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Wilder's window of ...
 

[Sticky] Wilder's window of opportunity to build promotion squad

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deleriad
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So there is increasing belief that we'll be loaning Muniz for a year. Last year he was on our hit list but went to Fulham for something like £7m. What I didn't realise is that he is actually very inexperienced and looking at stats I find myself wondering if he is actually any better than Josh Coburn.

Prior to joining Fulham he had played one year in Brazil's Serie A which makes him a little less experienced than Martin Payero and we all know how that went. Last year in the Championship he scored 5 times in 25 games/ 488 minutes. Two of those were part of the 7-0 rout vs Blackburn where he came on as a sub.

Coburn's championship record is 22 games, 5 goals, 517 minutes.

This is not to say that Muniz is a bad signing because he clearly did ok for Fulham when he got on the pitch. He appears to have a bit more pace and skill on the ball than Coburn but he is clearly nowhere near being a £7m striker. He also seems to have settled better than Payero (or been a lot better managed). Right now though, Coburn is marginally more experienced in the Championship, has an equivalent record and 9 months experience of Wilderball. Not sure I see any compelling evidence that he is a better option than Coburn. 


jarkko
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How many loan player we are allowed to have?

We now have Steffen, Giles and possibly Muniz. Some loans are OK for financial reasons but it usually means there is a lot of work to be done again the following season.

So we definately need to sign a striker or two and loan only one. And preferably Armstrong from Southampton. The loans did not work in January (or Šporar in Summer 2021) for the Boro.

I think we have about £ 10 million to spend on a striker, though. Up the Boro! 

 

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by jarkko

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K P in Spain
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Jarkko. 

I don’t think we will be buying anyone.  

The focus is on free agents and loan deals with the income from the DS sale being used to cover the wage bill; FFP and the impact of Covid I suspect is having a big impact on all clubs financial situations.

This may change if the club let MT leave when they may have to spend to replace him. 😎

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by K P in Spain

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Original Fat Bob
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I think Brereton Díaz may be a target for Boro.

If we look at the interface that Boro have had with Blackburn over the past few weeks I am of the belief it is due to work behind the scenes. I am also of the opinion that Mogga has been discussing targets and Blackburn players with the Boro recruitment team. Mogga has been seen in a Yarm coffee bar on several occasions head down in talks with several guys. It could be of course that he is discussing various options regarding his future but , it’s funny how Boro managed to sign Blackburn’s long standing Captain Lenihan on a free isn’t it?

OFB


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exmil
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

I think Brereton Díaz may be a target for Boro.

If we look at the interface that Boro have had with Blackburn over the past few weeks I am of the belief it is due to work behind the scenes. I am also of the opinion that Mogga has been discussing targets and Blackburn players with the Boro recruitment team. Mogga has been seen in a Yarm coffee bar on several occasions head down in talks with several guys. It could be of course that he is discussing various options regarding his future but , it’s funny how Boro managed to sign Blackburn’s long standing Captain Lenihan on a free isn’t it?

OFB

Really OFB, Sevilla have offered £10m plus add ons but Blackburn want £25m, also Leeds and West Ham are interested, so you think Boro would enter that race 🤔

Come on BORO.


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exmil
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Apparently Derby and Shef Wed are making a move for Rangers 29 yr old striker Kemar Roofe, do we think Boro should try to hijack the move 🤔.

Come on BORO.


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werdermouth
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Deleriad

Muniz is essentially another gamble and has barely played since January with just 132 minutes of Championship football over 11 games (average 12 mins per game). While his stats show he scored 5 goals, one was a shot by Carvalho that deflected off him - he also scored two goals in a 7-0 win against Blackburn, who had a man sent off early and Fulham were already 4-0 up before he came on. Out of those 488 minutes over 25 games, he played 90 minutes twice so those 23 sub appearances lasted on average 13 minutes.

So on that basis, I doubt Wilder will be planning on Muniz being a starter unless he does, and he might, prove to be a reliable goalscorer. Whether he's has learnt English to be able to fit in is unkown as his manager at Fulham was a fellow Portuguese speaker.

