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Luton v Boro

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Original Fat Bob
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Luton v Boro

Tuesday 2nd November 2021

19:45 k.o. Kenilworth Road.

 

In another frenetic run of games in the championship race, we next turn to Luton Town away which is a Sky televised performance. It depends if it is going to be a follow up to a Halloween nightmare or the age of a new Boro era of believing we can achieve promotion this season.

 

After the defeat by Birmingham Neil Warnock said that Boro had beaten themselves. Personally I think it was the managers tactics and selection in midfield which caused the problem, oh and a dodgy keeper !

 

Changes will have to be made and he has hinted that there could be a return for Afernee Dijksteel. This would mean Howson playing in midfield again and personally I think that he is better playing in a defenders role as he doesn’t seem to have the energy required for a dynamic midfield.This may be an enforced change however as there are doubts regarding the fitness of Martin Payero for the game.

 

Up front Ikpeazu is considered doubtful after going off injured in the first half against Birmingham. This will probably mean that Duncan Watmore will regain his place up front to partner Amdraz Sporar who needs more chances to score as they were very limited on Saturday.

 

I don’t know why Warnock doesn’t play Jones as he brings a lot of energy and dynamism to the team and if Warnock had brought him on as a substitute against Birmingham and played him against Friend then openings could have developed for our forwards.

 

Luton, was once supported by the late great comedian Eric Morecambe. “Not many people know that!” “Get out of that, you can’t can you?” I don’t know if any of the Boro team have short fat hairy legs apart from Howson but hopefully we will have the legs to go the distance and claim a win. I’m not getting at Howson as I think he has been one of the best players signed by Monk and has proved his worth to the team. It just seems unfortunate that we had seemed to have found a good midfield combination which has been tinkered with again.

 

The hatters will not be brimming with confidence after a 2 0 defeat on Saturday against Preston. The Hatters were sixth in the table and looking to establish their position among the play-offs chasers, only to find themselves down in 10th place at the final whistle, as their five game unbeaten run was ended. Nathan Jones the Luton boss felt his side were brought back down to earth after turning in a poor performance to lose the game.

 

Hopefully the Boro will put a lid on it and cap a great topper performance on Tuesday and get back climbing up the table. As long as it’s not a titfer tat performance otherwise it’ll be a skimmer and we will all have a long fez again for the rest of the week.

 

My forecast ?

 

I’m going for a scrappy

 

DRAW 1 1

 

OFB


Philip of Huddersfield
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Well, it  was good while it lasted- 3 consecutive wins against poor opposition.

Back to normal with a below performance against a mid table team. I suspect that’s where Boro will end up.  Just can’t see them getting into the top 6 in what is a poor season with many other teams being just as inconsistent.

Bigger challenges lie ahead in the coming weeks for NW to show us what he can do.

Clearly coaches make all the difference -  you’ve only got to look at the local team here ( Huddersfield) who have an unknown coach who helped out at Leeds. In his second season they are flying high in 5 th position after buying no one in particular.

Philip of Huddersfield 


Redcar Red
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Great intro Bob to what hopefully will be for Boro some very Mad Hatters. My guess is that Warnock will put Howson back at RB, reverting to what worked rather than indulge himself further with his dysfunctional, eccentric tactics.

My fear is that he brings Dijksteel in at RB and then plays Howson in Midfield. Howson's best games this season have been at RB, in Midfield he now sadly looks laboured, slowing the game down. No doubt Tav will be another definite starter despite underwhelming of late, clearly needing a break and removed from the spotlight.

That said it probably isn't all that important in the scheme of things as with Warnock its two steps forward and three steps back and will be thus until the summer. He at least has an opportunity of beating a side that isn't in the bottom quartile or hovering thereabouts.


K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for an interesting and comedic opener!

It will be interesting to see what team NW puts out on Tuesday, let's hope they all play and in the right order unlike Eric's piano playing!

If Payero is not fit then NW seemed to be indicating that Siliki may get a start but he also referenced that he had the option of playing Dijksteel in defence and Howson in midfield; my preference at the moment is to leave Howson in a back four.  I also agree with RR that Tav needs a rest and Jones needs to be given a start.

