Discussion Forum

Season Reflections ...
 

Season Reflections & Planning Ahead

Page 2 / 4
 

Malcolm
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 349
 

Tony Mowbray has turned down a return to Hibs.

 


Original Fat Bob
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1535
 
Posted by: @malcolm

Tony Mowbray has turned down a return to Hibs.

 

Don’t get jarkko excited about possibilities!

OFB


Liked by 4 people: Malcolm, Powmill-Naemore, John Richardson and jarkko
 
ReplyQuote
Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1487
 

I’ve just found time to watch the BBC documentary ‘Kicking Off - The Rise and Fall of the Super League’. What a group of Charlies to think that would work most significantly for football fans who week after week attend their local local football grounds. Fine for television viewers, but I certainly don’t want to watch football every night of the week. However what are we left with as far as football in England is concerned, and possibly in most European Premier Leagues which are distorted with the same clubs winning or in contention every season.

Let’s start with the 6 major major European Leagues:- 

BELGIUM who have a weird system of playoffs to decide their Juliper League which is going through that process at the moment with last season’s promotion club 


ReplyQuote
exmil
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 607
 

Unsurprising report, well done Boro fans:

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/brilliance-middlesbroughs-support-summed-up-23916706

Come on BORO.


Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1487
 

Sorry to abruptly stop my blog at 3.19 pm but suffice to say I was overcome by a medical emergency, but hope to continue tomorrow.

This post was modified 1 week ago by Ken Smith

ReplyQuote
K P in Spain
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1101
 
Posted by: @ken

Sorry to abruptly stop my blog at 3.19 pm but suffice to say I was overcome by a medical emergency, but hope to continue tomorrow.

Sorry to hear that Ken, hope everything is ok and you are well enough tomorrow to pick up where you left off.  Take care. 😎

This post was modified 1 week ago by K P in Spain

Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 608
 
Posted by: @k-p-in-spain
Posted by: @ken

Sorry to abruptly stop my blog at 3.19 pm but suffice to say I was overcome by a medical emergency, but hope to continue tomorrow.

Sorry to hear that Ken, hope everything is ok and you are well enough tomorrow to pick up where you left off.  Take care. 😎

Yes. Take care Ken. 


ReplyQuote
jarkko
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1122
 

Get well soon, Ken. We miss you already. So take care of your self.

If Mogga is available, I would hire him as the recruitment boss for Boro. He really has an eye for talent. And he could live and enjoy family time at home, too.

Up the Boro! 


ReplyQuote
deleriad
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 318
 
Be well Ken.
Posted by: @jarkko

If Mogga is available, I would hire him as the recruitment boss for Boro. He really has an eye for talent. And he could live and enjoy family time at home, too.

This wouldn't ever happen for power dynamics and personal pride. Wilder would, rightfully, think that this is a power play by someone at the club who wants Mogga in charge. Mogga would think of it as demotion after being the main man for most of his career. 

We all love Mogga but sometimes you just have to let your love go. He's played for us and he's managed us. He's been successful at both though the end of his managerial time here was unfairly toxic. That said, I think as a manager, his ability level is roughly mid-level Championship club. 


jarkko
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1122
 

@deleriad I love the person and he is a good manager and football person.

It would be interesting to see if he applies for the Hartlepool job up the road. He wouldn't want to traver too far anymore and could even think managing a club too much of a burden.

Up the Boro!

 


Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1487
 

Feeling a little better this morning, so continuing the blog I started yesterday. So what now after the rise and fall of Super League. The major Football Leagues have always been monopolised by a couple of clubs as has Scotland with Rangers winning 54 titles and Celtic 51 since 1891.

Dumbarton shared the first Championship with Rangers and won it outright in the second season, but apart from the period just after the Second World War when Hibernian won three league titles in 5 years and were runners up once and 3rd in the other, and a brief period in the early 1980s when Aberdeen won three titles in 6 years and were runners up twice and 3rd in the other, it’s been monopolised by the two Glasgow giants more or less since. 

