Derby: Job Done.

BORO served up the mandatory nervous finish after failing to make some good possession count and supporters who expected some post-Cardiff compensation in the shape of a net-busting goal spree against a dire Derby team bidding to be the worst in Premier League history were left sorely disappointed. And with the game failing to warm the cockles of the purists, a blustery Baltic blast that saw brass monkeys donning long Johns was compounded late on with flurries of snow. It was far from being a feast of football fun…. but hey – three points. Job done.

With everything set up nicely for a “typical Boro” bullet through size nines moment – the team had just picked up two impressive unbudgeted bonus points that could easily have been six with a pair of gritty away displays against top of the table sides – the team failed to fold and lose to the rock bottom whipping boys.
Most seasoned observers of this long running tragicom of ours would have half-expected a defeat, after all, Boro handed over the only away win of the season to the previous worst Premier League side – the comically inept Mackem side that finished with 15 points but who managed a 2-0 win at the Riverside with Julio Arca on the scoresheet with a curling free-kick.
And some would argue that Boro did their best to give Derby at least one point this time out, failing to press home their advantage when dominating before slowly, painfully, ominously retreating and surrendering the initiative to rely on the low banjo/cow connection properties of one time failed Riverside trialist Robert Earnshaw to keep their goal intact.
But none of that matters. We are at the business end of the season and at the wrong end of the table and there are no marks for artistic interpretation, chances created or attendance. Nailing Derby into their coffin has helped Boro make an ungainly lurch towards the safety line and back into that precious 12th spot at the head of the Group of Death that is the Premier League’s third division. In what is shaping up to be the tightest, scrappiest, lowest points scoring, worst season ever in a bottom half paralysed by fear, Boro are almost but not quite there. They may only need four or five more points from the last seven games to be – and two will possibly do it if they come from Bolton and Sunderland.
There were some positives. The crowd was far higher than many had predicted. Boateng’s recent revival continued and both his sizzling second half shot and the deft touch on the flank to send Tuncay weaving in towards the box to score were a delight. Cattermole’s buzzing and battling unsettled Derby (although he still picked up his habitual needless booking). Aliadiere showed flashes in the first half, especailly in linking up with the tricky Turk (although he then faded in the second half). But for a couple of good saves and a couple of penalty calls waved away ait could have been far more comfortable. And Alves put a dampener on the wilder speculation on the Teesside rumour mill by shrugging off his frustrating compound cold/hamstring to make a cameo that showed he was still around (although still not fully tuned to the pace of the Premiership.) But again, none of that really matters right now.
As a display and as a result it was far from inspirational… but it will do. With tough games against Chelsea and Manchester United coming up it was crucial to get something in the bank ready for what is sure to be a cut-throat few weeks.


36 thoughts on “Derby: Job Done.

  1. Win just what we needed. As I said when I started work to a Manc mate “we will stuff them one nil”.
    I am concerned about Boro’s scoring however: only 28 goals this season scored in the premier league. I think only derby have scored less.
    Games at Villa, Blackburn, Sunderland at home some examples of games when failing to gain a two goal lead cost us a victory. Even possibly Liverpool at home but that maybe considered a good result.
    Only 6 times this season we have scored 2 goals in a game in the league and never scored more than 2 goals.
    That’s a worry and we really need to add a swashbuckling box to box midfielder to our squad. Its time to bring in fresh ideas and creativity to our midfield.
    Also why did Capello call up Wheater, Agbonlahor and Ashley Young to the 30 man squad and then not have a rule that if they didnt made the cut they would join the u21’s???? pointless.

  2. I am sick of paying good money to watch the garbage being served up by Boro at the majority of home games.
    Southgate really is clueless. He should do the Teesside public a favour a favour and leave now.

  3. Three points, that’s what we wanted, that’s what we got.
    The manner of the win could and should have been better given our absolute dominance in the first half not to mention two stone wall penalty shouts.
    But as usual our strikers are unable to find the net, and we almost paid for it when Derby launched a spirited fight back in the second half blizzard, they had a couple of good chances to level it.
    One big whinge, why did we play so deep in our own half? This was the key to letting them back into the game second half. We should have been squeezing them up, but instead we gave them the freedom of the Riverside.

