D’OH! Boro left back starlet Andrew Taylor has suffered a toe injury and has pulled out of the England U-21 squad for next week’s Wembley curtain-raiser with Italy, according to reports from PA which we are trying to confirm. Presumably that means he is has also been ruled out of tonight’s match leaving Boro with a massive defensive crisis.
If true then he must be out of tonight’s game or why withdraw him for the U-21s now? They would just announce it tomorrow if they wanted him to rest it after the game. There is no point getting the FA riled by withdrawing him from the squad then playing him tonight. So we must assume then that Boro are without him for the big Old Trafford showdown.
He should maybe have been rested on Saturday, along with a few more. Given that Julio Arca (groin) and Manny Pogatetz (bruising behind the knee), the obvious cover in that position, are also doubtful for tonight that leaves Boro with a massive defensive headache. Reserve left back Jonathon Grounds, come on down. Rock hard Pogatetz could play at a push – take the calipers off, give him an injection and get him out there – but you wouldn’t risk it.
Look, it’s supposed to be Man U with the injury crisis. Suddenly Boro’s paper thin squad has been exposed. There is little leeway for flexibility in the some key positions. Without Arca there is no creativity in midfield – Euell, Rochemback and Mendieta (remember him?) have been tried and tested to destruction and are not up to scratch.
And at the back it is equally fragile. Who will play on the left now? Who fancies Xavier as a makeshift solution against Ronaldo? Parnaby? Euell, he’s supposed to be versatile. How about Downing as a wing-back in a midfield five? Okay, now I’m worried.
It will probably be Parnaby who has played there before, with Davies at right-back and Xavier moved into the middle as in the past. That does not fill me with confidence.