It’s been much the same in the 7 major European leagues also as follows, certainly in the last 28 years since I started compiling records:-

BELGIUM.     

The Brussels club Anderlect have won the Juliper League 11 times since 1995 including a run of seven titles and one as runners up from 2006 until 2013, whilst Club Brugge have won 11 during the same period. The only other significant title winners during that period have been Racing Genk during that time. 

FRANCE

Le Championet has been won 7 times  in succession from 2002 to 2008 by Olympique de Lyonnaise, and 8 times by Paris St Germain all recently since 2013. Neither club did much in the 1990s, though AS Monaco and Lille have both won two titles, whilst Auxerre (1996), Racing Lens (1998), FC Nantes (2001) and Olympique Marseille (2010) have won one each since 1995.

GERMANY

Bayern Munich have completely monopolised the Bundesligab since its formation in 1963 with 19 titles since 1995, 10 of which have occurred in succession since 2013. Borussia Dortmund have won 5 titles during that period, whilst only Kaiserslautern (1998), Werder Bremen (2004), Vfb Stuttgart (2007) and Vfl Wolfsburg (2009) have won it once since 1995. Strangely SV Hamburg who were the only club to have played in the first tier in every season until their relegation in 2018 and had won 6 titles have never won the Bundesliga.

HOLLAND

The Dutch Eredivise has also been monopolised by two clubs with Ajax Amsterdam winning 13 titles since 1995, whilst PSV Eindhoven have 11 titles during the same period. Feyenoord Rotterdam have won it twice in 1999 and 2017, whilst AZ Alkmaar (2009) and FC Twente Enschede (2010) have won it once each in that same period.

ITALY 

Juventus Turin have won Serie A 16 times since 1995 but were relegated in 2006 for financial irregularities. This season though with only  two matches remaining the Scudetto will be contested by AC Milan who have won 6 titles since 1995 and AC Inter Milan who have won 5. The other title winners since 1995 have been Lazio Roma (2000) and AS Roma (2001) with one title each.

PORTUGAL

FC Porto have won Portugal’s La Liga 17 times since 1995, Benfica de Lisboa 7 times and Sporting Lisbon 3 times, the last time last season. Only Boavista the other club from Porto have broken that monopoly winning it in 2001. 

SPAIN 

The Spanish La Liga has also been dominated by three clubs with FC Barcelona winning 12 titles, Real Madrid 10 and Atletico Madrid who have won 3, their latest being last season. Only the Galician club Deportivo A Corunha (2000) and Valencia (2002) with one title each have won the title since 1995.

Now turning my attention first to the so called magnificent 6; Manchester Utd have won the Premier League on 13 occasions, Chelsea and Manchester City 5 times each, and Arsenal 3 times. So far Liverpool have oniy won it once, and Tottenham Hotspur have NEVER won it, yet outsiders Blackburn Rovers won it in 1995 and Leicester City in 2016. But 14 other clubs have won the Old First Division League with Sunderland 6, Newcastle 4, Sheffield Wednesday 4, Huddersfield 3, Leeds United 3 and Wolves 3 among them, with even Burnley, Derby, Portsmouth and Preston twice winners. None of those clubs will ever win the Premier League (possibly Newcastle?) so England has now reached the position of other European leagues in becoming a ‘closed shop’ all because of satellite television. 

Surely this was not envisaged when William McGregor formed the First Division in 1888. Where do we go from here? In my opinion the first step should be some form of salary capping, and the introduction of a Premier League 2, or even a regionalised Premier League North and South with the winners of each league having a playoff to decide the champions. 

Of course it won’t happen, but something needs to be done to allow all clubs to have a fair chance in a competitive league. Any ideas fellow diasborians?

