Boro Will Win On Maths Of The Day

IT WOULD take seven coupon-busting results including Boro failing to take a single point from their last two and West Ham winning at Old Trafford to conspire and drag Boro down. It is virtually unthinkable. But that won’t stop Boro fans with a pessimistic streak as wide as the Transporter from believing it is almost inevitable.
The pundits have dimissed it. Reason suggests the vital point at Manchester United helped Boro limp and collapse over the line like a jelly-legged marathon finisher. Woodgate’s signing and the renewals forms going out suggest the players and the club think the issue is dead.
But look, hey chickenrun cynics! You can still get 259-1 on Boro going down at Betfair. And given the number of times Boro have been caught in a fatel pincer movement of their rivals’ last gasp revival and their own end of season ineptitude there might be quite a few takers. As an insurance against disaster it is worth a daft quid of anyone’s money.


It will take all six results coming up to put Boro down:
West Ham MUST win at home to Bolton. The pessimist will add that Bolton are safely in Europe now and may be unpredictable after the departure of Fat Sam.
West Ham MUST win away at Manchester United. The pessimist will suggest that with the title in the bag easy going may be resting players ready for the FA Cup and Champions League final and besides, the Hammers are nailed on to win a penalty on appeal.
Sheffield United MUST beat Aston Villa on Saturday to go above Boro. The pessimists will say that when it comes to a bare knuckle scrap Neil Warnocks boys are bound to knock seven bells out of already safe Villa.
Wigan MUST beat Boro. Say no more. The pessimists will tell you our Deckchair and Sombero ensemble are useless away (and indeed at home) and may as well not travel.
Wigan MUST then beat Sheffield United on the final day. The pessimist will say that the Blades will be demob happy after securing safety against Villa and then will put their cynics hat on and hint darkly that Warnock will want Boro to go down after that furore over Southgate resting players for the Manchester City game.
Fulham MUST beat Liverpool. A draw is not good enough because they have a far worse goal difference to Boro and the pessimist will say that with Liverpool safely into the Champions League final they will ease off whil Lawrie Snachez needs a win to have any chance of the keeping the job full-time.
And Fulham MUST beat Boro on the final day. It could all come down to that one game and the ‘typical Boro’ faction will already have Franck Queudrue pencilled in to score the winner.
So, seven results all to go against Boro. Those who went to Hillsborough on the last day of the Bruce Rioch top flight season in 1988/89 will perhaps be edgy. Then Boro were seventh bottom and four points clear two games from the end and travelled to Sheffield Wednesday not even in the bottom three and knowing that Boro would have to lose and four other big results go against them for the relegation trapdoor to happen. And it did. So the nightmare scenario is not beyond comprehension and you can understand the dark fears of those battle scarred veterans who can feel the icy hand of fear tightening around their heart.
The seven result accumulator of the nightmare scenario could fall at the first hurdle though and a series of results could instead just go Boro’s way.
Boro COULD win or draw at Wigan. Even a draw is enough for a Boro team that must now be concerned for their fat Premiership wages and should be motivated by fear of the unknown if not fear of Gareth. That would make Wigan prime candidates to be caught by West Ham.
West Ham COULD lose or draw at home to a Bolton side out to impress new boss Sammy Lee. If the Hammers fail to win then Boro can not go down.
Sheffield United COULD lose or draw at Villa Park. If that happens then they can only overhaul Boro by beating Wigan on the final day – and that would mean the Latics can not escape.
So, Boro can only go down if SEVEN events all happen in an unbroken sequence but they only need any one of six possible outcomes from nine on Saturday to stay up. And if things go against them there is a similar sequence of resulst demanded on the final day. If you fancy the six result accumulator you can get the tempting 259-1. Stick £2 on and if it comes up you have your season ticket for an exciting Championship play-off push covered.
Of course, it is an absolute disgrace that it has come to this, calculating other teams results and totting up the chances of survival two games from the end and less than a year since we were planning our trips to the UEFA Cup final.
No matter what happens on Saturday the club need to launch a serious far-reaching inquest into the technical, tactical and mental failings of the squad and the entire set up to ensure that it does not happen again and that next year brings immediate marked improvement. Or the relegation odds will be far slimmer next term.