  4. Tuncay is fantastic for Boro. The man we got on a free transfer has probably saved our season.
    He has scored 6 goals in the premiership in 17 starts. Has played 22 in total 5 games off the bench, started playing as a winger in first six games, so not a bad scoring ratio, although he does miss some sitters.
    I love his work rate and attitude a true pro. I would like to predict he will be much better next season, he is only starting to show glimpses of his real game.

  5. I think its obvious we need to inject a little more quality in certain areas. We are very predictable and depend too much on Stewy. Teams double up on him and force us down the right and I’m still not convnced about O’Neil. He gives 100% but thats not enough
    The way we have played this season worries me. That decent players wont want to come here. We should have spent the Alves money on someone like Alonso at Liverpool, a midfielder with the vision we are sadly lacking,

  6. Well at least we got the required 3 points. Thats about all I can say in terms of having a positive outlook.
    Call me sceptical but the euphemistic “Storm Damage” was fortuitous in its timing in so far as it packed (OK sparsely spread around) the home fans in the remaining 3 sides. I couldn’t help wondering what if it had been Man Utd and not Derby, would the “damage” have been repaired in time?
    There again was the alleged “Storm” the mildly windy previous evening or the fall out from “Hurricane Cardiff”?
    Onto events on the pitch. Why oh why do we have to repeatedly witness a Boro breakaway attack only to see it peter out with a “Chuckle Brothers” (“to me to you”) performance 20 yards out with nobody prepared to “have a go?”
    The number of times we were up out of our seats only to watch O’Neil/Aliadiere put the brakes on and pass back to Luke/Boat who passed it back again only for it to eventually to be worked out to the left flank where Stewy was waiting already marked by 3 white shirts………yawn, it got tedious to the point of I couldn’t be bothered to get frustrated due mainly to trying to conserve body heat.
    Whilst the performance was “Typical Boro” at least the result wasn’t. That said I think there will be a few more “Storm” warnings before the start of next season.

  7. As certain extremeties of my anatomy felt more and more detached from my body as the blizzard swept the Riverside the words to my mates in Derby started ringing in my ears. Score one and you will get a point, two and you will probably win.
    Still it is job done and a decent gap to Bolton though why we cannot go on and finish a side off still baffles me. As at Derby we sat back and let them into the game yet they are truly poor.

  8. I agree with gt and CapK, a visionary midfielder who can both create and finish chances should be our priority in the summer.
    But, it’s good to see Boateng in good form again – I’m still reeling from his 3 stepovers in the Villa game, something I never thought I’d see!
    After I criticised Catts at the start of the year for his clumsiness and lack of apparent progress, I’m glad to see him have another good game, following on from his good performance against Arsenal in the second half.
    Hopefully he’ll continue to work on his game and maybe even learn to avoid the bookings. He could and should become an excellent player, given that he’s so young, but it’ll be down to him.
    And Tuncay is fantastic for his energy and enthusiasm, and some great touches. If his waywardness in front of goal is indeed just a blip, then he’ll likely be our most important player next season.
    If only O’Neil could score, we’d be laughing. I reckon they should play him as a striker in all their training games. Might work.
    Is Aliadiere injured? He spent a lot of time on the ground yesterday clutching his ankle…

  9. Same story as usual.Unable to score the second goal to finish the opposition off.villa Blackburn away -Wigan Derby Fulham at home all exactly the same.
    Given our next 3 fixtures away at Chelsea Spurs and home to Man Utd we needed a points cushion.
    I still think that the next match after that at home to Bolton will be crucial,and I’m not convinced we’re over the line yet.

  10. I watched both the big 4 games yesterday, and if we get even a point from our next two games we will be doing well.
    Out of Chelsea and Manure, the Londoners seem less able to break teams down, but always seem to manage it, and the Mancs are just unbeatable at the moment in my opinion, but they will give you chances.
    So bring on “untypical” Boro.