This post was modified 1 week ago by Ken Smith

Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 224
 

Ken. Sorry you were ill.  I’m very glad you felt fit enough today to complete your very interesting post. Many thanks - and stay well. 

I have an idea to solve the monopolisation issue. Let’s take 6 of our most successful clubs - for argument’s sake Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool - and put them in a league of their own. Or perhaps they could play other highly successful sides from other top leagues, say Juventus, AC and Inter, Real and Barca? They could all play one another many times a season, without ever having to bother with the minnows of football, the Burnleys, the Palaces, the Brightons. Just think of the TV money. What a super league it would be! 

Frankly, the way the so-called big 6 behave, I’m not sure we’d miss them. Then the rest of us could just get on with being competitive and actually having a chance of occasional glory. Perhaps we missed a chance when we decided to let the breakaway teams get away with it with impunity? Perhaps we should have imposed a couple of seasons’ total ban on them, just to try out something new with much less money corrupting the game? 


ReplyQuote
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 224
 

Someone earlier asked who we might fancy signing as a striker. I agree that Viktor Gyokeres at Coventry would be high on my list. And while I understand it’s dodgy signing players who’ve had one good game against us, I would say Preston’s Emil Riis would be worth a look. He was the complete centre-forward on Saturday and took our defence to pieces. He banged in about 20 goals this season in an average side. 

Mind, I need to be careful making recommendations of this sort. The last time I did it - in an EG poll - I suggested someone called Britt Assombalonga at Nottingham Forest…………. I’ll fetch me coat. 


jarkko
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1122
 

@Clive Do we really need a new striker or four? How did come to that conclusion? 🤭

Anyway, according to the Echo we are after a goalkeeper, too. Both  Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow and Daniel Iversen were mentioned.

The former played eight times in EPL this season for the Magpies. The latter has spent the current campaign at Preston on loan from Leicester City.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/20131992.middlesbrough-make-move-newcastle-keeper-karl-darlow/

Up the Boro! 


ReplyQuote
deleriad
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 318
 

I was reflecting a bit on what comes next because I am increasingly feeling that there is a clash of philosophies between Scott and the aim of a Brentford style model of developing players to sell and then reinvest versus Wilder who really isn't a development manager. 

I was looking at the recruitment he oversaw at Sheffield Utd for the promotion year and it was very similar to what McClaren did: he focused on players in their late 20s/early 30s who he could get relatively cheaply and who were highly experienced. I don't know SU well enough to be sure, but I see no sign of any kind of development of young players from their youth system.

Wilder's way clearly works but it is not the model that we were sold with Scott's appointment. In theory you could see it as a transition: get into the Premier with established players and then start to bring the youth and lower league players through. In practice it risks continuing the confused recruitment policy we've had ever since Gibson mentioned the "golden thread."

I saw a post somewhere where someone said that ditching Bamba, Peltier and Taylor was an indication that Wilder was turning to youth. I actually think exactly the opposite; I think by losing them he is making room to import players in their early 30s as 1st choice, senior pros. 

I'm not entirely sure what I feel about this because I confess that I am not completely convinced by Wilder nor do I completely trust him. I'm also not completely convinced that the people at the club are all pulling in the same direction. I have a nagging suspicion that if Burnley stay up they will make a big push to get Wilder and that will be really disruptive no matter what the outcome. Thing is, Wilder probably gives us our best shot at promotion since Pulis took over from Monk. The risk might be that, like Warnock, we only partially back him while trying to restart a golden thread and we get, like Warnock mark 2, the worst of both worlds. 


werdermouth
Site Creator Webmaster
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1195
 

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better Ken and I also watched that programme, Rise and Fall of the Super League. It seems it was all an attempt by the 'traditional' big clubs to keep themselves permanently at the big table in Europe as the new even bigger money teams of PSG, Man City and now Newcastle threaten to edge them out of their domination.