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42 thoughts on “Boro Will Win On Maths Of The Day

  1. Imagine the uproar on the day we signed woodgate on loan if the club said that with 2 games to go we would have an outside chance of going down.
    just be thankful for those 2 late goals at home to Chelsea all those months ago.
    Personally i think we wil win the final 2 games as thankfully wigan and fulham are in worse form than us

  2. I sense its like groundhog day sometimes asd a boro fan. certain things feel they happen same time of the year every year. we will all be full of optimism when we sign johhny foreigner from spain as the new hope on right midfield. club will say the players are the fittest they have ever been and chomping at the bit.
    One thing to be wary off is that usually one team that struggle towards the end of the season can end up taking that struggle into the next season.
    Its good for the rivalry and riverside attendances that sunderland are promoted, but i feel that they wil lbe competing for many players we are after and they have the money and roy keane to back it up.
    God help us if sunderland end up above us next season.. that will be extra pressure on southgate. and wil be used as a yard stick

  3. Now then AV, hope you are well.
    For me the point of all of this is the fact that our name shouldn’t even be mentioned in this dreary equation where there dregs of the footballing world are to be found.
    Can I be blunt ? If we are in the same position after 10 to 15 games next season then Southgate, Coops and Co. should get the bullet.
    For me that’s plenty of time in which to see the vaguest glimmer that he and his crew are the right people to trun the club around and to then take us to the next level.
    I for one am sick to death of the old saying that we are just a small town in Europe and so we should be happy with our lot.
    We ARE a big club no matter what those fool Geordies say and it’s about time we cracked on and proved it on a regular basis.
    So yes, give the current people all the support over the summer and give them the money to buy, but after that 15 to 20 games is plenty enough time in which to prove he and his people are able to AT THE VERY LEAST to produce a side that wants to play, try’s to play, and goes out onto that pitch every damn game wearing their hearts on their sleeves.
    If we get these things on a weekly basis and at least an attempt to try to play positive, attractive, attacking football then I for one will be a happy man and more than content to give these people lots more time.
    I don’t think the Boro fans expect miracles. I don’t think they expect too much in fact. All I personally think that they want to see in the short term is the kind of change that has taken place at Sunderland.
    Yes, I know that the Premiership will be far, far tougher than what they have had to deal with in the Championship. But I’m not talking about the success that Sunderland have achieved under Keane. I’m just talking about seeing disciplined players, motivated players, a team with moral and a fighting, winning spirit, and a team that goes out and gives it all no matter what.
    Personally, I don’t think that this is too much to ask and I really don’t want to be negative. Next season is a fresh start and we should all be supportive for the tine being.
    All I want to see at the VERY START of next season is the minium standards that we expect to see from a big club like ours.
    TB
    **AV writes: I think Sunderland players perform like that because every single one of them is terrified of how Keane will react if they don’t. It may be that that is an area in which Gareth Southgate is lacking.

  4. Don’t Fulham have to beat Liverpool to have any chance of finishing above us? Unless of course they hammer us a week after we have taken a hammering off Wigan, then a draw will do.
    259-1? Definitely worth a punt. Those bookies are such mugs aren’t they?

  5. Southgate is far too nice and polite. can you imagine giving a player a bollocking? He is too much of a modern pc manager but footballers are like children and arnt too clever so a good bollocking can be the only solution.
    we never saw southgate lose his temper on the pitch and i suspect its the same off the pitch. What he needs to do is have a bust up with another manager on the touchline or slag off the ref and get fined or a touchline ban.
    we arnt a small club any more we are about the 10th biggest club in england and been in the top flight for nearly 10 seasons now. We are not punching above our weight we are infact slightly below our weight.
    All the noises from teh club we used to hear in the late 90’s about being a top side are now gone and the club seems happy to plod along in the bottom half

  6. This is bang on and I said similar things on the FMTTM Message board. Too many people are too busy laughing about the prospect and insisting it’ll never happen.
    They’re right of course but the fact that its two games to go and it could happen is an indictment all of its own. Its a massive roll-back from January’s Renaissance when we looked like we could make real progress up the league.
    Even the devastating effects of the Man Utd replay can’t be used as an excuse – it was 6 weeks ago. Since then its been 1 win, 1 draw and 4 defeats, but its the nature of the defeats against West Ham, Aston Villa and Tottenham that sticks in the craw.
    I just hope we can get something, anything, at Wigan, have the pressure back off against Fulham, put a few past them as a boost going into the summer.
    And what a huge summer it needs to be.

