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Cardiff v Boro

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Andy R
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For eighty minutes of the ninety, that was about as comfortable as it gets really: a controlled victory that could have been a thumping but for better finishing.

Cardiff were the ideal opponents but full credit to Boro and Neil Warnock for ruthlessly taking advantage.

The whole spine of team has improved over the last few weeks. Bamba is immense and galvanises those around him. For a long time McNair has been considered a bit of a liability if playing in a back four but with Bamba alongside he looks a proper centre-back whilst both can pass out from the back.

Crooks and Payero have struck a very promising partnership. Neither seem restricted into a purely defensive or attacking role with each dropping back or breaking forward in synergy to give us numbers and cover when needed. They seem to understand each other, when to go and when to hold and Payero in particular is starting to show some quality on the ball that Boro have sorely missed over recent seasons.

Up front, whether it’s Sporar and Uche or Sporar and Watmore, we have a bit of bite and sharpness about us for the first time probably since Bamford/Gaston/Tomlin was there.

Another word too for the unsung Lee Peltier. Card-magnet he may be and he doesn’t offer anything going forward but he’s rock solid at the back and a dependable ally for his more eye-catching teammates.

We can still improve in the wide areas and of course the finishing but this is a much, much better Boro than a few weeks ago agonist Reading, Hull and even Peterborough.

Tougher tests to come but we can go into them now with a clearer pattern of play, a better understanding and some genuine confidence.


Philip of Huddersfield
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Have we a coach in the making with Bamba?
First and foremost he is a leader and it seems he is well respected and liked by everyone.

Perhaps with an older head to support him he could be a natural successor to NW


Ken Smith
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@mw-in-darwin

cardiff we’re wearing black armbands it was to commemorate the anniversary of the Aberfan School Coal tip slide catastrophe.

 

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Aberfan disaster. Although not football related it equals the Hillsborough and Bradford City disasters as official warnings had gone unheeded. Like Dunblane it’s always so sad when it involves children.


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Malcolm
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Not Cardiff related but interesting article by Eric Paylor in the Gazette about Bruce Rioch.

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/how-bruce-rioch-managed-lead-21951096


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Ken Smith
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At last two teams have reached the ‘4 successive wins barrier’. Not surprising that Bournemouth would be one, but very much doubt that even Forest supporters would have imagined that their team would be the other. However the City Ground has the highest average attendances in the Championship so far this season so obviously still have a strong vociferous support. Can Boro emulate their winning streak? I think so, but the test will come after Boro lose their next match as apart from Bournemouth no side is showing consistency. 

As Neil Warnock has said, he never gets too elated after a defeat nor too downcast after a defeat. Neither do I, but I think that apart from the shooting, this was Boro’s best performance this season and augurs well for the future if it can be maintained.

By the way an excellent comeback from Hartlepools yesterday. Most of the credit must go to Dave Challinor as he saw the problem at half-time and immediately changed the formation at the interval and was rewarded with his side scoring 3 goals in 7 minutes early in the second half.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Ken Smith

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

@mw-in-darwin

cardiff we’re wearing black armbands it was to commemorate the anniversary of the Aberfan School Coal tip slide catastrophe.

 

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Aberfan disaster. Although not football related it equals the Hillsborough and Bradford City disasters as official warnings had gone unheeded. Like Dunblane it’s always so sad when it involves children.

Ken, I think you meant to type 55 years since the Aberfan tragedy.

Like with so many things in Britain, it seems you have to wait for disaster to strike before any action will be taken, despite the warnings. Still the same today.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Powmill-Naemore

exmil
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@clive-hurren: Only some were planning Warnocks demise.

Come on BORO.


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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @exmil

@clive-hurren: Only some were planning Warnocks demise.

Come on BORO.

🤫😇


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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil    But arguably warranted Exmil.
Three wins on the bounce admittibly, however all against very poor opposition and struggled at times against Barnsley and Peterborough and terrible against Hull. 
Yes we played very well at times yesterday and Payero hopefully will be the real deal to come. But we rode our luck during that 15/20 minute second half spell. 
Nice to be looking up and not down, but still more improvement needed from the wingers in crosses into the box and more composure from Tav. 
Let’s see what the next 4/5 games bring. 


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Ken Smith
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@Powmill-Naemore

re Aberfan, you’re right of course. All I can say is oops! My memory must be failing.


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K P in Spain
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@exmil.  I not sure it is fair to say that "Only some were planning Warnocks demise." 

I don't think anyone was planning his demise, some were commenting on the poor team/management performances and there was debate as to when/if he should go.  Some suggested straight away whilst others said it was unlikely that SG would act until either relegation was a possibility or that NW may walk if top six was not realistic.