I will take you prediction of 1-1 but would not be surprised if we lost this one and at West Brom to leave us back in the lower reaches of the table as we go into the next international break! 😎


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Ken Smith
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I didn’t wish to make a comment on Boro’s situation until I had see for myself the highlights and lowlights of yesterday’s match. But in my humble opinion I think Boro have improved in the last few matches. Three home wins out of four isn’t a bad return and I’d be happy if that continued for the rest of the season. Boro are no more inconsistent than 20 other teams in this division and probably as good if not better than those 20 other teams. Are they good enough for the Premier League? No way! But neither are Norwich nor Newcastle either. But when they are relegated they will certainly be strong favourites to return to the Premier League. At the moment Bournemouth are head and shoulders above the rest of this league, as were Leeds and Brentford in the previous two seasons.  Let’s not forget that Pulis couldn’t or didn’t want to retain the likes of Braithwaite, Bamford or Harrison continually playing them in their wrong positions. Now through necessity Boro whose strength was always its defence, is playing a lot of players out of their natural positions. 

As for goalkeeping errors even Mark Schwarzer was prone to the odd mistake (remember his conceding that goal in the League Cup Final). Fortunately it didn’t matter. Nor did Nick Pope’s yesterday when he failed to gather a routine cross against Brentford, because they both made up for them with outstanding saves after.

The Saturday that Boro won at Cardiff every other match in the Championship resulted in a home win. A few more performances from Boro away from home and more consistency would enable Boro to regain a playoff place. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month as long as it’s in April as any team can beat any other on any given day. I’m taking positives from recent displays as I think most Boro fans are. Let’s not be despondent at the odd surprise defeat, we’re only a third of the way through the season as yet.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Ken Smith

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Andy R
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I completely missed the Birmingham game but it sounds like that was no bad thing. I'm a little confused to read that we changed shape and broke up some of the synergies that seemed to have been emerging but, having not seen the game, I can't comment too much.

Thanks for the opener once again, OFB.


Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @philip-of-huddersfield

 

Well, it  was good while it lasted- 3 consecutive wins against poor opposition.

Back to normal with a below performance against a mid table team. I suspect that’s where Boro will end up.  Just can’t see them getting into the top 6 in what is a poor season with many other teams being just as inconsistent.

Bigger challenges lie ahead in the coming weeks for NW to show us what he can do.

Clearly coaches make all the difference -  you’ve only got to look at the local team here ( Huddersfield) who have an unknown coach who helped out at Leeds. In his second season they are flying high in 5 th position after buying no one in particular.

Philip of Huddersfield 

Hi Philip.

Just catching up on the new thread and have only now read your post above. 

That is exactly what the thrust of my last post on the Birmingham thread was saying, and here you are with a perfect example to illustrate it.


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Powmill-Naemore
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Next up the mad hatters then.... thanks for starting us off again OFB and for reminding us that this was Eric Morecombe's team in the day.

I only hope our answer to his perennial question "What do you think of it so far?" won't be the habitual "Rubbish!" that all of his props would reply.

What the result will be will depend very much on how the team is set up and how much change is "forced" on the boss to accommodate returning players. I am definitely in the keep Howson at right back camp.. but we will see.

 

I am going to retain my confidence for this and have us impressing the multi million audience on SKY ( 🤔 ) and running out deserved winners 2-1 on the night. That has probably put the mockers on our chances now.

CoB


jarkko
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Why we are on TV all the time? Are we so attractive to watch or just a popular choice?

I do not know but I hope to see a clean sheet at least. No more defending like versus Birmingham. 

So I will go for a surprise win - Hatters 0 Bore 1. Watmore the winner.

Up the Boro!


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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @jarkko

Why we are on TV all the time? Are we so attractive to watch or just a popular choice?

I do not know but I hope to see a clean sheet at least. No more defending like versus Birmingham. 

So I will go for a surprise win - Hatters 0 Bore 1. Watmore the winner.

Up the Boro!

There's throwback to a famous chant from opposition supporters when playing against Boro in the 70s.... "Boring Boring Boro" I think was the refrain. (Arsenal at Highbury at least one occasion that springs to my mind)


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Original Fat Bob
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@jarkko

i think you’ve got it right Bore 1 !

bored everybody who watched them on Saturday!

I was listening to the podcast of Bernie Slaven after the game and he admitted he was bored stiff watching them at the moment! This is a guy still getting paid by the club and still wearing his club suit and tie telling it how it really is.

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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Hopefully the Sky broadcast will have some decent commentary and whilst I appreciate the Radio Tees commentators I am becoming exasperated at the banal comments that are littering the airways from Mark Drury and Neil Maddison.

If it’s anyones birthday it gets mentioned quite a few times and I don’t mean the two commentators birthdays.

One conversation last week which consumed a major part of the first half was which Nightclubs Maddo frequented during his Boro playing days. “We was is the Mad House or the Kirk?” Just get on with the game !

All these conversations were taking place during the game so I’m the end I switched them off !!

The same old sayings “ to be fair “ just keeps repeating and burning into my skull.

