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Watford v Boro
 

Watford v Boro

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MelbourneGeoff
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I haven't written in quite awhile, so let me say upfront I still think Chris Wilder is the man for the job. 

I have a couple of concerns, firstly if we can't get our first choice strikers in ( namely Larsen & Jacobsen) then I would suggest we keep our powder dry and not buy for buyings sake.

Secondly, our defensive situation, we are still to provide a blank sheet this season and in my mind until we resolve that conundrum we won't achieve our goals regardless of what strikers we bring in, whoever the strikers are, they can't score an average of 2 goals a game just get a draw.

This is where I think midfield reinforcements are more important than strikers,  I love attacking football, but there has to be cover especially for Howson if we are to make the play-offs.


jarkko
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@melbournegeoff Yes, we are very short with options in midfield.  We started with all senior midfielders we have yesterday (Boyd-Munce was the only one not used).

I can see why we started with four midfielders but we had none in reserve when Howson got injured. So we need one but preferably two midfielders before Thursday evening.

At the moment we have six strikers (but Akpom and Coburn injured) so I think we will play with two strikersmost of the in the future. I think Muniz will start when fit, but it will be interesting to see who plays alongside him.

Finally, I am just happy to see Mogga on Monday. He deserves his chance at Sunderland. I will follow their results more keenly from now on. Let's hope Boro beat them next, but after that I hope all the best for them and Mogga in particular.

We have made too many changes this summer, so we will have a rollercoaster ride until the second half of the season. Up the Boro!


Powmill-Naemore
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@selwynoz 

That is a good assessment Selwyn.

I would add that Jones needs to work on his first touch.  Often as not we lose the ball after good possession when he is the last one passed to. 


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PaulInBoro
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Must admit I am concerned  with the way things are going, we have now conceeded late goals in two matches and it has cost us 3 points, also last night I thought our ball retention was poor, midfield would get the ball and quickly lose it,  as has been said no clean sheets and success is usually built from the back. Just worried if things don't improve soon its going to be a poor season


Pedro de Espana
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Powmill I would agree Jones does need to become a little more consistent so as to up his progress. In his defence though he does tend to get too many balls whilst he is stood still. He needs room to work.

Also he had to take a yellow card due to a mistake by McNair. He has three yellow already. Crooks has two I believe and others are racking them up.

Not what we want.


Original Fat Bob
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Sources: Middlesbrough make move to sign Nottingham Forest star Sum Surridge

Middlesbrough are plotting a late move to sign Nottingham Forest striker Sam Surridge, sources have told Football Insider.

Boro are still in the market for striking reinforcements and former Bournemouth and Stoke forward Surridge has emerged on their radar.


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PaulInBoro
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I have just read we have only won 2 out of last 15 that can't right isit


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deleriad
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Posted by: @selwynoz

I honestly don't know whether I'm still optimistic for the season or thinking that it's a two year task to get the squad into true winning shape. At times we look as good as anyone in a very level division but can we put the results together.

Same here. It feels like the season hasn't really started and I don't have a sense of how it will go. Objectively, when you change this much of a team so quickly it takes a long time for it to click and odds are that the season will be gone by the time it happens.

There's also the question of will it click. There's no doubt that Wilder has an impressive track record and at times we've played the best football I've seen in 20 odd years. There is some doubt that maybe he has been found out. He came up with the current system as a way to get the best out of a Sheffield Utd side and *maybe* he has been blinded by its success and is now trying to fit players to a system rather than the other way around.

There was a comment by Simon Jordan (with whom I disagree about almost everything) to the extent that Wilder started to believe his own publicity and disappeared up his own sphincter. Prior to his invention of "the system", Wilder was always quite flexible with how his teams played. 

To be honest, I really don't know what to think. Although Wilder was a stunning success for most of his time at Sheffield Utd, it ended in miserable failure. Thing is, there were enough unusual circumstances that you could argue if things were different it would have been fine; Wilder certainly seems to believe that. 

The thing that gives me most pause is that since the start of February we have been more like bottom six form than top six. It doesn't mean that we need to press eject but I think we do have to be clear eyed about what our goals are and whether we are making progress towards them. 

