Boro's squad starts to shape up
I said earlier that we will finish in the top six this season. Not changing my prediction now.
It is boringly quiet news wise on Boro, which is very good. Now we have time to train and prepare for the Coventry match. Even McNair got a yellow card at the International so he will miss the last Northern Ireland match because of suspension and will be back in time fot Boro's next game.
I think Crooks and Ikpeazu are excellent additions to the team we already have. If one or two of Hernandez, Sporar and Lea Siliki will be as good as Crooks and Ikpeazu, then we will be fine.
Of course Fry, Tavarnier and McNair will be as important as ever. Luckily this is a team game so we have a chance. I am 100% sure that Mr. Warnock will get his team working hard and play as a team. And fight and crawl theselves over the the play-off line.
So we will finish as the 5th in May. Definately play-offs, like.
Up the Boro!
@jarkko. Sounds as if you are no longer worried about getting all the new players to gel together as a team? 😎
To be fair, as Maddo would say, the first wave of signings have bedded in pretty well. Crooks, Ikpeazu, and Jones (not a signing but new to the first team) have done well together. Peltier has done fine when called on. Lumley had a bit of a rocky start but is showing promise.
I'm guessing that Hernandez will come straight into the team on the right with Sporar and Lea Siliki coming onto the subs bench as they won't have had much chance to train with the team. It will come down to how well those three plus Payero integrate over the next 5-10 games that will, I reckon, define the season.
Against Coventry I suspect we'll see a team something like
Dijksteel Fry McNair Bola
Hernandez Crooks Jones
If there's a bench looking something like
Daniels, Peltier, Hall, Payero, Lea Siliki, Sporar, Watmore
Then that's starting to look pretty tasty. If anything, Warnock is going to need to be canny in keeping everyone happy.
I would us to keep the team mainly as it is. Like deleriad said above:
Dijksteel Fry McNair Bola
Hernandez Crooks Jones
Perhaps Watmore in place of Hernandez (if fit). And then add one at a time of the new boys. But now, they are just cover for the injuries or loss of form. I rather see them mostly on the bench for the next two months.
Yes, my biggest worry is that we do too many changes. This is a team sport.
And I say 5th already a month ago. But we need to be careful wand not put many new players in there. I hope Bola and Ikpeazu keep fit!
Up the Boro!
I see that Sporar missed a penalty for his country the other evening. Good to see we have found a replacement for Britt on that front! 😂😎
This season's transfer window felt a lot like 2017-18 where we just seemed to keep buying with no rhyme or reason. So I thought I would look back at 2017-18. Just the summer window.
Transfers out/let go (only first team/squad players)
Rhodes, Fischer, Guzan, Valdes, Espinosa, Husband, Stuani, Ramirez, Baptiste, de Roon.
This left us with the following squad:
Fabio, Friend, Ayala, Gibson, Fry
Leadbitter, Clayton, Downing, Traore, Guedioura, Forshaw
With the exception of Gestede and Guidoura who clearly we couldn't even give away, this is the spine of a team that knows how to win promotion. If we had kept Stuani and Husband who were both on peanuts then we would have had some experience in depth
Transfers and loans in (again first team/squad players only)
Randolph, Connor Roberts, Lewis Baker, Christie, Howson, Braithwaite, Britt, Fletcher, Shotton, Johnson
Instead Monk went out and basically bought a whole new team. Out of that lot the only ones we actually needed for the first team were Randolph, Christie and Braithwaite. Shotton was ok for CB cover. Too many of the rest were vanity buys.
If you compile my imaginary squad then you get
Christie, Fabio, Friend, Husband, Gibson, Ayala, Shotton
Clayton, Leadbitter, Forshaw
Braithwaite, Stuani, Bamford
It lacks some pace and width on the left and there's a little filling out needed from squad players like Wing or the U23s but you would bet on that squad getting you promoted straight back up.
A bit like the Monk era we seem to have spent 12 months buying players in bulk that have unbalanced the team.
In the last 12 months we have bought or loaned in 22 players for the first team squad of whom 8 have been let go already.
Archer, Bettinelli, Lumley, Daniels
Fisher, Hall, Peltier, Bamba
Morsy, Crooks, Payero
Roberts, Bolasie, Kebano, NML, Hernandez, JLS, Olusanya
Akpom, Watmore, Ameobi, Uche
Pretty much every law of football tells you that you don't win matches with this much churn.
Despite all that we don't have any specialist wing backs and now only have 1 right back, 1 left back and 1 player who can sort of cover (Peltier).
The whole thing looks like the same mistake over and over again; no obvious plan or rationale other than keeping on buying more players. Hopefully the appointment of Scott will lead to an attempt to actually think long term. Give it 6 months and manage to solve the full backs/wing backs issue and we possibly have the makings of a good team but by then we'll be looking at another season in the Championship and are likely to be saying goodbye to Tav and Fry. It is maddening that a team which is at heart so well resourced as us is in such a mess.
Just as we thought new signings were not sourced or recruited by Warnock
Just as we thought new signings were not sourced or recruited by Warnockhttps://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/19578845.kieran-scott-helped-bring-hernandez-lea-siliki-boro/
That is the opposite of what the article says.
NEIL Warnock has dispelled a myth that Boro's Head of Football Kieran Scott will bring players to the club...
if you’re telling me that [Scott's] signing the players, that’s not right. I don’t think Kieran would want to do that either. He’s helping me get better players at the club....
"I have always loved (Onel) Hernandez and didn’t think we’d get him. We went after another lad at Norwich but couldn’t get him out of the club.
"Then Hernandez became available and we jumped straight in there
For better or worse, Warnock is saying that Hernandez and JLS are players he wanted to get and he took advice about them from Scott. He may of course be lying through his teeth (exhibit one being Akpom) like all managers do but so far the only signing he seems to have disavowed is Payero. Personally I believe him about Hernandez but I suspect that he didn't know anything about JLS until the recruitment team suggested him.