Now I’ve met these two guys and both are extremely nice people but someone needs to tell them to concentrate on what they are supposed to be getting paid for.

Am I just being a grumpy old man?

Am I being unreasonable?

”to be fair”

what do others think ?

come on the Sky boys tomorrow night !

OFB


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K P in Spain
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@original-fat-bob.  I have no problem with them mentioning birthdays/anniversaries etc before the game, during the half time break or just after the match, as the late Ali Brownlee once did for my brothers birthday, but I agree with you that they should not be doing it during the game.

I also get irritated when they start discussing things which are not match related. Cox & Slaven were even more guilty of it than Drury and Maddo; that being said they are not as bad as some of the other teams radio commentators. 😎


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K P in Spain
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@jarkko. Just to let you know the club have just advised that the game against Bournemouth on the 18th of December has been chosen for tv broadcast with a 12:30pm (UK) kick off.  The game against Sheffield Utd on January the 1st has also been chosen for tv broadcast and another lunch time kick off. 😎


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Forever Dormo
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@original-fat-bob: You probably ARE being a grumpy old man.  Just like the rest of us!


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Forever Dormo
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Thanks for the opener OFB and for the comments which have followed. 

I have NO IDEA what will happen against Luton.  For all I know, Boro will come out playing like Manchester City or Liverpool (but not in the last games those teams played a couple of days ago) and win with ease. On the other hand.....  To be fair, it's more realistic to assume "the other hand" will win out.  But hope springs eternal.  It's a funny old game, as Jimmy used to say.

On another tack, England doing well against Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup. Scored 163-4 in 20 overs with SR on 130-7, so chasing 34 runs to win with only 3 wickets left and 2.2 overs (14 balls) left.  England SHOULD close it our from here.


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Original Fat Bob
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Here’s some record breaking news 

No I’m not talking about that !

This is my 1,000 post For Diasboro.

Some hopefully good, some bad, some indifferent but hopefully all showing that we are all Boro supporters world wide.

OFB


jarkko
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@original-fat-bob I must admit it was not a typing error. Someimes boring but I enjoy watching all the matches nowadays. Either Riverside Live or ViaPlay. The match will be on TV over here tomorrow. 

Up the Boro!


Redcar Red
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

Hopefully the Sky broadcast will have some decent commentary and whilst I appreciate the Radio Tees commentators I am becoming exasperated at the banal comments that are littering the airways from Mark Drury and Neil Maddison.

If it’s anyones birthday it gets mentioned quite a few times and I don’t mean the two commentators birthdays.

One conversation last week which consumed a major part of the first half was which Nightclubs Maddo frequented during his Boro playing days. “We was is the Mad House or the Kirk?” Just get on with the game !

All these conversations were taking place during the game so I’m the end I switched them off !!

The same old sayings “ to be fair “ just keeps repeating and burning into my skull.

Now I’ve met these two guys and both are extremely nice people but someone needs to tell them to concentrate on what they are supposed to be getting paid for.

Am I just being a grumpy old man?

Am I being unreasonable?

”to be fair”

what do others think ?

come on the Sky boys tomorrow night !

OFB

In fairness to them what on earth can they commentate on when watching Boro. If there was perhaps some action, excitement and entertainment to relay back to the listeners then I think they would be busy trying to pack in all the descriptive superlatives.

Saturday was very poor, Birmingham came at us in the first half and we just looked lost and confused, even a little shellshocked. Disorganised and disjointed by the tactical faux pas it took us a while to get into the game. The "sending off" that never came was our high point, the second half was best consigned to a chest with a huge chain and padlock, buried in a deep hole and covered with concrete. 

It's little wonder they regale in little Billy's 10th birthday or Aunt Aggie's 90th let alone let their minds wander back to happier times in their youth, depression tends to do that.


lenmasterman
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@original-fat-bob

Congratulations on your 1000th post.

That is some commitment, Bob, an essential glue that helps to hold the whole enterprise together.

And I have a clear memory of every one of them.  Particularly the all-too-accurate rumours and whispers from the inner portals.

Not a Grumpy Old Man, but in my book A Distinguished and Energetic Older Gentleman.

Good on you.


Redcar Red
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Congratulations OFB and Ken is also closing in on that milestone with just two posts to go!


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Original Fat Bob
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@redcarred

You’ve got to laugh about it really. There’s Mark trying to keep chatty and talk about anything and then we have Maddo trying to be talking about professional football and can’t believe the rubbish he’s watching !