  11. Well, there were some positives – 3 points for a start.
    The attitude of Boateng amazes me – I wish it was infectious. Here is a player saying in the press that he might not be here next year and he puts in a performance like that. I don`t think there has been a better, more consistent player at the Riverside in the last 5 years.
    Once again though we were painfully unable to score goals (although there were 2 definite penalties). Tuncay showed some great touches and a heavy dose of the Boateng attitude. He is though, very inconsistent and I have hard time seeing him as anything other than a bit player in a 40 plus game season.
    I see some posters are calling for a forwards coach. That may be the answer, because one way or another, GS needs to understand what it takes to make a goalscoring team – and fast.
    The end of season purchases will be critical to this club. How we use them will be even more critical.

  12. For all that effort we got the minimum result, a squeaky just about style 1 nil.
    Boat played well and helped out in attack but on some of the crosses and second balls in the box nobody is anywhere near the near of far post to tap in.
    Southgate’s game plan seems to be heavy attack for an hour if possible followed by total defending for the last 30mins.
    We need a right winger to balance Downing and enhance the attack and Alves needs to get on the pitch for more than five minutes and show some heart , I think he has the FEAR!
    Luke young has been massive and I hope his injury is not too bad. Tuncays goal was great -GERRIN!

  13. Job done ? Absolutely, and a massive MASSIVE relief.
    A job well done ? Absolutely not.
    Yet again we get the Gazette serving up their usual brand of Official Boro propaganda about this being our 11th consecutive season in the top flight and that somehow this is cause for a parmo and a bottle of fizz.
    So what ?
    If we are comparing ourselves to the utterly woeful Derby’s, Bradford’s, West Brom’s and the like, then yes this is a cause for celebration.
    If however we expect just a little bit more and would like to compare ourselves against a few of the teams like Portsmouth, Villa, West Ham and the like who aren’t actually all that amazing anyway, then this yet another utterly crap season devoid of passion, quality and guts, which for the vast majority of it served up drabfootball, a team that choked when it mattered most, and in a ground with ever fewer fans.
    If anyone thinks that we are moving forwards, that we have turned the corner, that we are playing attractive attacking football and that GS is the messiah, then personally I think you’re off your nuts.
    Yet another season scrapping with very average teams indeed. Shocking.
    O’ Neil
    Downing resigned
    Wheater – Outstanding prospect
    Woodgate – We cashed in very nicely and survived without him
    Low Points
    Gareth Southgate is still here
    Colin Cooper is still here
    Chris Barnes is still here
    H is still here
    Mido – Too big. Too slow. Too arrogant
    Arca – Poor season overall. Started well and faded fast
    We need a new keeper
    We need a seasoned English striker
    **AV writes: If we compare ourselves to Aston Villa, Portsmouth and West Ham today we are well behind them – but do it over the past few seasons and we are a Carling Cup win and UEFA Cup final ahead of them and about on a par when it comes to average league placings.
    Division’s two and three of the Premier League are in constant flux and it is hard to draw any conclusive lessons from any team’s position at any given time.
    I wouldn’t change places for instance with West Ham and their team of over-paid crocks and neither would I put money on Portsmouth’s team of over 30s repeating their form next year.
    Call me nuts but I think Boro ARE moving forward: a much younger, faster team that is starting to look solid at the back and threatening on the break, especially away from home… they just need goals.
    A few tweaks behind the scenes and a couple of players and we are not that far away from having Villa and West Ham fans moaning that they should be more like us.

  14. Thinking out of the box here, but given all the new recruits at Old Trafford, what about a cheeky bid for Paul Scholes? I know he’s a Manc through and through, but he’s no getting any younger. Well worth a 7-8m bid.
    **AV writes: £7-8m? Are you mad? A free transfer maybe.

