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Boro v Wigan
 

Boro v Wigan

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Andy R
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Joined: 3 years ago
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Topic starter  

That flat feeling after a deserved defeat has become unfamiliar for Boro fans in recent times but that is perhaps where we find ourselves following the 3-1 loss away at table topping Burnley.

Most of the games under Michael Carrick have been tight, competitive affairs with Boro almost always coming out on the right side of the fine margins. That wasn’t the case at Turf Moor as Boro were ultimately overpowered by Vincent Kompany’s promotion favourites, even if there was a controversial moment whilst Boro were 1-0 up that just might have changed the outcome.

No complaints, however. Burnley are a strong side and we know that we have a couple of defensive weaknesses that were always likely to be tested by the league’s best. That is not to excuse some poor errors on the day but is an acceptance of where we are at this moment in time – better than an our early season form suggested but some distance yet from a top Championship team.

With four of our next five league games coming against sides that are currently above us in the table, Boro may need to make the most of our next outing, which comes at home at Wigan on Boxing Day (kick-off 3pm).

A Boxing Day home fixture is always a cracker with a larger and louder home crowd roaring the reds on. With Carrick having bagged his first home win against Luton, he should feel that we have every chance of bouncing back against Kolo Toure’s Wigan Athletic.

This will be Toure’s third game in charge of The Latics after he succeeded fans favourite Leam Richardson. Richardson had guided Wigan through some extreme financial difficulties and gained promotion back to the Championship along the way but a run of six defeats from seven games saw him sacked, having only signed a new three-year contract a few weeks previously. Football, eh?

This is Toure’s first foray into first team management, with the former Arsenal and Manchester City defender having previously only worked as a coach for his national team, Ivory Coast, and then at Celtic and Leicester under Brendon Rodgers.

A useful draw away at Millwall was how Toure marked his debut but that was followed by defeat at home to Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United on Monday night. Wigan now find themselves second from bottom, two points from safety and six behind Boro.

Operating in a 4-2-3-1, Toure’s Wigan have so far taken a more progressive approach than predecessor Richardson’s and may be a more dangerous opponent than the one Boro thrashed 4-1 in October under Leo Percovich, when Jones, Watmore, Hackney and Akpom blew the Latics away in a blistering 25-minute spell either side of half-time.

That said, Boro now have a more settled way of playing themselves with Carrick’s unflustered persona likely to keep the players from getting carried away after victory or despondent after defeat.

Boro’s XI is a settled one and having had eight days to recover and train, the most likely team selection will be the one that has started in each of the past six games. Indeed, Carrick has made only one change in his entire time as Boro manager, with Forss replacing Muniz after his first game in charge,

Forss, Steffen and Giles are the players perhaps under most scrutiny but the latter has little competition at present whilst Steffen had been going through his best spell pre-Burnley. Forss was replaced at half-time down at Turf Moor but with Watmore increasingly seen as an impact sub, Hoppe out of the picture and Crooks often preferred from the bench over Muniz, changes seem unlikely. Indeed, Crooks return to the bench (if fit) ahead of youngster Pharrell Willis could be the only alteration to the matchday squad.

Boro may have tasted defeat for the first time since October but a home encounter with strugglers Wigan in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd is as good an opportunity as you’ll find to bounce back. The mood around The Riverside is likely to be one of expectation and Boro do need the points with some tricky fixtures on the horizon.

Can Carrick’s men serve up some Christmas cheer or will we be ruing the Grinches of Wigan? Ho-ho-home win for me.


Original Fat Bob
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1897
 

Thanks Andy for taking the time at a particularly busy period of the year to provide us all with an excellent summary of where the Boro are, it’s appreciated.

I agree with all your assessment of the squad and also forecast a home win. Hopefully I won’t be a Jonah as I shall be attending in person with a large group of my family and will enjoy the atmosphere no matter what the outcome!

In my opinion Steffen can become a really good keeper but needs some coaching with regard to his priorities in defending the goal. His distribution is excellent and his handling is good. No keeper should be beaten at their near post and hopefully Alan Fettis our goalkeeper coach has been working on this with him.