Success in football is even more about having the biggest budget to buy the best players and as many as it takes. There seems little point in a domestic league competition where only a handful of clubs are essentially allowed to win it, in which the gap increases the more successful they are. 

Perhaps the time is coming where football should return to a financial model that doesn't require billionaire owners to simply compete. A wage-bill cap for clubs would stop the obscene excesses where players now earn 2, 3, 4 or even 500 grand a week.

Though instead of a Super League breakaway group of clubs, maybe the rest of the non-elite clubs should form breakaway and set up a new football federation with equitable rules with clubs owned by supporters trusts with limits on money being allowed to be spent. Is football a sport first or is it a business venture where football is just the vehicle?

A footballer on 10 grand a week is still very rich young man, it's only because of the lucky few that earn 10-20 times that the rest think they're missing out. In truth, anyone earning half a million quid a year is very lucky indeed. I'm sure a reset that sees different clubs in with a chance of winning the league would prove much more interesting spectacle to the average armchair subscriber. After all there are more fans in England that don't follow the big six than do - TV are just enablers of the global brands that football clubs have become with all the hype that they inject to try and make it seem more important than it actually is.

I no longer watch the Champions League as it's of no consequence to me and indeed has become too predictable and boring to see the usual suspects - OK, I may watch the semi-final and final but 20 years ago I would have watched most games. As for the Europa League or Conference - I've not watched a game since Boro made the final as it's even less relevant than the Champions League and everyone involved knows it.


Andy R
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 824
Topic starter  

Deleriad,

Interesting post as ever.

For my part, I’m pretty convinced by Wilder. To take a midtable hotch-potch of a squad mid-season to within a whisker of the playoffs with a giant-killing run to the FA Cup quarters was quite an overachievement for me.

I confess to being much more lenient towards managers who play an entertaining, passing game as that’s what floats my particular boat but I don’t think any leniency is really needed in this case.

I do share your view that the Burnley route may not be closed. I’ve had the same thought myself and think Burnley will stay up now.


deleriad
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 318
 

Andy, 

To be honest, I can't decide if Wilder over-achieved, under-achieved or average-achieved. Looking at the championship

Warnock's last 17 matches: Won 6, draw 4, lost 7

Wilder's last 17 matches: Won 7, draw 3,  lost 7

Those records are close to identical but no one thinks we were going anywhere under Warnock. Wilder definitely over-achieved for the first 2-3 months but after that it has been mostly mediocre.

The Man Utd cup game was a freak though it has to be said we did get their measure from about 1/2 way through the second half. The match against Spurs was a genuinely fantastic performance.

Football is a results game and from February onwards our results and performances have been disappointingly average. That's why , although I like the style of play he's aiming for, I'm not convinced at this point. That said, at times it's the best football we've played since peak AK so I am more Wilder positive than negative.


Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 608
 

i have not had the chance to properly reflect and post on the last match or the season yet. The real world has taken over demands on my time again 🙁. Many great and interesting posts to have read in here though from everyone.

It is difficult not to be disappointed that all of our frailties were on display at Deepdale. Not that it would have made a material difference to the league table, but it would have been very satisfying for us the fans to have seen the team up for the challenge. Nonetheless, ask any one of us back in October would we be happy to have been in with an improbable chance of a 5th or 6th place finish at the end of the season, we would have been delighted with that. So, overall it has to be said of Wilder for this season at least, "Job done".

I too share that niggling fear that Burnley might come knocking again once the season is over, but I hope CW will not be turned. I don't think he could have a better platform from which to demonstrate his capabilities than with us and I trust we will get promoted under him. 

Deleriad's last but one  (I had to edit that because you posed again while I was still typing !!) post is interesting. I think there is somewhere a half way house between what MacLaren did and what CW will do. I think it is almost a given that you need a certain type of experience and skillset in your team if you will be successful in the Championship. So I would be right behind any old pro's that CW thinks will fit in with this squad. However, unlike at Sheffield Utd, he has a wealth of young talent at the club, currently in the 1st team and others in the junior ranks or out on loan. I do think that he recognises that and that perhaps he will have greater chance of getting promoted and then consolidating in the top flight by developing some of that talent.

