rich. But as fans, anything which upsets the plans of the greedy super clubs must be Good news for us, one thing is sure, the moment that things do not go their way will be the moment that start telling us fans "it's not fair" 


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werdermouth
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@martin-bellamy 

I'm sure both Chris Wilder and Steve Gibson are aiming to be in the Premier League - plus I can't see any player who has already got to this level wanting anything other than to win every game.

I think the problem for Boro will come when the players no longer believe they can actually win games or even enough games to think this will be a season where they challenge. It's still early days but many of the Boro players are not playing at their best and that is likely in most cases be a mental issue with perhaps few players not match fit.

One game at a time is usually the manager's mantra but belief is what usually unlocks performances - not sure what was going through the players minds in that first half against Cardiff but Boro looked like a team lacking urgency - maybe they are becoming worried about making errors as it's become endemic - maybe the players are simply not mentally tough enough or worse have switched off and are playing within themselves in the belief they will get through the game.

It's the manager's job to know how his players are feeling and whether they can perform - my worry is that Chris Wilder is feeling cornered into persevering with his tactics in the hope it will just come good and nobody will make a mistake. Sounds like he plans to continue with McNair and Howson as they are his senior players - one more chance -but will they take it?


werdermouth
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Team News...

So McNair and Mowatt are dropped to the bench with Dijksteel rightly retaining his place - Steffen returns in goal and both Watmore and Muniz start so looks like McGree is dropping into midfield unless there is a change of shape

Image


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jarkko
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A fabulous chance for Jones to score when Watmore brought the ball into the penalty area before passing centre for Jones. But that was the only high point of the match.

Rotherham started waste time already on the 7th minute. We have dominated but chances are far and few between. So nil nil at halftime.

This is our best eleven at the moment I think. Let's hope we continue in control and keep a clean sheet. And nick a goal in. Up the Borol

 


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werdermouth
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Not the most thrilling first half of football as neither side looks in the groove - Boro still moving the ball too slowly and looking ponderous and predictable going forward unless someone runs at the defence - notably Watmore. All quite disjointed really, Giles hasn't really got in the game out wide as Rotherham are able to nullify the wide threats of him and Jones. Only McGree in midfield has looked energetic, Crooks has looked lethargic and Howson hasn't found many forward passes.

Boro maybe need some rotation in the attacking positions to mix it up for the Rotherham defence who looked well drilled. Nil-Nil won't get Boro out of the bottom three so something needs to change - a win would leave Boro just three points off the play-offs so more urgency needed in the second half - maybe Bola on for Clarke to inject some pace.


Philip of Huddersfield
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Hardly a classic game with one team looking comfortable and the other looking edgy( Boro). Rotherham much better  getting players in forward positions whereas Boro have no cohesion with Muniz having to fight for everything.
Could comment on so many players not doing much. Only bright spark is Watmore just for his effort.

It feels as though if Rotherham  really go for it they will score  and then Boro could fall apart.

Could it be 0-0 with Boro therefore still in the bottom three in the league table ?

Hope I’m wrong

Philip of Huddersfield 


Pedro de Espana
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As Werder has just said we look very short of pace against a very ordinary looking Rotherham.
McGree the pick of the midfield three, Crooks needs to up his contribution and Howson, well he was not doing much, but with a yellow probably less.

Again another team marking up Jones and Giles and nullifying our only threat. Not a lot Wilder can do from the bench apart from say Bola and Forss when Watmore tires. 

 


Original Fat Bob
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Is Clarke and anti royalist ? No black armband !

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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He has second half


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Philip of Huddersfield
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Far too many players just didn’t do enough.

No real cohesion as a team

The longer the game went on , the more desperate was the quality of the play.

Overall 5 out of 10 with Rotherham a little better as the away team

How long will the spectators put up with this …..and CW??
Perhaps other Boro supporters saw the game differently.
Successful clean sheet ?!!

Philip of Huddersfield 


werdermouth
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Well nil-nil it was and two weeks in the bottom three awaits Chris Wilder's Boro - Only really Watmore and McGree showed the urgency needed during the game and were rewarded for their effort by being hooked with 15 minutes to go. Can't really tell you if their replacements made an impact as my dodgy stream left as they did - my hunch is they didn't as it remained goalless.

Not impressed by the performance but Rotherham don't give much away and since they lacked ambition going forward a clean sheet feels like a consolation prize that was gifted to us. Boro in the end too predictable and slow in transition with only really Watmore giving their defence something to worry about but he's not going to be able to play every week so it's a tough few months coming up with 12 games in 43 days.


