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Boro v WBA

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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @clive-hurren

... The best sides and those looking to finish at the top of their league don’t sell their best players. 

Even the most expensive players playing for the top clubs lose form and commitment and even become a toxic element in the changing room when their heads have been turned by the promise of fame and riches as Real Madrid or Barcelona (other exotic destinations are available). So you might also argue that it is good business that Boro get him moved on away from the squad as quickly as they are able.

 

As for Tav himself, good luck to him, but I agree that other than a little short term gain in his bank balance it might not be the brightest move for his career. Unless he hopes to shine in a struggling Bournemouth side to attract a the attention of an a bigger club to move to next season.


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Original Fat Bob
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https://www.wba.co.uk/news/match-preview-middlesbrough-v-albion

OFB


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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

https://www.wba.co.uk/news/match-preview-middlesbrough-v-albion

OFB

Cyril Regis. Now there was a great talent.


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jarkko
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Well, Marcus Forss scored on his full debut for Finland against France at Paris. So I presume he will do the same on Saturday.

So I will go for a surprice 2-1 win for the mighty Boro. McGree  scoring the opener before the WBA equaliser. And Marcus to score around the 70th minute.

I just hope there won't be any injuries on Saturday,. Up the Boro!


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Selwynoz
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It would be nice to think that this might happen, @Jarkko. I had thought the same thing but didn't dare to forecast it.

Do we know whether he was in full training with Brentford and therefore physically ready to play. Looking at his goals I was impressed by his speed and I wonder just where he is on that measure. 

He's young and so shuld still have plenty of improvement in him. This could be a really solid acquisition at a very moderate price for a full international and PL player. 

Did someone say Pukki?

UTB


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jarkko
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It was nice to see Boro mentioned in my local newspaper again. It is biggest paper in Finland called HS. This has not happened for a while.

Up the Boro!


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Original Fat Bob
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Jarkko

Suomalaiset fanit ottivat ilolla vastaan ​​uutisen, että kylään tulee tänä vuonna kotimainen pelisuunnitelma

OFB


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jarkko
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@OFB Don't always trust the google translator. Our language is so, so different to every other language (except Estonian) in Europe, that still Google has not learnt it.

So I missed the meaning of the last two words, but we Finnish fans are happy with the news.

Up the Boro! 


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jarkko
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Someone said in Twitter that 3638 seats still available for tomorrow's match. 

Desent crowd if 500 to 1 000 more sold today and tomorow. And the match is on TV, too.

Update: mfc.co.uk says that around 27,000 are expected.

Come on Boro. We are on the up. Up the Boro! 

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by jarkko

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Original Fat Bob
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So little over an hour to kick off and I must admit I’m getting excited !

All our hope and dreams and fear and dread for what will be an eventful two seasons really with a world cup sandwiched in-between. 

come on Boro

 

OFB


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Stircrazy
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The starting XI:

Image


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Andy R
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Bola preferred to Fry at the back is a slight surprise but then we did say Lenihan might be more direct competition for Dael, whilst we know CW wants a left-footer on that side.

It’ll be interesting to see that and also what happens when McNair returns next week.

Akpom gets the nod up front which will also be interesting to see and good luck to him, though you’d imagine he’s just holding a spot for Forss who I’m sure will come off the bench at some point.

Come on Boro.


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David in Cumbria
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Giles to Akpom to Jones - GOAL


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Andy R
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So far so good with Boro in control against a physically powerful but somewhat clunky West Brom who look a bit undercooked in comparison to a smoother, slicker Boro.

Steffen already looks to be a major upgrade and I’ve been impressed with with clapping and conjoling of teammates from Lenihan, who has his hands full with the strength of Grant but has coped well.

Giles has looked a real threat down the left and Watmore owes him an apology for failing to convert a tap in from his excellent low cross.

Akpom hasn’t been thoroughly involved but what he’s done has been good enough and his assist for Jones goal will do him no harm.

No signs of missing Tav so far. It’s the last 20mins or so that will be the test as WBA will be able to introduce one or two quality players from the bench that we simply don’t have. A second Boro goal early in the second half would be very welcome.


David in Cumbria
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Where was Tav covering the left wing breakaway? 1 - 1.

I thought Forss might come on after 60 mins but was hoping we would still be ahead.


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jarkko
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Well played in the first half. But nearly lost it in the second. Watmore should have put the tap-in to the back of the net to make it 2-0. That was not to be.

Crooks looked a bit rusty. Did we run of of steam in midfield? Jones was tired in the end. But we had no options for the midfield three.

Nice atmosphere in the first half. Attendance: 26,567 - that is very good for a TV match, though.

Still undefeated 😉. Up the Boro!


Philip of Huddersfield
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A game of two halves with Boro dominant in the first half and if Watmore hadn’t misssed a sitter then we’d be talking about a Boro victory.

Overall, a good performance by both teams. Akpom did his future no harm and on this performance is worth keeping.

The real plus is  - we’ve found a goalkeeper !!
Philip of Huddersfield 


Malcolm
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Good first half, but now we know why CW wants to recruit more players. I was annoyed  at so many passback's. 


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PaulInBoro
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I enjoyed the game, but lack of a cutting edge, watmores chance in first half and a couple in second half, but we now sound like broken records because we have been saying it for years


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Original Fat Bob
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Malcolm 

Passbacks ! They even passed back to the goalkeeper when we had a throw in on the half way line !

words fail me !

OFB


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jarkko
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Sometimes you need pass back to keep possesion. And you need possession to take a breath and start again. I prefer this over the Pulis game where we often passed the midfield with hoofing the ball over.

But I agree that the throw-ins could be more progressive sometimes and more brains to be used.

Generally we we were quite good but need nore bodies in. Thenew signings just need be good enough. Up the Boro!


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deleriad
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All things considered, I think that was more positive than negative. In particular, when we got put under pressure we managed to, just about, hang on. Last season we had a habit of conceding goals in clusters. I also suspect that WBA have the strongest forward line in the division; if Bruce gets them firing properly they could roll over this league.

On the positive side.

Steffen looks the real deal. He showed anticipation and speed to deal with his occasional mistakes alongside calmness when playing out. 

Lenihan has a good range of passing and is comfortable with the ball. Like Steffen his radar malfunctioned a few times but he kept faith with himself.

Though Giles got PotM, I thought Dijksteel might have been the best player on the pitch. Defensively strong but also really strong going forwards.

Giles is an assist machine. Probably the best wing-back display going forwards since Ziege. Defensively suspect though.

Akpom did ok, especially given his lack of training with the team in pre-season. If he can keep that level up and improve then he's a decent option for one of the front 5

On the rest

Bola was decent going forwards. He's been getting some pelters but he's not really a LCB and with Giles and McGree in front of him he was getting left exposed.

McGree has also been getting some stick but you could see that he was unfamiliar with the LCM role after a whole pre-season playing as a 10 and I think he got frustrated with himself. Him and Giles were often on a different page but that improved towards the end. In particular he played a ball around the corner to Giles at the end which almost worked as well as the one he played to Tav last season.

Watmore really isn't a centre-forward. He's a winger who can chip in with 7-10 goals in a season. He's also apparently playing with just "one leg" according to Wilder. It does feel that his time with us is drawing to an end.

Forss was unfortunate to come on when we were under the cosh. He battled hard when he got a chance and definitely has a one-track mind when it comes to the goal. I was encouraged.

It was clear that we have no depth on the bench. Wilder seems to believe that a blowing Howson or Crooks is better than a fresh Hackney or Boyd Munce. He may be right but I am increasingly of the opinion that one of Wilder's main weaknesses is not knowing how to handle and develop young players.

Overall, it's probably a positive point in the circumstances but we desperately need midfielders who can come off the bench and either see out or change a game. I am quite hopeful about Forss but we have to find another experienced striker who is not a "project" to start alongside him then someone like Muniz or Hoppe to come on as first change. Get those and a proper left-footed centre-back and I think the season looks promising.


K P in Spain
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Deleriad, excellent summary thank you.  More positives than negatives and with a few more of the right recruits we could be in with a shout.  😎


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Original Fat Bob
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I thought young Josh Coburn looked out of his depth when he came in which is hardly surprising the game time tjst he has had. He is apparently going out on loan shortly which will hopefully improve him and toughen him up.

OFB


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Plato
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Yes, as regards our Young striker, six four, not a High centre to be seen throughout the entire match. Not a single through ball to run onto, not even a ball shoved into the six yard box when it was full of bodies. We will forget that he was brought on after the opposition had control of the game and we were very glad indeed to take a point. I have had time to calm down, so my attitude is, shall we say, sensible. But at the time during the match, one wondered how we hoped to flourish in this league with the tactics or lack of same, which we employed. The keeper? Yes! Jones? Yes! The result? We should be gratefull! Their manager changed his set up after we scored, and we had to hang on, gratefull for the point. Final point, are west Brom a promotion candidate? The answer to that question will tell us what our season will be     


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Ken Smith
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I’m ok with a point, although Boro once again fail to win the opening match of the season. In the end though I thought that Boro were a tad fortunate not to lose. West Brom were stunning on the counter attack and their goal deserved some applause from the Boro faithful for its incisiveness as did the Boro goal from the Baggies fans. However it’s not ok today to applaud anything that the opposition does. 

It’s plain to see though that Boro still haven’t found their shooting boots with only 2 strikes on target from 16 attempts which is abysmal by any stretch of the imagination, and one hopes that will change with the introduction of a couple of decent strikers. At least West Brom had 5 on target from 12 attempts.

As far as the continual passing of the ball backwards perhaps Boro players have been watching too much rugby on television where forward passes are penalised. I must say though that Rugby League particularly is a faster sport especially amongst the backs, but I guess it’s easier to run with a ball in one’s hand rather than at one’s feet.