  7. Vic – and Gadgie
    Let’s see how we all feel about the odds after this weekend’s fixtures. And Gadgie – I can see Fulham beating The Scousers this weekend.
    To take Vic’s ‘chicken-runner’ approach – Liverpool guaranteed Champs League next season by one of two routes so last 2 games are meaningless for them and they won’t be effected by the prize money, particularly this year. They played extra time last night and are bound to rest players on Saturday.
    I think the likelihood of The Hammers getting 2 wins is quite high.
    I think we are certainly capable of losing to Wigan. What evidence can any of you give me about why we should take even a point on the run we are on and given our propensity to screw up in games like this?
    If Sheff Utd win against Villa – the result I think is least likely, they’ll be safe and on their hols and prey to Wigan coming off the back of beating us.
    So, by my reckoning that would make it us against Fulham in a fight to the death, which is what I’ve been saying for some time.
    To quote the sainted Eastwood, “Do ya feel lucky, punk?”
    Disgusting it should come to this and I hope I’m wrong about the results this weekend.
    **AV writes: If all the first batch of results go against us it really will be squeaky bum time.

  8. FA cup papered over the cracks this season. If you look at the fa cup closely we struggled to overcome lower league teams and needed replays and sometimes penalties.
    We struggle to win games or finish teams off. look from january and see how many times we have won within the 90 minutes :- 6 games from 23 and 4 of them came in january or 2 in the last 18 games!!!
    highlights of the season have been beating chelsea but that was a last 10 minutes thing. bolton is probably our best result 5-1. when you actually look in detail at our results its been very poor and luckily we have picked up wins at home to some teams near the bottom

  9. AV, not that I want to cause you any bother or hijack the thread, but can you please explain 1 thing for me.
    You want a SERIOUS debate my friend ? Well then let’s have a serious and open debate based on mutual respect and a willingness to get to the truth about the real failings at this beloved club of ours.
    If you feel that I am going over old ground, or that I have some personal crusade to fight and that this is not the place to do it, feel TOTALLY free not to air this post of mine and to just bin it when it arrives on your computer as truly I don’t want to fall out with you or anyone else in here as I have been slated enough over these past few months for this opinion I hold about the club.
    An opinion that you now seem to be agreeing with, in part at least.
    My only cause here is debate. Good, honest debate based on an assumption that no matter who is right or wrong that we all want the same thing. Namely a strong, vibrant and successful club that is at the heart of our community.
    So, what exactly is the difference between what you now say here…
    ” No matter what happens on Saturday the club need to launch a serious far-reaching inquest into the technical, tactical and mental failings of the squad and the entire set up ”
    ” and the entire set up ”
    …and what Maccarone said when he left ?
    Please bear in mind that still today on his personal coach’s web site he invites anyone at MFC and the English FA who feels that lies have been told or that the now infamous press release were the words of someone else’s other than Maccarone’s authorised words, to sue him, before you reply telling me that it was all made up.
    If people want a proper debate then let’s have one.
    If people want a proper investigation into the failings at this club then let’s have one.
    But let’s not just dismiss what a player of 5 years has said just on the grounds that he was a failure here ( I too totally agree that he was ) and that he had a vendetta against the club because of it.
    Perhaps, just perhaps we are now starting to realise and undertsand that this club IS stuck in the dark ages with its training methodology and all that goes with it.
    To cut an old story short AV, don’t you think that what Xavier said about the club backs up what Maccarone was saying, but only that Xavier put it in a much more positive manner and in a way that would be of benefit to the club, rather than the way Maccarone did it ?
    “Valencia, several seasons ago, were like Middlesbough, fighting to stay in their league,” said the 34-year-old defender. “But since then they have been in three Champions League finals.
    “There are things behind the scenes that are vital in football to reflect a winning mentality on the pitch.
    “There is a negative environment in this city because there is a fear of going down. Things must change and we must provide that from inside to outside the club.