I would be happier to see Armstrong and Forss arrive sooner rather than later as a strikeforce of Watmore, Coburn, Akpom and Muniz doesn't feel like last season's problem has been resolved as yet. Plus I'd agree with Jarkko in that I'd rather see one major striker arriving on a permanent basis and not more loan deals who would need replacing again.


deleriad
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Posted by: @werdermouth

Deleriad

Muniz is essentially another gamble and has barely played since January with just 132 minutes of Championship football over 11 games (average 12 mins per game). 

My thoughts exactly. He *might* be a £7m striker but no one knows. I think people are over-excited because Fulham paid £7m for someone who hardly played last year and had no meaningful experience at Championship level before that. Given Wilder's thoughts on the matter, it is surprising we're in for him at all. 

As a third/fourth choice to come off the bench and try to force his way into the team, that's fine. It's a gamble to ask him to come in and immediately lead the line. Of the three strikers we seem to be reliably linked with, only Armstrong has a proven track record at Championship level. Forss has experience but with patchy results. Muniz is yet another South-American wonderkid. On the plus side, he's had a year of experience so this is probably a good time to loan him.


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jarkko
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Muniz did not start many games because Fulhan had another centre forward who scored someting like 44 goals in 45 matches last season. Mitrovic. 

I think we have money to buy one striker. The problem is to find someone for sale for much under £ 10 million. He must be good and start about 90 % of the matches. 

Up the Boro!


Pedro de Espana
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Most of the EPL young players and some of the ones that have not made are all going to be a gamble one way or the other.

Whilst last season in the Championship there were some standout loanees, I do not remember any being forwards (I could be wrong).

So do you take a punt on a Connolly or a Balogun or a Parrot, who I see has gone to PNE, as the cheaper option. Or the second more expensive option of the previous high scoring Championship player who has basically failed in the EPL, however generally playing for a struggling team.

If we are really serious at mounting a top six challenge. or more, then we are going to require a guaranteed, as much as you can get, striker to score those 15+ goals. We then need the midfield to chip in with another 20+, something they have forever failed to do in the past.


lenmasterman
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It's no great surprise to me that we appear to be under-prepared for the beginning of the new season. There are good reasons for this (the season's early start, the necessity of waiting upon decisions by other clubs etc) which have been fully explored in the local media and on this blog.

However there are also structural issues within the club,  which came to the fore during Warnock's reign and which may still remain unresolved.

Warnock was fond of making a distinction between those who knew the game, and had played it to a decent level like most of his fellow managers.  And others such as officials (particularly referees and their assistants) who really didn't have a clue.

Into this latter category he also put, with as much diplomacy as he could muster, "them upstairs": club officials who control finances and recruitment, and who permit or constrain what he is able to do.

The appointment of Kieran Scott was always going to be a problem for Warnock, as it would have been for a hardened and experienced professional in any field who found himself outranked by a young man still comparatively inexperienced and making his way in the game. 

I recall being struck by what looked like a projection of Warnock's own frustrations towards the end of the game at Reading  when referee Peter Bankes dismissed Crooks, a decision that was later rescinded. Warnock refused to blame the referee, explaining that he was a good experienced ref who had been unduly influenced by a linesman who looked as though he was just out of school and was wet behind the ears. Bankes should have stood up for himself and made the sensible decision.

Warnock's own epiphany came some weeks later, when, in the midst of a sleepless night, he decided to be his own man, make his own decisions, choose his own teams and go his own way.  The team played with a new clarity, results looked up, but the die had been cast, and within weeks the manager was gone.

Warnock later revealed that Scott had ignored him in those final weeks, and as with Bauser earlier in the season communication between the two men had completely broken down.

Winding forward, what has changed?

Whilst much has been made of the differences between Wilder and his predecessor in terms of footballing styles, tactical awareness, coaching intensity and fitness regimes, the striking similarities between them have been somewhat underplayed.