As for excitement Speedway wins hands down in my opinion. Remember no gears and no brakes, so why not watch the British Grand Prix on 13th August from Cardiff’s Principality Stadium (former Millennium Stadium) on Eurosport 2 or the Discovery Challenge, and marvel how the 4 riders defy physics especially on the first bend. You won’t be disappointed!

This post was modified 4 months ago by Ken Smith

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Martin Bellamy
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I’d forgotten how stressful it is to watch us live on TV!  Overall, I was pleased with the first half and if DW had scored I think we’d have been comfortable winners. 
Jones looks to have hit the ground running and there were lots of positives although, for me, the jury’s still out on our new keeper’s distribution.
If, as OFB suggests, JC is going to go out on loan, I hope he comes back fitter and stronger with more of a nasty striker’s bite.  


Ken Smith
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Posted by: @ken

I’m ok with a point, although Boro once again fail to win the opening match of the season. In the end though I thought that Boro were a tad fortunate not to lose. West Brom were stunning on the counter attack and their goal deserved some applause from the Boro faithful for its incisiveness as did the Boro goal from the Baggies fans. However it’s apparently not ok today to applaud anything that the opposition does. 

It’s plain to see though that Boro still haven’t found their shooting boots with only 2 strikes on target from 16 attempts which is abysmal by any stretch of the imagination, and one hopes that will change with the introduction of a couple of decent strikers. At least West Brom had 5 on target from 12 attempts.

As far as the continual passing of the ball backwards perhaps Boro players have been watching too much rugby on television where forward passes are penalised. I must say though that Rugby League particularly is a faster sport especially amongst the backs, but I guess it’s easier to run with a ball in one’s hand rather than at one’s feet. Pleased to see a crowd of 26,567 at the Riverside yesterday, not bad for a televised match and only beaten at Portman Road, Hillsborough and of course the 31,053 at Pride Park. However I expect that 45,000 plus will be at the televised match at the Stadium of Light today. Where have you Sunderland fans been in these last 3 years? But welcome back to the Mackems, we’ve missed  you and not just for the 6 points we usually accumulate.

Finally as for excitement Speedway wins hands down in my opinion. Remember no gears and no brakes, so why not watch the British Grand Prix on 13th August from Cardiff’s Principality Stadium (former Millennium Stadium) on Eurosport 2 or the Discovery Channel and marvel how the 4 riders defy physics especially on the first bend. You won’t be disappointed!

 

This post was modified 4 months ago 3 times by Ken Smith

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deleriad
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Posted by: @jarkko

Sometimes you need pass back to keep possesion. And you need possession to take a breath and start again. I prefer this over the Pulis game where we often passed the midfield with hoofing the ball over.

Agreed. We're a possession-based team and the first rule of possession-based football is keep possession. The reason we dominated the first half is that WBA sat off us and let us build play how we wanted. When they started to press us in midfield in the second half we couldn't cope: a familiar failing from last season.

Mowbray showed how to beat us: press the midfield, nick the ball and then a long ball over the top or down the channels to counter. 

Our aim is to resist that press and keep the ball so that the opposition over-commits. Knowing when to take the safe option while keeping alert to the chance to attack is really what it's all about. The way we play, losing the ball on the half-way line is to risk conceding a goal. We have quite a high risk shape high up the pitch so we have to reduce the number of risks we take when we have the ball. Steffen is virtually an 11th outfield player at that point; receiving the ball from quite advanced positions and looking to keep the ball moving. 

One thing I will say; the crowd was a lot less angsty about us playing out from the back than last season and you can see that the players had more confidence in doing it; even if it didn't always work out.


Ken Smith
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Deleriad

I take your point that Boro under Chris Wilder have become a possession based football team, but I have my doubts whether his system will be sustainable in the long run. Boro might well gain promotion to the Premier League in the next couple of seasons but it seems to me that if he follows the Sheffield United mantra, he will be found wanting. In their first season under him the Blades caught most teams unaware of his style as they finished in 9th position with 54 points and a creditable goalscoring season scoring 39 goals and conceding the same number, but he was found out in their second season finishing bottom and scoring a meagre 20 goals and conceding a whopping 63.

This on paper was even far worse than Boro’s 28 points accrued under Aitor Karanka who scored 27 goals and conceded 53 in his Premier League season, that’s a goal difference of 17 in Karanka’s favour over Wilder and most of us moaned about Boro under Karanka. Also compare Boro’s style over Steve Bruce’s who might have irritated the Geordies, but nevertheless kept Newcastle 10 points away from relegation in 2020. Of course the Geordies have always had greater expectations than Boro, why wouldn’t they as through the years they’ve had been the North East’s most dominant football club. 

I’m not convinced that Boro would survive more than one season (if that) under Chris Wilder, though West Brom if promoted in my opinion might have an outside chance to do so under Steve Bruce.

This post was modified 4 months ago by Ken Smith

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