One thing is for certain, the next few months are going to be very interesting for us in seeing who will be coming and who will be going.

 

 

This post was modified 7 days ago 2 times by Powmill-Naemore

Andy R
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 824
Topic starter  

Deleriad,

Fair point on those records but the last 17 games isn't the whole story for either manager. No doubt Boro got their recruitment wrong in January and went backwards as a result, just as we did under Warnock the previous season, but to my mind - and perhaps this is where my bias to style of play comes in - the majority of the performances under Wilder were some way ahead of what they were under Warnock. Not all by any means, but most.

For me, there was a clear indication of progress even if the results didn't always follow, just as there was in Wilder's first couple of games in charge. You could see that we're trying to do something, not just play the percentages, hang in there and hope we're on the right side of a refereeing decision or some other fine margin as we were under Warnock.

I suspect Warnockball was easier to play for the players - less aerobically and tactically demanding, less reliant on quality on the ball and movement off it - but probably also less motivating and inspiring to carry out, despite NW's signature man-management skills. I think Wilder's style takes players with particular skillsets in a way that Warnock's didn't, other than a level of physicality, therefore it takes more reshaping of the squad to get it right.

I read what you said about Wilder's recruitment at Sheffield United but I don't see us going out and buying quantities of cheap journeymen to plug squad gaps under Wilder as we did under Warnock. Now that we have a clear way of playing, I expect there to be an equally clear criteria of the sorts of players we need. Less "a tall, powerful lad who's cheap and can do a job" type, more detailed on the qualities needed to fit the Wilder template.

Both complained of a lack of leadership in the squad so I do expect some experience to be brought in, especially with Bamba, Peltier and Taylor released but I think the focus will be on the players who fit the style of play, not just "characters" for the dressing room.

Other than playing style, the key difference between Warnock and Wilder is attitude, and I think it will make all the difference. When Warnock was sacked he spoke of how we were only a couple of wins and a couple of players from being right in the mix. You can be sure that had he remained and we'd still finished 7th he'd have been congratulating himself on what a brilliant job he'd done in difficult circumstances. Wilder, on the other hand, is speaking about how far away the squad is, how much work there is to do over the summer. That recognition of current state is arguably the most important indication of progress to come if - or should that be IF - we get it right.


Plato
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 452
 

All the talk of progress is so much hot air as long as we behave as we do in the market. Football at this time is controlled by and the prizes dished out by, the market in players. If you say, and we do, 'we have not got the money to compete' then you had better start searching the level and age which throws up the odd great player. Any idea that signing old timers will advance you or you club is doomed (and dangerous). Any inspection of the giants will show you that intense coaching, round the clock, is needed to achieve anything. The most obvious thing about the great teams is not the individual skills but the drills which they have practiced Daily, chief of which is the simplest (and most effective) and yes, I am talking about their passing, at speed, deadly accurate, and instant danger to the opposition. Finding a team mate, And the position of the team mate, moving at speed and with intent to attack. They are superb.              


ReplyQuote
Malcolm
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 349
 

Great team.

This post was modified 7 days ago by werdermouth

Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 608
 

Spike looks like the little boy who didn't want to dress up but was made to put the suit on


ReplyQuote
Pedro de Espana
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 375
 

Well I did say thought provoking for this thread and it  continues with good interesting views from deleriad and Andy.

I am also not sure about Mr Wilder and his commitment to MFC if Burnley come back in the summer. When I originally looked at the fixture list for the the bottom EPL teams, I thought that there was a good chance of Burnley escaping and that is still the case. Probably CW thought that also.

I believe that CW has done relatively well with overall results (including the cup run) and with the style of football. Whether he can now step up to the next level is the million dollar question.