Both are plain speaking South Yorkshire men, both are hardened and experienced football pros, neither suffers fools gladly. And both left their previous clubs because the recruitment and transfer of players was largely taken out of their hands.

Scott meanwhile seems to have cemented himself into the management hierarchy even more firmly. I cannot help but think of him as a kind of Alan Partridge- type character ("Famous in Norwich"), ever eager to burnish and promote his own somewhat thin credentials, though his exact role in the signings of Pukki and Buendia remain tantalisingly obscure.

My understanding of his appointment as Head of Football was that the club would now have someone in a managerial role whose expertise was in an area that had bedevilled its recent history: that of recruitment.

Unfortunately Scott has so far been unable to repeat his Norwich trick (if indeed it were his trick) producing only expensive lemons such as Siliki, Sporar and Hernandez. As deleriad has argued it was Warnock's bargain basement warriors (Bamba, Peltier, Crooks etc) who made the greater impact.  This, to me, was the significance of Warnock requesting Gibson's indulgence in the signing of Olusanya from Billericay. He wished to demonstrate to the Chairman that for a few bob he could produce better results than either Scott or Bauser (Payero) were able to with millions.

What complicates matters further is that Wilder's historical success in the transfer market has not extended to his signing of strikers. Conspicuously expensive failures at Sheffield were followed by Balogun and Connelly here, both of whom were greeted with a great deal of scepticism on this blog before either had kicked a ball.  The doubts turned out to be fully justified.

Add to this mix the fact that the Chairman has the final say (see the recent Gayle episode)  and has himself a somewhat mixed record given his championing at some expense of Downing and Rhodes, and the recipe for success seems to be as elusive as ever.

Students of public relations will recognise that Wilder's recent assurance that he and Scott were 'on the same page' regarding transfers means the exact opposite of what it says.  Otherwise why say it? 

Scott meanwhile seems to be busier building firewalls and his own empire than doing productive work. He has a Head of Recruitment reporting to him and he (Scott) comes in right at the end when all of the scouting and shortlisting  has been done by the recruitment team''underneath'. 

He defines his own role as being to "control what the future looks like" and the whole set up is redolent of the Boris Johnson School of Management.

I have confidence in Chris Wilder's ability to produce a team that can compete for a top six spot, but the management structure within which he has to work looks dysfunctional and too hierarchical to give him the support he will surely need. Everything really depends upon how effective our recruitment will be over the next few days and weeks. But who can have confidence that the club can provide the manager with the players and support to which he is entitled?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ken Smith
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We’re all writing about possessing a striker who can guarantee 15 to 20 goals in a season as a requirement for promotion. In 1958/59 Brian Clough was Boro’s ‘Mitrovic’ scoring 43 goals which would possibly have been 47 if he had taken penalties. In fact he scored one quintet, one quartet and 3 hat tricks whilst Alan Peacock scored 19 which also included a hat trick. He started with 5 in the 9-0 demolition of Brighton yet Boro were as low as 18th by mid-December and finished 13th by the end of the season one place BELOW Brighton despite scoring another 6 against the Seagulls in the return fixture.   

Perhaps now that Boro have a better goalkeeper will be the key to an improved season rather than a 20 goal striker. Assombalonga scored 15 in his first season and 14 in his second, so maybe it’s the chances converted that will make the difference. Unfortunately I’m not overwhelmed about the strikers Boro might sign excepting possibly Adam Armstrong, but Viktor Gyokeres would be my choice if at all possible.

 

 

 

q


Original Fat Bob
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Brentford Striker Marcus Forss has had his Medical Ahead Of A Permanent Move to Middlesbrough (Teesside Live)

OFB


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Pedro de Espana
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A great post Len, very well written and sadly so true in my own opinion


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Pedro de Espana
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anthony vickers
 
@untypicalboro

Jul 25, 2022

Chris Wilder good at Riverside Q&A with #Boro fans' groups tonight. Frank, engaging, honest, got a few laughs. No punches pulled on some players & the previous boss (who he will not name). Good on the structure of the club, signing strategy. Hopes signings in before Saturday.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
anthony vickers
 
@untypicalboro

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Said wouldn't have any of last year's loans back, Sporar got an easy ride, Uche a good lad but doesn't fit, Tav hasn't asked for a move, a lot about attitude/mentality and said young players' obsessed with phones & their music was rubbish. He prefers the Clash.