  15. I agree with you AV that it was job done and a vital 3 points in the bank – given the next three fixtures.
    If these fixtures go to form (and not to Ian Gill’s unlikely points are won theory), we could still be going into the Bolton game with only a 4 point cushion over them – imagine how nervous our fragile players would be if that was only one point.
    Anyway, I think we need only to beat Bolton now to stay up – as it would mean Bolton would need to win 4 of their other 6 games to overtake us – these fixtures are:
    Bolton v Arsenal
    Aston Villa v Bolton
    Bolton v West Ham
    Middlesbrough v Bolton
    Tottenham v Bolton
    Bolton v Sunderland
    Chelsea v Bolton
    It looks tough for them on paper but both Arsenal and Villa are struggling and West Ham are not much better.
    Luckily Bolton look less likely to score than the Boro at the moment – BTW: Why did we splash £12m on Alves during the inflated transfer window if he wasn’t going to be fit to play until next season?

  16. I still think after an hour of attacking we think ; oh dear we cant score another and we are tired from running around so much that we will have to defend for our lives as there is no cavalry charge of attackers from the bench.
    Mido has never been fit all season – disgrace, overweight with no self discipline.
    Dong Gook- say no more, although he is fit and on with Alliadierre and Tuncay and Downing has the pace to keep up.Yes I am that desperate!
    Alves – needs to get stuck in sooner rather than later and one of Alliadierre or Tuncay should move into an Advanced right wing/striker role {Macarone’s sub position when we are loosing] so Alves can play in his favoured role.
    I still wonder why we sold James Morrison as he was quick and got forward well.
    What is the point in putting Alves and Johnson on for a few minutes! Johnson needs some games back to back even if he is played on the right with downing on the left.
    The whole attack needs sorting and these chances and early pressure should result in goals.
    Blackburn went down to 10 men and continued to push for the win – ITS ABOUT FOOTBALLING PHILOSOPHY and ATTITUDE.
    Gate talks the talk but he is so scared of loosing that we can bearly score or win! Am I being greedy to ask to see 2 goals against Derby at home for Christ’s sake.
    Okay, Gate is clever and Wenger likes him but his comments after the match are getting too objective.
    Maybe just maybe if we get mathematically clear of relegation Gate can put three up front at home and our lads can enjoy the match and score some goals and in the words of Southgate ‘ ENTERTAIN” the fans.
    Attack is the best form of defence.
    We have a great defence so lets push forward.
    Look at Spurs 4 Chelsea 4 , Ramos put Bent on and kept Keane + Berbatov on as well as having Lennon, Jenas (Huddlestone 46) and Malbranque supporting the strikers.
    Come on Southgate we want to compete for 95 minutes not nick one, freeze and try and hold on for the win as unless you are playing Derby maybe Fulham you will be punished.
    Qualified Positive Attacking coach required now at the Riverside.

  17. We shouldnt be looking at other teams and playing scared . We should play to win and select the team sheet and player positioning to carry it out with a strong bench to push on with if necessary .
    Defensive manager and coach, say no more.
    Come on Boro!