    “When you look at the club, it is a settled one, and the chairman wants to build a good club. But the ideas must still go forward.
    “I have the experience and knowledge. I have been at clubs who were fighting to win titles, to go in to the UEFA Champions League, and at those who go down. I can see a picture here that it can be done properly.”
    The former Portugal international acknowledges that, though the club is moving forward, no-one can afford to rest on their laurels. He believes more can be done to speed up the process of progression.
    “There needs to be a base created for a good and positive environment at the club over the next two or three years, with players who show character” said Xavier.
    “If we can do this we can challenge the top half of the table because you have a winning mentality. We still don’t have a winning mentality here.
    “The people in charge at the club must change that for the club to go forwards. There are a lot of examples of teams abroad who are on the same levels and standards as Middlesbrough, and we’re not talking about money.
    “Everybody knows that we have a positive academy, which creates talented players. But the quality has to be raised to step up performances and educate good habits, and in doing so you will create a better person and a better player.
    “Valencia, Lyon and Sevilla are good examples. There is a lot of research to be done and look behind the scenes (of those teams). You shouldn’t stick with one orientation that is good, because it might not be good enough.
    “The teams that do this are successful. It is not a question of money or quality players, of course if you are fighting for the title and have the money you will attract a more intelligent player and create a better quality team.
    “But when Valencia won the title it wasn’t the same as Real Madrid or Barcelona (in terms of money) – there is another way of doing things, by building the foundations behind the scenes.
    “It is not good enough for me to hear ‘we are small town from the North-East and we must stick with our old ideas’.
    “No, if the club wants to go forward, as I know the chairman and gaffer wants, they need to jump, make the next step and globalise.”
    Have a GOOD read of what Xavier said and then tell me I’m wrong about my views of the archeaic ways of this club.
    Here are some selected words that for me are a damning enditment of the outdated ways that exist behind the scenes at this club.
    ” There are things behind the scenes that are vital in football to reflect a winning mentality on the pitch…
    There is a negative environment in this city because there is a fear of going down. Things must change and we must provide that from inside to outside the club…
    We still don’t have a winning mentality here.
    “The people in charge at the club must change that for the club to go forwards… and we’re not talking about money…
    Everybody knows that we have a positive academy, which creates talented players. But the quality has to be raised to step up performances and educate good habits…
    There is a lot of research to be done and look behind the scenes (of those teams). You shouldn’t stick with one orientation that is good, because it might not be good enough…
    there is another way of doing things, by building the foundations behind the scenes…
    It is not good enough for me to hear ‘we are small town from the North-East and we must stick with our old ideas’…
    they need to jump, make the next step and globalise…
    Am I wrong ?
    TB
    **AV writes: There is no sudden conversion sparked by the league table. I have always agreed in part with the position you and others – and Maccarone – have advanced, indeed I have advanced it myself pretty consistently for over a decade and it has been the cause of considerable conflict between myself and the club.
    I have always thought that not just Boro but the whole of English football needs a cultural revolution, not just in technical spheres but also in its relationship to the fans. It is that that has marked me out as being different from most football writers who to various degrees reguritate spin.
    But you can’t bang that drum every day, every week because it become boring and people stop hearing the messages and try to block out what becomes white noise.
    What makes that position different to the Maccarone one is that it is considered and consistent and is not wrapped up in what was seen by most as a subjective torrent of bitter self-justifying abuse.
    I am always ready for serious debate – barring one or two legally questionable statements I have always given you a platform on here for instance, even when you have insulted me – and I welcome a wide range of perspectives. But debate is not all out combat and it is not neccessary to bludgeon articulate readers with different positions into submission.

