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Season Reflections & Planning Ahead

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Ken Smith
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Malcolm 

My ancestors came from Frankfurt and I’ve always been fond of the club since 1960 when they were beaten 3-7 at Hampden Park when some 137,000 witnessed the 5th successive win by Real Madrid in the inaugural European Cup Final. Nevertheless there was so much to admire from both sides on that night in Glasgow. Sadly Eintracht Frankfurt have never won the German First Division nor the Bundesliga formed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their league form has been poor during the second half of this season after a promising start to the season with only 3 wins, 7 draws and 7 defeats in their last 17 matches but have still finished 11th in this season’s Bundesliga. Therefore I’m quite surprised to see them reach tonight’s final of the Europa Cup. However they actually took 30,000 fans to the Nou Camp Stadium where they beat Barcelona 3-2 in an earlier round for an aggregate 4-3 win.

Full marks to Glasgow Rangers also for reaching tonight’s final in Seville which I guess is the most unlikely final for both clubs, but nevertheless richly deserved. I’ve only visited Frankfurt once, and that was for a garden festival, but I guess you have visited Ibrox many times. Anyway naturally I’ll be supporting Frankfurt tonight and you’ll be supporting Rangers, so good luck to both teams and may the better team win. But if that is to be Rangers then I’ll be pleased for you Malcolm, as that is what I meant in my recent blog about sport and sportsmanship.

Ken Smith 

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Malcolm
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Thanks Ken


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werdermouth
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Talking of the Bundesliga, there were big celebrations in Bremen at the weekend as Werder Bremen clinched promotion back to the top division with victory in their final game after just one season in the second tier. So at least one of my local teams made it a promotion season - I thought it may have been a double celebration but sadly Boro didn't quite make the grade this term. Hopefully, with a better start next season they can at least be safely in the play-offs!


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Original Fat Bob
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According to twitter 

Wilder has been at Carrow Road to watch Ben Gibson with a view to bringing him back to Boro.

OFB


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exmil
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

According to twitter 

Wilder has been at Carrow Road to watch Ben Gibson with a view to bringing him back to Boro.

OFB

He was not interested in any of the other 21 players then 🤔 😂

Come on BORO.


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jarkko
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Or Teemu Pukki? Perhaps not at £ 60 000 a week.TB!


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Ken Smith
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Martin  

So you condone football fans booing the national anthem. Shame on you as England supporters have frequently booed the National Anthems of foreign teams at Wembley over the years; surely you don’t agree with such loutish behaviour! Liverpool as a city has always contained a large percentage of Irish immigrants from the Republic and perhaps that is behind their outrageous behaviour, but two wrongs don’t make a right. 

As for ‘Abide with me’ it has been played at every Wembley FA Cup Final since 1927 and although a hymn, is a tradition. I’m particularly surprised that Liverpool fans should boo as their adopted supporting song ‘You’ll never walk alone’ is also similar to a hymn sung by Gerry Marsden but originally written by Richard Rodgers in the musical  ‘Carousel’ sung by the deceased character Billy Bigelow to his daughter Louise. Surely a similar plea as ‘Abide with me’. Wembley Stadium can also be described as a church venue for football fans who for one day a year are united together. 

Some of the finest poetry and music can be found in hymns and to boo ‘Abide with me’ is an affront to those who wish to sing it. By all means don’t join in the singing if that is one’s wont, but why mar the occasion for those who wish to enjoy the singing.

This post was modified 1 month ago 4 times by Ken Smith

K P in Spain
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I am far from religious and no longer watch the cup final as I used to do avidly in my younger days.

I do, however, believe in upholding many of our traditions, trooping the colour, changing the guard and singing both the national anthem and “abide with me” which has been happening at the final for decades. 

I understand that others may have differing views to which they are entitled,  but please do not be discourteous and boo those who wish to enjoy the occasion and the singing of such songs.

Sadly, this is to my mind is just another example in a long line of failures to adhere to public decency, standards and consideration for others. 😎


K P in Spain
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Posted by: @exmil
Posted by: @original-fat-bob

According to twitter 

Wilder has been at Carrow Road to watch Ben Gibson with a view to bringing him back to Boro.

OFB

He was not interested in any of the other 21 players then 🤔 😂

Come on BORO.

I hope not! 😉😂


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K P in Spain
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Now that my season is over having crashed out of the Exmil Challenge to Norfolk and Boro, I just wanted to say a final thank you to Exmil for his endeavours and for creating a bit of light hearted fun for us to take part in and enjoy. 

Have a good summer Exmil and the rest of our editorial team, Andy, OFB, Werdermouth and Ken; thank you to all for enabling myself and others across the globe to keep in touch and converse/debate with like minded friends, it is much appreciated.  😎

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

Pedro de Espana
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Ken,    Liverpool fans, (OK possibly a minority) have often disgraced themselves over the years.  