As it stands, based upon three recent performances against weak opposition we are in the top six but that is more down to the poor quality of the league rather than the quality of the Boro team; we are, however, seeing progress at last and long may it continue. 😎

 

 


jarkko
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Where is RR when we are playing like at Cardiff?

I know he is busier than before in work. But I hope he has seen the last three matches. I miss his match analyses.

Up the Boro! 

This post was modified 3 months ago by jarkko

Stircrazy
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I see Djed Spence scored the (own) goal that set Fulham on the way to a 4-0 win away to Forest...


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exmil
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Pedro and KP, although you are correct saying the last 3 matches were against 3 of the bottom teams but isn’t it also correct we usually play well and either win or draw against the top teams and lose against the bottom teams. Are you also saying not many people over the last few weeks were not saying or hinting the Warnock was on his way out and had lost the dressing room, quite a few said they wanted him gone and if I remember a thread was even started asking people who they wanted as the new manager !

Come on BORO.


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Martin Bellamy
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@exmil Mea culpa! I did think he’d lost the dressing room and if I was wrong I’m delighted. 


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Stircrazy
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The Beeb's live commentary on the ManUre-Liverpool match, which Klopp's boys are currently winning by 5-0, has just posed this question, in the light of all the boos at Old Trafford at half-time & many fans calling for OGS's head on-line:

Championship side Cardiff sacked Mick McCarthy on Saturday.  Would they have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back?

 


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K P in Spain
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@exmil. It has been one of our habits in the past to win and lose as you suggest but less so of late and it will be interesting to see how we perform against the sides above and just below us in the coming weeks. 

I agree that there was plenty of debate about NW's position but I don't believe any of us are in a position to "plan" his demise; perhaps I have placed too much emphasis on your use of the word "plan". 😎


Ken Smith
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I can’t recall any Boro player ever receiving only a 2 for his performance (current me if I’m wrong) but for 3 Manchester United players to receive 2 out of 10 one of which was Harry McGuire is pretty damning. But Gary Neville was correct on his verdict of the performance of HIS team yesterday. I take no pleasure in stating that he was correct in his viewpoint but no schadenfreude from me. I’m not particularly a fan of the Red Devils, but didn’t Liverpool and Juergen Klopp in particular see United’s weaknesses well before this match and were able to act on them. Was this a question of German efficiency as much as Manchester United unable to find a manager capable of following into the footsteps of Sir Alex? 

I’ve always thought that the permanent appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was made in haste after an unbeaten run against inferior teams after his temporary appointment. He just seems to sit in his chair with little encouragement to his players, whilst Liverpool have usually recruited managers with passion. So what has this got to do with Boro? Well nobody can say that Neil Warnock isn’t passionate, so all this talk about who should replace him is rather speculative. Be careful whom you wish for could well be directed at both Arsenal and Spurs supporters as well.


jarkko
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@ken I saw the match on TV yesterday. I don't watch Premier League football as often as I see Boro play.

But the defending of Man Utd was diabotical. After that show neither Shaw nor Maguire wouldn't fit into the Boro team.it was a joke.

They need a Sol Bamba at United 😇. Up the Boro!


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Forever Dormo
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@martin-bellamy:  Regular reports on how it is up there would be much appreciated.  I'm planning a trip to Ullapool in a few weeks - whcih will be the first since March LAST YEAR (!!) but I have a nagging suspicion that some more Covid restrictions might be imposed after the environmental conference to be held in Glasgow.  At least The Midge should have long gone by now!  Hope you have some decent weather. and, yes, I'm jealous of you.


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Allan in Bahrain
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Back to the NW debate - yes most of us were guilty in getting twitchy and now after 15 games the table doesn't lie. we have played a good statistical mix and we are joint playoffs with about a half a dozen other teams.

Is there hope on the horizon, are there indians coming over the hill as my doctor would say. Sure thousands of them but we have ol' gen Custer at the helm.

The predictor table kindly shared by RR a year or two back has us 10th so we are slowly getting there and we could be in for an exciting season.

NW just plays with the hand he has been dealt with and for that I am grateful. 

Let's see where we are at the half way point - although I do reserve my rights to change my mind again if things start to slide again.