  10. southgate is obviously an intelligent guy who is honest and hardworking and focused. This was true as a player but i think he needs to realise that most of the footballers he manages aren’t like that and would take the easy route if they can.
    Generally over the last couple of years at boro the problem has been players are only motivated for themselves and not for the rest of the team. This is why Bolton do consistently better than us in the league.
    We are a good cup side because the players feel they have a good chance of winning a trophy. in the league the players feel we can’t so dont bother putting the same effort in. Thiis all stems from the season when we reached teh fa cup semi final against arsenal.
    Maybe we need more changes behind the scenes to freshen up the coaching.

  11. Look back a couple of weeks on this site and you’ll find i predicted Sunlun would win promotion, and i know it’s early days but i also said that the mackems will finish above MFC next season! Think about it GS & SG, Sunlun above The Boro next season.
    Season ticket prices are a insult to all long paying and suffering S&T red book holders. I paid good money again for my three tickets on SG WORD to move this club to another level, sorry but this never happened.
    And SG words again for me to renew are “to take this club forward we need your money”sorry but my bank account needs my money and will be puttng it to better use …fancy a nice holiday darling? Sorry AV not you!

  12. ” even when you have insulted me ”
    Firstly let me begin by saying sorry here as this is never my intention. Not to you or anyone else. I don’t come here for that and I certainly don’t come here thinking I am forced to be right.
    Secondly, now that you have made your case I am happy that we both can agree on many things with regards this topic and that I find refreshing as no one is prepared to discuss these matters.
    Thirdly, I only raised these points again as they were in your original post and I did make it clear that you need not post my words if you didn’t feel that they were appropriate.
    I don’t want to ruin this blog of yours as it is a truly fine example of professional journalism, and I’m not just saying that because I want to butter you up. It is honestly how I feel which is why I really don’t want to put other people off from coming here and contributing to what is an excellent array of views from passionate fans.
    To then take comments from real fans and put them in the local paper shows your and the Gazettes desire to let us fans have our say and for this everyone involved should be applauded.
    If the club did this then I guess fans wouldn’t feel so isolated and frustrated.
    Why is it that question regarding West Ham has been raised only by you and not by the club ?
    Why is it that you give us all a vheicle to air our views and to have a proper say and yet the club really do not ?
    How is it that I have to come here to air my views instead of being able to have a board that links directly to the club and that we are given some responses, as they do in most gyms with regards peoples questions and feedback ?
    Where is the communication and dialogue with the club ? They ask for our support via season tickets and then take the money and run.
    Gibson or Lamb going on the three legends every 3 or 4 years just isn’t good enough.
    Thank you once again.
    TB
    **AV writes: You don’t need to butter me up. I am totally committed to an open and accessible debate and engaging as many supporters as possible in shaping the game. I think participation in football is part of our cultural heritage. Ordinary people built and financed the clubs and they have flourished because of our emotional investment.
    The clubs however do not see it that way. They see their operations as commercial enterprises and see no reason to explain anything to people they see as customers. This is a deeply flawed perspective that they got away with during the great boom but that will not serve them well as the politicallandscape changes and crowds turn away.
    On the specific issue of West Ham I don’t know why the club are staying quiet although it is possible that they do not want to say anything that may prejudice any future legal action or appeal. There may be a lot of horse trading and diplomacy going on behind the scenes.

  13. This repeated stuff about massimo is becoming a bit boring and far too much text to really read for me.
    All i will say is that using massimo is a bad example because he wasnt good enough for the premier league and is hardly going to have a glittering career after boro. he seemed a bit bitter with how things turned out. there was no way he was ever going to get ahead of the likes of yakubu,viduka and jfh.
    in the end fans want football as cheap as possible and clubs want to maximise revenue to pay high wages and transfer fees.

  14. ” …I really don’t want to put other people off from coming here and contributing to what is an excellent array of views from passionate fans.”
    Make your posts any longer and you just might succeed Tony. [ Can you insert a giant smiley there AV in case that is taken too seriously 🙂 ]
    My to the point contribution (I’m basically lazy) is that should the ‘unlikely’ happen, then we can at least all look forward to a summer of fun and games as Steve Gibson sues the ass off West Ham.

  15. Anyone remember the debate about resting players against Citeh in the hope that we beat ManU in the cup?
    At the time some of us argued that it would create the wrong mentality amongst the players, it would lose momentum, the players would lose focus.
    Some of us argued the importance of finishing on a high to help carry feel good factors over the summer.
    Some of us take no pleasure as chickens are catching sundry methods of transport to come home to roost.
    We are now left with us constantly looking at the results predictor to check on permutations, Even Eric the ImPaylor if sounding worried. Gate is angry – to coin a well known political phrase that appears like being savaged by a sheep – though to be fair I think he is hard nosed underneath his calm exterior.
    Sadly all the festering sores are now being rubbed and reopened. Ticket prices, Sky, three point deductions, Maccarone, Draculamb, Gibbo must go, sack the Yak or put him on a diet, fans perfecting Private Lawrie impersonations, foam hands doing Nelson impersonations, drinking in Yarm, Arca and Rocky look good.
    I need a beer.

  16. OK guys, ALL your points are taken on the chin.
    So let’s talk…
    Ian, so where do you see this all ending up then ?
    Do you think that all these ills that you talk about and that have been talked about endlessly before will be sorted out by GS and his staff ? How long do you give him before you think that he should go ?
    If not GS then who ? Big Sam ? Would Ranieri come here ? Would we want him ?
    AV – Even when we sign someone on a four year deal who is regarded as one of the best defenders around when he is fit, we still can’t really enjoy the moment and feel that better times are on their way because wherever you go the talk is that he has a big fat clause in his contract that releases him if any of the big four come calling.
    People will no doubt tell me that this is all heresay, but on the FMTTM website there are obviously friends and families of players and they are all clued into these things.
    The PR department at the club should be pro active and clear these kinds of issues up as we are not some kind of charity shop window that exists to give players a footing back up into the big time.
    If this clause exists then it makes a mockery of all the claims being made by Gibson, Lamb and GS that MFC are investing and rebuilding for the future.
    How can you build if the main guy who we are about to make El Capitain buggers off at the first opportunity ?
    TB
    **AV writes: All “the talk” of a clause will be just that. Just like talk of “must play” contracts and talk of “two more games for the insurance pay-off, swear down!”
    Why would friends know the intricacies of the deal? Why would Woodgate tell his milkman and the bloke in the pub about something like that? He is well aware of PR and the sensitivity of the football public. It is incredible how many people believe they privy to a footballers’ contract.