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K P in Spain
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Len.  An excellent post thank you which clearly elaborates on an executive managerial team which has been dysfunctional for many a season and in part is responsible for significant failings over many years. 😎


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Ken Smith
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I don’t understand today’s music nor today’s comedians. Give me Andre Rieu, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Ronnie Hilton, ABBA and brass bands anytime, and Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies, Tony Hancock and Fawlty Towers as well. Sometimes I think I’m in a different time warp altogether.  Though when my consultant suggested that I might be better off in a home, I retorted that surely they’re for old people who play bingo and sleep most of the time. Well I do admit to having the odd siesta now and then, and admit to being eccentric sometimes, but surely 6 hours sleep in bed is enough for anyone. With all the hours I’ve stayed awake I’m probably really like Methuselah, well at least 100 years old.

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Original Fat Bob
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The club has completed the signing of former Huddersfield Town skipper Tommy Smith on a one-year contract.

The 30-year-old linked up with Boro during the summer to train with Chris Wilder’s squad, and he was handed his debut in the opening pre-season friendly at Bishop Auckland, where he also scored.

The Warrington-born right-back has been involved throughout pre-season and will provide increased competition down that side of the pitch.

Tommy brings a wealth of experience, having spent almost 10 years in the Manchester City youth system before joining Huddersfield Town, where he won promotion to the Premier League and was made club captain for their first appearance in the top-flight for 45 years.

Tommy clocked up 200 appearances for the Terriers before making the switch to Stoke City in the summer of 2019. He was a virtual ever present for the Potters before his contract expired earlier this summer.

OFB


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werdermouth
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Posted by: @lenmasterman

Students of public relations will recognise that Wilder's recent assurance that he and Scott were 'on the same page' regarding transfers means the exact opposite of what it says.  Otherwise why say it? 

Scott meanwhile seems to be busier building firewalls and his own empire than doing productive work. He has a Head of Recruitment reporting to him and he (Scott) comes in right at the end when all of the scouting and shortlisting  has been done by the recruitment team''underneath'. 

He defines his own role as being to "control what the future looks like" and the whole set up is redolent of the Boris Johnson School of Management.

Good post Len and I suspect Wilder and Scott may be on the same page but perhaps not the same book (Old Testament and New Testament?). 

It seems Scott appears to specialise in signing relatively young players who are gambles that may in some cases lead to an increase in value - though obviously not in the loan market.

Whereas Wilder looks like he prefers players in their late twenties who are proven and tougher. Then add into the mix that it seems Steve Gibson has vetoed the signing of over-30s - perhaps persuaded by Scott as not good deals for the future.

Manager's however work in the present and probably don't care too much if the future will be better as they are unlikely to be in the job if they don't get the desired results in the current campaign.

While I'm all for a coherent club strategy, it makes sense if you supply your manager with players he wants, otherwise you may need to question why you didn't appoint a manager that was in tune with your plan.

Squaring the circle between medium to long-term strategy and keeping at bay the impatience of Chairmen and supporters keen to see short-term success on the pitch is probably not something most football clubs know how to manage.

It's probably why in roles that demand results, like politics for example, the arguments are constantly about the narrative of the future as nobody can easily disprove that your vision of the future will prove to be wrong until you're history. Likewise, a Football Director promising a better future gives themselves more time to strike it lucky since people tend to remember the good signings, like Pukki, and forget all the other no-marks that came and went.


deleriad
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Posted by: @lenmasterman

It's no great surprise to me that we appear to be under-prepared for the beginning of the new season. There are good reasons for this (the season's early start, the necessity of waiting upon decisions by other clubs etc) which have been fully explored in the local media and on this blog.

