Riverside Revolution II

COMRADES, forward to glory with the renewed Riverside Revolution!
After denouncing Trotskyist wrecker Mark Viduka for holding back the revolution during the course of the last five year plan, Comrade Keith Lamb has announced another Great Leap Forward: a bright new age of pace, work-rate, a high- energy entertaining ethic, young players who want to wear the shirt and a new wind of economic realism on wages.
But amid the chest-beating PR spin about an imagined future of blistering pace and goals aplenty there was the dull thud of a giant penny dropping.

“We want a team that is attractive to watch, that has high energy in all areas of the field,â€? said the chief executive. Look at the energy many clubs put into games – Reading are a good example – and it just shows what you can achieve with a great team effort. We need to bring in new players with energy all over the pitch and a different approach than we’ve had in the past.â€?

About time too. The new policy now being elaborated is of course what the Red Book waving masses have been demanding for years: tempo, attacking in numbers and an injection of passion and desire into a team that often looked one-dimensional, sluggish and demotivated.
For years the vanguard pointed out the obvious: cut-price teams supposedly ponderous Boro’s inferiors were ripping us apart with frightening pace and power, fitness and physicality,bottle and a gushing self belief, and that the club have failed to build on the big breakthrough into Europe because the team was wedded to a slow and cautious style.
It should be no surprise that Boro have struggled in the league in recent years when the likes of Ray Parlour and Gaizka Mendieta have spluttered in the wake of sprinters and when in George Boateng and Fabio Rochemback they now have the slowest running engine in the Premiership.
That the club have acknowledged the problem is a step forward. The trick of course is rectifying it – and quickly. The new campaign will soon be upon us and for the new flag-bearers of the revolution to be at their best they must do a full pre-season so the new football philosophy can be given expression collectively by the new team. New shapes, new tactics, new patterns, new responses under pressure, new relationships within the team to be forged.
Of course, no one wants a team full of Linford Christie’s. They have to be able to play a bit too. Physicality and pace are assets but they must be allied to touch, control, heart and intelligence if they are to be made to count. We don’t want a new Wimbledon playing long balls forward to giants and with Lamb’s stress on the need for entertainment we must presume that neither do the club’s top brass.
The departure of Viduka has been a blow and leaves a big hole to fill – but it also represents an opportunity to speed up the rate of change. Southgate’s initial intention was to slowly replace the old guard and he had hoped to keep Viduka and address the problem up front later. Now that crucial department needs addressing urgently and with the other problems – principally on the right – still requiring drastic surgery the rebuilding programme must be accellerated. Replacing the right flank but starting the season with Yakubu, Lee and Yuell as the strike force would be a recipe for disaster.

“Gareth has long stated that he wants to make changes,â€? explained Lamb. “He said he wanted to have evolution at this football club – maybe that’s now revolution.â€?

The first move was to make a bid for Jeremie Aliadiere who it has been stressed is not a replacement for Viduka – nor, as wags have suggested after looking at his goals stats, for Malcolm Christie – but who represents a shift towards the new profile: he has the pace to break forward onto perceptive balls from the midfield and get behind defences and so offers an option that has been lacking in recent years. He will yet need to be joined by the Viduka replacement with Romeo Castelen the latest name in the frame.
The team are still crying out for a whole new right flank and pace in the centre too so a revolutionary turmoil may be needed to sweep away some of the slower and maybe more complacent figures and replace them with younger, faster and hungrier players. That could place big question marks over slower players like Boateng and Andrew Davies.
“There will be players coming in and players going out,â€? confirmed Lamb. A host have left already with the departure of not just Viduka but also fringe players like Danny Graham and Christie and those unwilling to resign themselves to life as a squad player like Stuart Parnaby. The key to making a success of the new turn will be to replace those quickly with young, hungry, fast and skilful players who will buy into the new philosophy of attacking, entertaining football played with spirit.
Importantly the club say they won’t be repeating the mistakes of the past and paying over the odds for over the hill players with little resale value. Some will read that as a retreat from ambition and a failure to compete but it is in tune with the drive to make the club ‘cut its cloth’ as gates drift down and Teesside starts to “get the team it can afford” but realistically you can’t moan about high ticket prices on the one hand and urge the club to break the bank for a big star the wrong side of 30 on the other.
“We want players that come to Boro for the right reasons. To further their careers not their bank balances,â€? said Lamb. You can’t argue with that. But such recruitment will mean a radical reshaping of the scouting network in the wake of Don Mackay’s departure and will take another change in policy in the way the club is sold, not just to the local fanbase but to the media and via them to potential employees.
That means making the ‘rebranding’ of the club something more than just a new badge unveiled on a bit of MDF in the centre-circle but an opportunity to re-engage with the supporters to boost flagging morale and harness the passion that will be needed to fuel the Great Leap Forward.
**This is an extended download only club mix of this week’s Big Picture column in Tuesday’s steam driven paper format Evening Gazette.