Players have an off day now and then and against Burnley a few were below par. Tactically we didn’t seem to be able to counteract their high pressing and perhaps our style of play has been sussed?

Merry Xmas to all and let’s hope for a good festive period on and off the pitch !

OFB


exmil
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 780
 

According to MFC ticket website there only 17 tickets left available.

Come on BORO.


K P in Spain
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

Thanks Andy for your festive opener and a very fair summary of where we are presently.

The next six games will probably give us a good indication if we are a potential top six side or one which is still work in progress.

We need to get back to winning ways after a Burnley performance which showed how much more is required if we are looking to be promoted and stay there.

We should have enough to beat a Wigan side who must be low on confidence but I don’t expect us to repeat the winning margin of last time.  A 1-0 will do for me.

Very best wishes for a festive period to all Diaspora and I hope all those attending the Riverside have a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.  CoB 😎


David in Cumbria
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Posts: 239
 

Thanks Andy. Once again a Boxing Day home game that I can't get to and each time the Gazette says what a great crowd and atmosphere there is for these games. I will be stuck to the Radio Tees commentary with a £19 bottle of Amarone to celebrate our return to winning ways. (I actually bought it for my birthday in April but find it hard to see such an expensive wine disappear so I am relying on Boro making it worthwhile.) 

I watched the live stream of the Burnley match and it was disappointing to have withstood a lot of Burnley possession in the first half without them really threatening our defence only to come apart having taken the lead. Giles is really a winger and as with Jones, who has now returned to that position, he must have cover if the opposition target his side of the field. For Burnley's first goal he was very much on his own and never got close to preventing the shot that I think too easily beat Steffen on the near post. I can see Carrick's point about why Steffen missed the "cross" that ended up as the second goal and he did make a good block early in the first half when a player was through on goal but he did look a bit shaky when the ball was passed back to him. Hopefully he will return to the better form he had been showing recently.

I did once think about travelling over on Christmas Eve and spending 3 nights in a hotel in order to get to see a Boxing Day match but I would just have a boring stay in my room on Christmas Day as I couldn't get anywhere without busses or trains. After Wigan, our next home match is the F A Cup against Brighton on 7 January and of course there is a rail strike so I have booked a room for 14 January when we play Millwall and am hoping there is no strike called for that weekend. 


PaulInBoro
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 241
 

Wigan is now a sellout, good effort


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jarkko
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1496
 

Do you remember Gabriel Martinelli from the World Cup wih Brazil or playing for Arsenal?

There is a story how he almost became a Middlesbrough player.

The Brazilian winger is now a bona fide star of world football. He’s just come back from representing the five-time World Cup winners in Qatar

Martinelli very nearly ended up at the Riverside Stadium. A journalist claims that the player was recommended to Boro when he was just a teenager by club legend Juninho who ran Ituano when Martinelli was breaking through there.

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/12/22/at-some-point-journalist-says-arsenal-star-genuinely-couldve-ended-up-at-middlesbrough/

Up the Boro!

 


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K P in Spain
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

Sorry to learn of the passing of George Cohen at the age of 83.  That leaves only two of the World Cup winning team remaining, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton.  

RIP George. 😎


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John Richardson
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 467
 

Andy, 

Thank you for the festive briefing, good stuff. After thirty day days of radio therapy the jerk and the rude shake back to reality had to come at some point so here's hoping Boro learnt something about resilience in the previous games.

Thirty days of the daily ninety mile, cross country trip to and from the hospital gives you a different view on life, you may feel rough but every day there was a stark reminder that there are a lot of people worse off, much, much worse off, than you are.

Now it is to be telephone calls from the Senior Radiologist each week until the middle of next month when I have a meeting with the boys in charge for a review but no prognosis until the scan at three months when the radiation in my system will have dissipated. Apparently it goes on working for weeks after the daily sessions stop. I would add that the side effects are awful and details don't need to be provided. Let's just say I wouldn't wish them on anybody.