However there are also structural issues within the club,  which came to the fore during Warnock's reign and which may still remain unresolved.

That's a really insightful post. Being cynical about it, a director of football position won't do anything to ensure continuity because there's always the question of what happens after they leave. Essentially it just pushes the issue to a different point in the hierarchy. 

I think there is tension at the club between the short term goal of promotion and the medium to long-term goal of a sustainable club in the premier league. Wilder is a classic promotion specialist who has zero interest in anything which doesn't get immediate results on the pitch. Scott has been brought in, I presume, to try to ensure that everything from the academy to the first team is joined up. I don't think Scott has been bought in as a recruitment specialist though, clearly, he will have contacts and information from his time at Norwich.

The DoF post really only works if the manager focuses solely on their team and regards part of their job to be about building players for the future. Wilder is an awkward fit for that. He is interested solely in the first team but takes 'interference' badly. He also likes to think of himself as top dog, answering only to the owner, while the current club structure treats the manager as disposable. It is all a bit jury-rigged and if Wilder or Scott find themselves under pressure then it could collapse quite messily. 

So far this summer, our recruitment does look a lot better joined than normal. It's a massive job and we're probably more reliant on loans than we really want to be. The keeper unit looks as good as it has in a decade. Smith, Lenihan and Giles is a significant upgrade on Taylor, Peltier and Bamba. Forss looks like a good option for 3rd/4th choice striker along with Watmore though clearly we don't have a 1st or 2nd choice yet. 

Overall, I feel that we're making the right steps but that it could still easily crash down because the fit between Scott and Wilder is uneasy and, let's face it, Wilder has a much stronger reputation in the game than Scott. If it comes to it, I suspect that Gibson would side with Wilder. 

I find myself really unsure about how this season is going to pan out. I don't entirely trust Wilder but I'm not sure Scott has a track record yet. 


K P in Spain
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Just emailed the club to ascertain when live streaming packages will be available to purchase.

I have said that it is disappointing that there is not anything on the website when most of the other clubs are already advertising packages including discounts for early bird purchasers!

I await a response. 😎


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Original Fat Bob
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23-year-old Tavernier, who has already made over a century of appearances for Boro, is supposedly set to arrive on the south coast to complete a medical in the next 24 hours.

The Daily Echo has previously reported that a bid had been lodged by Cherries, with other sources linking Nottingham Forest to the versatile midfielder.

The report also states that the clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £12 million, meaning Tavernier will become Cherries’ first signing of a summer where a fee has been involved between clubs.

OFB


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werdermouth
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Gazette now reporting that Marcus Tavernier is due to have a medical and has played his last game for Boro - worrying development given the lack of arrivals...

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/marcus-tavernier-middlesbrough-bournemouth-transfer-24605237


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PaulInBoro
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Posted by: @werdermouth

Gazette now reporting that Marcus Tavernier is due to have a medical and has played his last game for Boro - worrying development given the lack of arrivals...

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/marcus-tavernier-middlesbrough-bournemouth-transfer-24605237

As a certain T Mowbray used to say it is what it is


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werdermouth
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PaulInBoro

Indeed, but usually when things were not going well and quite often before he was dismissed!

What is harder to quantify with Tav is to how much of his energy and enthusiasm rubbed off and influenced others. Was he the Ronnie Wood that kept the spirits up of rest of the band? We will find out soon enough but who will replace him and when?

It was what it isn't...


PaulInBoro
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Posted by: @werdermouth

PaulInBoro

Indeed, but usually when things were not going well and quite often before he was dismissed!

What is harder to quantify with Tav is to how much of his energy and enthusiasm rubbed off and influenced others. Was he the Ronnie Wood that kept the spirits up of rest of the band? We will find out soon enough but who will replace him and when?

It was what it isn't...

