Battered Boro Left Shell-Shocked

“HUMILIATED…. humbled…. like rabbits in the headlights…. we lacked belief… never really got at them… everything that could go wrong did go wrong… our weaknesses exposed live on national television… an horrendous day… their class exposed us…. we were poor and there are no excuses… we weren’t in the same league as them today… they have injuries but so did we only the people they can bring in and the people we can there is no comparison… it’s a young team and it showed because they couldn’t do anything to change what was happening on the pitch… a massive gulf in class… we were poor, we know that…. ”


That’s the edited highlights of the Gareth Southgate post-match press conference after Boro were taken apart by Chelsea. He said much the same to the cameras. To be fair, there is not much you can add other than say the squad is so thin that it left very few options, tactically or in selections… but we knew that at the start of the season and it was always going to come home to roost at some point.
We started with a young lad drafted in to play out of position at right-back because injuries and suspensions meant our first choice emergency cover there – jet-lag Wheater – was needed elsewhere… then a teenager had to come in to make his debut in that debacle to cover there later on.
We had Johnson starting on the right when we have been told for weeks that Aliadiere and Downing were almost unrivalled as wingers in the league, with the Frenchman moved alongside Mido and the £12.7m record buy sat morosely on the bench, alongside Digard, probably the only midfield spark. Should it have been a five across the middle? And whatever the shape shouldn’t Boro have got in their faces?
The game was lost in the first five minutes but there seemed little will or ability to even manage a damage limitation operation. It puts wobbling Boro in a vulnerable position with the home form disintegrating, the flowing football and flurries of chances a fast fading memory and some hard games coming up. How big a result does the smash and grab and Wigan feel now?

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113 thoughts on “Battered Boro Left Shell-Shocked

  1. Ian Gill and Ignorant of Boroland – I am seriously miffed here. Yesterday,
    before sitting down for what turned out to be several hours of work, I typed out a fairly (well actually very) long piece for this blog. Made the cardinal error or not saving it and cutting and pasting into this box before submitting it.
    Result – a message saying something along the lines of “You have attempted to post too many messages in too short a time. Please try again later”.
    Two issues here for AV. Firstly how many posts are allowed (or is it a secret, and I am on tenterhooks as to whether this message will arrive)? Secondly, has anyone checked the number and frequency of the IG and Ignorant posts above? Maybe someone is out to get me after all.
    Are the good-looking guys on here being penalised unjustly?
    **AV writes: Hey, I don’t know how this thing works you know. I’ve never had the bonnet up. Maybe it is not so much number of posts per hour as words per post that the system can’t deal with.
    I’ll ask the question. Is anyone else still having problems with using the blog?

  2. FD: A cracker that, man! Was it you who head-hunted MY secretary? You must have been typing with stumps at the end if that! Worth it though. A beezer!

  3. Forever Dormo
    If I had feelings you would have hurt them, why do you think Ignorant and I are not good looking?
    I must admit I have had the same message even when I havent posted for a couple of days (believe it or not). I toyed with idea it was MFC intercepting the posts and trying to airbrush items from history but as AV has kindly reassured me that the Gazette is not infiltrated set that theory aside.
    There are occasional difficulties in posting to Boro Banter – I wonder if the low number of responses is because you cant post!
    There appear to be several issues with the systems and yours is the most frustrating, you shouldnt need to copy and paste items, if it doesnt allow you to post the software shouldnt just delete your message.
    By the way, an excellant piece.

  4. Forever Dormo:
    “Are the good-looking guys on here being penalised unjustly?”
    Definitely! But that goes along with suffering with Boronoia!
    But look at it this way – Downing can’t hit the spot, either , so we’re in good company! Hey, too many more of these failures to (even hit the) post and there might be promotion in it for us! Fancy an armband?

  5. Forever Dormo, The way this blog works is a bit like a woman, its a mass of contradicting emotions. I could go on like ‘Swiss Tony’ but I will leave it.
    As far as good looks go , I was looking like a Picasso portrait from the 40s-during the Chelsea display- my left eye moved over next to my right , both of em tearful on one side of my head.Then my mouth started to shrink and recede [ like I had been chinned non stop] I may as well have been wearing a painterly womans hat!
    There is a comparison between the Riverside and the Picasso museum in Malaga, both are cheaper to get in than some other places in the same league. However the work on display inside is often of a lower standard and paintings\players that should feature are often out on loan or even damaged. Both establishments have also had to sell some of their prize assets to balance the books.
    **AV writes: Cultured readers or what?

  6. just been thrown out for too many in a short time, thrown out last night due to ‘not putting name and email’. both wrong.
    I must be a real good looker

  7. In the long post from 12.14am (above) mention could have been made of the recent incidence of players who are injured going abroad for medical assessment and/or treatment. When did the medical facilities in, let’s just say, Argentina and Egypt overtake those in Europe? I mean, we are not talking NHS for our players, but Harley Street or its regional equivalent!
    As to good looks I think Ignorant has hit the nail on the head. There used to be a TV makeover programme where women had some work done with the objective of making them look 10 years younger. Watching some of the games at the Riverside has the effect of adding a decade to even the most baby-faced supporter, and it does nothing for the health of your follicles. You know it’s not good for your health to follow Boro but you feel compelled to keep going – it must be an addiction.
    Anyway, and to keep this short – we need a show of commitment and organisation today at Blackburn. Where there’s life there’s hope and I would be more than happy with a 1-1 draw. A win, however, would go some way to wiping out the nightmare that was Chelsea, but it might cause the glass to overflow.

  8. Don’t know if this post will appear as my last few have disappeared just as Boro’s defence does in the last 5 mins!
    AV, I have been getting messages saying I have over posted in a short timframe and been rejected. I’m starting to get symptoms of Mendietaitis!

  9. name – check
    email address – check
    last post – 9.52am on 25/10 – check
    I would have settled 1-1 before the match. The offside goal and injury time equaliser are blows.
    Not as solid as at Wigan. What is of concern is 61% passing success, no wonder possession, territory and shots stats are so poor.
    It cant help that defence and midfield are pick and mix selections. We need some continuity.

  10. A good result yesterday, even if it was disapointing to conceed in the last couple of minutes yet again.
    I would have taken a point before the game without a doubt. In the last three games we’ve played two away and Chelsea at home and have a return of four points, again I would have taken that three games ago.
    We’re reasonably well placed with two home games to come in the next week, six points may be a little too much to ask for but four has to be the minimum target, which would leave us mid-table after the magic 10/11 game mark and set us up for a season with the potential to finish in the top ten which would be good progress over the past couple of seasons.
    Finally, it was good to see Alves score, lets hope he is boosted by that and scores a few more in the coming games.

  11. Nigel, there is no way Alves is gonna score more unless the rest of the team get the ball to his feet in and around the 18 yard box .
    Yesterday it happened twice the first he curled just wide and the second was , 1st touch to trap the ball second to quickly play it out from his and the defenders body and the third – get in you buggar! Back of the net.
    For nearly almost all of the game we were overrun in midfeild like we had a player less. Downing looked like he didnt want to be there and never took the defender on to try and get passed him. Aliadiere on the other hand fought valiantly and tried to dribble past Blackburn and pass forward. He was more than a handful and Blackburn resorted to fouling him. The rest of our midfield hardly even kept the ball and stray passes forward or back to Turbull to lump forward were just giving Blackburn the ball to pass through us constantly and get into the final third.
    It appears we as zonal marking and most teams like Chelsea are just passing into the space.
    Good to see Tuncay back and a shame that his goal was ruled out as it was not offside .However being fair ,Taylor did a hand of God clearing header as he knew he was beaten once again by Emerton in the area. Lucky to get away with it as it could have cost us the match . I never want to see that type of thing again.
    Taylor is working hard but I wonder how many other prem teams he would get in?
    The squad is paper thin, no competition for places and so the players will be picked no matter what their form, how many more abject performances from Downing before Jinky gets a start?
    We need to buy/loan a central midfielder with some attacking vision to get up and support the attack.Every good team has one and I am starting to agree with me of the posters who say play Tuncay in his position for Turkey and put him next to Digard , move O’Niel back out to the right [ even though it was me begging for him to be brought inside]and play Aliadiere up front with Alves.
    Southgate is not at all canny in these interviews and his honesty seems naive.

  12. I’m so angry at the match officials and our players. Tuncay was yards onside and with that in we’d likely scored a few. Seconfly, it’s not southgate’s fault our players lack the necessary backbone to see a game through to its conclusion.

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