City Slump Deepens Boro Woe

A DISAPPONTING result at rampant Man City but it was to be expected. Injury crisis. Away day hoodoo. Sloppy at the back. Dropping one of the better players so far this season for one that lacked match fitness. Toothless up front. Slack in midfield. “Bad body language.” Lack of cover in some key areas leaving Boro permanently just two or three injuries away from a crisis. Cheslea and Man United coming up…..

There are upsides – Tuncay looked sharp, O’Neil looked good in the middle, the more attacking formation in the second half gave hope of breaking through, Cattermole played the destroyer role more effectively than Boateng – but we can’t go on saying week in week out that we played well in patches but were just unlucky.
It is all getting a bit very worrying now and an air of gloomy depression is blanketing Teesside. And it’s not even Christmas yet! Thank God for those stupid international breaks disrupting the flow of the season and giving us time to get a few back. Where now for Boro?


39 thoughts on “City Slump Deepens Boro Woe

  1. ” Where now for Boro? ”
    That’s a good question AV, where now indeed.
    All we ever hear coming out of the eternal spin machine of the club is the same old, same old. Coops demands an improvement that never comes, Southgate says he’s determined to win the hearts and minds of Teesside and to learn, and then Boeteng and a few other players are then wheeled out with yet more of the same propaganda in order to convince us that we’re winning the war when the facts just don’t bare this out at all.
    Wasn’t Southgate optimistic about the City game ? So What happened Gareth ?
    The fact of the matter is that we’re simply not good enough, and have far too many weaknesses throughout the team, on the bench, and for me especially in the management team and backroom staff.
    Why do we always suffer from this torrent of injuries? Why do we have the same injury crisis, year in, year out ?
    The fact of the matter is that Sothgate, Coops, and Co are simply not up to the job. They are all really great people and did a sterling job when they played, but it really is time to let go of these people and to stop employing ex players with little knowledge and no exeprience in this way.
    Southgate bought Lee, and Alidaire, and he let Yakubu go without directly replacing him, so to say that we now have an injury crisis is to sweep these facts under the carpet.
    We have an striker crisis because we bought badly, and didn’t replace what we had, so now we have to hope that we survive until January and hope that we have the cash – GREAT.
    To think that we have to stick with these people at the helm for the next 5 years, or however long Mr Gibson wants to stubbornly stick with these people just to prove that his word is gospel is a terrifying thought, it really is.
    Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to come on here and to be positive. But what’s there to be positive about? Over the last month I’ve hardly posted as I didn’t want to be labled a moaner, or not a fan, as is usually the case.
    But at the end of the day I just don’t think and cannot see this club going anywhere but backwards, or heaven forbid down, with these people in charge.
    You could see the difference between City and us a mile off at the start of the season, and I said so and I’ve been proved right.
    They have more money, a much, much better and proven club manager, and they bought far, far better players because they know what they’re doing.
    End of story.

  2. Buy a proper goalscorer as soon as the transfer window opens. Break the bank if necessary. We have played some good, attractive attacking football this season but cannot finish the several good opportunities we have produced.
    Things are that severe, we might have to look to find a player that is currently out of contract and can thus sign for us now.

  3. Come on Mr gibson give Southgate the rest of the Yakubu money to spend on a new striker. Its no good being spent on a golf course and hotel when we could be languishing in the championship next season.

  4. recall johnson now, drop boateng and roky and play a midield of Oniel, cattermole, downing and johnson.
    we need another forward in january as i think mido is currently playing with the attitude that he is undropable no matter how he plays.

  5. couldn’t agree more with tb. although i do think that the fotball has improved i just don’t think that its improved as much as people at the club would like fans to think and i dont think it will somehow. if we’re being brutally honest it couldnt have gotten much worse anyway.
    i too dont think that gates is the right man for the job – not yet anyway but maybe one day when hes learned his trade at a lower level.
    if he had a proven mentor behind him as his right hand man i think things might be different now but he hasnt and i think the whole set up is wrong as tb said.
    also agree totally with mick but i wouldnt wait until jan as i think it will be all to late by then. i think we are up the creek without a paddle and need to act now before its to late.
    we desperately need someone to parter mido who i think will be red hot when hes fully fit and someone to replace yakubu which we didnt do like for like. lee is a busted flush and that aldaire arsenal reject is just that and should never have been bought.
    hope gibson puts up some cash or else i think we will be in the championship next season. mohammed

  6. The results and points tally speak for themselves. Since the begining of last season and carrying through this season gareth southgates record is a very poor,
    Played 47
    Won 14
    Points 54
    No matter how much spin you want to put on it, the results have been very poor for some time. How much longer do we have to suffer this.