Everything you have said is true, but the draw of the PL and its wages will be strong for all players, as Wilder has said we are a selling club and none of us know what financial state the club is in, what the position is with ffp etc etc, I won't criticise him for leaving a year in PL may set him up for life. Its a just a job to most players, if I was brutally honest I think we will struggle to go up, the teams with parachute money have an unfair advantage and sometimes a club will come from nowhere like forest last year. I am more worried about the lack of goals in the team


Malcolm
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I have always said if the money is right then let him go. I also mentioned that he was very poor at the start of the season. His free kicks and corners were wayward.

Is he a big loss to Boro. No.

 

This post was modified 4 months ago by Malcolm

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Philip of Huddersfield
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There’s strong reports that Boro have made an offer to buy another unknown forward as they did  with three last year.
An American called Hoppe ,  aged 21. who played 22 games two years ago scoring half a dozen goals but only 7 games in a whole season for his new club who are now happy to get rid of him. What does that tell you ?

To consider buying a player who only played 7 games last season for his new team who are happy to now sell him hardly sounds like the forward Boro desperately need.

So, for me  it’s a  bad news day  - Tavernier is set to leave and we now hear about an uninspiring newcomer.

Philip of Huddersfield 


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Original Fat Bob
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To be fair regarding the Tavernier transfer it’s not surprising in the modern age of football.

I feel sorry for the season ticket holders who have paid good money to see a team trying to get promoted and with only a few days from the start see one of the better players go.

Although Wilder always stuck up for Tav I always got the impression that he never really rated him although Tav did improve as the season went on.

You can’t really blame the player for wanting to go as he gets 5% of a £12 million transfer fee plus at least three years wages of £35k a week so his future is now sorted. Most people would have taken this chance so good luck to him.

Two seasons of COVID and no revenue have impacted most clubs and Boro are no exception. We still have had to pay wages, contract terminations and fees for facilities with no income or parachute payments.

Lets see if they sign anyone to show they mean business because let’s face it Steve Gibson has surprised us in quite a few occasions!

UTB!

OFB


jarkko
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I was over the moon for the possible signing of Marcus Forss yesterday. But after reading about Tavanier going, I felt the total opposite.

Somehow I saw Tavanier as the heart beat of our team. Always running up and down the field and demanding others to play. I felt he was much better players than Spence, for example. So the fee feels a bit low, me thinks.

And looking at the players we have in numbers now, I am worried. Or really worried I should say.

In midfield we have currently McGree, Howson and Crooks. And Boyd-Munce, who has played two or three matches so far. And we regularly play with three midfielders (and two wing-backs).  Even I could choose the right players in the midfield three!

And we have only two strikers in our squad. For the two slots in the team we can choose from Watmore and Coburn. Before Forss or possible Muniz to arrive, we do not have a substitute in there.

So letting two midfielders to leave (remember Payero?) we are in deep trouble numbers wise in both midfield and attack. We cannot afford a single injury versus WBA on Saturday.

Have we ever had so many changes during one single transfer window?  We had 14 new arrivals the summer when we got promoted under Karanka and we know how that ended.

15 players have left already this summer if we include Tavarnier. OK, there are some fringe players and young players looking for game time but still a lot. The Echo has listed them in here: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/20271007.middlesbrough-2022-transfer-window---ins-outs/

We still seem to go from one extreme to another when we change managers. Mogga to Karanka,  Monk to Pulis and Woodgate to Warnock. And now Wilder.  From one style to another. And a lot of new players are needed after every change. 

I always say that buy quality over quantity. At the moment we try to concentrate on quantity but still have brought in only six players (excluding Forss an Muniz). So we still need three midfielders and three strikers to arrive.

And adding to the misery, we still miss a left-footed centre-back and McNair is injured and suspended from the WBA match. 

Well, we still have eleven players to start with. We have an excellent goal keeper, very good defenders including wing-backs and three good midfielders. And the needed two strikers.  But can we fit the substitute bench on Saturday? Mind, I am not available to play in the WBA match!

Still, up the Boro! I needed to get this off my chest.

This post was modified 4 months ago 3 times by jarkko

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