I now need Boro to provide a great performance and a win against Wigan, a perfect Christmas present, not just for me but for all of us.

Once again thanks for all the support DiasBoro, it's really appreciated.

Merry Christmas,

UTB,

John

This post was modified 1 month ago by John Richardson

Martin Bellamy
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 684
 

@john-richardson Our thoughts are with you, John. Cuddle up to those Terriers and try to enjoy Xmas.


Andy R
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1035
Topic starter  

@john-richardson 

All the best, John. Keep fighting.

Boro’s win on Monday is dedicated to you.


Original Fat Bob
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Posts: 1897
 

John

Thinking of you and your family this Xmas stay strong !

All the best

OFB 


K P in Spain
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

@john-richardson.  Merry Christmas John and sorry that you are having to go through some horrendous treatment but your strength of spirit is to be applauded.  

We are all thinking positive thoughts for you and hoping for a Boro win on Boxing Day to lift your spirits even further. 😎🎅🏻


Clive Hurren
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 339
 

Many thanks, Andy, for a great opener. Much appreciated. 

I‘m so sorry to hear of your continuing health issues, John. I hope you soon get some respite and that you very soon start to feel much better. I hope you can somehow enjoy Christmas despite everything. 

My predictions over time have been wildly inaccurate, just hopeless. But this time, I’m confidently sticking my neck out. No ifs, no buts. Boro will beat Wigan. 3-0. 

Thanks to all for your terrific contributions to the best Boro blog there is. Keep up the good work. I’d like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. All the best. 

 


exmil
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 780
 

Many Thanks to Andy for another great opener and best wishes to John, who I hope can enjoy the best Christmas possible.

To everyone else on Diasboro I wish them a Merry Christmas and I hope we all enjoy Boxing Day UTB.

Come on BORO.


Allan in Bahrain
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 120
 

@john-richardson 

Keep the faith John - we are all rooting for you and Boxing days victory will make things seem more bearable.

 

Do we know if it will be on Sky yet?

 


K P in Spain
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

@allan-in-bahrain.  No it’s not on Sky but available on Riverside Live. 😎


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Powmill-Naemore
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Happy Christmas to everyone in the Diasboro.

Let us hope it's a good one, with plenty to cheer.

It is a pleasure to read everything you all contribute. 


Ken Smith
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1986
 

Apart from the international match between England and Slovakia in June 2003 the only time that the Riverside Stadium has been close to a full capacity was on Boxing Day 2004 when 34,836 attended the Premier League match against Norwich City which Boro won 2-0 with a couple of goals from Joseph Desiree Job.  Boro’s record of matches over the Christmas holiday period has always been well attended except for during the Covid pandemic when matches were played behind closed doors. Surprisingly though it has not always produced a winning result at either the Riverside Stadium nor at Ayresome Park, the best results being last season against Forest and wins against Leeds and Liverpool in previous seasons. Boro seem to play better against the better teams, but fail to bring home the bacon against teams that they are were expected to beat comfortably despite often having crowds in excess of 40,000 at Ayresome Park.Presumably tomorrow’s attendance will be the largest at the Riverside for a Boro  League match, although obviously nowhere near the 53,596 who crammed into Ayresome Park on Boxing Day 1949 for the visit of Newcastle United.

Incidentally Boro beat the Magpies twice in two days in that year, a 1-0 win at St James’s Park on Christmas Day before a crowd in excess of 60,000, and a repeat scoreline 24 hours later.


lenmasterman
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Posts: 490
 

Best wishes,John, and Merry Xmas to everyone who has contributed to make this blog essential reading


Powmill-Naemore
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@john-richardson merry Christmas. Let's hope the Boro play their part to help keep you in good cheer.