  18. Denzil’s theme:
    Scholes? £7-8M?
    Delboy Trotter’s mate? Yer ‘avin a laff intcha?
    Wot a plonka!
    Hang on – you’re not Scholes’s agent are you?
    Werdermouth’s theme (well sort of):
    Looking forward –
    Complacency is not the only danger going into the last 7 matches of the season.
    All but two (Bolton and Manchester City, believe it or not) have worse relevant home and away “points per matchâ€? (ppm) stats than Boro.
    Boro’s seasonal stats to date are:
    Home: 1.267 ppm.
    Away: 0.938 ppm.
    (I’d have listed the other clubs’ home and away ppms but I thought the formatting would screw up. So you can have a look yourselves or take my word for it!)
    If this is taken as an indicator of likely performance for home and away for the remainder of the season, Boro only have advantage over Bolton and Manchester City, looking at the relevant Home and Away stats for all the clubs we still have to play.
    The positive perspective is that if this season-to-date form carries forward, wins against those two would get us 6 points and leave us on 40 minimum. Well enough to avoid the drop this season.
    The negative take on this however, is that it’s our worst points total since we were relegated on 39 points in 1997. If you add back in the 3 docked points in that season, THIS season becomes our worst accumulation since the Premiership was formed with 20 clubs!!
    That said, it also says plenty about the state of the league when there are likely to be as many as 8 teams below us with fewer than 40 points, which has, until this season, been taken (roughly) as the relegation-avoidance target.
    As I said in many a previous blog, the rich are getting richer and the strong are getting stronger. The also-rans are having a harder time running to stand still.
    John Powls theme (well, one of John’s many themes in his last interesting post!):
    Other teams players are intrinsically better than ours! And they have more of them. Sure, we have a few who may match a few of theirs, but we don’t have anyone who is a match for their best, or even their second best. And they have quite a few in the “bestâ€? category.
    The best, the excellent, the great and the very good, have qualities many of our players don’t. They don’t need time on the ball. They lay it off under pressure and find their men. They anticipate where colleagues will lay it off and they’re in position when needed. They are just as fit and strong as ours, but they are mentally sharper, more intelligent, more intuitive, quicker thinking, more mentally robust. Temperamentally, many are more mature (year for year).
    To get the complete article, clubs need to spend a lot of money. If Steve Gibson suddenly found £250M under his bed that he’d forgotten about, then Boro might be able to start to compete with the Premier League’s “eliteâ€?.
    Training and practice undoubtedly will improve some skills and conditioning, but if you already have Red Rum in your stables, you’re 75% of the way there!
    However, that said, I accept that with some tweaking here and there and judicious spending (it’ll still take 10’s of millions), Boro might be able to put together a challenge for a 6-10 spot in the next couple of seasons. And with such a squad and a fair wind, mount some decent cup challenges as well. (But they’ll need to pay attention to the psychological aspects of their game preparation.)

  19. Reading Richard’s point about the fact that we’re heading for our lowest points total since the premiership was formed (even though we may end up finishing 12th) only goes to show how much the premiership is changing.
    Let’s take our best ever PL season when we finished 7th with 55 points.
    That season Everton qualified for the Champions League in 4th place with 61 points – they are currently 5th on 59 points with 7 games to go.
    Currently all the teams down to 9th place need only 2 wins from the last 7 games to equal our 55 point total of 2004-05.
    In fact, if West Ham in 10th place win 4 of their last 7 games they would have 56 points and that would mean in today’s Premier League our 55 points would still leave us in the bottom half of the table.
    So in summary, life in the Premier League is getting much tougher and avoiding relegation is going to be a bit of a lottery unless Boro start making decisions that enable us to compete at a higher level.

  20. Finally thawed out – Only good thing for me was the quality of Tuncay.
    As GS seems to think that is is more important not to lose, rather than take the game to the opposition and try to win my team selection stands no chance.
    Both Alliadiere and Tuncay have the work rate to allow them to drop back and make a 5 man midfield when required.
    Johnson to replace Alliadiere or Tuncay to keep the formation.
    Pogi and Grounds to cover the defence.
    Mido up front if he ever gets fit.
    Sub keeper Turnbull.

  21. Derby game was totally appalling. I said after the reading game i wouldnt go to another game this season, however with it being bank holiday weekend and the beer flowing I was coaxed into going.
    How I wished id have stayed in the pub and watched the game on the TV. It was totally shocking and worse than Fulham and Reading put together.
    There is no spark in the crowd, no singing and its pathetic it realy is. where is the riverside roar? As for the game, what was there to get us excited? Apart from cattermoles tackle in the 1st half and Tuncay’s goal, not a lot.
    The game fizzled out and the 2nd half was a non event but I hear you say 3 points is in the bag. Yes i agree we needed to win but surely we could have gone at Derby a lot more, penned them back and got more shots in.
    We gave the ball away far to much and our final ball was very very poor. I’ve also become increasingly uneasy at the sight of our 13million striker looking more like Jason Lee than a Brazilian.
    Yes he was only on for 5 mins but he had the opportunity to play Downing in only to fall over the ball with no one round him. I’m worried this guy might not be the real deal and looks a far cry from the player that was scoring for fun in dutch league.

  22. Richard, I agree totally , the rich are getting richer and the Champions league means more to the top 4 than any other cup .
    The top 4 are so used to beating everyone that it is horrific say if Arsenal don’t beat the Boro for their fans. They have the money and the Chamions league and everyone else should just lie down.
    I enjoyed the Mascerano sending off, the fool was begging for it but it wont change much as one of their second 11 can step in no bother as their squad is so strong.
    Lets just hope man U and Chelsea fancy resting some players against us to level the playing field a bit.

  23. Soccer supporters and players definitely have lower IQ’s than their Rugger and Polo loving counterparts.
    How you people can get all worked up about a lot of girls blouses prancing about the soccer pitch is beyond the imagination of intelligent people like myself.
    What is it with all of these foreign johnnies feigning injury and being disrespectful to the umpires.
    Soccer should be barred as it is perused by violence loving council dwelling scruffs and the participants are over paid , lily livered dunderheaded simpletons.

  24. AV, you’ve just answered my earlier question in today’s Gazette.
    RE: Why did we splash £12m on Alves during the inflated transfer window if he wasn’t going to be fit to play until next season?
    AV: “Alves was signed in January because Boro couldn’t afford to see him go elsewhere but in truth he is one for the future.”
    But don’t you think it was a massive gamble given that we were (and still are)struggling to score and at the time Mido was (and still is) unfit and Boro were in desperate need of a goal scorer ASAP.
    If we were relegated due to lack of goals would Alves stay to spearhead our campaign out of the Championship?
    Luckily, I think we’ll get enough points in the bank to scramble over the line but it was a damn risky strategy – though I also agree with your point that we’re now creating less, which means the problem lies in midfield.
    Talking of which, The Times says we’re hovering over the corpse of Fulham ready to pick up Jimmy Bullard – could be a good move if it were true.
    **AV writes:I don’t think anyone though that he would still be in a tactical limbo and struggling with the physicality seven games in but neither, given he had been kicking his heels for the best part of two months, did they expect him to slot straight in and start scoring.
    Obviously, if Boro were safe he would be playing in almost every game now to get him up to speed and get him acclimatised. As it is right now there is a balancing act between best and fittest possible team now and the need to give him pitch minutes.

  25. Does anyone feel that Alves should be playing in the reserves to warm up for the next few premier league games ready for next season?
    He hadn’t played football for 3 months and he has struggled to find any form in the premier league at all.
    Get him in the reserves then on the bench for Chelsea, again a reserve game for 45 – 60 mins then start against Man utd that will be 4 games in 2 weeks he might get a few goals in there and build his confidence..
    AV whats your slant on his form?
    COME ON BORO!!!!!!!!
    **AV writes: I’ve covered that in my Gazette column today. He has been most unfortunate in coming off the bench long after Boro had started to ‘sub-consciously’ retreated and were sitting deep. He was bought to put away the chances but when he has been on the pitch very few chances have been created.
    I think he looks an excellent player and will come good. Remember it is not so long ago that Tuncay and Aliadiere were being written off because they hadn’t scored in a lot longer than 268 minutes.

  26. Last season we beat West Ham 1-0 with a Maccarone goal in a match which GS apologised for afterwards, it was THAT dire. “That is not how I want to play, believe me” was the drift afterwards…but here we are, a season and a bit onwards, and the trend continues. Not scoring enough goals and never killing off teams.
    I find myself wondering what on earth the players actually DO work on during the week.
    And while so many are relieved a) that the game is over and b) 3 points have been secured, I shall make the point again that, despite a good draw at Villa and a less convincing one at Arsenal, Boro will end this month a point worse off than if they had won their home games and lost all 3 away games (assuming they take nothing away from Chelsea this w/e).
    And with several awkward fixtures to come – of which Man U is but one – we could all too easily find ourselves right back in it.
    Must also say credit to GS for dropping Arca who has been rubbish recently but why on earth give him such a long deal?

  27. AV, I’m not for one second writing the guy off, I’m just wondering if it will be good for the lad to get sum football under his belt no matter what level and try to pick up the diferences in the game here.
    Reserve team football isn’t the greatest but it would surely give him a blast of football that he hasnt had in 6 months whilst coaxing him into the 1st team.?

  28. Like many I couldnt resist a wry smile at Mascherano being sent off. Having seen Bennett at Villa it is clear that he is one of the group of refs not to mess with.
    A Liverpool fan I know said after Aliadiere being sent off that Mas likes winding people up, a bit of a cheeky chappy, likes a bit of fun.
    Clearly Mr Bennett was not impressed but will he back track and rescind his decision? Unlikely I would have thought.
    **AV writes: It is football karma.

  29. Good 3 points.
    We made some good chances,Roy Carroll made some very good saves.
    The “Boat” has been great since he came back in ! sign him for another 2 years.
    We are still lacking on the right,O,Neill seems to be stuck on the half line often on Youngs toes.
    If Mido isnt fit on his return offload him in the Summer and go for Peter Crouch,we can offer him regular first team football he is good on the floor and offers you a good target man and he knows the Prem.
    Time to start planning for next year !

  30. AV, your column today about Alves was spot on!
    I think that these cameo’s are not helping him as much as a full game would.
    If you look at Adam Johnson’s comments about ‘trying too hard when coming on from the bench’ and ‘needing a run in the team’ to try and get some confidence and consistency together then the same applies to Alves.
    I just hope his mind can handle the pressure and that the treatment he gets is beneficial to getting him involved in the first team.
    Southgate hopefully is asking him what he would like and making some decent plans so the lad doesnt think ‘What the hell am I doing here’ like Maccarone and forgotten man Mendieta .
    I understand we have to stay in the Prem but is it at the consequence of trying to nick a goal and then shutting up shop for the last half hour of every match?
    If we were all over Derby so much at the Riverside and they offered no attack – how come when Luke young went of injured on 65mins we didnt go to a back three and bring on Alves to help do what he has been bought for and help out Tuncay and Alliadiere while we were still going forward and had players on to support him .
    By the time Earnshaw missed his header we would have been well clear and Derby would have had too much to deal with. Did Southgate not watch Chelsea show everyone why Derby’s goal diff is so bad?
    There is clearly fear holding the team back as we are not clear of the drop. The fear and prudent play is keeping us near the drop and vise versa!
    Psychology is a massive part of it and I dont want Gareth to start another sentence with unfortunatly.
    We have stopped and tried to defend a lead too many times this season but the advantage is always with the attacking side as goals win you matches.
    Sometimes we were hanging on for a draw and the clock has counted down and bailed us out.
    Can we not finish on a bloody High!

  31. Mascerano’s cheeky hobby of swearing at refs and thinking hes God. Hes a great player but his antics are a disgrace.
    One match extra ban if there is a god.
    Did I say god , I meant Juninho!

  32. Southgate is inexperienced and reluctant to make big changes in a game. He always ends up asking cooper and Crosby for advice. He is a more cautious manager than McClaren.
    The fans need a lift to get the crowds back up. Where is this entertaining football we were promised with lots of pace and movement?

  33. Since Boro moved to the Riverside only one foriegn player has been at the top of his game since day 1.
    Step forward Ravenelli, unforgettable hat trick against the scousers.
    As you have posted AV, Alves had hardly had a chance to make an impact.
    The only real chance he has been provided with was the missed header against Sheff U.
    Give him chances and he will score

  34. Alves just needs time. Time to adapt to the English game and time to adapt to the English way of life and his new suuroundings. It’s way too early to write him off.
    One without the other will make him perform to a lesser degree. In order for him to perform he absolutely must feel comfortable and happy with the North East.
    Juni always said he loved it here and that he loved the people. It was never like home, obviously, but he was very happy here.
    If Alves finds it the same here then I’ve personally no doubt that he will be a very, very good buy, if he doesn’t I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone before the start of next season no matter what contract he has.
    The gossip I’ve heard is that he doesn’t like it here and so I don’t think he will stay all that long. It’s just gossip though. I guess it’s that time of year again !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s