Personally, I feel the biggest issue is that Wilder doesn't seem to be the kind of manager who is good at bringing in youth players and developing them. He's more about getting the most out of experienced players. However, our whole club infrastructure is about a steady trickle of academy players into the first team squad. It may be that our academy is having a bit of a fallow period but right now we seem to be selling off our home-grown players and replacing them with Championship battlers. It means the club still feels like different parts are pulling in different directions.


werdermouth
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@paulinboro 

No that's certainly not right but not far wrong - Boro have actually won 3 of our last 15 Championship games after winning the last two home games at the end of last season which ended a run of three home defeats and two away draws but then lost the last game at Preston - plus Boro have won just that one game against Swansea.


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Ken Smith
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Posted by: @werdermouth

What a joke Bournemouth are - they sack Scott Parker after only four games into the season with the last three being defeats away to Liverpool, home to leaders Arsenal and away to Man City - plus he actually btw Also noticed Dundee sacked Jack Ross for also losing 9-0 against Celtic!

Sorry to be pedantic, but it was Dundee United that lost 0-9 to Celtic.


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werdermouth
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As others have said, clearly Boro can't afford to keep conceding at an average of nearly 2 goals per game - can't imagine any team has come close to promotion if they concede 80-90 goals in a season. Although, Hull have currently conceded one more goal and scored one more than Boro and are currently 7th, level on 11 points with QPR in 6th.

I think McNair is currently being picked on reputation, which often senior players are - he's still doing some good things defensively but seems to be getting caught out and looks tired. I suspect Howson's hip injury will see him sidelined for a while and Lenihan looked like his injury will be probably a few weeks too.

I hope Boro sign a couple of  powerful midfielders with pace before tomorrow but unless the striker wanted has proven quality then it doesn't sound like we need just another body up top.

Next three games are winnable providing Boro stop conceding sloppy goals - I'm happy with Dijksteel, Fry and Clarke as a back three but the midfield looks error prone and lacks recovery pace - whether McGree can drop deeper if Wilder gets another striker is a possibility but he's not that physical against big strong forwards on the break.

This post was modified 3 months ago by werdermouth

jarkko
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Posted by: @ken
Posted by: @werdermouth

What a joke Bournemouth are - they sack Scott Parker after only four games into the season with the last three being defeats away to Liverpool, home to leaders Arsenal and away to Man City - plus he actually btw Also noticed Dundee sacked Jack Ross for also losing 9-0 against Celtic!

Sorry to be pedantic, but it was Dundee United that lost 0-9 to Celtic.

That was a good remark, Ken. Two different football clubs.

I remember seeing The Tangerines in Gothenburg in the UEFA Cup Final in 1987. I was working for Volvo Trucks in there for that summer and was lucky to see them play IFK Göteborg. I think the latter won the Cup that was played on legs (home and away).

I have never seen Dundee play actually. Instead of orange, Dundee Football Club play in dark blue kit like Millwall.

Up the Boro!


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K P in Spain
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My thinking is very much in line with Deleriad’s, I am enjoying the style of football, the fact that we are much more creative and have scored some very good “footballing” goals.

I am, however, disappointed that despite all that we do not appear to be progressing, with results putting us into a bottom six rather than top six side so far.

I am also not sure if this is just early teething problems following lots of changes, allied to some poor luck/officiating decisions, or if there are more fundamental problems with CW’s set up.  

CW is certainly very good at praising the qualities of the opposition and deflecting from our failings whenever we do not win. He seems to overlook the fact that other teams have taken points from them.

Another 5/10 games from now should give us a good idea of how our season is likely to pan out, at which point objectives may have to be reset, with this season being one of consolidation rather than a push for top six.  

Fingers crossed it remains as being the latter but sadly I have yet to be convinced. 😎

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by K P in Spain

Ken Smith
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Boro need wins, so conceding so late yesterday doesn’t really concern me too much. I have always hated draws since the advent of 3 points for a win. Boro were unlucky last night, but winning the next three matches and Boro could well be in the top 6 after 10 matches. The fact that we miss so many chances to score is the main concern as we seem to panic when shooting and some of those shots are not even close. Boro’s most successful seasons in the last few years have been when we have had twin strikers from Clough and Peacock to any two from Hasselbaink, Viduka and Yakubu. The maxim ought to be to win as many games as possible especially away from home which given our style of play should happen much more frequently than has occurred recently. Last weekend in the Championship there were 5 away wins, yet only 3 home wins including Boro’s, who’s away form has been appalling with only 2 league wins from their last 17 matches.

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

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Andy R
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Topic starter  

I'm afraid that Paddy McNair is just a "nearly" man.

Reasonably tall, reasonably strong, but not enough to cope with the powerhouses. Not slow, but not quick enough to deal with the sprinters. Generally fit, but not someone who can cover every blade of grass. Useful on the ball but not a passer. Committed when tackling but not a destroyer. Experienced but not positionally disciplined or a natural leader. No major weaknesses, no major strengths.

Wherever he plays, he just fills in. It's not enough for someone who must surely be one of the club's top earners.

I remember after Pulis signed him, that he never got a game. It was strange at the time but one thing we know about Pulis is that he prioritises shape and defensive discipline above all else. Clearly he felt he couldn't trust Paddy either in midfield or defence. I've come to the same conclusion.

We played fine last night in the main against a good side and I think a more balanced team that can play and can battle is starting to take shape. In particular, Mowatt, Muniz and Clarke are all very new to that and will take time to click, it always does when you change so much of the side around. I see enough there to think we'll go on a good run at some point and in the Championship that can send you flying up the table.

However, I think a good place to start the revival would be to put Paddy on the bench. of course, with injuries he'll likely be filling in for some time yet.


Pedro de Espana
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Some good posts above and unfortunately there does appear to be some doubt creeping in (including more optimistic posters) as to whether Mr Wilder can turn it around or whether he is past his sell by date.

The stats for our games from this year are very, very poor over all. The away stats even more so and any team that cannot get points on the road will get nowhere in the search for even the top six.

My biggest concern is still the Recruitement Strategy and the obvious difference between Scott and Wilder. 

To be chasing another striker when we can all see the difíciencies in the midfield is worrying. If the rumours are correct, what will Surridge bring to the party, his xG is not that good. Even more worrying will be the offloading probably of Watmore and Hoppe disappearing into the unknown. 

is this really joined up and thoughtful planning and Recruitement. 

Mr Gibson has once more made funds available, but is it getting spent wisely is debatable, given Wilder’s know preference for experienced players. 

I am trying to be optimistic and that the results will turn as the transfer window closes and the squad settles. However I really see a continuation of the current problems that will stall this unless the right players arrive by tomorrow night.

At the moment it all seems to be reminiscent of the Monk period and we all know how that ended.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Pedro de Espana

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werdermouth
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@paulinboro 

Further to the last 15 Championship results - it equates to W3 D5 L7 and just 14 points from a possible 45. That's almost a third of a season of bad form and would actually amount to 43 points over a whole season, which has already been mentioned is relegation form. 

We need Boro to step it up in the next four games before the international break and maybe also have a bit of luck - luckily three of those game are at home with a trip to Cardiff [Sorry Blackpool] who have not won for four games. Things could look a lot lot better by the international break - hopefully!

This post was modified 3 months ago by werdermouth

K P in Spain
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@werdermouth.  I hope the game against Cardiff is at the Riverside as my brother has got me a ticket and I was only expecting a short car ride from Stockton!  

The away game I believe is at Blackpool. 😎


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Pedro de Espana
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@k-p-in-spain -   Which I believe is sold out to Boro fans?


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Malcolm
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Has Wildet got the bottle to drop McNair. I hope so.


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werdermouth
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@k-p-in-spain 

Yes you're right - in fact I already posted yesterday about the trip to Blackpool so I must be experiencing false memory syndrome 😏 


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Clive Hurren
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I’ve just checked out Sam Surridge’s stats. 

https://www.soccerbase.com/players/player.sd?player_id=88131

Unless I’m reading the grid wrongly, it appears he has scored 33 goals in 57 appearances with various clubs at various levels. That’s better than a goal every two games. Definitely worth a punt? 

So the big question is:- why are Forest contemplating letting him go? Is it because they have brought in 17 players so far and need to cut the wage bill? Or perhaps they think they’ve recruited better? 


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Pedro de Espana
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@clive-hurren    Looking at his Championship games over the last three seasons.

2019/2020 Swansea  20 Apps 4 Goals  (loan from Bournemouth)

2020/2021 Bournemouth  29 Apps 4 Goals

2021/2022 Stoke  20 Apps 2 Goals  ( bought then sold six months later)

2021/2022 Forrest  17 Apps 7 Goals ( bought for 2.2 mil)

This season 1 start and 1 sub . No goals 

 

 

 


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Ken Smith
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It’s been a disappointing end of the season in most of my sporting interests. Firstly Yorkshire CCC have made a pig’s ear of their recruitment of foreign bowlers this season. None of them have even come near to approaching their Test Match status whilst injuries to pace bowlers Matt Fisher and Ben Coad have deprived the Tykes of any meaningful seam attack. However it has given Yorkshire’s young batsmen much needed introduction into County cricket and  Harry Brook has been the outstanding batsman this year and although being in the England squad has been nothing more than the drinks waiter. However it’s been an outstanding season for Jonny Bairstow and there have been signs of a revival for England with innings win over South Africa as we go into the deciding Test at the Oval in a week’s time. Locally Redcar CC have missed out on promotion this season with too many drawn matches.

The future of Golf has been ruined for me wth so many of the World’s best signing up for the Saudi based eight match LIV competition as money talks. At the moment those signed up will not be allowed to play in the Majors or indeed the Ryder Cup which will hit Europe much harder than the USA in Rome next year. However the most outstanding sporting achievement for me has to be Matthew Fitzpatrick winning the US Open, only the 7th Englishman to achieve that and the first since Tony Jacklin in 1970.

In Rugby League Tigers have been severely hit by long term injuries and self instructed suspensions this year culminating in a 10-50 home defeat to Salford Red Devils on Monday yet go into the deciding match for a playoff place on Saturday against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley with a likely away visit to Huddersfield Giants in the Super League Quarterfinal. Cas have won 4 of their last 5 visits to Headingley, but it will take a performance of biblical performances to win this Saturday. Nevertheless there is the Rugby World Cup to look forward to starting at St James Park next month, and even a match at the Riverside Stadium on the 30th October between the Cook Islanders and Tonga. Can England emulate the 1966 Football World Cup winners, the Rugby Union World Cup winners of 2003, or indeed our ladies Football World Cup winners last month?

Speedway has produced some of the most exciting moments for me so far this year with Don Bewley repeating his win at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium at the Polish Grand Prix in Wrocław last Saturday, the first rider to win more than one Grand Prix to rise up to 3rd place in the World standings. Having won his first race he failed to win any of his next three races and needed to win his fifth race to reach the semifinals which of course he did. However he had the lowest score of all the eight semifinalists so having no picks  as to the favourite gates. However he won his semifinal heat as all three Brits including Robert Lambert and 3 times former World Champion Tai Woffinden. It was rather unfortunate that all three Brits should be drawn in the same semifinal, but Lambert who had led the field through the heats finished with the bronze medal with Woffy missing out in 4th place.

Redcar Bears having won the Pairs Competition at Oxford and the first Silverware of the year won 51-39 at Plymouth on Tuesday night (the Gladiators first home defeat) and earning them 4 points to reach the playoffs, probably a two legged affair Quarterfinal affair against Edinburgh Monarchs whom they also meet in the Championship Knockout Cup with only a 4 point deficit from the first  leg away from home, there is every chance of winning at least one more piece of silverware this year. 

Meanwhile for Middlesbrough FC the season has hardly started, but after the closing of the transfer window and the visit of Sunderland this weekend we may have some idea of what the football season may have in store for us.

This post was modified 3 months ago by Ken Smith

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werdermouth
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Sounds like Boro are now on to page three or four of their list of targets - household names they are not, which kind of removes the excitement of deadline day when anyone could just as easily make a name up and they would be met with the same anticipation.

Apparently, Boro have now had an offer of €7m plus €1m in add-ons rejected for Alberth Elis of Bordeaux - it seems they are holding out for €8m not €7+1m

Jorgen Strand Larsen is now reportedly heading for Celta Vigo after a fee of €11m was agreed even though Groningen rejected Boro's bid as they were said to be holding out £12m - something may have been lost in the currency conversion as €11m is only £9.5m.