Malcolm
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Posts: 510
 

Hi John, so sorry to hear about your continuing illness. Thinking of you and your family. May I wish you all the very best wishes and hope that everything will get better for you 2023. ❤️ ❤️ 


Plato
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 553
 

@jarkko 

Your report of the Young Brazil star who could and should have joined our Academy is a perfect reflexion of the general incompetence and sheer all round stupidity shown by those who should have been guiding the club  day to day. A former Brazil hero and friend of the club tells the club he's spotted a great prospect and they should pay his ticket over and enroll him in their Academy. Can we be told the name of the genius who said, 'no, don't think so', and as a further Question, can we know why said Brazil star is not a fully employed Agent of the Club, and on a cut of the selling price if and when sold on. You could not invent this stuff. What on earth is the Owner doing, hiring such people, and why did such a decision not cross his desk?

                           


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Forever Dormo
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Posts: 480
 

AndyR -  thanks yet again for the opener.

JohnR - Best wishes for the year ahead.  Fingers crossed - not just mine but people all over the world: Yorkshire, Cumbrian "most regular Teesside hotel user 2022", Australia, Persian Gulf, Finland, Germany... .

Boro - a win against Wigan at home - I  think, and hope...

This post was modified 1 month ago by Forever Dormo

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Powmill-Naemore
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Belated thanks for the opener that I have only just read Andy. 

I hopefully there will be 30000+ very happy and entertained souls at the Riverside today.

A convincing 3-0 win to bounce back after Burnley should do nicely today.

CoB


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Martin Bellamy
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Posts: 684
 

Am I correct in thinking that today’s match isn’t available from the club on Boro Live? 


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John Richardson
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Posts: 467
 

To everyone who has sent their support, a massive thank you, it really is much appreciated.

Amazing how a few small words can make a truly massive difference psychologically. The senior radiographer spoke to me on Friday and said this bit of the treatment is the worst part. I can confirm that she is quite correct.

KP in Spain you are right about it being horrendous. How can there be so many side effects?

Martin, I've got three Jack Russells at the moment, our daughter is here until tomorrow so there's no getting near the woodturner, the best seats are taken. Permanently.

No predictions from me, three clear goals and none against will do for me. That doesn't count as a prediction by the way.

All the best everyone and Merry Christmas.

Thank you.

UTB,

John


Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1986
 

I don’t usually report on Rugby League on this forum, nor berate Castleford fans but I’m seething this Christmas as I’ve only just been made aware of the despicable action of some Cas fans. We all remember how MND affecteted our own Willie Maddren and his family almost 30 years ago. There is still no cure for MND and I was pleased that Kevin Sinfield received his rightful award for the work he has done in raising over £1.2M by running 7 marathons in 7 days to try to fund research into a cure for this most horrible disease, and especially for his former Leeds teammate Rob Burrow. 

Now the bad news! Rob and his family went out for a meal in Glasshoughton, a neighbouring village of Castleford close to his home. Rob is a former Leeds Rhino player who was born in Castleford but played his whole career at Leeds. Later he discovered that his mobility transport had been vandalised by locals (presumably by Cas supporters). How loathsome is that! I would hope that Boro fans despite their hate for Sunderland wouldn’t steep so low as that. I suppose most clubs have their hard core of fans who hate their rivals, but to go to such lengths is despicable, and I hope that the culprits are caught and receive there due deserts.


Liked by Malcolm and K P in Spain
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K P in Spain
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Posts: 1507
 

@martin-bellamy.  Martin it is available but the video stream is only available to overseas subscribers, unless you have a VPN! 😎


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K P in Spain
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@john-richardson.  John, hopefully this part of the treatment won’t go on too much longer and fingers crossed that you have fewer side effects from the remaining treatment. 

I admire your positivity and especially your non prediction which will please us all if it comes true!

Unfortunately I am about to put a slight spanner in the works.  My brother has not been attending recently as he had surgery for bowel cancer in September which went well but there have been side effects and complications which still need to be resolved.  

He does, however, feel well enough to attend today.  We spoke yesterday about him attending, a full house and me watching in Spain and quickly came to the conclusion that this was an ideal “typical Boro” scenario! 

I do hope not , as this will spoil what has so far been a very enjoyable Christmas. Best wishes. 😎


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