Assuming he stays and Mr Gibson would make it as difficult as possible to leave, then my main concern is with the incoming players. We have to assume we will move on somehow the bulk of those not wanted and recruit ungraded replacements.

However as deleriad and others, including my previous critical self on this matter have said, there still appears to be a disjointed approach to what we actually want.
We do need to buy cheap, develop and sell at a profit and we also do need some experience with leadership qualities. But what happened last summer was generally a disaster. What was the thinking behind Payero, Sporar and Siliki. Expensive Loans and Purchase for us and apart from Payero, not really ones for the future.

Will there be a difference in thinking between CW and Scott? Do we really have a defined Recruitement Policy or will it be more of the same confusion.

 


K P in Spain
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1101
 
Posted by: @malcolm

Great team.

The Greatest in my opinion in winning promotion to Div 1.  😎

This post was modified 7 days ago by K P in Spain

ReplyQuote
K P in Spain
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1101
 

Pedro 

Will there be a difference in thinking between CW and Scott? Do we really have a defined Recruitement Policy or will it be more of the same confusion.”

I suppose this will only become clear once we start seeing departures and arrivals.

Payero was clearly a purchase along the lines of acquiring a youngster to develop and then hopefully sell on to a PL side as was Buendia at Norwich.

I was surprised to hear that there are rumours he can now leave, which if true cast doubt on exactly what the recruitment strategy is.

As it stands, it’s a case of watch this space. 😎


Powmill-Naemore
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 608
 
Posted by: @k-p-in-spain
Posted by: @malcolm

Great team.

The Greatest in my opinion in winning promotion to Div 1.  😎

I agree. And so do the record books.


ReplyQuote
Clive Hurren
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 224
 
Posted by: @powmillnaemore
Posted by: @k-p-in-spain
Posted by: @malcolm

Great team.

The Greatest in my opinion in winning promotion to Div 1.  😎

I agree. And so do the record books.

It was. And so was the manager! 

Is that Big John hiding behind Big Jack? I guess it must be, and there’s just a hint of that stylish hairstyle…….. 


ReplyQuote
Ken Smith
Mr
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1487
 

It might have been the greatest team, certainly in our lifetime, but the greatest achievement in my opinion was gaining successive promotions under Bruce Rioch considering he initially had only 14 players to choose from. MFC kindly recently sent me a DVD free of charge via Age UK Teesside of those seasons, and listening to Bernie Slaven, Gary Pallister, Brian Laws, Gary Hamilton, Stuart Ripley, Colin Cooper and especially Tony Mowbray being interviewed years later I doubt the camaraderie of any team of players at any football club could have been better. Yes, they were fortunate with lack of injuries, but 35 years later they’re all still the best of friends when they meet and especially the support they’ve given to Gary Parkinson since in fund raising is testimony to that. Even Rioch himself said that although he was very strict with them, it was easier than managing a group of older players.  

 

 

This post was modified 6 days ago 2 times by Ken Smith

Malcolm
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 349
 
Posted by: @ken

It might have been the greatest team, certainly in our lifetime, but the greatest achievement in my opinion was gaining successive promotions under Bruce Rioch considering he initially had only 14 players to choose from. MFC kindly recently sent me a DVD free of charge via Age UK Teesside of those seasons, and listening to Bernie Slaven, Gary Pallister, Brian Laws, Gary Hamilton, Stuart Ripley, Colin Cooper and especially Tony Mowbray being interviewed years later I doubt the camaraderie of any team of players at any football club could have been better. Yes, they were fortunate with lack of injuries, but 35 years later they’re all still the best of friends when they meet and especially the support they’ve given to Gary Parkinson since in fund raising is testimony to that. Even Rioch himself said that although he was very strict with them, it was easier than managing a group of older players.  

 

 

Totally agree Ken. Bruce Rioch was the best manager at Middlesbrough.


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 4
Share: