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Wigan v Boro
 

Wigan v Boro

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It was one of those where the opposition were happy to let Boro have possession and for all the neat passing there were few opportunities created. Crooks has looked off the pace again and he was caught again and but for a great save from Steffen it would have been costly - nevertheless, the corner that resulted saw more poor defending that gave Wigan an undeserved lead. The real surprise was that Boro have scored and just as surprising was Watmore with his head up and Jones in the box to slot away the equaliser.

Under normal circumstances this is a game Boro should win as Wigan have offered little and looked suspect in defence - I don't think Akpom looks better at leading the line over Muniz so for me it would be a swap plus Crooks off for McGree. Smith has looked decent at conventional right-back but surely Bola is your man on the left in that role as Giles is not really a defender.


   
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Pedro de Espana
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Well apparently no sign of Carrick in the DW Stadium.

Boro bossing possession but doing nothing with it, the final pass has been poor. Then we let Wigan in with another terrible bit of defending at the front post. Could have been two down, Giles turns his back on the Wigan player and his shot is turned onto the bar by Steffen.

Giles has been rubbish, playing full back, can’t defend, won’t take his man on, two crosses so far awful. Bring on Bola, at least he can defend some.

Service again to an isolated Akpom non existent. Are they actually trying to win this game against a very poor side in Wigan. 

Changes needed at half time, cannot believe Wigan will be as bad second half. 
No wonder Carrick has stayed away, if he has any sense he won’t sign.


   
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Boro 2 - 1. Watmore beat 2 clumsy defenders to ball.


   
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A first half hour that had all of the intensity, atmosphere, skill and excitement of a pre-season friendly between two non-league teams.  Boro had most of the ball without threatening; Wigan offered nothing, scarcely able to string two passes together.

Then a slipshod Crooks lost midfield possession, Steffan having to save us with a quality save, literally his first call to any kind of action. From the corner Wigan scored with a near post flick.

Cue a change in Wigan's confidence with Boro on the back foot and struggling. 

But as against Blackburn a Boro goal just before half time has put us back in the game.

A long ball from Giles, almost his first pass forward in the whole half, found Watmore running free thanks to his marker's slip and he found Jones who finished in front of goal

Boro generally woeful, but both teams pretty awful.  We'll need to improve to get anything from the game


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Boro 3 - 1. Hackney from 30 yards.


   
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Boro 4 - 1. Akpom pen after Jones brought down bursting into areea.


   
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I don’t know what this is but it’s quite good fun.


Martin Bellamy
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Nice to see that the Wigan Walk is still going strong. For once I feel that I got my £10 worth tonight, with the added bonus that the 4G held out throughout. 


   
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4 - 1 pinch me I must be dreaming, in all seriousness Wigan must be worst team we have played this season


Selwynoz
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We've all been saying that a switch to 4 at the back would release players to go forward. They lined up that way although having Giles at left back is a bit of a risk because he is far from being a natural full back. It didn't really happen in the first half because nobody made the forward runs which left Akpom all alone. However, someone must have put a tactical rocket under them at half time and that's exactly how it played out. We got people forward and the goals came. Of course, it was helped by Wigan being absolutely awful and we had already given away another poor goal from a corner but, for the moment, let's enjoy a 4-1 away win and see what happens for the rest of this week.

One small question; what the hell was Crooks doing to pull someone down from behind when we were 4-1 ahead. It was, of course, another booking. Is he on some kind of crusade to see how many he can get? If he really has a hernia, get him off and operated on. We have other players who can fill in.

UTB

This post was modified 2 years ago 2 times by Selwynoz

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A ridiculous performance in the second half and I fully expect the manager will be relieved of his duties before the next game - this is not the Boro way and it's not what we expect to see away from home.

Seriously, after that performance I think Steve Gibson should extend his talks with Michael Carrick indefinitely or attempt a sponsored filibuster. Somehow, Leo has worked some magic and rebooted the players mindset into them once more believing in themselves - plus he ditched the wing-back system in favour of a back four. At one point it looked like we would score every time we came forward as positive play replaced the hesitant 'what am I supposed to do with the ball'.

OK, Wigan were ideal opponents tonight but finally the season has woken up only for it now to be put to one side as the new head coach will try something else. Welcome to typical Boro as having found a way to play it may not be repeated.

Anyway, a welcome surprise and three welcome points!


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@selwynoz 

Indeed, it should have been 5-1 when Crooks scored but I think his hernia was just offside...


Philip of Huddersfield
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I can only think that Crooks books his holidays for October and so he needs enough bookings to not miss his holiday.

First half poor with Boro having most of the play but not creating much then Wigan score a goal and finish on top but Boro got back in the game with Jones who played well and puts a shift in. Wish I could say the same for Giles- by comparison to Jones he was very poor.

Second half was unrecognisable and the team played with much more energy and looked as though they could score at will and should have scored more. But we’ll all take 4-1.

Having said that , Wigan were poor.

And we now move onto the” Big One” for me and the locals here in Huddersfield- hoping for a win. Any score will do.

Philip of Huddersfield 


Philip of Huddersfield
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Should have mentioned that Steffen had a good game making impressive saves.

Philip of Huddersfield 


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Did not having McNair help Boro, I would be interested to hear everyone’s views.

Come on BORO.


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil    Well I said he would not be missed and he was not.

I also said, be brave Leo, and he was going with the back four, but was surprised he went with Giles and not Bola. The former had a very poor game even in the second half as we improved. Defensively he is awful.

Crooks, the commentators announced that he has a hernia, he should not be playing, it should be fixed.

What a very poor league the Championship is this season, with lots of unusual results. How Boro as bad as they have been, are in the position they are is very frustrating.

However, three points was what we needed and four goal to boot, was an added bonus. As Philip said, Steffen had a good game and his tip onto the bar when they when Wigan were one up changed the game back to our favour and the rest is now history. 

Well done Leo. 


Selwynoz
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Posted by: @exmil

Did not having McNair help Boro, I would be interested to hear everyone’s views.

Come on BORO.

It didn’t hurt us. McNair is a very solid squad player who can do a job in several positions but he isn’t special enough to make a difference.


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That's a relief. It's a common cliché that football is a game of fine margins and yesterday nearly all the fine margins went our way. A lucky rebound for the second. Hackney's strike was true but it could easily have gone just the other side of the post or clipped a heel and missed. Akpom's penalty was poor but the keeper dived over it. That was also one of the poorest defensive displays I've seen in the Championship from a team that isn't us.

But it's also a cliché that you make your own luck in sport. Leo changed things around, we pushed hard and possibly we got some of the luck that we missed out on earlier in the season.

Watmore looks to be back to his best. He'll always miss more than he scores but he's such a good player when playing wide upfront. Jones also looked liberated, pressing hard from the top of the pitch and a really clever finish. Fry and Lenihan look to be a decent pairing. Lenihan is surprisingly two-footed for a centre-half and does have a good range of passing. Howson also looked to have a bit more space to be creative as he had someone to share the defensive work with.

We're still a long way from the sunlit uplands but it was a useful reminder that we do actually have a decent team and squad.

Also, I don't know what will happen with Leo but I think he's shown that he is capable of managing a Championship team. He's done ok under difficult circumstances. Because of everything that has happened, I don't think he's the right man for us right now, but you could easily see him making a decent fist of managing a team like Wigan. He clearly does have an idea of how he wants his team to play and it looks like he's done a decent job of communicating that to the players. 


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I decided after our evening out to watch the recording without checking the result. 

I was not surprised to see a back 4 but was surprised that this included Giles at LB, not my ideal choice given his defensive frailties, added to which this meant our midfielders were all right footed.

As many have commented, the first half was a "typical Boro" display akin to Stoke and Reading where we completely dominated the ball but created very little.  This was then further exacerbated by conceding another goal from a corner kick. 

At this point I was thinking here we go again, and just as Wigan started to look more comfortable Giles played a long ball down the line for Watmore to run onto, after the defender kindly missed his clearance, and for once Watmore kept his head up and found Jones, who had made a superb run into the box to slot into the far corner.  The goal came at the right time as had we gone in 1-0 and with Wigan gaining in confidence I feared for another defeat.  

The second half was akin to the first with the exception that we were finally creating and taking chances albeit with a bit of good fortune, with bounces going our way, shots from outside the box going inside the post instead of the usual and the keeper kindly diving over Akomp's penalty.

So, a comfortable win in the end but this is just a small step in the right direction and it should be borne in mind that Wigan were a poor side who had only been promoted from Division 1 last season; the last time we won 1-4 away from home was at Peterborough last season who were duly relegated.

Some clear positives, Fry and Lenihan look far better in a back 4 and Smith seemed to further strengthen the back line.  Giles should be played offensively with Bola behind him in my view. Watmore still provides much impetus up front and needs to be carefully managed.  Hayden Hackney is improving with game time and we now have more options from the bench to replace tiring or out of sorts players.  Crooks needs a rest and an operation during the WC shut down.

Another win on Saturday would ease the nerves somewhat and hopefully MC, when he arrives, can add further improvements which should see us comfortably a mid table side this year with hope for the future; top six in theory is possible but until we start showing consistency then that is a long way off.  

As far as Paddy McNair is concerned, I would look to sell him in January as I don't see where he now fits into the side, his is too slow as a defender and is easily turned and has cost us a few goals and I don't see him ahead of others in midfield. 😎

 


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Won 2, Lost 2.  "Leo, Leo Leo!"


Ken Smith
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Thanks to all for their thoughts, but for the second time this season was unable to watch the match via the red button. Does it only work if one subscribes to Sky direct rather than via Virgin Media, or is it because I don’t have a lap top but an iPad instead? Everything was fine on my previous iPad until it went completely kaput. Think I’ll have to get in touch with Apple Support for the umpteenth time!

However my evening wasn’t wasted as I watched the DVD of the Second Ashes Cricket Test of 2005 which England won by 2 runs. Isn’t sport much easier to watch when one actually knows the result!  Interestingly Shane Warne repeated his ball of the century against Mike Gatting in 1993 twice more in this match. A genius sadly missed!

This post was modified 2 years ago 2 times by Ken Smith

   
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@k-p-in-spain 

Excellent summary of the game.  


   
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Yep. What KP said.


   
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The PM has just announced her resignation.*

      *True

In Boris Johnson's resignation Honours List (yes - that is STILL awaited!) Leo P is to be given a Peerage and will then be appointed Leader of the Conservative Party. He will then operate as Prime Minister from the House of Lords (like "in the old days").**

      **This is not necessarily true. But the truth is now getting so ridiculous that it is difficult to know where we are in anything, and nothing can be ruled out.


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @forever-dormo

The PM has just announced her resignation.*

      *True

In Boris Johnson's resignation Honours List (yes - that is STILL awaited!) Leo P is to be given a Peerage and will then be appointed Leader of the Conservative Party. He will then operate as Prime Minister from the House of Lords (like "in the old days").**

      **This is not necessarily true. But the truth is now getting so ridiculous that it is difficult to know where we are in anything, and nothing can be ruled out.

Perhaps SG was waiting for LT to become available to be mentor our would-be first time leader .....


   
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Philip of Huddersfield
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Well  done to Leo, 6 points from 4 games. At this rate a comfortable mid table position would be achieved and if he can orchestrate a win on Saturday then it would be 9 points from 5 games - top 6 form!! 
This is a good time to play Huddersfield as they’ve slipped to bottom of the table and were very poor on Tuesday losing to Preston at home. Unusually for Huddersfield supporters they were booed off the pitch. The new manager , so far, hasn’t had the initial improvement in results which you often get with a new manager  and he has been criticised for not bringing on substitutes. The local paper has analysed his options and most of the players on the bench have no experience of the Championship. Boros bench is much stronger.
So, I’ll not say it loud but I’m quietly confident of 3 points on Saturday-  fingers crossed.
 Philip of Huddersfield 


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@forever-dormo 

You can always rely on the truth from Andy and Bob !

 

Now is that a fact ?

 

OFB


   
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Leo still in charge for Saturdays Game.


   
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@original-fat-bob - Well....


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @malcolm

Leo still in charge for Saturdays Game.

I am beginning to wonder if SG is giving Leo enough time to prove if he could be the man for the job and all this talk of Michael Carrick is no more than subterfuge.....


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