Philip of Huddersfield
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So we’ve now reached Ken’s rule of thumb of 10 games to be able to start to draw any conclusions from the League table.

Almost a quarter of the season gone and in the bottom three.

My conclusion is that it’s going to be a long hard season and I’m starting to conclude that mid table is perhaps the best to expect.

Philip of Huddersfield 


werdermouth
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@philip-of-huddersfield 

Well the first ten games couldn't have gone much worse - though thankfully Sunderland's leading scorer was injured in the warm-up otherwise we might not be in double figures points-wise.

Not sure where we go from here as our wing-back threat appears to be easily defended against and there doesn't appear to much else as an outlet in the current system. Chris Wilder has two weeks to figure out something but once we resume after the break it's more or less two games a week until the Qatar World Cup break - by which time half the season will have gone.

The only glimmer is there are still only a 5-point gap to the play-offs - though a point a game isn't going to close that down. Not feeling optimistic but not yet given up hope - though there's so far being very little to suggest Boro are about to click this season.


jarkko
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Posted by: @werdermouth

@philip-of-huddersfield .

The only glimmer is there are still only a 5-point gap to the play-offs - though a point a game isn't going to close that down. Not feeling optimistic but not yet given up hope - though there's so far being very little to suggest Boro are about to click this season.

Not the greatest of games but at least we did not gift any goals away. I am dissappointed that we did not score but at least we stedied the ship in defence.

Nothing lost though. As Werder said, only five points away. There still so much matches left. Up the Boro!


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PaulInBoro
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Here is my two pence worth around last,st night

In my eyes the only difference.between last night and Tuesday was the visitors didn't score, they played in the same way as Cardiff and again we seem to only have one way of playing, so much for tactical flexibility, in the words of Albbert Einstein the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Ryan Giles can cross the ball into the box, but we need players in the box, did we have any shots on target, our build up is so slow, has Jones started to think he is a better player than he actually is, crosses very poor and hardly ever goes past anybody.

Since the spurs match Inn feb/March we have won four or five matches which is not exactly scintillating form

Are our expectations too high since we were relegated we have been promoted once and been been in playoffs twice hardly the stuff of dreams.

People say judge a team after ten matches well in my judgement I would say D- we are a slow one dimensional team with very little creativity, feels like we are relegation candidates.

Maybe the last two matches have worn me down and I need a lie down.


Andy R
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Topic starter  

The late kick-off meant I was only able to catch the last 15mins or so last night so I can't really comment. All I saw was Boro camped around the Rotherham box without putting any quality into it.

Regular readers will know that I have far fewer misgivings about Chris Wilder than most but there are a couple of concerns that I'll raise.

The first is the obvious one: recruitment. It's hard to know where the buck stops with player comings and goings but a few of us noted that Wilder's last few recruits at Sheff Utd bombed and then we saw the same here in January and could be seeing the same again now. It's an area we have to get right going forward but it's too early to judge at the moment.

The second point is more speculative but is an area from which I'd like to see some obvious, positive evidence: man management.

We've talked about Balogun and Connolly but the real kicker was that those signings not only failed but also demoralised Andraz Sporar, who was striking up an interesting partnership with Watmore at the time. We effectively lost Sporar from February onwards as he just wasn't the same player once he no longer had the full backing of his manager. I mentioned this last season - I think some players perform better when there is competition for places but others need to know that they're number one. I think Sporar fell into the latter category and, in a way, it was a failure of Wilder's man management that AS dropped off a cliff in the latter part of the season.

I mentioned this on this thread - I think something similar may have happened to Fry with the arrival of Lenihan. Again, could that situation have been managed better? We needed the player to come in of course and you could say that the others need to step up and fight for their place but they are human beings and confidence is the single most important attribute in sport once you've made it as a professional.

I'm also looking at Crooks and McNair and how their form as deteriorated. The confidence is low and, again, is that a failure of man management? Have we got a section of important players that need some reassurance but are getting a cold shoulder?

I wasn't a fan of much of what Neil Warnock did but he was good with his players. I'm not sure that the barbecues and the days off did much for the team but I do recall him talking Paddy up as a centre-back (Beckenbauer) and publicly assuring us that Crooks would get plenty of goals. The players responded. We don't know what happens behind the doors at Rockcliffe but don't hear such things in the press from Wilder.

My gut feeling is that, despite results, there isn't a lot wrong with this team bar confidence. We need some positivity from the management I think to get the players going again.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Andy R

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