Aitor Karanka: A Century Of Steady Progress

KARANKA: the first 100 games.

It is the vogue in political reporting to assess strength of a new President or Prime Minster by the impact of their opening 100 days in office.

That is when the framework of any new policies can be seen, the road map to the future is laid out and the clear philosophy of the new administration starts to emerge. The energy and zeal of the first 100 days is also when the trappings and personnel of the previous regime are removed and key appointments made. Out with the old and in with the new.

Continue reading Aitor Karanka: A Century Of Steady Progress

Boro Left In Layby By Revved Up Royals

THE LADS from the Beeb arrived just in the nick off time and rushed into their press box places flustered and unprepared just as the early opener of Boro’s 2-0 defeat flashed in.

They had been caught in a three hour nightmare traffic snarl up on the M4 and just made kick-off so can be excused their sluggish start. They had to set-up, plug in and use the old fashioned starting handle to crank up Ali Brownlee.

But Boro can have no excuses for failing to be all revved up and raring to go straight from the whistle.  In what was a tough test against in-form promotion rivals Reading they stalled at the lights then coughed and spluttered with disastrous consequences

1george              Driven crazy: George Friend indicates his frustration at Reading’s opener

Continue reading Boro Left In Layby By Revved Up Royals

Reading: Writing And Arithmetic

ONCE again Boro go into “their first real test”  of the season.

Put aside the early away trip to the joint pre-season title favourites Derby. Put aside the trips into trepidation at  first Sheffield Wednesday (having lost six of the last seven) and Nottingham Forest (one win in 42 years). Plus the ‘semi-derby’ home game with Leeds (we kicked off having an awful record against them at the Riverside).  And brush over the consensus that this is a cut-throat division packed with street-fighters from “Hideous Towns” where everyone can beat anyone and yes, it is our “first big test  of the season”.

Continue reading Reading: Writing And Arithmetic

Steel And Slapstick As Boro Leather Leeds

WHITE hot iron. Red hot steel.  It will be a potent cocktail ion of industry, work-rate, intensity and passion that gets Boro promoted this season.
On the day that the Riverside Stadium staged a show of popular support for the “save Our Steel” campaign, Aitor Karanka’s side combined to deliver exactly the kind of productivity and relentless, mechanical energy that made Teesside a global powerhouse.
big banner

Continue reading Steel And Slapstick As Boro Leather Leeds

Six-Shooting Boro Gun Down Wolves

SIX shooting Boro gunned down Wolves to seal a sizzling sextet of successive wins.

The 3-0 routine Riverside win wasn’t the most entertaining game. For long spells in the first half it was workmanlike and functional and the normally well oiled machine spluttered like an Austin Allegro on a cold winter morning but the first goal swung the game decisively and eventually a Boro side with seven changes got the job done.

It was a win with the minimum of fuss against a  well organised and industrious if shot-shy side.  It was effective rather than expansive. Professional rather than pulsating.  And it won’t take up much space on the end of season highlights DVD.

But they rattled up a string of positives and are in the hat for the fourth round draw.

Continue reading Six-Shooting Boro Gun Down Wolves

Forest Hoodoo Axed By Jinx-busting Boro

CRASSSSSH. The final whistle went to the sound of shattered hoodoo. And as the ghosts of an ancient hex were exorcised, dreams of glory and possibilities rushed into the vacuum: “if we can win HERE…

Boro took an historic axe to Forest. That’s an “I was there” moment. If the club;’s marketing department have anything about them they ‘ll  rush out a commemorative t-shirt. “I’ve seen Boro win at Forest. ”  Not many people have been able to say that since decimalisation.

But then we are getting used to Aitor lifting curses.  The last league away day was another momentous moment as we ended the Hillsborough hoodoo.  We’re on a roll…

Continue reading Forest Hoodoo Axed By Jinx-busting Boro

Boro Red Hot As Albert Comes In From The Cold

ALBERT Adomah was red hot as he came back in from the cold on a night marked by a classy brace, a public embrace and Boro in second place.

The recently “wantaway” winger bounced back from the naughty step with a bang as he claimed an assist and a goal in a rousing Riverside return and it was hugs all round as Albert and Aitor kissed and made up in a hard-fought 3-1 win over battling Brentford.


                 Albert and Aitor sitting in a tree…  frozen out flanker back in the fold

Continue reading Boro Red Hot As Albert Comes In From The Cold

Patience Boro’s Key To Unlock Massed Defences

WE are going to have to learn to be patient.

There were some audible groans of frustration at the Riverside as the frustrating first half fizzled out into a turgid low-tempo grind. And on the interval whistle there was a short-lived smattering of scornful booing.

Now, that is understandable. Boro have raised the bar this term and have spent a lot of money on proven quality top flight and international players with the avowed intention of being more potent and with that comes heightened expectations – especially when playing against the sides viewed as Championship cannon-fodder. 

Continue reading Patience Boro’s Key To Unlock Massed Defences

Northern Exposure: Arca Joins Boro Pyramid Stars

JULIO Arca has joined South Shields to fill his Saturday football vacuum with the delights of the Northern League.

The former Boro midfielder, now 34, has kept himself fit after hanging up his boots by paying his £3.50 a week subs and playing with his mates at Willow Pond FC in the second division of the Wearside Sunday League.  Now the likeable Argentine aims to step up a gear and “still do a job” in the Northern League second division with South Shields and could make his Mariners debut on Saturday at home to Stokesley.

It will be his first game in English’s football’s pyramid since he bowed out at Boro in a 3-1 Capital One Cup win at Preston in September 2012.  A persistent toe injury ended his professional career after 185 appearances and nine goals for Boro in six seasons following a £2.5m switch from Sunderland.

But he isn’t the only former first teamer to step down from playing pro to turn out in the Northern League.  It used to be a time honoured route for Boro stars to wind down their careers in the Northern League after a season or so at Darlington or Hartlepool.

Continue reading Northern Exposure: Arca Joins Boro Pyramid Stars