 

UTB

 

 


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Forever Dormo
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@original-fat-bob: The Aberfan disaster is seared on my memory.  Terrible, terrible tragedy.  It involved most of a complete generation of children (and a few adults) being wiped out when the coal mine slag/slurry tip slid down and engulfed the village school. Imagine if you were one of the children not at school that day, and you survived whereas your school friends were all dead.  Imagine being an adult living there even if your client survived, but the rest of the children of your neighbours in the street had died.  I guess the terror of that incident and the grief would blight the rest of one's life.  All the more poignant as my family, both parents and grandparents, came from the Valleys.


Forever Dormo
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@ken: Your memory failing - you're not alone there, Ken......


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deleriad
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I couldn't get to watch or listen to the game live. Looking back to the 4 games since the last international break we've won 3, lost 1 against what are probably the 4 worst teams in the league. Hull & Peterborough were two poor performances with opposite outcomes. Barnsley was a mixed performance and Cardiff, by all accounts a good performance.

Two things stand out. One is that we seem to be improving but the other is that we've not really been tested. It's probably too late to say whether the improvement is due to luck or judgement. As Woodgate showed it's really down to whether you can build on a good run or it just fizzles out. 

Overall, I think Warnock is now in place until we reach the playoffs or they become practically impossible. Hopefully the former.

Having watched the extended highlights of the Cardiff game two things really stood out for me. One is that our goals were "normal" goals. We were attacking and we scored. We didn't rely on an individual scoring a goal of the month contender to score. In the second goal, Ikpeazu showed good skill and strength to roll a defender, passed to Sporar who mis-kicked, recovered and passed to Payero who took a couple of touches and finished well. The other thing I noticed was when McNair hit the bar with a shot/cross there were *5* Boro players in the box attacking the ball and one lurking on the edge of the area. I can't remember the last time I saw us playing like that.

Other things, Bamba is on the fast track to becoming an honorary Teessider; he is improving the players around him and playing on adrenaline and willpower. McNair is a centre back who can be found on the edge of the opponent's area trying to cross and score. If Warnock was a young, foreign coach we would be talking about McNair and Bamba as rotating centre backs. Crooks seems to be one of those people in a team who helps bond teams together. When Payero scored, in one of the replay angles you can see Crooks just behind him practically shouting "go on my son!" then almost exploding when the ball goes in. 

What's next? Warnock has had something like a Get Out of Jail Free card over the last few games. Now it's time to see if he can manage the team successfully and keep us around the playoffs. Even by Championship standards this is a crazy year; there's absolutely no reason now why we can't compete.


K P in Spain
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@deleriad.  I think NW's biggest challenges are yet to come.  Firstly we need to be able to beat the better teams in the league if we are to retain a top six spot.  

The other challenge is what team is he going to field when all the fit players are back in contention.  Last season things did not go well after the January window when he had four/five new recruits to utilise; given the way Bamba is playing I can't see Hall replacing him if Sol is fit and if he were to re-introduce Fry, Bola and Dijksteel then what does he do with Peltier, Howson and McNair.

It will be interesting to see what transpires leading up to and after the next international break when we have some tough opposition to face and hopefully players returning from injury; some difficult but welcome challenges ahead. 😎

This post was modified 3 months ago by K P in Spain

Clive Hurren
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Posted by: @jarkko

They need a Sol Bamba at United 😇. Up the Boro!

Jarkko

 

If United give us £30 million and throw in Greenwood, they can have Bamba ………. 


jarkko
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@clive-hurren But only on a season long loan. Up the Boro! 


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Ken Smith
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Apparently Solskjaer is to retain his role as Man United manager, yet has reportedly lost the faith of some of the players and doesn’t take part in training which I find incredible. Am I missing something here?


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Ken Smith
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Although I’m pleased that Hartlepools continued their excellent home record, the Harrogate manager is unhappy about two controversial decisions, the first an apparent foul on the Pools goalkeeper from a corner in the first half which would have given the Yorkshire team a 3-0 lead and practically killed the game, and a goal disallowed after Pools comeback in the second half which would have resulted in a 3-3 draw. Not having seen either incident I can’t comment, but I wonder if any Boro fans were at the Vic to give their opinions. Probably not, but I sometimes watched Pools at home matches as a teenager if Boro were playing away. Other times I either watched Boro Reserves or the since defunct Redcar Crusaders, any football match that took my fancy.

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Ken Smith
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Just to be pedantic. Craig Johns whilst quite rightly praising Payero’s goal to make it a perfect eight days for Boro also remarked that although it was the icing on the cake that even had Boro won only 1-0 they would have been in the top six. I’m afraid that is incorrect as Boro would have been 7th behind QPR on goals scored. I noticed that straight away, but I’ll forgive Craig as the number of clubs on 21 points is a ‘magnificent seven’. Now where have I heard that expression before?


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