  17. TB
    These problems have been evident for some time, some of them are historic and we all know they will come out when we go through a sticky patch – a bit like being married and you think the other half has forgotten something only for it to come back up when something isn’t right.
    The major issues are the obvious ones for a football club and focus on the playing staff. I am presuming Gate is no fool and is aware of the need to start with tempo – the players just havent seemed to grasp it and it is not a new scenario, certainly Gate has played enough times when it has happened. In the past it appeared a deliberate policy to get to half time and see what would happen second half. Many of us remember the season of 1-0 away defeats, all depressingly familiar. To change that may mean a drastic reshuffle of the squad.
    There are also obvious weaknesses within the squad especially on the right hand side. Interesting that Eric Paylor commented on Boat doing a good job at right back. It would be ironic if Boro have bought a left back (and not the best) only for him to replace Boat who then makes full back his own.
    There are other issues you alude to on the playing side which are areas I cannot comment on because I do not know the facts.
    One area that needs improving is the club engaging with fans and enough internet time has been expended on that topic.
    But we come back to the prime issue, the club isnt winning football matches and in many cases providing poor fare as well. I think that is the main driving force to the disatisfaction evident amongst fans and the sundry message boards, as I said in the intro people then add in all the other issues.
    Gate will not disappear this summer nor will Jose arrive. Many predicted this would be a difficult season, in my view whether mac left or stayed. The next one will decide Gate’s future as a manager.
    The problem is we are entering the close season on a low with season ticket renewals on the way.

  18. Despite our desperate form of late we have an excellent chance of a positive result at Wigan. They are not in the position of West Ham or Charlton, they are in a downward spiral, no confidence and certainly no momentum.
    What Boro need to do is get stuck into them early on and hit their confidence even more. That way we have every chance of getting the one or three points we need to be able to breath a sigh of relief.
    That said the fact we are in this position is a disgrace, the team/club has under performed big time this year. There are all sorts of reasons why, change of manager, new manager making mistakes, players adapting to a new style, players stuck in a rut, players not as good as they think they are etc etc etc.
    Next season we must see a big improvement, to achieve that GS needs to be brave, ship out some dead wood, maybe pick a new captain, sign some players who are self motivated and hungry for success. We have a core of very good quality players who give us the potential to compete in the top half of the table.
    I disagree with TB 15-20 games is not long enough to judge GS he should be judged on where we are this time next year.
    I’m an eternal optimist so I’m sure we will be in the prem. next year, I also see no reason to believe that Keane is better than GS, all he did was get the best squad in the championship to perform to its potential. I also don’t believe that fear motivates players, its a proven scientific fact that Humans (and that includes pro. footballers!) are motivated by praise and de-motivated by critisism.
    What is important is that a manger is determined, clearly the man in charge and makes it clear what he wants to achieve. GS is clearly an intelligent thoughtful bloke who presents well on TV just because he doesn’t do a ‘Warnock’ now and again doesn’t make him a soft touch.
    Those of you who think that being a football manager is all about shouting and screaming at your players are living in the past.

  19. generally the difference between the players at boro compared to those at manutd chelsea etc is consistency.
    they generally are consistently playing well. with teams like boro each players peaks at different times and can’t sustain the consistency. Thats probably why they end up playing for boro rather than manutd or chelsea.
    On their day downing and viduka are upthere but they dont have those days enough. very rarely do all the boro players hit form at the same time. Only time this season has been at home to bolton.
    This is why downing and yakubu will never play for bigger clubs than boro until they get that consistency.
    Basically boro playrs have a larger difference between peaks and troughs than players at the big clubs. For example ronaldo might have been poor against ac milan but relative to any other player in england he is miles bettter. he has 16 league goals compares to downing’s about 2.
    Until the premier league is normalised across the clubs then nothing is going to change

  20. Nigel,
    I wonder if being an ex boro player doesnt help southgates role. How many ex players go on to be succesful manager of a club they we just a player of? ie gone direct into management from being a player for the same club.
    Add that to very few successful english managers about then history shows southgate is up against it. Is he just goign to be another pearce, bryan robson, micky adams, roeder..etc?

  21. Nigel
    (Wigan)…”are not in the position of West Ham or Charlton, they are in a downward spiral, no confidence and certainly no momentum.”
    So are we.

  22. Wigan’s home record is pretty poor so i am confident that if the players can be bothered we will win and also i feel we will beat fulham. Then everyone will be saying the side will be good enough and it’s all rosey in the garden again

  23. Alf
    Playing at a better clubs makes players look better as well because they make it easier for you to perform.
    When ManU are in full flow Carrick looks excellant. When ManU struggle he looks very ordinary because there is no outlet for his natural strength which is moving the ball about.

  24. Hi Alf
    thanks for the reply mate you make some interesting points as always.
    It would be interesting to hear the clubs point of view with regards all of this and all of what we discuss over the many month’s.
    ” generally the difference between the players at boro compared to those at manutd chelsea etc is consistency.
    they generally are consistently playing well. with teams like boro each players peaks at different times and can’t sustain the consistency. Thats probably why they end up playing for boro rather than manutd or chelsea. ”
    But why is this mate ? How can the likes of the duke and the yak etc be good one game and then bad for three ? If the talent is there for one game what happens to it over the next ? Surely this has to do with the coaching side ?
    These are questions i ask myself all the time and i just keep coming back to what goes on behind the scenes.
    Man u are still fresh as daisies playing in all comps and yet we seem dead on our feet.
    This week there is no training at the training ground as the players have three days off and i even hear than one of the players is dj ing in some club in the boro. This hardly seems like the best preparation for a must win game.
    Mate, am i wrong here ? Just say as i really want to be clear about these things.
    TB

  25. Ian,
    I agree to a certain extent..ie like when we signed karemboo and co.
    But surely the majority of manutd players are far better than boro players? I mean man utd have the occassional bad game against ac milan but boro have the occassional good game against bolton and charlton.
    Surely if some of our players were really that good then the likes of manutd and chelsea would be queing up to sign downing,yakubu,viduka and cattermole for £20M.
    Tony,
    what you have to realise is that if yakubu and viduka were consistent they would have been and will be snapped up by the big clubs. Thats why manutd, arsenal, liverpool and chelsea wil lpay big money for a player who is consistent.
    On his day viduka can be class but its not often enough.
    World class players have the consistency, but good players dont have the consistency. When ronaldo has a poor game against ac milan it is noticed but 80% of the time he has a good game.
    compare that to players at boro and they only perform in about 30% of games and only once they have all clicked on form against bolton.
    nothing to do with coaching just how good a player really is. I mean how do you explain that hull and bolton and notts county played well against boro but are in league below us and we played well against man utd in the cup but we are near the bottom and they are at the top. World class players sustain that level of performance for most games

  26. Man Utd look far from fresh as a daisy last night. Whatever fergie’s blatherings, the blame for that doesn’t lie with the FA/Premier League.
    What is so wrong with a player DJing in a club? It’s a hobby, nothing wrong with that. They are human beings after all, and extra-curricular activities are healthy. I’m sure he wouldn’t have been off it on booze or whatever.

  27. ” Man Utd look far from fresh as a daisy last night. Whatever fergie’s blatherings, the blame for that doesn’t lie with the FA/Premier League. ”
    Funny how they decimated Roma 7 – 1 and ran all night long like the ever ready bunny.
    Last night they were beaten by the far better team and now ferguson just wants to make excuses.
    It was interesting what gullit asked seedorf about what was so speacial about milan and their milan lab. Seedorf simply replied that everywhere you look on the walls were photo’s of decades of winning milan sides and that everyone was just talking about winning. Winning, winning, winning he said, that’s all you hear at milan all the time.
    We are not milan but this kind of spirit and fighting talk is what we lack, roy keane style.
    On our day we beat chelsea and those prima donnas at man u and so with a great big dollop of this winning mentality and a big re oraganisation on and off the field i have no doubt whatsoever that this club can go a long long way.
    TB

  28. Yes, they turned it on against Roma (who were diabolical and disinterested) as they do against many, many other teams, but they have had several poor performances in recent weeks. Portsmouth away, Boro, last night, etc.
    So to say they are still full of energy in all comps is not strictly true.
    Man Utd have a winning mentality – they also have top class, consistent players (and Kieran Richardson) to give them that little bit extra. The boro doesn’t.
    I agree that we may lack a winning mentality, and that’s something that needs to be looked at.