Also Boro interested in Fulham midfielder Josh Onomah but sounds like it may be another loan signing even though he's not part of Silva's plans and in the last year of his contract.

The move for Brenford midfielder Frank Onyeka has seemingly been blocked after an injury to Christian Norgaard has meant he's now needed as cover.

Still no further news on Sam Surridge, which probably means he's currently having a medical and checking out the legendary facilities.

Meanwhile, Josh Coburn looks to be heading out on loan to Bristol Rovers.

All exciting stuff - if someone would have told me a few months ago that Boro might be signing Alberth Elis, Josh Onomah and possibly Frank Onyeka, I would have looked at them in disbelief before googling them to see if they really existed...

This post was modified 3 months ago by werdermouth

K P in Spain
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@werdermouth.  Yes I agree it has a familiar feel, similar to the last days of previous transfer windows; still looking for the marquee signing or was that Steffen and Muniz, not for me I had been hoping for Alan Armstrong but that was clearly all paper talk.

As someone once said it is what it is, I just hope it’s enough. 😎


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Plato
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@werdermouth 

It is hurtful to read the comments, stats, hopes, and fears of the supporters on this blog. You and I deserve better than this awful trawling of the waste bin of cast off's, the nearly men, the wannerbe's the never was's. This manager should have no input into the buying and selling of players because they are our future, and he is not, thank god. To have no one who is even nearly a striker, and loan out Josh Coburn, is the act of someone without a vestige of feel for the game. Our use of Jones is shameful, he is given the ball when surrounded, which means he is given a Good kicking on a regular basis. Luckily (for him) he gets the ball rarely. We are as far from getting hold of a Good keeper as we ever were, to possess one bad keeper is unfortunate, to possess three is enemy action, and yes, I am referring to the continues wandering away from the goal line, the last home match both goals were conceded by this fault, neither shot would have beaten a five year Old. What was going on as the new Sunderland manager was looking for a job?           


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Clive Hurren
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Plato

I agree about Coburn. Letting him go is criminal, in my view. I’m very cross about it. We’ve paid good money for two ‘development’ strikers in Forss and Hoppe. Forss apparently likes to ‘run off the shoulder’ and doesn’t give us a presence up front, according to the manager. I despair. Josh has already proven he can score goals at this level. We know he’s not yet the finished article (nor are Forss and Hoppe, obviously!), but I would have liked us to develop Josh ourselves and give him his chance. 

I don’t entirely agree about the keepers. I’m not convinced by Steffen yet. His distribution is good, but his playing out from the back looks a bit too casual at times and I’m not a massive fan of his punching. However, he’s clearly a major upgrade on what we’ve had in goal in recent times. I have no qualms about Roberts, though. I haven’t yet seen him play live, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen on video thus far. 

I also don’t agree with your points about the manager. Of course he should have an input into transfers! It’s his team and he needs to get the players he needs, or as close as possible. And while the jury is currently out on Wilder given our dodgy start to the season and as we’ve seen with statistics for the end of last season, I don’t think now is the time to sack him. He clearly has a good past track record and needs more time with his new squad. I wouldn’t have Mogga back anyway, at least not as first team coach. He had his time with us. Yes, it was sad the way it ended for him, and we all still love the guy, but he isn’t really in the front rank of managers any more, in my view. 

 

 


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K P in Spain
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Nice post Clive and totally appropriate. 😎


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werdermouth
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@clive-hurren 

The problem for Coburn and likewise for Forss or Hoppe is that they are unlikely to get much pitch time this season. So particularly Coburn, who is still a teenager, would benefit by playing every week rather than getting 15 minutes off the bench here and there. My worry is that Coburn would be moved on if Boro were actually promoted.

As to how Forss and Hoppe will get much opportunity to develop into first team players is anyone's guess - I'm still unclear why the were signed other than with the belief they could potentially increase in value - though unless they actually play the most likely scenario is that they are also moved on quietly in the background.

Wilder seems to only trust Muniz, Watmore and Akpom - plus he wants to sign that major £8-10m striker who is at the next level but that may now have to wait until January unless there are some late developments.


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