OFB


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deleriad
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Luton, like us, are having an inconsistent season though expectations are lower meaning that they feel like they're over-achieving while we are under-achieving. The game could go in any direction depending on what kind of performance we put out and whether Warnock tries to outthink his own players. There's a non-zero chance that Warnock's master stroke will be to put Jonny Howson as left wing-back, stroke his chin and say "I bet you never saw that coming."

Luton tend to line up with 3 at the back so Warnock will presumably continue to "match" the opponents by doing the same. It looks like Payero and Uche are doubtful so I expect something like

Lumley 

Dijksteel McNair Bamba

Tav Howson JLS Jones

Crooks

Watmore Sporar

It's not what I would do. Although I like 3-1-4-2 given the way players have played recently I would choose 4-3-3

Lumley

Howson McNair Bamba Peltier

Tav Crooks JLS

Watmore Sporar Jones

That said, 10 of these are the same players so it's really more to do with where they play than who plays. 


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Original Fat Bob
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@lenmasterman

Thanks Len 

Unfortunately I don’t walk those hallowed halls any more where whispers grew into fact. 

I still keep in touch with quite a few of the former Boro players.
Peter Brine is a successful restaurateur in Australia with the award winning “ A touch of salt” (Brine)

Jim Platt is now a local councillor and his wife Sharon is a successful artist.

Andy Campbell is now Boro Ladies Football Manager and is doing very well.

There are many others I keep in touch with via online and social media.

Unfortunately the COVID regulations have made personal contact impossible and I am very wary of going into areas where there are a lot of people.

This blog has given a lot of us the ability to keep the little gray cells alive and an interest in the Boro as well as other interesting subjects.

I can understand why Ken has been so prolific with his posts and his history and statistics of the Club have been outstanding.

OFB


Original Fat Bob
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@jarkko

I knew it wasn’t a typing error !

OFB


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exmil
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@jarkko

i think you’ve got it right Bore 1 !

bored everybody who watched them on Saturday!

I was listening to the podcast of Bernie Slaven after the game and he admitted he was bored stiff watching them at the moment! This is a guy still getting paid by the club and still wearing his club suit and tie telling it how it really is.

OFB

I was in town on Friday afternoon and saw Bernie Slaven working on the Sky stand, selling Sky products, still better than being in Binns window 😂 

Come on Boro.


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Martin Bellamy
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I used to accept the blame for us losing every time I went to an away game over here on the wet side of the Pennines, but it’s possible that we lost on Saturday because I was up in the Highlands and didn’t even check on the result until Sunday. 
I promise to pay closer attention in future! 
UTB. 


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MW in Darwin
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Thanks for the intro OFB. We haven't won at Luton since 1974 when Alan Foggon got the only goal this was another evening kick off and came after we had lost 2-0 at Anfield the previous Saturday. So a win would be a surprise tonight although we should have won there under Woodgate if Britt had not missed that penalty. The referee tonight is Tim Robinson he has officiated in a number of Boro wins and doesn't seem to have been controversial although he did send Traore off at Sunderland a few seasons ago in a3-3 draw.

Not related to tonight's game but a number of managerial casualties on Monday, Nuno at Spurs, Schopp at Barnsley, Brian Laws at Scunthorpe (tony McMahon as caretaker) and most suprisingly Dave Challenor at Pools going back to the National League with Stockport. The last one seems very odd.


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jarkko
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@mw-in-darwin Yes, that Hartlepool departure was the biggest surprise! But I think Dave Challenor still lives in Merseyside so that could be one of the reasons. He also played for the Hatters.

But leaving just after a month after signing a new three year contract and the Pools up in the League Two. Funny old football, me thinks.

Up the Boro!


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Ken Smith
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First of all congratulations to OFB on reaching 1,000+ blogs on the Diasboro.club website. I wonder how many contributions that would be if one added his posts on the former Diasboro.worldpress site which also included his many interviews with former Boro players, etc. 

I didn’t log in much yesterday so thanks also to Jarkko for giving us the news that Dave Challinor has left Hartlepool which was a big shock to me. Perhaps the 0-5 defeat to Leyton Orient had something to do with it as I know he was frustrated at Pools defeat on Saturday that his message wasn’t getting through to his players, or maybe as Jarkko mentions that the constant travelling over the M62 has become tiresome with 50 mph restrictions on large sections of the notorious motorway.

Also re Hartlepool, Sky TV presenter Jeff Stelling has announced that he is standing down from Soccer Saturday at the end of this season. I’ll certainly miss Jeff as since the demise of Ali Brownlee I rarely listen to Radio Tees commentaries of Boro matches, but prefer to watch Sky on Saturday afternoons. He is to Pools with his enthusiasm as Ali was to Boro.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Ken Smith

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