Many other major team fans have also done so aswell, however Liverpool probably head the list.

I may be old fashioned, but I agree wholeheartedly with KP. 


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jarkko
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Middlesbrough have a number of important players out of contract next year.

According to Transfermarkt, all of Dael Fry, Marcus Tavernier, Duncan Watmore, Grant Hall, Joe Lumley, Sammy Ameobi, Darnell Fisher, Luke Daniels and Toyosi Olusanya are all out of contract at Middlesbrough next summer (2023).

The standout names on that list are of course Fry and Tavernier. Both have been key players for Wilder and both have been linked with Premier League moves in recent weeks and months, so Wilder and Boro may well entertain offers for the pair should they come in this summer.

There are several players on the list above Boro have difficulties to move on if we wanted. We have never seen Ameobi even train at Boro, the same went with Fisher this season. And Grant Hall was never a ball playing centre back Wilder would prefer but was perfect for Warnock.

I would only keep Watmore (naturally Fry and Tavanier, too) from the list but situation could be different in 12 months' time. I hope Lumley finds a club this summer - he is a nice guy but not what we need for next season. A new goalkeeper is a top priority for the Boro.

Transfer wise, it will be very interesting summer indeed. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by jarkko

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Martin Bellamy
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Ken, despite your view that I should feel shame for my comments, I’m sure you’re aware that it’s not in your gift to shame me. 
I think I understand why Liverpool fans feel an antipathy towards the Establishment, hence their actions in booing the anthem. This article may throw some light on their disappointment with our governing elite:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-16355281.amp - I certainly don’t condone booing other countries anthems, although I guess I’d be tempted to boo the Russian one at the moment.
I’m not a great believer in nationalism, per se - none of us choose our place of birth, nor our parents, so why we feel fixated on our country being the best is puzzling to me. 


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Original Fat Bob
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Sierra Leone international midfielder Kamil Conteh has agreed to sign for Boro this summer.

The 19-year-old will officially join from recently-relegated Premier League side Watford when his contract expires at the end of June, having previously trialled with us and featured for our Under-23s at Nottingham Forest last month.

Kamil made his senior debut with the Hornets back in January, coming on as a substitute in an Emirates FA Cup third round tie at Leicester City. A few days earlier he had been an unused sub in the Hertfordshire club's top flight clash with West Ham United.

He also made 11 appearances for National League South outfit Braintree Town during a loan spell earlier this year.

Born in London, but qualifying for Sierra Leone, Kamil won his first international cap in March when he played the full 90 minutes against Togo. The midfielder has been included in the Leone Stars' squad for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau in June. 

As a youngster, Kamil was with Crystal Palace's Academy and played for Lambeth Tigers before joining Watford as a scholar in 2018. He signed his first professional deal with the Hornets last summer.

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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Middlesbrough are one of a number of clubs interested in Philadelphia Union’s German Left Back Kai Wagner.

Wagner is out of contract in December. (Transfermarkt - Germany)


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jarkko
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I think the Summer transfer window will open on Friday June 10th - at least that is the given date for the EPL. Same for the Championship,  too?

Up the Boro!


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exmil
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Yes, jarkko the EFL transfer window opens on 10 June.

Come on BORO.


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jarkko
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So Middlesbrough will remain a small town in Europe. One cannot understand why Milton Keynes can become a city but the Boro not. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61505857

Up the Boro!


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Martin Bellamy
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Maybe this guy could return next year 😉. 
https://messibarcelona.com/?p=9718&fbclid=IwAR1fElupur67-qyZVuPQx1hHoZgPggUD-PEqRg-qVRjYpFtpz46m9fy2cdU


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Ken Smith
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Jarkko

Only towns that have a Church of England cathedral can apply for city status. Roman Catholic cathedrals don’t count.


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Martin Bellamy
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Posted by: @ken

Jarkko

Only towns that have a Church of England cathedral can apply for city status. Roman Catholic cathedrals don’t count.

I see that Stanley in the Falkland’s has been granted City status. Not sure it has a cathedral. My nearest city is Preston, again it has no cathedral. 


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Andy R
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Topic starter  
Posted by: @martin-bellamy

Maybe this guy could return next year 😉. 
https://messibarcelona.com/?p=9718&fbclid=IwAR1fElupur67-qyZVuPQx1hHoZgPggUD-PEqRg-qVRjYpFtpz46m9fy2cdU

Traore is an absolute nightmare for managers who have a definitive tactical setup.

Guardiola, Conte, Mourinho, Xavi - these guys are so detailed and prescriptive about positional play that players like Adama must drive them up the wall. Wilder is of a similar vein.

The slightly odd note is that another highly shape-focused manager, Tony Pulis, is arguably the man who got the most out of his rare talents.

I’ve never seen a quicker player. I’ve rarely seen a player who can dribble so well. I’ve never seen a player so tactically and positionally detached.