44 thoughts on “Riverside Revolution II

  1. Many of us have posted about the need for pace and tempo, it has been clear for some time (and I mean several years) that the squad was set up on a cautious frame of mind.
    Viduka has left and it was no surprise, as someone who posted regularly about how he came to life as Aussie internationals loomed on the horizon I cant really criticise Lambs comments though I do not like the fact they were said once he has left.
    Yak may well be going as well. As long as we bring in players to compliment the squad That will be the best we can do. We still need someone who can head a ball, to make runs across defenders, to attack the ball in general. Interesting that Nugent has told Everton to buck up their ideas because he wont wait for ever.
    We still need right sided players at full back and midfield.
    Dont know how Aliadiere fits in but lets see who comes in next.
    **AV Writes: I’ve moved this to the new thread as it seemed appropriate

  2. Looking at a slightly bigger picture than just ‘who replaces Viduka’ at the end of the season we had four strikers, Yak, Viduka, Graham and Christie. In August we will have Yak, Aliadiere, Dong Gook Lee and maybe Castelen.
    That gives us a far more potent strike force than we had in May, if we have a new decent right wing and right back that gives us a better right side to the team, providing GS can bag the players he wants the signs are we will have a better more balanced team than last season.
    We have every reason to be optimistic now where as last year at this time the future was far more uncertain.
    Also all the ‘worry’ about lack of funds seem to be unfounded, which is good news.
    Very Happy – I like your style!

  3. Nigel
    Boro have not bought anyone yet, Lamb is trying to sell season tickets.
    He talks the talk now lets see if funds are released for players who can run not only walk. I would not be suprised if any new buys are funded by the selling of Yakubu

  4. “That gives us a far more potent strike force than we had in May”
    I hope that is firmly tongue in cheek. Give me a fat lazy striker goal scorer over one who runs round all day like a headless chicken. you dont get points for running around

  5. Spooky that I posted at the same time as the blog came. Not surprising when the theme has been constant for many moons.
    Even less surprising is the fact I agree with the theme.

  6. Its all hot air and we’ve heard it all before. McClaren turned to youth and brought in Greening and Wilson, Riggott and Christie but they didn’t spark no great leap forward, treading water more like.
    The only times we’ve had the buzz around the Riverside and played entertaining football that got people in was when they went out and spent big on some player that other people wanted, not just Juninho/Rav but also Merson, Ziege and then last time around when they got Viduka and JFH. Getting a big name in is a real declaration of intent.
    If they want fans to show willing then so do they and if they have no money they should borrow it like I had to for Eindhoven. They say there is no money but their is bucketloads coming next year and they should be able borrow against that.

  7. Ian Gill…………..McClaren has gone and taken his non tactical knowledge with him, which soon found him out again didn’t it.
    Gareth has brought in Woodgate and Huth who are both international player and have their best years still to come. You are hot air, because you have pre-judge next season without a ball being kicked.
    It looks like our keeper is on his bike thankfully and I hope it’s a tandem, cos the Yak will be needing a lift.
    Finally, Alf..you do not give a fat lazy striker a contract that he wanted at 31yrs of age????