  7. Its not just a striker we need, we need new defenders. Southgate has spent over £30m and we are no nearer having a settled and complete team.

  8. Av,
    I posted this morning so here goes again as you might be a reliable conduit to the club because the senior official don’t want to know. Here goes and this is the first step to recovery:
    1. Steve Gibson – Please lower the entrance
    charges and get the Riverside full –
    Keith’s almost pathologically stupid
    attitude to this issue defies commercial
    and economic logic completely! Just look
    at what increased mortgage rates have
    done to families disposeable income
    2. In the future please consider installing
    me as the Chief Exec (Warwick, Oxford
    and Kent) as I have far more intellect, , professional capability and creativity
    than KL has now. Keith is tired and
    spent and this should be recognised and
    appreciated as should his work for the
    I’m building for success Steve and although I’m nowhere in your financial ‘league’ yet I do believe you should properly interview people for the senior jobs.
    I believe I know the direction the club needs to go in. If you want my voice you’ve got that at least.
    Robin Mitton

  9. Another disappointing result. Woody is so red he should be skipper.
    Robin Mitton- get yourself down the jobcentre mate. This is a blog for fans.

  10. borolad32
    The current run of form goes back 18 months before Southgate, it actually stretches back to Xmas 2004 where we got 20 points in the last 18 matches.
    Graham Taylors ten match rule is coming very close. If we get nothing from the Chelsea match that will be 8 points from ten matches with only one game against the ‘big’ four. That is not a happy thought.
    Here is the frightening part. O’Neill and Young were acknowledged as good signings where we were historically weak. Many of us were disappointed that Morrison went but thats life, McMahon is never fit.
    We worry about our poor defensive performances, are we any better if Wheater is replaced? Who thinks we shouldnt have signed Woodgate?
    Tuncay and Aliadiere have given us pace and workrate up front but as yet no goals. We got goals from Yak and Veruka in spasms and many of the wasted chances have gone to midfield players. We certainly didnt get tracking back. Mido looks good but a little unfit, he certainly looked better than Yak has done at Everton.
    So what does this all tell us? Currently we are not very good, certainly not as good as we thought we were. Maybe we are where we deserve to be in the table.
    Let us hope we get our noses in front against Chelsea but they do seem to have got some steel back in the side.
    **AV writes: My worry is not Chelsea or Man United it it beyond that the six pointers with Spurs and Bolton. That is where we will find out if we in are merely in an injury induced blip or a full scale crisis.

  11. who are robin mitton and mike delaney?
    no offence, you talk a good game, but who are you??
    and what makes you think you could do any better?

  12. where to for boro? just two options mate.
    1 stick with the attacking football that is making chances and hope when everyone is fit it comes good, at least enough to lift us safely in mid-table. if we can get the first team out regularly with mido/tuncay/allidiere up front we’ll do alright.
    2 panic, rip it up and scurry back into macnegative defence, six across the middle and hope we can draw ugly an nick the odd one niller and stay ahead of the legion of the damned. if we do that we’ll still do alright but probs in front of crowds of 20,000.
    we will go with 1 for now. gubbins by chelsea and man u and werst still losing to spurs of bolton could see gibbo push the panic button call southgate in for a chat and a big u-turn

  13. Are we likely to replace Gibson with a rich Russian or Far Eastern Suit with money to burn? I think not!
    Then what exactly should we expect when the premier league is determined on the amount of money spent – plus your ability to attract top players or hang on to the ones you’ve already got.
    Come on let’s face it – we are behind Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, West Ham, Spurs, Villa, Everton and Newcastle before we even kick a ball in the season. The only way we’ll finish above them is if we have a very good season or they have a bad one.
    Although I think it’s madness to appoint a trainee to manage a multi-million pound organisation – At least Southgate is trying to play more attractive football – Though i doubt he’ll be able to pull it off consistently with the thinly spread quality in our squad.
    OK, Maybe wanting attractive football every week is a luxury Boro just can’t afford to try if they want to stay in the premier league. It’s the sad state of the current game – money talks and we just don’t have enough.
    So hopefully we’ll pull off our usual shock results against the big teams and then settle back into mid table obscurity – which is quite an achievement for a small town in europe.
    **AV writes: I agree. Boro are pegged into division three of the Prem and bar spending a lot of money or a string of very lucky breaks that won’t change quickly.

  14. Dear Malc and Simon,
    I have plenty of work…thank you. My abiding hope is that BORO will stay up, but we do not seem to be engaging the club and community together in a way which will provide the platform for safety…you alienate the fans at your peril.
    We have reached that perilious stage NOW and please make no mistake about it.
    Mike Delaney by the way is one of the world’s most gifted footballers but through a serious back injury he has not been able to carry on with professional football.
    Mike now coaches many of the world’s top footballers (and children)and I hope to bring him up soon to perform for the Community Trust.
    I hope you guys will be there to say hello.

  15. No need to panic – not yet. Stick with the attacking play – we have looked good and feel sure we will start slotting chances – but need to keep creating them. Tuncay, Mido and Alliadere will prove their worth.
    Downing and Taylor need to be more positive – Taylor has bags of skill but he seems reluctant to really push forward and have a go at defenders – he is capable but needs the confidence that if he does Downing will cover. Downing needs to be more expansive with his play – he’s becoming a little predictable at times.
    O’Neil has the potential to offer so much more – he works the line well but loves cutting in to the middle and into the box. Need to see Downing doing the same at times and getting into the box – first few games he was always popping up but seems to have reverted to a more conservative approach.
    Boateng as everyone knows just isn’t cutting it, been a great servant to the club – but his lack of pace, propensity for silly tackles in dangerous places, and distribution are sadly affecting the team quite badly – he’s got to make room for Catts.
    It would be good to see Arca back – it may be that he’s been carrying Rocky for a while – his last performances have not been great.
    I just pray that Southgate doesn’t throw the baby away with the bathwater. A healthy focus on defence is needed but lets not move away from a fluent attacking presence that we have seen in a few games when the right personnel have been on the ground.
    For me Tuncay will still turn out to be the revelation of the season – give him his spurs or there’s every chance someone like Spurs will come in for him.

  16. Mike,
    no offence mate, but, Warwick, Oxford and Kent ?
    I’m afraid to say that your posts do not qualify you to take over from Keith Lamb, even though I simply cannot stand the man.
    At the end of the day he’s got the invaluable experience at this level that you don’t have, and if we were to get rid of him I would hope that he’d be replaced by someone from a bigger, more successful club, thus taking us to a higher level.
    Personally, I’m a great believer in continuously hiring people better than we have now, instead of just hiring the endless, and usual array of coach’s, managers, and ex players come managers that do the rounds, and I’m afraid to say that that isn’t you – no offence.
    For me, this means people that have not only seen how things are done here, but who have also seen how things are doing in Europe, and who have worked at the highest possible level, and who have won things.
    This is why I rate Sven so highly. His club record speaks for itself, and this is what we need here, in my opinion.
    Club Managerial Honours
    IFK Göteborg
    Svenska Cupen Winners 1979, 1982
    Allsvenskan Champions 1981, 1982
    UEFA Cup Winners 1982
    S.L. Benfica
    Portuguese Liga Champions 1983, 1984, 1991
    Cup of Portugal Winners 1983
    SuperCup Cândido de Oliveira Champions 1989
    European Cup Runners Up 1990
    UEFA Cup Runners Up 1983
    A.S. Roma
    Coppa Italia Winners 1986
    U.C. Sampdoria
    Coppa Italia Winners 1994
    S.S. Lazio
    Coppa Italia Winners 1998, 2000
    Italian Super Cup Winners 1998
    UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Winners 1999
    UEFA Super Cup Winners 1999
    Serie A Champions 2000

  17. Give Robbin Mitton the job and then sack himif we lose the first game, then we will be shot of his boring self opinionated drivel for ever

  18. The most depressing thing about Boro of the past several months is your comment: “O’Neil looked good in the middle”.
    The fact that someone who of your experience said that is quite troubling. I watched every second of the match (admittedly on telly, since I am an “exile”) and he did the wrong thing at every point. This was also true of previous matches, where he was decidedly mediocre, but was also praised by various Boro journalists.
    I live with a relative who is a “Gooner” and so end up watching Arsenal every week (for many years), and thus have an appreciation for what works in attack.
    O’Neil is firmly rooted in Championship-style football, where passing the ball is something that the players once read about in the papers, and hope to do someday. He is totally incapable of finishing, and his past goalscoring record indicates this.
    Nevertheless, at MFC, the tradition for many years is to have the finishers play on the wings and pass the ball to people who cannot finish. Previously, we had Yak and Viduka passing the ball to Boateng and Cattermole, now we have Downing and Tuncay passing the ball to Boateng and O’Neil. The MFC crest should add the slogan “Always the lowest percentage play”.
    In my optimism, I disregarded the fan who said that football evaluations were daft, because Morrison (1.25m) was worth more than O’Neil (5.25m). Now, I realize that that fan was right.
    We finally have a “right winger” and your comment is that he “looked good in the middle”. That should tell you something right there…
    PS Wheater is good for his age, but he is still not Premiership calibre. Riggott showed he probably never will be, and Taylor makes mistakes every week. I am hoping we can have Pogatetz-Huth-Woodgate-Young at some point, but I am not betting on the management having that sort of clarity of evaluation.

  19. Afonso Alves gets 7 goals in one game. Looks like it is going to take us three months to match that.
    Break the bank and sign him on in Januaery.

  20. Over the next 3 months Boro and Southgate have, in my opinion, two choices.
    1. Continue to try and play more open attacking football, with forwards and midfielders who cannot score for the life of them, and defenders who cannot defend when under pressure, and get relegated.
    2. Get back to the basics, no more sympathy votes for players not up to the job, change to a formation that actually stops other teams scoring against us due to our inability to defend both I midfield and at the back. Maybe just maybe we will survive and stay up.
    Ian (Gill), you are the first to mention “should we have signed Woodgate?”. Everyone I spoke to last season was telling me what a great defender he is, well I’m still waiting to see the evidence.
    Yes he looks cool, strides forward with confidence, but isn’t his job to marshall a defence that is leaking goals from every corner of the penalty area? Does he think he should be captain?, dummy out because he isn’t?, I don’t know but he is not performing to a level I was led to expect.
    Apart from the first 15 minutes on Sunday, does anyone know what formation we were playing??, I’ve seen more solid controlled team performances from under 12’s.
    Proves one thing though, Gibbo was right, Southgate doesn’t need badges to coach a team, all the badges in the world will not help you be successful if you just ain’t got it.
    Echo’s of the “just go out there and enjoy yourselves” Robbo era? And we know what happens next?

  21. Ian ‘should we have signed Woodgate’ , arguably he kept us up last season and was voted NE player of the year.
    This season he had no pre-season because of injury and has had to play when not fit because of injuries to others.
    For example he received a call from GS the day before the Newcastle game asking him if he would play, despite the fact he was suffering with a migraine.
    He played the match, anyone who suffers from migraines knows how bad you feel the day after having one. Despite that he kept Viduka quiet all game except for a second or two of viduka magic.
    To suggest we shouldn’t of signed him leaves me gob smacked quite frankly.
    Ken – I largely agree with your best defence although I wouldn’t like to see Pogatez at full back. For me the strongest four will be Young, Woodgate, Huth and Taylor. I’m sure we will see that line up as soon as Huth is fit.

  22. TB – Sven has done well with the club sides that he has managed, however he has always had a fortune to spend on players. He would not have gone to Man C unless he had money to spend.
    This is the reason that GS was made manager at the Boro. He was happy to work on a restricted budget, top managers from top clubs would not be.

  23. I return to the point I have made previously about the way we play. Do we have the players to shut up shop and play for a point?
    To do that you need a secure defence, a striker who can bully the opposition and score, pace and drive in the centre and midfielders knocking goals in.
    Are the ingredients present? If we get players fit it is possible but will we get them back fit enough to make a difference?
    Mido basically missed pre season, part fit and hamstring problems are not conducive to optimism. Both Aliadiere and Tuncay are coming back but need match sharpness. Playing them half fit is a recipe for picking up further knocks.
    Whatever we do will rely on us keeping the ball. That means movement, pace and precision. The good sides defend by keeping the ball, they dont just drop into the six yard area, if they do they get into a mess.
    With our level of player it is even worse, as shown several times this season it is a recipe for mishaps, come to think of it we have been doing it for years. We have to keep the play away from our box.
    I didnt see the match Sunday so will leave others to comment in detail but it does seem that a team with Boat is not as effective as one without him, maybe we are seeing the end of a proud servant for the club.
    I was not questioning the purchase of Woodie, rather the fact that there was no mass movement of dissatisfaction when we got him, same with other players brought in. We would have liked a couple more but didnt get them. And whatever we think this is what we have until January.
    We are not playing well as a unit and defenders suffer from lack of cover in the same way strikers struggle for lack of service and midfielders with lack of outlets for passes.
    In the same way that the England Rugby team took reponsibilty for the pickle they were in, the same way Gate and co pulled us round after the Villa and Arsenal debacles then the players have to stand up and take responsibility and do something about our current situation.
    They have to look at themselves and ask if they have done enough, what have I done that contributes to our problems, what can I learn and do differently.
    The coaching staff have to set a framework and be consistent, send the players out to do their stuff. The two week break will give the chance to get players back fit again. Lets see what we do against Chelsea, ManU and the crucial games against Spurs and Bolton.

  24. The issue is not attacking football or otherwise – that’s a false choice.
    Of course we should be as attacking (and entertaining) as we can be at home but away our agenda should be – we came with a point and we’re leaving with one or more.
    We can do that by ‘parking the team bus across the goal’ or by attacking, depending on who we are playing and what sort of form they’re in.
    Sometimes you have to play a home game like you’re away to get a result – viz Citeh v ManUre earlier in the season.
    But, whatever, you can be as fancy and entertaining and speedy as you like in midfield but if you’re not scoring even when you make chances and you’re conceding 2 a game at the other end – that spells trouble.
    It doesn’t matter how much possession you have, how many attempts at goal etc – to use the old cliche, there’s only 1 stat that matters, the one that appears in the results in the papers the next day.
    ‘Nearly’ counts for nothing and being evryone’s 2nd favourite team because you’re an easy touch for 3 points in a thrilling game only gets you relegated.
    I have yet to see evidence that we’re going to score enough even with Mido plus Aliadiere or Tuncay up front.
    I have yet to see evidence that the basic errors in our defending are being addressed. We keep doing the same thing week in, week out.
    That brings us back to the midfield – particularly the central midfield who should be both shielding the back four (have a look at the time and space on offer to Elano to notch his first on Sunday to see what I mean. There were people in the crowd closer to him than our back 4 or central midfield) and driving the strikers, occasionally getting past them to score.
    At the moment we’re doing neither.
    We’re not compact and are not playing as a team effectively, in defence or attack.
    There is nothing difficult or complicated about any of this – it’s team play 101.
    So, why are we finding it so difficult to achieve?
    I don’t think we can bang on about injuries either. The squad size and cover is an issue MFC decided – it wasn’t forced on us. Neither was not buying a striker who had proved they could score regularly.
    Whatever, we must come back from the International break in different shape. The Chelski and ManUre games are difficult whenever they come but we could get some pride back and maybe, as Ian often says, points where we don’t expect them.
    But I’m also with AV when he says the following 2 against Spurs and Bolton will be telling.
    I like Gate (and Coops)- I want them to succeed and I don’t want to get at them but they have to prove over the next couple of weeks that they can shape up what they’ve got and produce performances AND results in that run of 4 games.
    If not, then I’m afraid to say that Gibbo and The Count have to either replace them or get in some Venables type help for them so that we go into the vital Xmas period (with some very winnable games) with some chance of winning and that the new or newly assisted regime has the ‘A’ for the January transfer window.
    If the action isn’t then taken it would be a tacit admission that we’ve got ‘the team we can afford/deserve’ – a Championship one.

  25. Southgate needs to get tough, He needs to lose his temper on the touchline or in the post match interview. grow some balls, show the players he is boss and means business. He should ask to borrow fergusons hair drier.
    We have the most yellow cards in the premier league yet we have a soft touch on the pitch. we need to toughen up on the pitch and get physical and dirty. we arnt going to pick up points playing attractive football. Teams know how to beat us.

  26. I still think that we just don’t have the players to play the new system GS is trying to introduce.
    The new system needs 2 central midfielders that can pass the ball. Arca gets injured and there’s nobody else to play the system – unless of course we play our long awaited right winger in the middle – Brilliant! – So all we need now is er… a right winger.
    We could get Johnson back from watford and play him on the left and Downing on the right – or could Tuncay play in central midfield? Downing can’t tackle so he can’t be ‘converted’. It’s a pity Morrison was sold he would have done a job.
    So it’s back to the drawing board to find a system that has cover options – especially if Rocky picks up a few more bookings.
    Otherwise, start looking to spend the Yak cash in early Jan.

  27. I am afraid Gibson and Lamb are obsessed with the size of the crowd and how much money is being lost through empty seats and not with results on the pitch.
    They should be reminded that the league table reflects points won by winning and drawing matches and not by the size of the attendance.
    Their current policies have led to a side that is not only totally inadequate for the Premier league but currently would struggle in the Championship also.

  28. Alf is right about needing to toughen up. I cant believe how calm Super Cooper stays, this team should be running through his veins and he should be giving them a good kick up the backside every week.
    We sold Yak because his head was turned, Rockemback’s head was also turned and I cant understand why we didnt cash in on him as well. For me he brings nothing to the side, he is worse than Branco when it comes to free kicks. They are great opportunities to get something yet we let him take and loose them everyweek.
    For me whilst he is ‘playing’ we are carrying him and its like playing with 10 men. With Boateng in there aswell its like playing with 9 at the minute.
    The boat tries but I think he isnt doing it anymore, I think its time to try something different. We need to act now and change things before its to late.
    Look at Chelsea, they got rid of Jose, replaced him internally and are now bringing in ‘support’ for him. Why cant we bring someone in in the backroom who will tell players how it is? What about Warnock just to knock some sense into them?

  29. I have trawled through all the posts and had to wait till the last one for somebody to mention set pieces. We seem to waste nearly every one, it is well documented that set pieces present some of the best opportunities for goal scoring.
    It serves to tell me that our management either do not realise this, or worse still are incapable of doing anything on the practice pitch to exploit this vital area.
    We are even worse at the other end of the pitch in our efforts at defending them, and one of the key men in the penalty area in organising these situations is the goalkeeper. Enough said.

  30. Now we get to see the importance of Arca . Cattermole and ONiel in central midfield .
    Johnson should come back immediately from Watford as he could swap wings with Downing and get into the box. Downing needs to get into the box and have a go especially with the striker problems we have.
    Dong Gook cant hack it against a Premiership defence it seems and should be in the gym! We need to buy another striker ASAP. Alves ? Although I do believe Tuncay will deliver.
    I dont know why Wheater was dropped for the toffees match as he was playing well and IS fully fit and I agree with the chap who said Taylor should get forward and have a go but someone will have to cover for him so the counter attack we keep getting stung by stops.
    Team; 4,4,1,1
    Young.Weats.Woody[Get fit soon].Taylor
    Hutchinson-Mido if FULLY FIT
    The Gate is having a go but the moment Sunderland’s Higginbotham crocked our attacking players was the day our squad was exposed as light.More money please Gibbo
    Up The Boro!
    Robbin Mitton…. YOU’RE BARRED!

  31. You have all lost the plot! You can’t see the wood for the trees! Get rid of our tired, timid, and absolutely useless goalkeeper and all the other problems will fade into the distance.
    He has spat his dummy out so many times he’s not bothered about getting it back any more. He’s the Pied Piper leading us over the cliff.

  32. Nigel
    Sorry, missed you out whilst replying to Neil, I wasnt saying we shouldnt buy Woodie, more of case of nobody was moaning at the time.
    There are more things that need addressing than individuals, the malaise is across the team as has been pointed out in previous posts by myself and others. Normally the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, in our case it isnt.
    We have non scoring strikers, non defending defenders, midfield players who can multi task – they dont support the strikers or defenders.
    The problem was most evident in the Everton match where they missed goals that any professional should make a decent attempt at. For collective incompetence Lescott’s goal should be on what happened next, no one would get it right.
    Yak gets up to head a ball, for a start that is a gravity defying stunt. Scissorhands tries to get through the traffic in the six yard box and fails. Two people on the line head it out to the person one of them left only for him to head into the corner of the goal that Taylor had vacated.
    As John Powls states above, we stiffened up midfield against Citeh to cope with Elano and co and still got nowhere near them.
    But it isnt all gloom yet, honest! It may be a bit gloomy in a few weeks time though. There is much work to be done, it isnt about attacking or defending its about playing football.
    Lets hope the people coming back are fit and that we see some joined up football, passing to each other, marking people, kicking the ball into the net at the other end.

  33. oh that Mike Delaney! who did he play for again?
    Robin, are you a Boro supporter then? and tell us what you will do, if you ever got Keith Lambs job? maybe a dream team of you and our mate mike as manager?
    mike delaneys red and white army!!
    i’ll settle for Tony Mowbray

  34. Positives:
    – Tuncay looked very good in his half of the match.
    – The Fast will be over in a few days, and so Mido will be able to train properly, and so will probably be fit for our two big matches.
    – Pog is returning soon.
    – We finally sold The slowest Player in the Premiership to Southampton today. To continue the string of strange off-the-mark appraisals, Burley called him “quick” – a remark which will bring a bit of mirth to many Teessiders. (And by the way, he will probably do well in the slower paced Championship, where his other skills and experience will be valuable.)
    PS Southgate’s removal of Wheater seemed to exactly parallel the USA Women’s Team Coach’s recent removal of their starting keeper in the WC quarterfinal. In both cases, a settled defensive grouping was broken up, allowing goals to be scored by the opposition.

  35. Dear Anthony,
    Right gentlemen Simon, Mark J, Phil and Tony Black,
    I’m glad to see my fan club is growing. You might agree with plunging the club into misery is an ok thing to do…just sleepwalk to the cliffs boys.
    Personally I think your level of thinking is neanderthal. Surely you’re joking?
    Robin Mitton

  36. According to Fat Sam, about 30% of goals in the premier league come from dead ball situations. It seems that most of them come in Boro games – goals against us obviously.
    We cannot defend deadballs, there is no communication between the defenders, Boat keeps on slipping over or getting pushed off the ball at vital times and we do not have any clue what to do with a free kick other than let rocky have a whack.
    These are all points that should be addressed during training. Southgate keeps on saying that we need to train harder and put things right, however he was saying that last season as well.
    The problem is not the fact that we get beat, its that the goals are consistently scored against us in the same way.
    The inability to address a known problem is down to poor coaching – nothing else. We need an experienced manager/coach or we are going down.
    Relegation this time may be a watershed moment in Boro’s history from which we may revert back to the type of club that was too good for the 2nd league but not good enough for the top table.

  37. I commented last season that Soutgate’s appointment was wrong in that he is a small boy playing in a man’s world.
    Would the chairman of Coca Cola or Microsoft or Mercedes appoint a manager with no experience to run their business? I think not. That’s what Stevie Gibson has done and he will rue this huge error.

  38. Sandy, your right, coca cola wouldnt appoint someone from the shop floor with no experience to be their manager. However football is different.
    Southgate was a player for say 15 years, thats 15 years working on a daily basis learning different training, fitness and tactical knowledge which is now what he is trying to put into practice on the pitch.
    I think he will become a good manager however im not sure if stepping in at the deep end with us was the right move to make, maybe he should have started at a lower division club and worked his way up.
    The point is he is our manager and we should back him 100% until the one person who can decides he isnt cutting, that is gibson. So until gibson says goodbye to southgate then please lets just back him.
    We have a history of giving new managers a try, Robson – established us in premiership, Mclaren won 1st cup, southgate – ? Didnt both previous managers struggle to get results and win over the fans?

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