Salvage Job: Still Tense After Scrappy Show

THAT was a nervous performance and a ricketty result that will do little to settle the January jitters on Planet Boro.

Boro came from behind to salvage a precious point in a 1-1 draw with well drilled Blackburn and showed signs in the final 20 minutes that they have the ability to turn the screw on teams in this division when they play with hunger and intensity.

But the soporific first 70 minutes was a painful self-imposed tedium that invited trouble – and got it – and which flagged up the problems in the team that the transfer window was supposed to address.

And it was unconvincing and creaky display that did little to ease the bubbling cauldron of tensions among a dizzy fan-base who have been on the waltzers for weeks.

Continue reading Salvage Job: Still Tense After Scrappy Show

Deadline Day: Live. Again

WELCOME to the ever popular, interactive breakfast-to-bongs Untypical Boro D-Day Speculatathon in which we all abandon the staid and balanced Gazette house-style and go full-on yellow tied Jim White Scoopbot S3000 bat shit crazy for 18 adrenaline splashed and caffeine  fuelled hours of full, frivolity and – occasionally – FACT!

Think of it as a cross between camp, full-on Eurovision spectacular with smoke and mirrors and gobsmacked moments of jaw-dropping Peter Odemwingie incredulity and Newsnight nuanced battling boffin forensic electoral analysis of every snippet of information that ripples through the rumoursphere. It’ll be a blast.

If you’re new this is the kind of thing you can expect. Here’s last January’s low key, make-your-own-entertainment effort. And here’s September’s all-action, dramatic Flight Of The Condor Transatlantic chase to get car crash victim Carlos de Pena over the line.

So where to start?

Continue reading Deadline Day: Live. Again

Pressure On As Blunt Boro Axed By Tricky Trees

THE PRESSURE is on now after blunt Boro were axed off the top by the Tricky Trees.

The pressure is on the team to step up a gear now and push on ruthlessly from a brilliant position and deliver the promotion dream.

The pressure is on Aitor Karanka to make sure the squad recover from a morale-denting two weeks and a string of sluggish shows to regain their intensity and momentum.

The pressure is on the chairman to navigate the treacherous waters of the January window and give the manager the right tools to finish the job.

And the pressure is on the supporters too, to stay united behind the team, to stay vocal and passionate and to drive them on to victory.

Continue reading Pressure On As Blunt Boro Axed By Tricky Trees

Brentford: “Can We Play You Every Week?”


The Boro taunt was a dagger to the heart of broken Brentford fans as they trudged dejectedly out of Griffin Park. Again.  They had hoped to see their heroes beat Boro in the league for the first time since the war but instead drifted away nursing a grudge while jubilant visitors squealed with delighted and punched the air with joy and relief. Again.

I’ve got no grudge against Brentford. There is no historic score to be settled there. They’ve never stole a player from us or inflicted any serious defeat. We’d remember that.  The people at the club are friendly enough and the fans largely harmless. So, *meh *

Continue reading Brentford: “Can We Play You Every Week?”

Claret And Bruised: Boro Hit by ‘Goal’ Shocker

WELL that was a bolt from the claret and blue.

The first Burnley goal in the 2-1 defeat took me totally by surprise and caused a very rare and half-forgotten pain to stir deep in the psyche. What was this strange stinging sensation? Conceding a goal?  What? I don’t understand.

And it wasn’t just me. The net rippled to the sounds of collective jaws hitting laps and a small intake of breath and most of the confused faces around me were left fixed in a empty state of incomprehension.

Continue reading Claret And Bruised: Boro Hit by ‘Goal’ Shocker

Emotions Overflow In Boro’s Demolition Derby

NERVOUS. Tense.  Gripped by a heart-pumping, pulse racing, stomach churning sense of anticipation. Worried. Apprehensive. Excited. Very excited.  Fearful.  On edge. Agitated. Fretful. Disturbed.  Jumpy. Overwrought.  Keyed up. Worked up. Wound up.  Pumped up. Hyped up. Going up? Worried sick. Stressed.  Blessed. Frightened. Heightened. Jittery. Taut.  Fraught. Optimistic. Pessimistic. Fatalistic. Up. Down. In. Out. Shake it all about.

That was the internal emotional turmoil going into a tense top two tussle with Derby  that even though it was a fixture exactly at the half-way point had a final furlong feel of a pivotal point in a promotion push.

Boro came out on top with a clinical 2-0 win that seized control of the Championship. They tangled the Rams in a tactical strait-jacket, slowly and methodically wore them down and dismantled them with two clinical goals. And set a whole raft of defensive records. Even Paul Clement held his hands up.

Never in doubt… but it never felt easy.  It was  a tense day that had us all pumped up.

Continue reading Emotions Overflow In Boro’s Demolition Derby

Rigid Rearguard Are Rattling Up Records

BORO 1 [Your Name Here] 0

Aitor Karanka’s clean sheet kings are absolutely awesome.
The defence – the back four, five, seven, and sometimes all ten outfield players in a orchestrated display of toe-to-toe street fighting – have created a rock solid foundation on which a Premier League promotion push can be built.

Boro Can Rev Up Race At Rainlashed Rovers

PHASE two: having got to the top spot it is time to fight tooth and nail to keep it.

We’ve been here before. Under Mogga, Boro were in a promotion spot on Boxing Day and in the post-Christmas games  lost human shield Nicky Bailey to injury, lost their shape, lost their solidity and lost their momentum.

Last year Boro were in a promotion spot and enjoyed a 10 game unbeaten run after Christmas but couldn’t shake off the pack and got caught in a four (then three, then four again) way scrape for top spot and every time they got to the summit they slipped back. They couldn’t quite open a gap. They lacked the mental strength to grab games by the throat and kill them off, although it must be said they were up against two pace-setting teams that stuck in all the and ratcheted up the pressure by the week.

This time it feels different.

Continue reading Boro Can Rev Up Race At Rainlashed Rovers