  8. Never Happy , Boro have clearly had a bid accepted for Aliadiere, thats not season ticket talk and clearly he doesn’t have the reputation to sell season tickets so I disagree.
    Alf, it wasn’t tongue in cheek, we’re not going to replace Viduka with someone of equal stature, because such a player only plays for one of the top four.
    GS has to buy someone who has potential and can then produce a team that is more potent than in the past with goals being scored from midfield.
    Boro were a one trick pony in the last three months of the season, if Viduka didn’t perfrom we didn’t win, that was not a sustainable position which is why GS was already trying to buy a couple of young strikers with potential.
    It seems to me Boro are damned for buying a player who has a reputation because he is too old and then damned for buying a young player because he is ‘unproven’.
    We can’t buy Drogba or Rooney so get real, GS has to take a risk and hope it works he has no choice.
    Viduka has gone he can’t be replaced, its time to look forward.

  9. Good luck to the club in seeking to freshen things up with a new approach; it is clearly the thing to do to reinvigorate the team, stadium and area and the emphasis on hard work and drive is fitting for a team representing Teesside on the national stage.
    Hope all the professional doom-mongers are proved wrong though no doubt these defeatist saddos will still find something to moan moan moan about regardless of the outcome.
    Come on Boro!

  10. if the fans want big name signings such as viduka and woodgate to come in more often, then they need to get their wallets out, because steve gibson deserves a full riverside and with that many ticket sales, gibbo will then have the power and cash to challenge 4 the uefa cup.
    c’mon the boro!!!!
    forget the boo boys!!!

  11. So we need three more players, two in midfield and one at right back, except we’ve already spent the best part of ten million? Let’s just hope the warchest is big enough
    Doesn’t look like it since we only bid £1.3m for Riga and now everyone is on him like a rash after his brace against Valencia.
    If we get pace on the right flank and a bit in the centre of midfield, along with someone new to hold the ball up front, then I think we will be steaming.
    We have not had a defence this good since Ehiogu and Southgate and Schwarz in their prime back when the Gate arrived! Plus we’re strong at holding midfield, if Cattermole is just left there and not played on the right.
    With this defence then combined with pace going forward we could finally become an ATTRACTIVE counter-attacking team, not just a long-ball one like in certain recent seasons!
    Look at what Giggs said about the current United team; they are so attractive, nearly as good as 92/93 BECAUSE they trust their defence so much.
    And don’t judge Southgate’s opinion on what a ‘new type’ of player coming to the club means on the basis of what McClaren got with Greening and Wilson; don’t think I need to explain why, Alliadiere is above that for sure.

  12. Hi Anthony
    Agree with the need to bring in new faster players, but they must have intelligence too. As someone has already said, we don’t need “headless chickens”.
    Arca may be able to direct traffic from the middle, but I would like to see another “midfield schemer” as well as the proposed right-sided players.
    Kerlon – like the idea but don’t see any mention of exactly how he’ll get a work permit? Has he already got a European passport, or grandparents?
    As he’s just had an operation he won’t be playing in any internationals anytime soon.
    Pauline – Acklam

  13. Many of the big name recruits over recent years have been on the downward slope of their careers and yet still comanded huge wages.
    A new policy of recruiting younger developing players must be accompanied with vetrans who arrive on short contracts realistic wages and no transfer fee.
    Middlesbrough is never going to be at the centre of the footballing universe as long as greed is god in the premiership. We don’t have the supporter catchment, the climate or the fasionnable status to attract the top players such as Berbatov, Lampard or Ronaldo.
    However we can sustain a top eight team (meaning 5th, 6th 7th or 8th) built around ambtious up and comers like Nugent and Kamara and Aliadiere.
    They will come and do a good to great job for the club for a couple of years and some will move on for a tidy profit when they have proved there worth.

  14. seriously, ‘borrow the money’? you have to be joking do we want to be another leeds. when gates go up we can borrow but until then we can only spend what we have got.
    we are in a good place as far as i can tell in the transfer market aliadere is a good player with good control and dong gook lee is only a game away from scoring bucketloads of goals week in week out.

  15. This is not a revolution. It isn’t even a major change in policy. And you can’t just pluck a new philosophy out of the air.
    It is just an attempt to make a pre-season ticket deadline virtue out of the cost-cutting that has now been going on for two years. It is a reprise of the “club Teesside can afford” theme.
    Most of the last few transfer windows under McClaren we saw attempts to get people in on loan and get big wage earners out.
    Under Southgate it has been more of the same. Huth in last year yes, but six or more big earners out first. Woodgate in yes, but Viduka out and a conscious move to bring in a cheaper option.
    That in itself is not a bad thing, wages are ridiculous and we can’t just keep piling money up on the table in the hope players come but to say it is now policy not to buy established stars is a dangerous shift in policy. What if t6he perfect player is available but he is 31 and wants £30k? Do we refuse on principle to pay it?
    There are key roles in the team that need to be filled by experienced proven quality: in goal, central defence, up-front… you can’t just stick a youngster in and hop ehis potential comes through. Not if you also want to compete.
    I’m all in favour of bringing young talent in, recruiting in the lower leagues and then selling on at a profit, becoming a club with a reputation that it nurtures talent and develops careers, a kind of up-market Crewe but there has to be recognition that such a squad needs to be leavened with experience and proven quality.

  16. What you find is its a cycle with each manager that comes in.
    We sign a novice manager, he spends first season or so offloading the deadwood and big earners from the previous regime. gets the wage bill down.we finish below mid table.
    He then starts to bring his own players in.Some wil be young players with potential but a bit of a gamble. Mixed in with 1 or 2 big name signings to help sell season tickets. We might finish in top half. fans start to question if we are progressing.
    3rd season he starts feelign the pressure to get up the league. So he starts to pay more money for established players on longer contracts. Then start to consider stop gap short term signings
    season4 and season 5 is when its his team and feelign the pressure now. He has 3 years under hisbelt and built his own team. Wage bull is rising and to keep the momentum going old stop gap players are bought in
    season 5 is make or break, by now we wil know if he has that quality and we are in the top 7.
    just remember under steve mac, the clubs said they were aiming for young british players and moving away from expesive foreigners. when the pressure builds that goes out of the window. already southgate is buying foreign, just how many of local lads will really go on from being a squad player to making it properly and being a regular? only downing and taylor have done that.

  17. Words, words, words….
    Talk is easy – and cheap, particularly in advance of the season ticket deadline and particularly from Count DracuLamb and the club.
    I’ll believe it when we see some action and the right players actually signed in good time for the start of the new campaign. Even the non-scoring Aliadiere hasn’t put pen to paper yet.

  18. Very happy
    I am baffled. All I posted was that we have lacked pace and tempo for some time and that if we address the problems thats all the club can do.
    A striker to attack the ball, right sided players to give balance and pace. Seems sensible to me, cant see where I am prejudging next season.

  19. JP to label Aliadiere as ‘non-scoring’ is a tad unfair at this stage, he has unproven potential and may or may not prove to be a good striker, but give him a chance for goodness sake.
    I could be wrong but I think last season he scored four goals in 11 prem. games, which over a full season of 38 games equates to……wait for it…..14 goals, now how many prem. goals did Viduka score last season………….

  20. Spot on JP
    I see that Porritts agent has surfaced from under his stone.
    After watching Panorama how can anyone believe a word that Peter Harrison says.

  21. “After watching Panorama how can anyone believe a word that Peter Harrison says.”
    he is an agent you should already know you can’t believe a word they say
    Nigel, I remember danny graham having a good ratio with boro in the top flight. goal a game or something.
    I’m just hoping boro are going to break the bank to get a proven scorer in to replace viduka and not hope we just forget that lamb said Aliadiere isn’t his replacement

  22. Nigel
    I think you will find that Aliadiere has never scored a Prem goal. His goals for The Gunners are all in Cup games – and mainly in the Carling. He has scored occasionally when on loan but these were in the Championship.
    He is 24 and has been at Arsenal for 5 years and never even come near to breaking through in their first team for any length of time even when all their first string were out of commission the season just gone.
    I haven’t just pointed this out since he ‘signed’ (he hasn’t yet, of course) but pointed it out in December and January when it was first mooted that we were after him and many times since.
    Of course I want him to succeed when he comes here and he has plenty of pace but he is no proven goalscorer. Do we really want another non-scoring striker?
    As I’ve said before on here, if we team him with Simba and The Yak goes we’ll have replaced a 40 goal a season paring with a pair with no Prem goals between them.

  23. I must admit I feel much more confident now about next season. Aliadiere will be a good signing, i’m certainly going to give him a chance. I’ve got over Viduka now and maybe it’s right in thinking we may become more hard working starting from the front. In recent years we have lacked the ability to press teams and break quickly.
    I think we will also see Downing improve again and get a few more goals. A decent right winger will take a man off him and give him more time and space and we should have strikers who are quick enough to get on to his crosses.
    I don’t think we should sell the Yak. He’s been the second top scorer behind Henry for the last 5 years. He’ll score at least 15 goals next season, he’s only 24 and can improve and become fitter and more consistant.
    He is proven in the Premiership, I don’t understand why people would want Kamara ahead of him, who only scored half a dozen in the top flight. I wasn’t impressed by Kamara at the Riverside. Woodgate had him in his pocket and his goal was very lucky.
    I like the look of the AZ Alkmaar full back we’re apparently after. I remember him from when they played Newcastle in the 2nd leg and his attacking and crossing was fantastic. I think he set up the first goal that night.
    I’m renewing my season ticket and will be happy with top 10 finish for steady progress. If we have similar home form to last season and pick up a few wins away at the bottom clubs we will be there easily.
    Come On Boro!

  24. JP – You’re right Aliadiere hasn’t scored a prem. goal, still he’ll have plenty of opportunity to put that right next season!

  25. Ian Gill

.Point taken and accepted Ian in the correct manner, because we are all rowing the same boat, which shows the passion we hold for OUR club.
    All the fans want is players whose hearts and ambitions match that of ours and no-more.
    Players who respect the club and who represent it befittingly both on and off the field.
    Disciplined bodies win Trophies, which is why Italy are now the front runners in World football. What goes in, is what comes out and I am only referring to one’s energy levels.
    Regardless of anything spoken or to follow, it is the team which has the pace, ability and stamina levels that pick up the silverware.
    Finally, the only downside is that it trebles the price of a ground tour
..roll out them barrels.

  26. to anyone whom it may concerns..
    Talking seem to be the easiet thing to do…
    Maybe we should just stop talking…
    & start getting down to business…
    GS should now stop adding new names to the ‘shopping list’.. & start negotiating..
    We do have a good start in the summer..
    By bringing in Woodgate..
    & Aliadiere..
    But it still dosen’t proves anything..
    What GS MUST buy is..
    + a right back..
    + a right wing..
    + a striker..
    It have always been one of BORO’s problematic position..
    For years i can say..
    Only Reiziger & Xavier can play at right back…
    why not sign Degen…??
    He’s one of switzerland finest right back…
    & his club had been relegated..
    He should have come in cheap…
    It has too,been one of BORO’s jinxed position..
    Even Mendieta,a high profile player,can’t adapt in that position…
    AS a Result GS aimed Riga as the man for the job..
    & we can see Levante will be taking advantage by selling him at a high..
    Maybe a ‘player plus cash’ could be appropriate..
    Seing Mendieta moving to the oppoosite side..
    Or maybe consider buying old boy Geremy..
    Will cleary be the main target..
    Lets move on…
    Theres no use talking about Viduka..
    He just won’t come back..
    Romeo Castelen..
    Tuncay Sanli..
    Just sign one of them…
    Or two..
    Tuncay is a proven goal-scorer in turkey..
    But he have to try his very best in england..
    He’s only 19..
    & has a very bright future..
    & he’s a brazilian too..
    He’ll be one of the best striker in the EPL…
    I’ll even buy him even if he’s injured..
    coz he’ll be a very big hit…!!
    I may not really know him..
    But on how GS describe him..
    He can be Viduka’s replacement…
    & if i am to choose between the three..
    i will choose kerlon..
    but GS will have to break the bank..
    tuncay is free…
    while castelen will cost around 6million plus…
    GS pls..
    bring in a new face soon..

  27. Words, words, words – again!!
    Now I see Gibbo’s at it. The refrain’s the same as Count DracuLamb except he’s upped the ante by talking about the ‘signings that will make people sit up and take notice.’
    Motivation’s the same – coming up to the deadline on season tickets.
    My answer’s the same – show us the signings not the big talk and promises. Action not words.
    Wasn’t it about this time last year that Gibbo promised us a ‘top drawer manager’ that was going to make people sit up and take notice?
    Yes, well……….

  28. Riga has just signed a new contract with his club, so we can cross him off the list!
    we need a midfielder, what about Kevin Nolan from bolton? i think he would fit in nicely.
    and a right sided player, anyone heard of James morrison? he doesn’t seem to play for anyone!
    he could be worth a game?

  29. We need to embrace what Southgate is trying to do. He’s trying to install a vibrant and explosive attack-minded team and as AV says, the departure of Viduka will accelerate the transition.
    I know he scored goals, but in light of the bigger picture, Viduka just doesn’t fit with the long-term plans. I’m glad the club never went overboard and offered him crazy money to stay here.
    I hope we get Aliadiere in. I think GS will look to play him right side because of his pace. The Goooooners don’t play with width therefore he’s not been utilised as a winger and because he dosn’t score goals, he’s not been used as a striker. I watched him last term against Bolton and he was majestic – I just think he is a real talent and he can whip past people like anyone’s business.
    In terms of a replacement for the Aussie beach ball, Tuncay Sanli looks lively. I’ve looked at some footage of him on Youtube and he is strong, lively and can score with both feet. I know the Premiership is a different level but the lad is banging in goals left right and centre. That’s a habbit difficult to get out of.
    I wasn’t a little bit surprised to see Schwarzer pipe up as well. If he wants to go, I’d ship him out now and get some money out of it. He’s a good shot-stopper and has been a great servant to the club, but he is liable to making silly errors. I don’t think he gets down as well as he used to and I Brad Jones is more than capable of filling his boots.
    As Lamb has already coined… we want players here who want to play for the club. Not ones that are here to cream a few quid.
    — I heard a rumour that quite a few fans waited outside the Riverside after one games, in which Viduka gestured towards a section of the crowd about the money he was on buy rubbing his fingers together. Any truth in that he had to be escorted back to his car by police?
    If it is true, good riddance…
    *AV writes: There was an incident after the Villa game last year – the game of the Red Book chucking – in which a few people waved their fists at Viduka and he waved his back. Handbags but politically unwise. That was forgotten once he started scoring again, which is usually the way.

  30. Last season there was all the crap from Gibson and Lamb about “appointing a world class manager” and now Gibson has made a promise of making spectactular signings, this at a time when Boro conveniently need to shift season tickets.
    Add to this Lambs ridiculous remarks about finishing in the top 6, this makes me think that Gibson and Lamb are turning into Freddy Shephard and Douglas Hall as this is the sort of stunt these two idiots used to regularly pull.
    **AV writes: The season ticket deadline is on Saturday…..

  31. Have heard this all before and if mr lamb thinks im buying a season ticket just because of his empty words then hes badly mistaken. i havent been a season ticket holder for a while and i won’t be pursuaded by mr lamb or his naziesque propaganda.
    when i see it ill believe it and ill be back. im not a fair weather supporter im just someone whos had enough of paying hard earned cash to watch people who arent bothered serve up pure rubbish.
    vids has gone ? great. he was only bothered in us when his contract was rolling to then end and before that he wouldnt run if you shot him up his big fat backside.

  32. ‘and a right sided player, anyone heard of James morrison? he doesn’t seem to play for anyone!
    he could be worth a game?’
    When he 1st broke through, I thought he was showing more potential than downing however he is not consistant enough so this is why they are out looking for a replacement.
    I like your thinking tho, why not look from within the club, for the right hand side there is Morrison and Porritt, for the Left there is Downing and Johnson. Tom Craddock surely will be pushed on soon. There’s that Franks Kid, there is a few Keepers defenders etc, why not take a look at these and see if you could find the next ‘viduka’, ‘Juninho’ or ‘Woodgate’.
    If you want to go out and spend, Flamini at arsenal seems to score a few from midfield and he is looking to move. If not Kevin Nolan but he will cost a lot more.
    To be honest, Bolton are a club id be looking to raid right now as i think sammy lee wont be able to stop ppl leaving if they get a good bid. We need a right back, Nicky Hunt is a decent player, Nolan as i said for midfield, everyone wants a replacement for Viduka, Kevin Davies is the exact same type of physical player who will hold the ball up and get a few goals, the only difference being Davies will stick his foot in and track back when needed.
    If you want a creative midfielder then Koumas could be the man if not then id try a cheeky bid for arteta at everton. while at everton, you could pick up james beattie for next to nowt.
    to be honest tho, it doesnt matter who we sign, i could tell you a way to score more goals with the team we have right now….. stop bringing all 11 players back for corners, leave someone up.
    Its pointless bringing in ppl with pace if they are to be made to defend then once schwartz gets ball in his hands he has noone to give it to as they are all in his box. if you leave someone up then he can throw,not kick, the ball to them and they can lead the break out. Usually when he catches it from a corner he kicks it straight out for a throw so it just invites pressure back on.

  33. Vic
    Looks like we’re mostly agreed here on the spin that Gibbo and Count DracuLamb are currently engaged in.
    Unfortunately, that nice Mr. Paylor seems to have bought it hook line and sinker if the latest piece in the Gazette is anything to go by.
    Has anyone put the hard questions to them along the lines that we are outlining here?
    I hope you’re basing your hope that Aliadiere might suddenly turn into our scoring sensation on more than that our ‘magnificent’ (we don’t hear that word enough since The Ex departed – NOT!) attacking coaches can conjure something from him that those who coach Henri and van Persie et al could not.
    If so I’d like to hear it – I’d love to be convinced that he’s going to get us 15 – 20 goals next season.
    Or is it just blind faith.

  34. Mainy – very good post, the 11 man back approach has been a sore point for as far back as our need for pace and tempo.
    Interesting that Gibbo is now being wheeled out. With the season ticket deadline coming up cynics would liken it to a mid term bye election. A safe seat suddenly appears under threat, loyal supporters dont seem interested so the the prime minister and sundry big wigs appear talking up the achievements and what the future holds. The front bench defector to the opposition party goes from being a major part of the government driving the country forward to ‘he really wasnt that good and is no great loss’
    It could remind you of ‘Yes, Prime Minister’. Now I am no cynic but the words of Ian Richardson in ‘House of Cards’ along the lines “You might think that – I couldn’t possibly comment” spring to mind.
    Luckily I am not a cynic and it all may be a statement of intent. Lets look forward to the influx of new players. One problem has been a concerted attempt to lower expectations and now trying to build them up seems out of kilter
    There again, did anyone see Henry in the Bluebell?

  35. After all this talk about an evolution, now becoming a “revolution”, I think the club should start showing the ambition they have talked about for many a year.
    Signing Woody was a massive coup for a club of our size. I think Boro fans, me included, think we are bigger than we actually are. To attract a player of Woodys standard is massive.
    I read red_rebels comments about us needing a keeper, a centre back and a striker. I agree with one of those, the striker. I think Aliadiere will be a quality player, he just hasnt been given the chance at Arsenal, but still yet to prove himself.
    A centre back and a Keeper I have to disagree with. Schwarzer is a quality keeper, too good for a club like Boro, in my opinion, the same way Given has been too good for the Barcodes.
    And a centre back?? Are you mad? We have Woody who is world class, Pogatetz who played way beyond himself last season, Huth who is a German international Centre Half and Riggott, who because of injuries, people are beginning to forget about.
    Craig P, where have you got this idea that Dong Gook Lee is going to be banging the goals in left right and centre. He played half a good game, which happened to be on his debut and, from what I have seen, has done nothing since. I dont think he is the answer and, i think, was only signed to break into the Asian supporters market.
    I think bring in the Degen twins to play down the right, a creative midfield player and another striker to rival The Yak and Aliadiere up front. After this, I think we should be fine. A young team, lots of energy, lots of skill.

  36. sorry saun but brad aint up too filling schwartz’s glove’s having seen him in both first team and reserves. turnbull looks more secure and a better shot stopper.
    roll on the next roller coaster, fast attacks and what? a right winger? or are we dreaming again?. mr lamb enjoying trips round europe trying to get someone, racking up airmiles. hope the weather is good out there.

  37. AV – any season ticket sales figures released yet?
    Obviously Gibbo knows the true figures and is beginning to panic. Why else would he come out with his comments about signing players that will make us sit up and notice?
    Maybe the signing might be on a par with Jason Euell, now that would cause queues at the Riverside before the ticket deadline. Unfortunately for Gibbo most of the punters would be asking for a refund

  38. JP – I don’t believe Aliadiere will score 15-20 goals and I don’t expect that he will replace Viduka, I just think we need to give him a chance. Hopefully GS will buy a more experienced goalscorer as well.
    Then as I said previously we will have a more potent strike force than last year with Christie and Graham effectively replaced with Dong Gook and Aliadiere, that seems to be progress to me.
    I was disapointed to hear Steve Gibson talking of ‘spectacular’ signings a few days before season ticket deadline day, it reminded me of the 70’s when Charlie Amer promised us Mario Kempes, I was young and niave enough to believe that.
    This time I can see us signing a couple of good players but spectacular is something else. Mr. Gibson needs to be careful, his credibility is on the line

  39. So the MFC spin machine is well and truely underway.
    Boro on the verge of signing a turkish left winger on a free, gibson now saying he was uneasy about offering viduka a new contract. Oh dont forget to get your season tickets in this week.
    Viduka is now long forgotton and fans say he wasnt that good after all and a greedy foreigner..so now we bring in another foreigner on big money. Move over viduka we have a new person to love!..Still waiting for viduka to be replaced. Will we now sell more season tickets?
    **AV writes: This is not the real Alf – this poster is using capital letters and full stops!

  40. AV – any truth in the rumour of Johnson and Morrison being swapped for Kamara? I think it would be a big mistake for Boro to allow Johnson to leave.
    AV writes: I haven’t heard that one. I’ll add it to the list

  41. If Sanli comes he will be a good signing,only 25 and a proven goalscorer,if it doesnt work out he will have a value.
    Watched SG on the telly last night. Is it true Viduka only played 48 Prem. games in 3 seasons ? Strikers all seem to loose their edge at 32-33 remember Shearer stuggled over his last 2-3 years. Viduka will be 32 this year so there was little point in paying him a Kings Ransom.
    SG will be worried over season ticket sales as the mood has been flat,but we have had more Thick than Thin over the last 10 years.SG led the way in the mid 90,s by an unfashionable club with the help of Bryan Robsons reputation signing some of the hottest names in football, Juninho and Raveneli etc .
    The Boro need the support of the fans,and we need to average 30,000 to progress.We have had far more success than Newcastle or Sunderland over the past 10 years, ut their “Bums on seats is far greater than ours”. The club needs our support now !
    PS. I have renewed,and I think SG and GS will get it right and push us into the top 10.
    PPS.Zenden and Geremi would bring proven Prem.experience to the squad
    **AV writes: I make it 73 from a possible 108 for Viduka meaning he missed 35 through injury – almost one full season in three.

  42. i heard what gibbo said so went too the record’s dukes stats. league played 55 goals 26 sub 16. the sub also consist of only playing one half i.e only lasting the first half.
    the thing about morrison and johnson was in the mirror, johnson is too good to go down a league we saw that in the game he played.

  43. Anthony
    Remember what the onus is on and the club’s need to recoup.
    Goodbye Yak
..you are the weakest link.

1/1000 on.
    **AV writes: I think you are right. If “spectacular” signing No2 comes in plus a midfielder then I think Yak goes to balance the books. With a few fringe players like Riggott also moving for lesser fees the whole overhaul can be brought in for less than £10m net and a reduced wage bill. That is good business. Or it is if the team get results.

  44. here’s one for you AV go to the club shop and ask about next seasons shirts. The answer i got was we have not seen the designs yet. I walked out bemused surely this should have been started before the end of the season.
    Last season we got too vote on the new one but it dont look like we’ll have one this season. A premier league club that seems to have people not quiet up to that standard. the seasons dvd still being made when most clubs have one out within weeks. 2 simple thing’s that cant be done by our staff.
    **AV writes: I understand the design has been picked but they are waiting on a decision on the new sponsors.

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