 


K P in Spain
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What are the thoughts on the talk of Darragh Lenihan being a Boro target? Better/cheaper option than Ben Gibson? 😎


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Ken Smith
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I should have mentioned also that administrative centres of counties are also eligible for city status which Preston is being the administrative centre of Lancashire. Middlesbrough might be regarded as the administrative centre of Teesside, but as Teesside is a region not a county their application was refused at the time I worked there in the early 1970s. Possible Port Stanley has been awarded city status as the administrative centre of the Falklands, but not sure of that.

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Malcolm
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Today I will be supporting Sunderland  in the final of the play offs. Be nice to have them back in the championship and to look forward playing against them again.


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John Richardson
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Same here Malcolm.

UTB,

John


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exmil
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Posted by: @ken

I should have mentioned also that administrative centres of counties are also eligible for city status which Preston is being the administrative centre of Lancashire. Middlesbrough might be regarded as the administrative centre of Teesside, but as Teesside is a region not a county their application was refused at the time I worked there in the early 1970s. Possible Port Stanley has been awarded city status as the administrative centre of the Falklands, but not sure of that.

Ken, as far as I am aware Milton Keynes does not have a cathedral nor is it the administrative centre of Buckinghamshire because Aylesbury is.

If these are the hard fast rules, why would Middlesbrough apply as I am sure there is a cost in preparing an application, which in these times it is a cost we can ill afford.

Come on BORO.


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Ken Smith
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Exmill   

I hold my hands up as I seem to have been confused in my history. It was only in pre 1889 that city status was granted only to those that had a cathedral administrated by the diocese of the Church of England. But much later, though not sure of the year possibly after one of the six Boundary Commission Reviews since then, that County Administrative Centres were also included as cities. But as you say possibly the cost of applying for city status is prohibitive nowadays, although Middlesbrough did apply in the 1970s but was turned down.


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jarkko
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I just thought there was a chance to apply for Middlesbrough. Never know about the next time it is possible 😉. Up the Boro! 


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Ken Smith
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I too hope that Sunderland win this afternoon. Who can forget the 1998 playoff final against Charlton Athletic that ended 4-4 after extra time and went to a penalty shoot out that Charlton won 7-6? 

I can recall my first season 1947/48 as a Boro fan when only 3 London clubs were in the First Division. Admittedly Arsenal were Champions that season, but my records show that Charlton finished 13th and Chelsea 15th. Five London clubs were in the Second Division that season with West Ham finishing 6th, Spurs 8th, Fulham 11th, Brentford 15th and Millwall bottom. The other 3 London clubs were in the Third Division South with QPR champions, Crystal Palace 13th and Leyton Orient 17th. Wimbledon were in the Southern League, yet all 12 of those clubs have since been in the top tier.

That was the period which the late Arthur Appleton described the North East as ‘The Hotbed of Soccer’.  It might take a couple of years before all 3 super clubs are all finally in the Premier League together, though I well remember the 1954/55 FA Cup season when three North East clubs reached the Semifinals. It all started in the First Round of course for our Third Division clubs and Bishop Auckland who seemed perennial winners of the FA Amateur Cup. The Bishops had supplied the bulk of the 1948 Great Britain Olympic squad with Harry Sharratt in goal, Bob Hardisty as captain, Jimmy Nimmins at wing half and Seamus O’Connell at inside right.   

But fast forward to that 1954/55 FA Cup run. Unfortunately Boro surprisingly were beaten 1-4 at home by Notts County in the 3rd Round, but the rest of the North East clubs did us proud. Bishop Auckland drew 2-2 at Ipswich but won the replay at Kingsway 3-0. Hartlepool beat Darlington 2-0 after two draws, whilst York City stunned Blackpool at Bloomfield Road 2-0. Into the 4th Round and York City won 3-1 at Bishop Auckland whilst Hartlepool drew at home to Nottm Forest 1-1 and were extremely unlucky not to have won. Sadly they lost the replay 1-2. Into the 5th Round and York City stunned Tottenham by winning 3-1 and then won 1-0 away to Notts County into the 6th Round.

Thus the Semifinals paired Sunderland against Manchester City at Villa Park, but there was not to be a Mackems v Geordie final as City won 1-0. However 3rd Division York City held Newcastle to a 2-2 draw at Hillsborough but lost the replay 0-1 at Roker Park four days later. The Magpies beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Final and that was the last time that  Newcastle won the Cup. 

So that was the age of the North East being the Hotbed of Soccer, but things are looking up with Sunderland winning at halftime this afternoon and with Gateshead already promoted to the National League and perhaps being joined by York City who lead Boston United also at half-time, perhaps the future is well on the way to being the ‘Hotbed of Soccer’ once more. As the children’s song goes “One step forward on the world we go”.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Ken Smith

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