Boro v Sunderland
Boro v Sunderland
K.O 20:00 Hours
At long last, a local Derby game to brighten up the season. A game of blood, thunder and guts, to get the fans and players adrenaline going and to throw the form book out of the window. To clear away the despair of the Boro fans who are wringing their hands at selling key players and not having any marquee signings. To forget about positions in the league as this is the “auld enemy” from up the road we’re playing! To have bragging rights if we win, until we play them again, or to be chastened if we lose and demand that heads must roll.
It’s the welcome return of our visitors from up the road “Sunderland” who as the “Black Cats” have been in the “Dog House” of the lower tiers of the league for the past few years.
They were always nearly, but not quite, getting back into the automatic promotion positions season after season. Until, (drum roll please) finally getting through via the playoffs last season.
They then bizarrely lost their manager this season to a league rival, do they want to do well in this division? Apparently the answer is yes as even more interestingly they have appointed a Boro legend in Tony Mowbray as the new Manager. A decision which has caused many Boro fans to despair including Mowbray’s own son who is a Boro supporter!
Now Sunderland return to the Riverside in eighth position in the league with eleven points facing a Boro side in a lowly twentieth position with six points. Even at this stage of the season this is a game that Boro must win.
I have always followed Sunderland and Newcastle results as well as Boro, because I considered myself a football supporter and wanted all the North East teams to do well. The first football match I ever saw live was a Newcastle reserve game where George Eastham made his debut after signing. Ken will obviously have the data on that game. My father an avid Mags supporter and I also cheered Sunderland on as we watched them on TV beat Leeds in that memorable FA Cup final in 1973.
My introduction to watching the Boro live came in 1967, when I was cajoled by my future brother in laws (because I had a car!) to take them up to Sunderland to watch the Boro play them in a pre-season friendly. It was a packed crowd and by the time we got through the turnstiles Boro were already two goals down! But, they fought back to recover and equalise with the final score at 2-2. So I was hooked and never missed a Boro home game that season and still am and always will be a die hard supporter.
Turning to our game on Monday with Sunderland I still think that we have sufficient talent in our team to win, despite not signing even more strikers or midfield players. I do consider however, that we are light in midfield and that Boro will probably sign a player who is currently out of contract to plug any gaps.
Clarke looks a great signing in defence and the return of Dael Fry at the back will also ensure that some of the mistakes we have made in front of goal will be eradicated.
If Howson is still injured then the midfield will be reshuffled. But to be honest I have thought that his performances have been somewhat jaded this season and that his position in the team needed reviewing. I think the calls to drop Paddy McNair have been a bit harsh as he was obviously not match fit in previous games, but his distribution is superb and I expect him to play well against his former club.
Up front a pairing of Muniz who looks very sharp together with Watmore (another player playing against his old club) I expect to see them both scoring goals.
Turning now to Sunderland and Mogga. A man I have personally known since he was a young player at Boro and he also coached my eldest sons team on a Sunday. I have often spoken to him over the years and was delighted when he became the Boro boss and quite sad when he was sacked. Like Jarkko I have always had a wish for him to return one day.
Mowbray watched his side cruise to a 3-0 victory over Championship rivals Rotherham at the Stadium of Light. He has said that he wants to see Sunderland's players "flourish" under his leadership.
The new manager enjoyed watching Ross Stewart score twice in 13 second-half minutes before Jack Clarke wrapped up the points with a fine individual goal with 20 minutes remaining. It meant another 36,000-plus crowd could enjoy Mowbray's first game in charge and he is now hungry for more having been delighted by what he has seen so far.
Mowbray, who only took over on Tuesday, said: "A whirlwind is a good word for it. An opportunity arose and I'm proud to be given an opportunity to manage a club in an environment like this. Everyone knows what an amazing club this is. This team has a lot of talent and we have to let it flourish.
I didn't do much tonight, it was down to the coaches who have worked with the team for the last few weeks. I talked to the players little bits, told them what I like in games, a lot of credit goes to the coaches working with the team. When you come to stadiums like this you get a fanbase and your stomach feels for the fans really, you want your team to score, whizz it across goal, so the fans can have a good night. The team did that tonight and Rotherham hadn't lost a game either."
Mowbray has reinforced the playing style with his intense high press applied by the team right from the first whistle.
Sunderland have signed Abdoullah Ba from Le Havre, while Edouard Michut and Amad Diallo arrived on season-long loans from Paris St Germain and Manchester United, respectively, too.
So Diasborians are you all as confident as I am that form for derby games goes out the window?
That a great home crowd with fervent away support from Sunderland will get the adrenaline going and see a Boro victory?
Or will the tactical nous of Mogga once again foil our Wilder manager who needs to step up a gear with his team performances?
I’m going for a 3 0 win Muniz and Watmore to Score and a late penalty from Paddy!
Great stuff, Bob. Thanks.
Nice summary and that sums things up quite nicely. I'm not going to offer up a predication to the Gods but boo, please put it in the stands in added time and I'm not bothered which row you aim for, if we were to specific they'd only miss.
I'm going to be in the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital waiting to be 'done' on Tuesday. Fortunately my dentist was on the ball and the little ulcer wasn't a little ulcer but something rapid growing and infinitely more sinister, and I thought the dentist was bad enough. However the whole process has only taken almost eight weeks from dental visit to operation. needless to say I require a Boro win to cheer me up and lift the spirits.
No pressure then, but I'm relying on the Diasboro to keep me up to date and entertained.
On the subject of Mr Wilder he now needs to test some of the Under 23 squad, I feel he doesn't know what he might find.
Great piece OFB thank you. No prediction from me as I keep getting them wrong but I do fear the return of Mogga who seems to be our jinx when managing other teams.
Best wishes to John for a successful procedure and a full and speedy recovery. 😎
Stay in contact JR your fellow Diasborians are thinking of you !
OFB and KP,
Many thanks for your kind thoughts, much appreciated. I'm in theHDU for three days and no visitors, not even the Boss, then onto the ward and down to me to get myself ready to go home. Then the radio therapy and so life's exciting journey continues. I still can't believe it but as the great Mogga would say 'it is what it is'.
I now need to advance my telephone skills. . .
Fingers crossed and best wishes/prayers raised that all goes well for you @John Richardson. Let's hope the Boro will provide appropriate therapy to raise your spirits on Monday evening. That said I am not holding my breath....
No prediction from me. Just hope. I do think we have more than enough quality to compete in this class, just not gelled into an invincible machine yet.
So, no prediction, CoB, and take care John
Many thanks for your kind words and thoughts.
Here's hoping Boro manage to give all of us a spiritual and physical lift.
Bringing in ammunition from Paris St. Germain and Man Utd. Is a sign that they may know more than us about this game. Combine that with the loan out of Young josh and you get the tang of general incompetance which lingers around the team and it's manager. Note that our many Young players are not afraid to dominate their opponents, then they come under the influence of our First team Manager, oh dear! Time for a change I think.
Best wishes, John and all the best for your current journey.
I hope you were able to finnish your book - I think the last preparations have kept you busy this summmer.
I hope Mogga sees your situation and helps with a suitable result on Monday. Take care, mate. Up the Boro!
All the book illustrations were finished and when I'm out of the tender care of the NHS I've got yet another one to start. Many thanks for your thoughts and support.
Very best wishes John for a successful and speedy recovery.
Sorry to hear you've been given a bolt out of the blue but thankfully it sounds like your dentist has spotted the sinister intruder in time for it to be sorted. Good luck with the op on Tuesday and hopefully the radiotherapy is short and just keeping any chance of a recurrence to a minimum. Luckily you have the advantage of a Teesside constitution like me and other on here, as medical experts have often remarked on my powers of recovery being way above the norm. Take it easy and a speedy recovery and best wishes to the boss who like most other halves often worry more than the patient.
Thanks for another interesting personal opener OFB - Mogga is indeed a top bloke and I wish him every success at Sunderland from Tuesday onwards! I've never met Mogga but my nephew was friends with his nephew and they often went to his house when he was Boro manager, where he'd always be generous with his time and even discuss team tactics with them, listening to what the thought as well as explaining his thoughts. He's a genuine person who deserves another shot with a big club like Sunderland.
I agree that this is a must win game for Boro and I'm hoping Chris Wilder can get a bit more luck with results in the next few weeks - it's generally been those small margins so far this season that have cost his team. Surely time to avoid conceding another late goal!
Do you remember Leslie Welch known as Radio’s ‘Memory Man’ especially about football? Well I certainly wasn’t in his league, but I’m guessing that George Eastham would have made his debut for Newcastle Resrves sometime in 1956 just before I started my National Service in front of a crowd approaching 10,000. I could be quite wrong of course, but that might well be your first live match although I have no recollection of the score.
Werder and Ken,
Thank you for your support and as always it is much appreciated, it certainly was a massive surprise and shock. I think your first reaction to cancer is disbelief but it's fact so we get on with it and the Boss is areal tough love and support. You can't ask for more really.
Ken, I remember Leslie Welch wasn't he around at the same time as Stanley Unwin? Looking back at the memory of Stanley Unwin I think he talked more sense than a lot of football managers and pundits.
Another great opener OFB, and the best of luck JR.
Come on BORO.
It may be a little bit early to think of match bans for 5 yellow cards but the cut off is 19 league games (Hull away) and at the moment we have 4 players on two, Jones, McGree, Lenihan and Crooks (surprise) and another 8 on one yellow, those have been accrued in 7 matches with another 12 to go. With a thin squad we can’t afford to lose players through I’ll discipline. Time CW and his coaches addressed the matter, rather than wait until we have players on 4 yellows.
Come on BORO.
A really lovely Headliner OFB, thanks for that.
Also best wishes John on your upcoming op. I am sure all will be OK and you will be on the road to recovery very soon.
Monday nights game is a must win if only for confidence and keeping the fans on board. MFC are estimating a crowd of over 30K.
It is on the TV, it’s against Sunderland, playing better than us, and a new Coach in local boy Mr Mowbray.
Well I would guess it is written in the Stars. Another defeat to Boro.
I knew you would know ! You’re right there were 10,000 for a reserve game and they had to open the leazes end to get everyone in.
I also remember the memory man too, what was his name…….
I saw this so we could see the players available to sign as free agents
@exmil When McNair lost his man once more against Watford, Jones had to take him out and received yellow for his trouble. Sky showed a box showing it was his third yellow. It correct even worse.
Our disciplinary record is absolutely terrible.
Best of luck for Tuesday, John. Really sorry you’re having to go through this. Let’s hope Boro give you a fillip before your op.
Once again many thanks to OFB for a very fine opener. I must say I don’t share your enjoyment of success by the Mackems or Toon. I always look for their results after Boro’s, but am always disappointed if they’ve won. Whenever they play each other I want them both to lose! I’ve been really chuffed that Sunland have struggled in league one and didn’t want them to get promoted. Similarly with the Barcodes - every year I hope they’ll get relegated ( very unlikely now, I admit), and always do a little dance of celebration whenever someone knocks them out of the cups. Trophy Virgins! I’ve always loathed them both, which I fully accept is a pathetically infantile and tribal response, but hey ho - I was brought up with this intense regional rivalry and I don’t see why I should grow up now I’m in my dotage.
So, much as I love Mogga, I really don’t want him to do well at the Stadium of **ite. And on Monday I want Boro to give them a good thrashing that sends them into a terrible spiral of decline!!
Thats a great response with the alternative view Clive - I loved it !
Best of luck John. Far more important than this football malarkey.
@original-fat-bob. I saw that list and it didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm for those available. 😎
Think positive John. Maybe more worrying for you than prostate cancer which I’ve endured for almost 12 years now and although I turned down an operation and radiotherapy I’m still here to tell the tale. Drug treatment has improved so much during that time and I’m praying that once you’ve had your operation that your treatment will be as successful as mine.
Sports wise the weekend has started brilliantly for yours truly as Redcar Bears Speedway sextet have turned round a 4 point deficit in the first leg of the knockout semifinal against Edinburgh Monarchs into a resounding 54-36 second leg victory last night to reach the two legged final against Leicester Lions later this month.
Hopefully Middlesbrough FC will make it a Teesside sporting double success on Sunday against Sunderland.