  29. Promotion relegation championships, forget everything about the fans its all about greed, tv and making pot upon pot of money. Shame on the suits. The West Ham scenario proving the point

  30. Tony Black- what a lonely life you must lead. Your posts dwarf those of AV while lacking the wit and style with which our favorite sports journo writes with.
    On topic – there is no chance we can go down. Yes, we need SWP next season rather than waste our money on a bunch of average players but our team is hardly in poor shape and Catt, Johnson and Mozza are good midfield subs. Also, great to have Tony Mac back so we can finally rid ourselves of the awful Davies. Up the Boro.

  31. malc,
    Do you mean tony mcmahon who hasnt kicked a ball in anger for nearly 2 years? How do we know he will come back as a good player. He reminds me of christie when everyone seems to think he was better than he actually was despite being out injured for so long

  32. JP – I agree that we are in a similar position to Wigan but the fact is the threat of relegation as of today looms over them more than it does over us.
    No room for complacency though, however Wigan is an opportunity to get a result, I’d rather be playing them than West Ham or Man Utd. etc. In other words if we had to choose a team to play right now then Wigan would be close to the top of the list.
    We know Boro can produce the goods, after all we got a draw at Utd. which wasn’t expected, so we can get a result at Wigan too.
    TB – We know you have an agenda re the coaching regime at Boro you don’t have to keep repeating it! On a lighter note you promised never to mention Massimo again!!
    He is not a good example to back up your arguement, he bombed at Boro because he was cr*p. I don’t know if you are right or wrong on the coaching thing but more to the point I don’t know how well qualified you are or how well informed you are to judge either.

  33. Alf
    I don’t think we ‘know’ that Tony Mc will come back as a good player but his performances for the reserves have been steadily getting up to his previous par as he has regained fitness.
    It’s often the case that player’s reputations increase when they’re not playing but, in this case, I base my assessment on the more than half a season he played in the first team and captained England U21s before he was injured when he started to show real class and potential and had a string of fine performances.
    One of the many disappointments to the end of this disastrous, and still potentially catastrophic, season is that had we secured our position by now we could have eased him back into the first team for a couple of starts in these next two games.
    This would have been a start to ‘knowing’. Now we may need to wait for pre-season.
    A good reason for wanting him to come back as good as he was is that it saves us what could be a sizeable transfer fee for a right back that we could use elsewhere to strengthen.

  34. “Your posts dwarf those of AV while lacking the wit and style with which our favorite sports journo writes with.”
    Nah, it’s Alan Oliver all the way for me. Comedy gold.

  35. Alf
    I agree that overall ManU players are better than ours. The only point I was making is that everyone looks better in a good team and hence the consistency improves.

  36. I bet wigan will be thinking to themselve that they feel confident of beating us. Just look at our away form and current run.

  37. ian, i agree to a certain extent that 1 or 2 players look better and can be carried(eg gazza at rangers) but generally the players are better than our players and more consistent.
    thats why teams like manutd will win the league,reached the champions league semi final and fa cup final whereas boro are stuggling to stay up and would go down if there were another 10 games left.
    if downing,yakubu,woodgate,viduka were that good the top teams would be offering us silly money
    **AV writes: Or maybe if they played for United they would shine because their better team-mates would eliminate mistakes, relieve pressure, create more chances and give them a more time on the ball to show theit full range of skills without spending so much time firefighting?

  38. SO what percentage of a man utd team need to have world class players to be able to sustain their form this season? 70%
    Also dont forget that man utd have rested players in various competitions and been hit by injuries but are still up at the top.
    If downing was that good then teams like manutd would be queuing up to pay £20m+ for him.

  39. Oddly I dont recall saying our players were better than ManU players, all I said was that in a top class team players will play better and be more consistent.
    The better the player in the first place the more he would benefit from playing in a team like ManU.

  40. Its the chicken and egg situation do manutd buy a player because he is the best available in that positon or do they buy a player to fit in a positon just to fill a hole and can be carried by everyone else.
    And why do you think a player benefits by playing for manutd? better manager and coaches and his level improves because he is surrounded by world class players and he learns from them

  41. Alf
    For goodness sake, that is what I have been saying all along, if you read my original posting it was agreeing with you and just adding that players will look better and be more consistent at clubs with better players.

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